Molloy's Men In Nursing
The profession of nursing is one of the most rewarding career paths anyone can undertake. Nursing is a holistic field of study that incorporates care at the deepest, physical level. Whether it is administering medications in the morning, or holding one's hand at the end of one's life, nursing gives back to those who hold the mantle.
When a patient is in a hospital bed and looks up to see who is administering an immunization or performing an assessment, it will most likely be a woman. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.2 million of the nursing population are female, which is over 91 percent. That means only 9 percent, approximately 330,000 are male.
Ever since Florence Nightingale paved the way for nursing as a profession, women are closely associated with nursing. From caring for the wounded in civil wars to recording vital signs, women bore the mantle of caring for the physically unfortunate. However, opportunities for education in the nursing field has been passed down to the male gender.
For quite a while, and perhaps to this day, men and nursing have been considered to be mutually exclusive. In the hospital setting, men are commonly mistaken for being doctors, kitchen staff, or a part of the transfer crew. However, more and more men are taking on those roles that have traditionally been held by women through formal education.
Molloy's Men In Nursing club meeting together to discuss a research project
Molloy College's nursing program is one of the most renowned in the entire country. In fact, College Factual has named Molloy College the top nursing school in the country, as graduates of the program can expect to make approximately 30% more than your average nursing student.
In terms of who comprises the current nursing student population at Molloy, the disproportionate male to female ratio remains consistent. According to Vice President for Enrollment Management Linda Albanese, there are currently 1,623 nursing students at Molloy College. Out of this population, 85% (1,392) are women, with the remaining 231 being men.
Despite men being the minority in one of the country's most recognized educational programs, they still have made their passions known and seek to do good with the educational opportunity bestowed to them.
President of the New York Consortium for Men in Nursing at Molloy College and senior nursing student Kyler Prinz took time to reflect on being a male nursing student and the stigmas that are attached to it.
Kyler has held his position since January in 2018 and hindsight has been 20/20. "What made me want to become a nurse is the opportunity to make a positive impact on people's lives during their most critically ill states." Prinz also discussed his interest in the Cardio-Thoracic Intensive Care Unit and the pharmacological management of patients with cardiovascular issues.
Kyler's observed the stigmas within the profession; people mistake him for being a doctor in numerous rotations. However, in his own words, "I was always made to be a nurse. I want to be the first set of eyes to detect a change in a patient's condition. This is who I aspire to be after graduation." Men such as Kyler have helped paved the way for male nursing students, and that impact has permeated down towards those who are a part of Molloy's Men in Nursing club.
Jose Santos never had nursing as his initial career path, but after his Fundamentals rotation, he slowly fell for the holistic aspect of nursing. Jose noticed others in the profession can label male nurses as "professional lifters." "I have been a victim of this, and I still can't believe this kind of stigma is still present. Your gender should be the last thing to define who you are, as we are individuals with unique purposes."
Joseph Cestare, who is interested in working in the emergency department, happens to notice there are very few men who work in the obstetrics and pediatrics field, as it is deemed to be more of a "feminine" line of work.
Salmon Garcon, who is highly interested in critical nursing, didn't believe he would be in the nursing profession until his senior year of high school. He comes from a family that is full of nurses, but the desire to care is what ultimately drew him in. "I noticed how much my mom loved being a nurse, even on her bad days. I love being the person taking care of people during their worst times."
Senior nursing student Chris Savino has had a humbling experience himself. Doctors diagnosed him with leukemia at the tender age of 6. There were lots of things he could have remembered from that experience, but what resonated with him was the nurses trying their best to make him happy.
"I realized that I wanted to bring that same feeling to others, and it has also made me interested in oncology." As opposed to the others, Chris hasn't noticed any different treatment of male nurses, and he's actually been encouraged by female nurses as they recognize the need for men in the nursing profession.
Males in the nursing profession have a pretty unique profession in their line of work. They are mistaken for others and often deemed to be in the wrong line of work. However, if one thing remains certain, it is that the desire to care and help others in their most vulnerable state pays no attention to one's gender.
Whether one is a male or a female, patients have the right to evidence-based care of the highest order. Slowly but surely, the narrative of men in nursing continues to change as more are feeling comfortable in entering a female-dominated profession.
Nursing is a rewarding career for all who choose to enter. Molloy College has given the torch to their male nurses that will hopefully ignite the flame for the nursing profession to be blind to gender.