If you are considering becoming a male nurse, there are five things that you need to know before making your decision. Nursing is currently one of the most in-demand occupations and male nurses will be needed for decades to come. For instance, there are some gender specific diseases where Male nurses have better patient outcomes and they can also command higher salaries than female nurses. However, nursing is a female dominated industry and so male nurses routinely face discrimination from male doctors, patients, and even other nurses.
If you are considering a career change and you want to do something rewarding, nursing has very likely crossed your mind at some point or another. There are many great reasons to become a nurse, and it’s something that you are going to find can be a very good career in a number of ways. It should go without saying that it is also quite a challenging job, and there will be times when you feel incredibly stressed out. But as long as you are ready for that, you should be able to handle that too.
In this article, we are going to help you with your goal of becoming a nurse, by looking into some of the major things that you will need to be aware of along the way. As long as you know about the following, you are going to feel much more ready for the change, and you’ll be more likely to make it a real success.
What Is Nursing?
First of all, what exactly is nursing and what kind of things does it cover? In simple terms, nursing is any kind of work in which you act as a medical nurse. You might have a wide range of patients of all kinds, who you see in a hospital, or you might even work in domiciliary care or a care home, perhaps visiting people in their own homes or in other settings. You might even travel around, or choose to go out to other countries to practice nursing. Perhaps you will opt to join the army and nurse people fighting wars all over the world.
Wherever you do it, as a nurse you will be a degree-trained medical expert, and you’ll very often be the very frontline working to help people with a wide range of medical issues to get better in no time. You will have a crucial role in the overall wellbeing and health of your patients, above all, and you will be a genuine lifesaver. Not only that, but the role will also be fully intellectually challenging, so you will find that it is really going to be an endlessly fascinating and rewarding role in so many ways.
As you can see, it is a noble role and one that is widely respected all around the world. But is it the right career path for you at this time in your life?
How Much Do Male Nurses Get Paid?
Male nurses get paid more than their female counterparts, but they are still paid less on average. For instance male nurses can earn around $65,000 a year in the United States and about $70,000 in Canada. This is much higher than what would be expected for females with similar qualifications of just over $50,000 dollars per annum. In other countries too male nurse salaries will be higher to compensate for discrimination against them as well as having fewer male nurses available overall due to cultural reasons (such as women not being allowed outside without chaperones).
As mentioned before you could also command even greater pay if your work falls into one of those specialty fields where male patients have better outcomes: such things include dealing with prostate cancer, male erectile dysfunction and similar.
As male nurses become more common, the pay gap between male and female nurses will shrink dramatically. This is because as male nurse salaries go up in order to compensate for discrimination from male doctors they are also going to be higher than female wages which means that there is no longer any wage disparity at all. It won't happen overnight of course but it will eventually even out over time so this shouldn't dissuade you from becoming a male nurse if money or gender inequality has been one of your reasons not to do so before now.
In other ways too the work environment is changing: some hospitals have separate wards just for males who require surgery following prostate operations while others provide private rooms sitting alongside females only ones.
Is It Your Time To Become A Nurse?
Generally, you will be thinking about becoming a nurse if you are looking for a role that makes you feel you are doing something genuinely useful and amazing for other people, and if you want to learn a series of skills along the way too. Becoming a nurse can take a while in training, but it is going to mean you have some of the most useful skills that it is possible to have. Not only that, you will be able to feel the knowledge that you are working towards one of society’s most integral roles, and that is great for giving you a feeling of satisfaction with your job in general.
But is it the right time for you to become a nurse? If you are looking for a career change, and you know that you want to work in medicine or at least do something that is rewarding in this way, then there is no reason not to think about trying to become a nurse. Of course, it is a career, not just a passing job, so you should think carefully about whether right now is the right time for you, with all that this entails. But if you feel that it is, then you should absolutely go for it with all that you have. More than many other professions, nursing is going to be deeply satisfying and rewarding, so this is absolutely something to bear in mind.
