men-in-nursing-murses

What It’s Like to Be a Male Nurse in Healthcare

What is it like to be a male nurse in healthcare? Well, murses (male nurse) are becoming more and more popular. And, for good reason!

While we won’t toot our own horns (too much), we are proud that male nurses are seen more and more each day. We’ll hopefully be answering some of the most popular questions about murses (male nurse nickname). Along with explaining some ever-popular misconceptions.

Male nurses make up about 12% of the overall nursing profession. That isn’t a whole lot, right? Well, today we’ll be going over some of the most common questions towards male nurses. And, discussing topics all about men in nursing.

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What is a Murse?

A murse is a term used to describe a male nurse. Pretty simple: male + nurse = murse.

Some refer to male nurses as murses as a fun nickname.

What’s the Difference Between a Female Nurse and a Male Nurse

One of the most interesting questions I’ve ever heard, “what’s the difference between a female and male nurse?”. Well, quite honestly absolutely nothing.

Both female and male nurses go through the exact same nursing school, exact same RN licensing exams (NCLEX) and perform the same duties when on the floor. However, there are more male nurses that work in some areas and vice-versa.

Is It Weird Being a Male Nurse?

Another common question, because of certain stigmas or stereotypes, can be “is it weird being a male nurse?”. That’s a difficult question to answer, because there are some situations where we are definitely outnumbered.

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I don’t ever feel very awkward or weird or anything like that. But, there are times when I can tell if a patient feels uncomfortable having a male nurse vs a female nurse. That can be difficult because you always want patient’s to feel as comfortable as possible.

But, this will vary greatly depending on where you work and how you carry yourself. When I started working in the ICU, I felt like this effect was greatly lessened because it is a very common place for male nurses to work (source).

Labor & Delivery and Women’s Health as a Male Nurse

For example, during my OB (obstetrics) rotation, which involves labor and delivery, postpartum and other portions of women’s health, there can definitely be some oddities. There are very few male nurses (yes, they are out there) who work in labor and delivery or postpartum.

For obvious reasons there are several reasons why males don’t work in these fields, but we all go through the same clinicals. So, our group was composed of 4 guys and 4 girls. Our clinical instructor would also pair up a guy with a girl so that we didn’t feel super awkward, but more importantly the patient’s didn’t feel super awkward. The guys did newborn assessments while the girls did mother assessments, which worked out well.

While the content and assessments weren’t exactly “weird” for me, the weirdest feeling for me was constantly questioning what the mother’s were thinking. My biggest worry was that the mothers or patient’s felt awkward with having a guy in the room (not that I was feeling awkward). If that makes any sense.

Where Can Male Nurses Work?

Where do male nurses work? Pretty much anywhere that any nurse works. There isn’t really discrimination when it comes to nursing jobs. However, as I mentioned before, there are some areas that are more popular than others for female or male nurses.

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Male nurses tend to not work in certain women’s health areas such as; labor & delivery and postpartum. But, it does happen for sure! From my experience, there is a lot of men that work in the ICU and the ED (emergency department). Along with operating room and surgical services.

I just want to reiterate however, you can find male and female nurses in any nursing position.

What is it Like Being a Male Nurse?

male-nurses

So, what is it like to be a male nurse in healthcare? It’s fun, rewarding and sometimes strange.

It’s fun because you meet some of the most incredible people in the entire world. From nurses, to nursing assistants, to physicians, to respiratory therapists; all of which are awesome people. You also build an incredible bond with the 2.86 million registered nurses in the US (source).

It’s rewarding because of the patients and families you meet. You’ll hear some sad stories. But, you’ll experience some of the most incredible stories you’ll ever hear. You can truly make a difference in someones life, no matter how small it is. And, you have the opportunity to literally save lives.

It’s strange because there is some moments when you do feel awkward or weird. There will always be patient’s who prefer a female nurse over a male nurse (whatever their reason might be). And, that’s definitely something we have to deal with. But, it’s just another barrier to get through in healthcare.

Do Male Nurses Make More Money Than Female Nurses?

While gender pay gaps can definitely be a factor in some careers, this is not one I have seen personally in nursing. However, that does not mean it doesn’t exist.

According to an article by RegisteredNurse.org, they found that nurses had a similar average salary of $38-39 per hour (source). However, male nurses were more likely to:

  • Work in more specialized areas where higher wages are standard
  • Work in urban vs rural settings (where wages are higher)
  • Work more overtime
  • Work more on-call shifts (clinical areas where on-call is available)

“In my experience, I have not seen a difference in work habits between male and female coworkers. With that being said, I have seen more female workers step back from the bedside after having children. While I’ve had male coworkers have children, they do take some paternal leave, but without exception have all returned to the bedside.”

Jon Haws – Registered Nurse and CEO of NRSNG.com

So, you can dive into these topics and issues for hours. But, for our purposes, my starting salary was the same as my female coworkers at $29 per hour in the ICU.

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Why Men Should Become Nurses (Murse)

Why should you be a nurse as a guy? We need more male nurses. While our industry is consistently changing, we need more men in nursing. We can provide an extra level of comfort to certain patients, empathize with certain patient populations and add a touch that cannot be replicated.

However, we love our female nurses–thank you to all you–they’re just as incredible.

  • Nurses (RN’s) are in high demand
  • The pay is around $65,000-$70,000 average per year
  • Men might be more comfortable with men
    • (for similar reasons why females might be more comfortable with females)
  • You can literally go anywhere with a nursing degree
  • You have a very meaningful and fulfilling job

Full Time Nurse

Striving to help nurses and nursing students succeed.

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