How to Pursue a Nursing Career: Tips for Men

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Introduction: This article was written by Julia Merrill at julia@befriendyourdoc.org.

Photo by Pexels
Photo by Pexels

How to Pursue a Nursing Career: Tips for Men

By the way, my stepson earned a two-year degree in radiology at a community college and is now working as a radiology technician at a large children’s hospital. He loves his job! Gail H Fleming, EdD  gailhfleming48@gmail.com

Article: When men think about what they want to do for a living, nursing seldom comes up as an option. But it should! Nurses enjoy all kinds of perks, including great job security, location flexibility, and generous pay. There are also plenty of opportunities for advancement in the nursing industry, so you can take your career in all kinds of fulfilling directions.

Becoming a male nurse is no different from becoming a female nurse. As long as you’re prepared to ignore the misguided stereotypes, you’ll make a great male nurse. Here are some of the basic steps to follow as you pursue a career in nursing.

Enroll in a Nursing Program

Nurses work in highly technical roles, so it should come as no surprise that you will need a formal education to become a nurse. If you’re still in high school, focus on developing good math proficiency and a solid foundation in science. Volunteering at a local hospital is a great way to lay the groundwork for your future career while you’re still in school.

When it comes to post-secondary education, you have a few different options. Nurse practitioners (NPs), for example, must complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. An associate degree in nursing, on the other hand, might be all you need to become a registered nurse (RN).

Don’t let your education stop there! Continuing your education while working as a nurse will open the doors to advanced opportunities in specialties like education or administration. Consider earning an online master’s degree in nursing leadership or informatics to take your career to the next level.

Choose a Specialty

In addition to deciding on a nursing program to enroll in, you’ll also have to pick a nursing specialty. Different specialties come with different education requirements, job responsibilities, salaries, and career advancement opportunities, so make your decision carefully. Your specialty may also determine the specific demographics you end up caring for. If, for example, you want to work with babies, consider pediatric nursing or neonatal nursing.

Get Licensed

Before you can practice nursing, you will need to get your nursing license. The licensing process ensures that all nurses are well-qualified to provide care to the public. To get your license after graduating, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and apply for your license through your state board of nursing.

Most states require that nurses renew their licenses every one or two years. Don’t worry, you only have to take the NCLEX once. The requirements to renew a nursing license vary by state, but typically nurses will have to complete a number of hours of continued education to qualify for license renewal.

Find Your First Job

Ready for your first nursing job? While nurses are in high demand, getting a job with no experience will be a bit of a challenge. The Balance recommends preparing for your job interviews by studying common interview questions and answers. You should be ready to explain how you would handle key challenges that come with the job as well as why you chose nursing as a career.

Keep in mind that your first year of nursing will be the hardest. Make sure your first nursing job is a success by asking a few questions during the hiring process. Inquire about first-year nurse turnover rates, orientation programs, and the support that’s available to new nurses. Finding a nurse mentor can make a huge difference during that first year!

If you want to be a nurse, don’t let the stigma around male nursing stop you from pursuing this rewarding career path. Anyone can be a great nurse. With the right education and a passion for helping people, you will have everything you need to thrive as a male nurse in this female-dominated industry. And if you’re still on the fence, consider Gail Fleming’s education consultation and career coaching servicesContact Gail at (618) 267-8098 today.

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