Monday, June 16, 2014

"Gender Bias" By Wray Faulkner, BS, RN

I have had the honor of practicing nursing for nearly twenty years.

I would like to share my journey as a male nurse in a profession dominated by women. My aunt influenced me to be a nurse. She actually practiced for many years as an operating room nurse. Hearing her many stories ignited an interest that was fulfilled many years later. As early as my first day of nursing school, I realized there were many stereotypes associated with being a male nurse. Often, people place the profession of nursing into one small box; however, it is so much more diverse.

Contrary to stereotypes, men do possess the care and concern, as well as, the gentle touch needed in a caring profession such as nursing. Unlike stereotypes suggest, all men are not in the profession just because of the competitive compensation. Like me, many men joined the profession out of a true desire to help others. When I decided to become a nurse I even had peers that questioned my decision, stating that nursing was not for men and that it was “weak” for a man to be a nurse. Since that time, many of those same peers have inquired as to how they too could become a nurse and several have actually become nurses. Sadly, I have also experienced gender bias amongst those in the profession as well. I’ve held several positions in which I had to literally prove myself to other nurses and physicians that I was serious about my career choice and qualified to perform at a level of excellence.

Males entering the profession of nursing have actually been an asset in many ways. One major asset is that nursing has seen an increase in pay scales since becoming inundated by men. Men joining the profession of nursing have also brought about a level of diversity awareness like never before. Non-traditional nursing roles are now more prevalent as a result of men joining the profession.
There are some things such as gender bias and stereotypes that I would love to see changed as a male nurse. However, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. I joined this profession because I care and at the end of each day I return home with self-fulfillment because I know that I have helped someone else, as well as, my profession as a whole. I realize that the nursing profession is benefited because I am a part of it and I commit to keep the banner raised and operate with a spirit of excellence. I choose to allow the challenges to catapult me to the next level.

Written By Wray Falkner, BS RN - Rocky Mount, North Carolina
(c)2014 All Right Reserved Inward Core, THE FIX


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