by Julia Merrill
Historically, the majority of the nursing workforce has always been female. However, the number of male nurses is steadily increasing.
Today, 11.4 percent of students in BSN programs identify as male – and great pay and a rewarding career are two of their motivations. With help from organizations like the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN), reaching your goals becomes easier with collaboration and support.
But why should men consider a career in nursing? Here are four reasons men can find professional and personal satisfaction in the nursing profession.
1. Caring for a Diverse Population
In healthcare, diversity is more than a nice afterthought – it’s a cornerstone of the patient experience. Having caregivers that resemble them can be reassuring for patients. After all, 32 percent of patients are from a minority group, notes Modern Healthcare – so, the more diverse the healthcare team, the better.
2. Inspiring Equality in Other Fields
Some aspiring nurses assume that because nursing is largely a female-dominated field, there’s no place for men in it. After all, 88.9 percent of RNs were female as of 2019. However, in the same way women are seeking equality in more male-dominated professions, male nurses can pursue their chosen profession with confidence. Equality in nursing can help inspire equality in other fields as more individuals commit to the profession they’re passionate about.
3. Finding Advancement Opportunities in Specialties
There are many opportunities for advancement and specialized nursing occupations that men can consider in the nursing field. For example, men might enjoy a career as a director of nursing in long-term care, with increasingly higher salary opportunities based on their education level.
According the 2019 AADNS Work Study and Salary Report, the average salary for a director of nursing services (DNS) position in long-term care is $92, 756. DNSs with more education made a significantly higher income, with two-year degree recipients earning on average $90,680; bachelor’s degree holders earning $93,170; and post-graduate degree holders earning $100,930.
4. Helping to Meet a Critical Healthcare Need
As Minority Nurse explains, a critical nurse shortage means hospitals and other facilities need all hands on deck. Where gaps are occurring, male nurses are stepping up to fill vacancies. Highly skilled professionals are welcome in any career field – and men can handle nursing duties just as well as women.
What Training Do I Need to Become a Nurse?
While nursing is a rewarding career, students must undergo rigorous training to earn a professional certification. You can become an RN through a four-year undergraduate BSN program, but earning an Associate degree in nursing is another option.
One option is to pursue an online nursing degree. You can enroll in online nursing degree programs and complete your studies through a distance learning model. Online training helps you reach your goals while allowing you to manage current work and personal responsibilities.
If you’re concerned about being able to afford an education, there is help available. The AAPACN Education Foundation offers academic scholarships to qualified candidates.
Nursing Career Paths
Your training will vary based on what career path you choose, so it helps to know what your options are before enrolling in school. Common nursing career paths include:
- Certified Nursing Assistant – CNA: Many CNAs work in acute care, skilled nursing, or residential care facilities, though you can also work in a hospital or clinic.
- Licensed Practical Nurse – LPN: Becoming an LPN affords you the option to work in long-term care or other settings like hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices.
- Registered Nurse – RN: As an RN, you can work in hospitals and nursing care facilities. However, registered nurses can also work in outpatient clinics, schools, and in patients’ homes.
How to Find Your First Nursing Job
Finding your first nursing job might be easier than you imagine. From connections you make in your educational program to applying at local hospitals and other healthcare facilities, networking is a great way to pursue your first nursing position. You can also search for job openings for nursing professionals on the AANACareer job site and the AADNS Career Center.
Like women, men can become talented and compassionate nursing professionals. Though not every man wants to become a nurse, more males are entering the profession than ever. If nursing is your dream, there’s nothing stopping you from pursuing it.
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