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Latest male nurse myth

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Yeah, yeah, I know. I said I wouldn’t use that darn term ‘male nurse’, but honestly I can’t think of a better way to describe and refer to this most recent phenomena. I think we’ve driven the male nurse urban legend into the ground with all the common myths out there, but this one blindsided me.

For those of you who do not know, I am a full-time student in an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program. It’s still currently a Master’s prepared program. You graduate with your MSN and then can sit for your national certification exam in your chosen specialty (ACNP, FNP, etc.)

What most don’t know is that Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Mid-Wives, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist all sort of start out with the same basic masters level education. Now, I’m just talking the basic courses here that are common to all the aforementioned advanced degrees. Your Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Physiology, Research classes, Statistic classes, Health Education/Promotion classes, etc. Obviously each program will have a VERY different curriculum, but in the beginning and at it’s most basic level we all take the same Master’s entry-level courses.

I have shared classes and classroom with all the above mentioned students. Each curriculum is of course diverse in its own nature, and everybody is of course on a different timeline. It’s not uncommon to have 1st semester students with 5th or 6th semester students in the same class. It all depends on where you started, what program your in, etc., etc.

The whole point of my rambling is this. Apparently I’m not following the majority rule (yet again). I have lost count how many times I get asked how I like the Anesthesia program. Or have fellow classmates ask me about Anesthesia clinicals, or how did my Anesthesia clinicals go. Or they ask me for advice on Anesthesia classes and professors.

Some classmates will just blatantly ask me “You’re in Anesthesia right?”. When I reply no and explain I’m in the ACNP program, they look at me like I have 4 eyes or I have horns coming out of my head. (OK.. Maybe not that extreme).

But they have to take a step back. I have even had 2 students ask me why I’m not in Anesthesia???

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9 Responses to Latest male nurse myth

  1. Ben

    Yeah, I think you’re blowing this one out of proportion. I have noticed that most guys do go on to anesthesia if they are inclined towards advanced degrees. However I also know several from my ICU that have chosen NP school as well. I think the only issue in your scenarios is that the people asking are not clear on your path you have chosen and therefore have gone with the most common or they truly believe that’s what you have chosen. I’ve made the same mistake with coworkers myself.

  2. jm

    Yep, you’re definitely blowing this waaay out of proportion! Chill! :)

  3. TG

    Interesting points. Perhaps this is a regional thing, as my program had several male students. Maybe because my program is popular with military continuing education or because in DC the idea of “male nurse” is not really a big deal. Wonder if female Anesthesia students experienced the same by others wondering how their NP clinicals were going? Sounds like a good start for a professional perception theory to research.

  4. Sean

    Thanks again everyone for you thoughts and comments. My intention was just to share my experiences, nothing more.

  5. Pingback: You’re in Anesthesia aren’t you?… « My Strong Medicine

  6. Nurse MSNEd

    I’m a Nurse who happens to be male. I completed a MSN Nurse Educator program. As you stated my first year classes were the same as Advanced Practice Nurses. I got the same response and well wishes in CRNA School. I really don’t understand why Master and Doctoral Nurse Educator aren’t considered as advance practice. Advanced Degree Nurse Educators are Practitioner, Researcher and Educator.

  7. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @NurseMSNed thanks for sharing your experience and validating my claim!

  8. Renea

    Whether you are blowing this out of proportion or not, I wish you luck in your nursing career. I have learned a lot from all of your articles over the past year or so and I appreciate you and your knowledge. I work with an ACNP who also happens to be male. They are out there. Good luck, Sean!!!

  9. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @Renea Wow, thank you for your kind words

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