What Skills You Need
Next up, let’s look at some of the major skills that you are likely going to need when you are a registered nurse. Although you will of course develop and learn about these as you do your training, it’s good to also just be aware of it upfront if you want to make sure that you are ready to get into it. You might recognize some of these skills as being something that you already have or can see the potential for in yourself, so that is something to bear in mind if so.
One of the most important skills of all in nursing is compassion. You need to be able to be compassionate to other people, particularly your patients, and you should be aware that there are times when this ability will be tested, so you are going to have to practice compassion even towards those who make it difficult. Sometimes you will have a completely belligerent individual who is making all sorts of ridiculous demands, and you’ll still need to show them a great deal of compassion. That can be very hard to do, but it is vital as a nurse that you do that.
Beyond being compassionate, you have to have a natural caring ability, which is related but a little different to compassion. You have to have a genuine desire to help people, and to try and work out what it is that they want and need from you along the way. If you think you might have this natural ability, then that is a very good sign indeed, and you might find that you have what it takes to become a nurse.
There is also a strong need for some strong critical thinking abilities. This kind of thinking can also become much more difficult when you are in the middle of a busy shift and trying to help people who are in a serious condition, so it also ties in with the ability to work under pressure. If you are doing that well enough, it means that you are going to be able to be a nurse much more successfully.
All of these correspond to natural abilities, but they are also things that you are going to learn as you go along, and that is something that you should very much bear in mind. That is what we are going to take a look at in the next section.
What Training Do Male Nurses Need?
Before you can practice nursing, you have to get the appropriate training. This training can be done in a number of ways, and it varies slightly depending on where in the world you are practicing, but the important thing is that you are finding a course to train with that is going to give you all the necessary skills and knowledge before you start work. In most cases, you will be seeking out a nursing degree, and this is going to give you a strong all-round and foundational knowledge base to work from and build on as a nurse as you advance through your career.
If you do go down the undergraduate degree route, bear in mind that you will have the choice to study different kinds of nursing, so you can choose between adult nursing, children and young people, learning disabilities, mental health, midwifery and more. It’s up to you to see whether you might have specific interests or abilities that fall within these specific areas. If not, you could just do general adult nursing and you can always choose to specialize later on once you have a little more experience of working with different types of patients.
Alternatively, you can apply for a nursing apprenticeship, which allows you to learn on the job effectively. The main benefit of this is that you can gain your necessary qualifications while also earning a full-time wage, which can make the student life a lot easier compared to the other route. But you will need to decide if this is truly right for you before you do it.
What Are Some Reasons A Man Should Not Consider Becoming a Nurse?
Some male nurses have said they would never recommend it to a man, and the reasons for this vary. One male nurse has noted that there can be some difficult patients on occasion who are challenging to deal with; if you don’t have an empathetic personality you might find things more difficult than other male nurses do. There is also sometimes a lack of recognition from colleagues in nursing as well as from society at large – which means that your work will not always get recognized or appreciated like it should be. And finally, some men report worrying about how their future children may react when they come home one day to tell them dad works as a nurse - but all these negative aspects pale into insignificance compared with the satisfaction gained by male nurses.
Preparing For Your First Day As A Male Nurse
In either case, you should make sure that you are doing all you can to get ready for your first day as a nurse, and there are actually a few things that you might want to bear in mind here. First of all, make sure that you have all the necessary clothing, including your Uniform Advantage nursing shoes, your scrubs and whatever else might be relevant. You should also work on reminding yourself of the essentials of what you have learned so far.
Beyond that, you need to think about how you are going to manage your nerves and stay calm. In due course, you will become a pro at doing this, but at first it might be a little challenging. However, it’s vital if you are going to take care of yourself as much as the people you are caring for - something that will really help you to turn this into a full-length career.
As long as you bear all that in mind, you will find that this job is incredibly rewarding and even enjoyable.