Male Nurse: Pros & Cons of Being a Male Nurse

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By Paul Priceman

January 30, 2022

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Men In Nursing: Pros & Cons of Being A Male Nurse

Like any other healthcare position, being a male travel nurse definitely has its pros and cons! Today, you’re going to get an honest, upfront perspective on what the pros and cons of being a male nurse are. You’ll hear about the good parts, and the bad parts, too. So, if you’re thinking about becoming a male nurse, you can now make an informed decision whether or not this is the job for you.

The Stigma

Being a male nurse somehow became seriously stigmatized since most nurses are women. Many questions the motives of male nurses for entering the profession. But thanks to AAMN, an organization that promotes and spreads awareness about men in nursing, and a handful of other male nurse activists who do the same, it is becoming increasingly more acceptable for men to become nurses. And, just by the way, men become nurses because they want a well-paying career that involves caring for and helping other people.

Lots of Lifting

Male nurses are often asked for help with lifting heavy patients when manpower is needed. Some guys don’t mind this at all, but others find it pretty annoying to be called for lifting nearly every heavy patient in the ward.

Misperceptions

Male nurses are often thought to be a doctor or the janitor. Many male nurses have experienced coming into a patient’s room, for the patient to immediately murmur into the phone, “I have to go, the doctor just came in.” This can get pretty awkward at times.

Searching for Scrubs

Most scrub stores cater to women. They have pictures of women on their front page banner, and they offer much more products for female healthcare professionals than for male ones. Happily, this problem has been alleviated partially by one online scrubs store, Murse World, which focuses exclusively on guys and carries only men’s scrub apparel.

Now, let’s get on to the benefits of being a man in nursing!

Better Salary Than Female Nurses

In many fields, male nurses are better paid than their female counterparts. They often earn between $5,000 and $10,000 more per year than female nurses! You’ve got to admit that’s a pretty significant amount.

Since women dominate the nursing field, hospitals and other healthcare facilities will be quicker to hire a man over a woman (with the same skills). The same often goes for nursing schools; guys can have an easier time getting in than girls since there are so much fewer of them.

Male Patients

People often focus on the fact that women sometimes don’t want a male nurse, but they forget that it goes both ways. Most men prefer having a male nurse over a female one. And, since there are so many more female nurses than male ones, it’s much harder for a man to get a male nurse. So when he does, he is generally very appreciative.

Positivity & Levelheadedness

Having male nurses balances things out and tends to make the unit more low-key, which is good. As Nicholas Germinario puts it, “As a male nurse, I add a great balance to the unit’s morale. When the estrogen levels are high, I enter with a calm and fun attitude. Not only am I frequently helping to boost patients (because they “need someone strong”), but I also boost positivity!!” It’s a fulfilling feeling to know you’re making a difference in the unit just by being there.

Promotion

Men in nursing are promoted more quickly due to the “glass escalator” phenomenon. Since promotions often come along with raises, this may be one reason why male nurses are paid more!

Making Your Decision

So, now you’re probably wondering if there are so many benefits to being a man in nursing, why aren’t more men becoming nurses? I’d say it’s mostly due to the first con we mentioned about the stigma. But if you’re interested in becoming a nurse, and you’re not one to get overly hung up on what others may think, then go for it!

Honestly, there seem to be more pros than cons when it comes to this profession. Being a man in nursing has nearly all the benefits being a female nurse affords, plus a couple more. And men are finally beginning to recognize that. Today, over 13% of nurses are men, and the number of male nurses is growing. Men are finally beginning to realize that nursing is a respectable, worthwhile, and fulfilling profession for anyone! So, what do you think about becoming a male nurse?

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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