The Male Nurse in Healthcare

Nursing is a field that is characterized by healthcare professionals that provide information, treatment, support and guidance to patients. These professionals come from all walks of life, completing the picture of what a diverse work force should be. Even still, nursing is considered to be primarily a career field for women, leaving the male nurse as a novel concept, a fact that is documented by the low numbers of men enrolled in local college, university or online nursing schools.  

Less than ten percent of nursing school students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Master of Science in Nursing program are men. Many cite reasons of prejudice or uncertainty when deciding against a career in nursing, choosing to work within the medical field in a different capacity. Nurses, however, are not defined by gender when it comes down to patient care, and more men are putting aside any hesitation to enter into nursing school and the nursing work force. These men are not only growing in number, but are also benefitting from many of the programs offered specifically to recruit male nurses. States like Florida are offering incentives to male nurses, helping to broaden the range of care given to patients and eliminate much of the stereotype surrounding male nurses. Plus, as a solution to the nursing shortage across the country, the recruitment of men into nursing can be one of the best tactics to help eliminate worries over health care providers.

Nurses, no matter the gender, are some of the most important health care providers for those experiencing illness, recovering from an injury or seeking medical advice and preventative care services. The male perspective on health care can translate well in the field of nursing, providing an insight to patients that can not only benefit health concerns, but also be instrumental in eliminating the gender bias that exists in the different healthcare roles.

Defining a Nursing Specialty or Concentration

One of the most exciting and challenging parts of pursuing a career in nursing is deciding exactly what concentration is best for the student nurse, once he or she begins working in a hospital, clinic or medical facility. Most nurses enter into a campus-based or online nursing program with an idea of where personal skills and interests can match up with the wide range of nursing specialties, but the focus can change throughout the nursing school experience. From classroom instruction to labs and clinicals, the ability for a nursing school student to specialize in certain areas of medicine can be an adventurous time of personal and professional exploration.

Choosing a career path as a Nurse Anesthetist, Certified Nurse Midwife, Forensic Nurse or General Nurse Practitioner, for example, can affect the amount of time a student spends in nursing school, as well as the salary paid once the nurse graduates and is employed. Other considerations when choosing a nursing specialization is the need for a particular kind of nurse within a location, the hours that can be required in that setting, and any further education needed, whether through certification hours or accelerated nursing degrees.

Narrowing down the nursing concentration choices can be accomplished through research of the options available and even through discussions with nurses currently employed in the field. School counselors and mentors can provide insight into the decision, and mentor or shadow programs can effectively introduce the work environment to the student nurse. The specialization a nursing school student pursues can make a huge difference in the fulfillment of the nursing experience, lending to a positive work and personal outlook, helping the nurse and the patients he or she is treating.

Academic Prerequisites for Nursing School

Choosing to become a nurse is rarely a decision made lightly. It is no secret that nursing school can test even the most motivated and best performing students through its rigorous academic programs and clinical education. As a student nurse, the hours spent in class may be little compared to the work that is expected outside of class, including internships, nurse mentoring and shadowing programs and study time. However, if the academic dedication is not proven on tests and within a school environment, a nursing school student may not be able to complete the program, rendering a life goal little more than a memory. These academics may best be understood by ensuring prerequisites are mastered while still in high school, enabling nursing school students to face the challenges of nursing school head on.

Nursing school academic requirements are relatively standard, no matter the school attended. Most nursing schools look at high school or non-conventional students that not only have attained an A or B average, or at least a 2.5 GPA. In addition, it is also highly recommended that these students have a strong foundation in science, math and English. Science classes should include courses in chemistry, physics, biology, physiology and/or anatomy. The math required in nursing school is best supported through three to four years of math that includes algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Four years of English is also required, including courses that encourage writing and reading comprehension.

Whether looking at a local college or university nursing school program, and online nursing school or accelerated nursing degree program, the right foundation can make a big difference in the entire experience of nursing school. Through high school diploma or GED requirements that emphasize math, science and English, a nursing school student can be assured of a higher level of success during the entirety of a nursing school program.

Nursing our Senior Citizens

Working with senior citizens takes a special person able to handle the many different physical, mental and emotional problems that must be faced due to age.  Geriatric nurses are specially trained in health concerns that seniors face, from heart and lung disease to diabetes, stroke or neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The demand for Geriatric Nurses is growing at an astounding rate as the Baby Boomers begin to retire and require more specialized medical care.

Geriatric nurses are Registered Nurses that have passed the NCLEX-RN examination and have a degree from a campus-based or online nursing school that specializes in elder or geriatric care. Many of these nurses can be found working in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, providing a wide range of services from preventative to palliative care. Geriatric nurses can also be found in hospitals and clinics that specialize in the care of senior citizens, and can also travel to patients’ homes in order to help those with mobility issues. A Geriatric nurse can also become a specialist in any age-related physical or mental impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.

