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.
Being a male nurse somehow became seriously stigmatized, since most nurses are women. Many question the motives of male nurses for entering the profession. But thanks to AAMN, an organization which 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, the reason why men become nurses is because they want a well-paying career which involves caring for and helping other people.
Lots of Lifting
Male nurses are often asked for help with lifting heavy patients when man-power 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.
Male nurses are often thought to be the 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 male nurse!
Better Salary Than Female Nurses
As 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.
Easier Job Search
Since women dominate the nursing field, hospitals and other healthcare facilities will be much 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.
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 a good thing. 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.
Male nurses are promoted more quickly, due to the “glass escalator” phenomenon. Since promotions often come along with raises, this may be one of the reasons 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 male nurse 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 numbers of male nurses are 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?
Want more information on Travel Nursing?
Check out our Travel Nurse Guide!