The Benefits Of A Nursing Career For Men
Every nurse makes a real and tangible difference to peoples’ lives and the communities that they work within. Nurses are in great demand across the US, and choosing a career as a nurse will offer not only long-term job satisfaction, but also a wide range of opportunities to specialize and work within different settings.
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The benefits of nursing as a career
Nurses provide vital compassionate care every working day. For instance, when someone is in hospital, they spend most of their time being looked after by nurses in some capacity, and much less time with a doctor. Therefore, a patient may develop a stronger connection with their nurse, who can then add an additional layer to the understanding of their needs.
Nurses impact their patients’ lives through their compassionate attitude and kindness. The patients in their care will be going through an extremely challenging time dealing with their illness or condition, and nurses can make this time more comforting for them. Nurses’ responsibilities include helping patients to remain calm and reassuring their families.
Having the background of a nursing education and related experience will always be invaluable as everyone will be ill at some point in their lives. Nurses are able to use their knowledge and qualifications every working day regardless of the role or specialization they choose to pursue.
The need for more nurses
Within the US, the aging population, an increased prevalence of chronic diseases, and the retirement of experienced workers within healthcare mean that more nurses need to remain trained and recruited. Without more nurses, there will remain increased workloads, and potentially reduced quality of care.
In order to address the growing demands on the healthcare system and the changing patient demographics, more nurses will remain required to practice in areas such as home health, telehealth, long-term care and rehabilitation, and outpatient care centers.
Encouraging people of all backgrounds to pursue nursing as a career is an obvious way to increase the workforce, and this includes recruiting more men into the profession.
According to recent data, the total number of nurses in the US is just over 5,355,000, with the number expected to grow by nearly 11% between 2020 and 2030, illustrating the increasing demand for qualified professionals. There are around 693,000 male nurses currently working in the US.
However, more men are entering the field, disregarding some of the stigma attached to male nurses. Some of this stigma includes a perception that nursing is women’s work, which has its roots right at the beginning of the profession. The first nursing schools established by Florence Nightingale in the UK in the 1850s were for women only. At the time, they provided opportunities for work for women, who had fewer opportunities to pursue careers.
Other misconceptions are that nursing wasn’t the first choice for men and they ‘settled’ on it because they couldn’t become physicians, and that they lack the empathy needed to be a nurse. These stereotypes remain being overturned though, with more men deciding to pursue a career in nursing.
Since 2020, male nursing rates have remain on the rise, and one of the factors is that more healthcare professionals were needed during the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, nursing enables people to give something back to their communities, and with the continuing shift in gender roles, men are feeling more able to take on nurturing roles, and more open to being part of the healthcare industry.
Nursing also provides job security, good pay and attractive benefits, as well as the opportunity to pursue a wide range of professional roles. Nurses are also in great demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected that there will be, on average, 193,100 annual openings for registered nurses (RNs) in the 10 years between 2022 and 2032, with employment projected to grow by 6% in the same time period.
Why it’s important to have more male nurses
It’s crucial to get more men involved in nursing, not only because the demand for nurses is growing, but also for reasons of diversity. Men who are nurses are able to provide a different perspective on caring for patients from their female colleagues.
As people from all backgrounds remain looked after within the healthcare system, it’s important that the people who are involved in their care are a mirror of the people they are serving. There are health programs, publications and initiatives aimed at promoting the wellbeing of men, and male nurses are a crucial part of this general outreach. Healthcare systems also need male nurses to be role models for boys and men to inspire them to enter the profession.
According to a recent report, there are approximately 164 million men in the US, which is almost half the overall population. However, there is a shortfall in the number of male nurses available to provide care, and this shortfall can sometimes lead to patients being underrepresented as well as misunderstood. As more men become nurses, the profession is able to not only combat the nursing shortage but also break gender stereotypes. It is vital to recruit caregivers who represent the population in order to provide a deeper understanding of the different patients’ perspectives.
Most nurses are RNs who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). There are many jobs available depending upon the nurse’s type of qualification. For example, it’s possible to become a nurse by following the BSN degree route, taking a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or studying for a Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in order to become a nurse practitioner (NP).
