10 quotes from male nurses on the professional stigma they face (and are working to change)

Nursing remains a predominantly female profession, but men are also drawn to the role for a variety of reasons. The New York Times recently interviewed male nurses in the Pacific Northwest about why they entered the profession and the stigma they face.

Here are 10 quotes from male nurses in the NYT article.

1. "When my wife told her grandfather that I graduated from nursing school, he just laughed. But I think there are more men who are less afraid to take on what have traditionally been considered feminine roles." — John-Flor Sisante, 38, recent nursing graduate interested in hospice nursing; former musician

2. "Walk around our hospital and all the call lights have pictures of females on them. I guess it was never thought of at the time that there might be a guy in here some day." — Glenn Fletcher, 49, operating room nurse; former lumber mill worker

3. "When we notice that our boys are gifted in math and science and they say, 'I want to be a doctor when I grow up,' we could say, 'That's great, you could even be a nurse if you wanted to!'" — Adam White, 35, nursing student; former banker

4. "You're a caregiver, providing quality, dignified care. It's not you doing it as a male or a female, but just generally as a caregiver." — Justin Kuunifaa, 41, family practice nurse; former in-home caregiver

5. "It's a good profession because it'll always be there. They'll always need nurses. It can't be outsourced, it can't be automated." — David Baca, 37, emergency department nurse; former handyman

6. "My mother's a nurse, but for some reason it had never occurred to me to become a nurse until I had a conversation with another man, who used to be an E.M.T. but became a nurse, and something just clicked." — Peter Stach, 36, in-home palliative care nurse; former server and bartender

7. "Forget about the stigma. The pay is great, the opportunities are endless and you end up going home every day knowing that you did something very positive for someone else." — Jorge Gitler, 50, oncology nurse manager; former business owner

8. "Men desire to be caring, and you get a chance to have a career that allows you to care for people meaningfully." — Graham Seaton, 41, hospital infection prevention and neuro-trauma nurse; former retail and nonprofit worker

9. "It's not just a job. You have this sense of purpose, this sense of service, that you're in this to really help improve people's lives." — Jonathan Auld, 44, clinical nurse leader and nursing PhD student; former elementary school teacher

10. "I'm sort of an adrenaline junkie, but it's also the satisfaction of being able to help people, like when you have someone come in who's overdosed and you treat them and see them turn around just like that." — J.R. McLain, 50, emergency department nurse; former Navy mechanic and truck driver

Read the full article here




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