For Geriatric nurses, one of the most important aspects of the job is the ability to provide support and reassurance to patients that may be facing debilitating diseases and even death. With the natural process of aging playing out, a Geriatric nurse must take into account the rigors of age on the body and mind of a patient, as well as be sympathetic to family, friends and loved ones surrounding the patient. Because of these concerns, Geriatric nurses must also be sure to practice self-care and have a strong support system in place to process the events witnessed through the various job duties. 

Earning an average salary of $60,000 per year, a Geriatric Nurse can be assured of a long-standing career that touches the lives of patients, as well as the family and friends of the patient. With the growing number of elderly patients facing the health and wellness problems related to aging, the field of Geriatric Nursing continues to provide stable career options.

Travel Nurse Careers

One of the greatest aspects to a career in nursing is the variety the career field offers. Nurses can work within just about every aspect of healthcare, from different concentrations based on demographics, illness or disease specialization, medical facilities or even as traveling nurses. A traveling nurse is able to offer services to a wide variety of people, much like a nurse based in a hospital or clinic, but incorporates a personal touch through visiting patients in their homes, as a companion during vacations or through short-term or temporary positions in hospitals and medically-based establishments.

Many times, a Travel Nurse has the ability to visit a wide variety of locations throughout the country and across the world. While working with patients, these nurses not only provide services that can range from education and preventative care to acute care and specialized medicine. Rural nursing can be an especially beneficial specialty for a Travel Nurse, as those within smaller, wide-spread communities may not have the ability to seek medical care regularly. Elderly and pediatric care are also areas of nursing that may require the services of a Travel Nurse, enabling patients to remain in the comfort of home, while still being treated for illnesses and injuries.

Most Travel Nurses are Registered nurses that have completed a nursing school program from a campus-based or online nursing school, and have gained hands-on experience in a hospital, clinic or medical facility. Travel Nurses help fill gaps in healthcare, and can bring new insight and experience into communities that may be experiencing a nursing shortage in terms of specializations, as well as a shortage of nurses overall.

Generally speaking, a Travel Nurse earns more than a nurse based in a hospital or clinical environment. Because of the cost of travel and the contract-basis nature of Travel Nursing, the higher pay compensates for the fluctuations within the career field. Pay rates vary according to the location of the placement, and areas with a higher cost-of-living rate should offer higher wages. For a nurse with a sense of adventure, a career as a Travel Nurse can combine both professional and personal pursuits, allowing for a career that touches the lives of people everywhere.

Doctorate in Nursing Programs

The world of nursing is changing at an astounding rate, creating new careers, specializations and ultimately better healthcare choices for the community at large. Issues concerning the nursing shortage and a lack of qualified nurses able to provide medical care have been reduced, but not eliminated, and many states have increased the incentives available to help recruit, train and retain nurses. For nurses or nursing school students looking for a highly-skilled career path in nursing, one of the best ways to enter into those positions is through the fulfillment of a Doctorate of Nursing Practice program.

With many nurses spending countless hours in campus-based or online nursing school programs, the ability for a nurse to increase education and expand career possibilities throughout the nurse’s tenure has also increased. With more education and experience behind a nurse, the advanced practice and higher-skilled positions in nursing have begun to shift, and the initial training and education of these nurses is helping to put more skilled healthcare workers in hospitals, clinics and medical facilities. Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Leaders and other Advanced Practice Nurses are among these nursing positions, each requiring a minimum of a Master of Science in Nursing degree, if not more.

Since many of these nurses have both the time and experience needed to practice nursing and medicine in a similar capacity as a general physician, obstetrician or anesthesiologist, for example, programs that focus on a doctorate-level education in a clinical, not research-based methodology were developed. These Doctorate of Nursing Practice programs are a culmination of the time spent in the classroom and in a nursing environment that serves to give nurses the ability to practice medicine, while still maintaining a hands-on approach to patient care. It is this specialized level of education that is leading the way for nurses to gain equal ground within the medical community.

As a currently enrolled student nurse, or a new high school graduate considering the options within local colleges, universities or online nursing programs, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree can provide challenge and an understanding of the medical and personal sides of medicine, giving a nurse a well-rounded ability to provide optimal patient care throughout the community.

Nursing School Costs

After deciding to pursue a degree in nursing, one of the more difficult decisions is determining where to apply to a nursing school or nursing program. Community colleges, universities, and online nursing schools can all offer different programs, degree levels, certificates and even accelerated nursing programs. With all of the opportunities available in terms of a nursing education path, many nursing school students may be forced to ultimately decide which schools to apply to, based on one important fact: the cost.