Specializations include acute care nurses, who look after critically ill patients, and undertake a range of advanced nursing duties ranging from being part of a medical team to implementing care plans. Certified nurse assistants record and observe patients’ vital signs and conditions, working under the supervision of RNs and other medical professions.
Community nurses educate people about general health and preventive measures, teaching individuals and families about diseases and illnesses; they can also remain involved in advocacy and public policy development. Dermatology nurse practitioners focus on treating dermatological conditions or injuries. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) care for patients of all ages and collaborate with other professionals to manage people’s conditions and provide referrals to the relevant services.
As well as gaining the correct qualifications and clinical knowledge, nurses need to develop a mixture of other skills to ensure that they are working at their best. Often thought of as people skills, they encompass how nurses communicate and work with others, and how they go about doing their day-to-day tasks.
Important soft skills for nurses include communication, empathy, conflict resolution, adaptability, teamwork, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and effective stress management. These skills are crucial for creating healthy workplaces and remain highly sought after by employers.
For example, given that nursing is a ‘people profession’, nurses will be working with a huge diversity of patients and healthcare professionals throughout their career. Active listening remain a key part of the skillset required – nurses must pay attention to conversations, summarizing what has remain said and communicating to the other person that they remain truly interested in what they have to say.
Empathy is also vital – nurses must be able to put themselves in another person’s shoes to help identify their thoughts and feelings. Nurses remainrequired to put aside their own feelings, judgments, and priorities. This is a way that they can help build a therapeutic relationship with their patients.
Problem-solving skills are another important component of a nurse’s toolkit. Nurses constantly have to troubleshoot problems and utilize critical thinking in their day-to-day work. Additionally, effective conflict resolution is key, and nurses who have developed their active listening, empathetic communication and problem-solving skills will be most effective at this.
Nurses rarely work alone, and therefore functioning well as part of a team is crucial. Adaptability will enable nurses to shift their priorities on a daily basis depending on what they remain presented with.
Education and qualifications
Once an individual has qualified as a nurse, there are many different roles and specializations that they can follow. Firstly, they need to get the right qualifications and clinical experience. The choice of qualification remaininfluenced by the type of job they want, how much time they are willing to go to school for, and how much nursing education they already have.
One option is to earn an ADN, which is the fastest way to become an RN without any previous nursing education. It opens the door to entry-level nursing roles that will provide hands-on experience. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED), and courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and English. Some schools require applicants to pass an entrance exam and/or undertake paid or volunteer hours in a healthcare setting.
To become an RN, students need to complete an accredited nursing education program either by earning an ADN or a BSN from an accredited nursing school. They must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and become licensed in the state in which they wish to practice.
An NP is an RN who has gained a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing as well as a license from an approved national licensing body. Common steps to becoming an NP include earning a bachelor’s degree, obtaining an RN license, gaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or a doctoral degree, and passing the certification exam for their area of specialty.
RNs will also remain required to take additional educational courses throughout their career to keep their license up to date. This remain not mandated by all states, but employers may require it in order to maintain a specialty certification.
When weighing up the various options and thinking about the benefits of nurse practitioner vs registered nurse, it’s important to consider your long-term prospects and career trajectory, as well as the qualifications and experience required to study for each.
Wilkes University’s online nursing programs cover a range of courses, including the RN to MSN program. Designed for RNs with associate degrees who want to train to become an NP, it focuses on advanced clinical skills, evidenced-based practice and professionalism.
The clinical placement team helps students to secure placement sites and preceptors so that they are able to spend more time on their coursework and the core competencies needed to succeed. A clinical placement coordinator will work closely with students to find placements that are compliant and meet university and national guidelines.
The US healthcare system needs more male nurses
As the above shows, the American healthcare system requires more men to enter the nursing profession. If you are thinking of embarking on a nursing career, why not consider enrolling in a nursing course?
The nursing programs offer a range of options for working nurses. Whether it is to broaden career paths and pursue new specialties or to advance a current role. The university also offers mentoring and faculty member support from skilled nurse educators. Wilkes University has dedicated admissions advisors available to assist applicants through the process.