The cost of nursing school, whether through a campus-based or online nursing program, can be a major factor in the choice about which school or even which degree program to pursue. Typically speaking, most tuition costs are based upon location and the status of the school – higher ranking schools, academically, may cost more than a school with a less prominent reputation. Online nursing schools may be one of the best values when it comes to a nursing program, taking into account not only tuition costs, but the value of time spent in a nursing school program.

The average Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at a local university or college takes four to five years to complete, including classroom time, study time and clinical experience. While the time commitment is tough, many of the nursing school students manage to attend school and work simultaneously, but this same time commitment can end up costing a nurse more in the long run, especially when looking at how soon a career in nursing can begin. On the other hand, online nursing schools and accelerated nursing programs are able to reduce the time needed to complete a degree by utilizing more intense academic and classroom instruction. Students enrolled in an online nursing school program are still able to work while attending the program, and can begin a career in nursing at a faster rate than through campus-based education. Accelerated nursing programs are designed to help students complete a nursing degree quickly, and many recommend that students do not work while in these programs. Most accelerated nursing school programs reduce the time involved in a nursing school program through vigorous curriculum that builds upon any previous college credit received, helping students complete a desired degree and begin nursing as soon as possible.

The costs involved with completing a nursing school program go beyond tuition, especially when considering the value of time and the ability to begin a nursing career quickly. Whether a nursing school program is held at a local college or university or through an online nursing school, the lowest cost can only be determined through a thorough evaluation of the time commitment, tuition and educational goals of the student.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

When it comes to choosing a career path, whether looking toward the future from a high school classroom, returning to the workforce or establishing a new career entirely, nursing can be one of the most fulfilling areas to explore. Nurses combine many natural, caregiving skills with scientific and medical knowledge, providing care to patients and support to friends and loved ones.

Nursing can also benefit the nurse in many ways. Many choose nursing because of a desire to help others during difficult times, through accident, illness or injury, or to help educate and prevent disease. From that, a nurse can find a challenging environment that is full of opportunities to increase knowledge – about nursing, medicine, people and even oneself. Nurses can gain additional insight into nursing through a college, university or online nursing school program, as well as personal experience.

Since nursing continues to change and evolve, the opportunities within the field are virtually endless. Nursing careers can take place in hospitals and clinics, abroad, in rural or urban settings, and within a myriad of disciplines. A nurse can begin a career working with geriatric patients, move into a labor and delivery role, find a place in the emergency department and finally settle into a career in Informatics. Nurses can teach, help develop and implement policies throughout the medical community or specialize in care for a particular health concern or patient type.

In terms of stability, nursing is a smart career choice for both a new graduate and non-traditional students. With the increased need for nurses across the country, many nurses are finding the countless opportunities for a life-long career in nursing enticing.  In addition, nursing is one of the top careers in terms of wages and salary in the U.S. Combining the career and salary prospects of nursing with a job that gives back to others makes nursing one of the most opportune fields for students and other professionals considering a career change.

Nursing provides a challenging environment with great pay and a world of opportunities in which to succeed. For the high school student considering entering into nursing school, the second-career professional or the person returning to the work force, a career in nursing can go beyond salary and stability, giving a nurse a feeling of fulfillment while providing care and support to others.

Non-clinical Nursing Jobs

Since nursing has become one of the fastest growing career options across the country, many nurses are finding a diverse range of opportunities are available beyond hands-on care of patients. While most nurses enter into nursing school in order to treat patients, it is not uncommon for nurses to turn toward other aspects of nursing that provide patient care from a different perspective. Non-clinical nursing jobs continue to guide many nurses faced with the demanding nature of a career that puts the needs of others first. These jobs allow a nurse to utilize those skills gained at a college, university or online nursing school program, maintain a professional visage and still make a difference in the lives of those facing illness or in need of preventative care.

Nursing Informatics brings technology and nursing together, joining a talent for computers and data with the insight of a nurse. These professionals manage patient data, consult with IT professionals and help create a seamless experience between patients and the processes of medical administration, research and management.

Patient Advocates and Case Managers help patients receive the best care possible in a hospital, clinic or other medical environment. These nursing professionals help coordinate medical services, manage patient information and ultimately help a patient receive the full benefits of evidence-based medical practices.

Nurse Consultants provide companies and organizations with insight into the medical field, especially nursing. Medical equipment businesses, insurance companies, law firms and medically-based call centers all look for nurses to fill non-clinical, consultant roles.

Non-clinical nursing jobs encompass a wide range of interests and specialties within the field of nursing. These jobs can be a solution for the non-traditional nursing school student attending an online nursing school or accelerated nursing program, or for a currently employed nurse seeking a change of pace. Non-clinical nursing jobs allow for a challenging, patient-focused work environment.