Are you a man who wants to become a male nurse? Do you want to study to become a male LPN? Strangely enough in a world where equality for women has become somewhat the norm, and nobody really thinks twice about a female mechanic or a female doctor, lawyer, pilot or member of the armed forces, the title “male nurse” still seems to have somewhat of a stigma attached to it. This is really a pity because there are many men who would like to become a male LPN but do not do so due to the fact that they do not want to be stigmatised as “not being man enough” to do a man’s job. Yes, with all the equality nursing is still seen to be primarily a woman’s job.
This is unfortunate as there are many very good male nurses, and they perform their duties very well too. A male LPN can bring a different outlook to nursing, and can offer a very different point of view, dignity and strength to the profession. Of course their physical strength also comes in very handy at times, when there is a heavy piece of equipment or a rather large patient that needs moving.
Believe it or not, there are many male nurses out there, and most of them thoroughly enjoy their jobs and wouldn’t change them for the world. A man who has done some time serving his country in a field hospital assisting medics with injured soldiers for instance, would make an excellent male LPN, and someone who has done some EMT training makes a dedicated male nurse, especially in trauma units in hospitals. In an ER unit there is no gender; it is every hand on board to deal with the many emergencies, and thus this “gender neutral” setting is perfect for men who desire to join the nursing profession.
One of the reasons that men make good nurses is that they have more confidence than their female counterparts have and are not intimidated by doctors. Men who decide to join the nursing profession are generally very confident, motivated and dedicated individuals who any doctor or registered nurse would be proud to work with. Men have a natural yen to take on new challenges, and generally have very good decision-making skills, which is a boon when in an emergency situation and you have just seconds to save someone’s life by your actions.
A male LPN or male nurse is also perfect to work in long-term care facilities such as a VA hospital, because they have an advantage over their female counterparts if they have served in the armed forces, as they can relate to what the veterans are going through. It is also often easier for men to create a sense of camaraderie with their long-term patients because many of the male patients feel more comfortable with a male nurse. Many male patients also prefer a male nurse when it comes to something like catheterisation, as they feel it is easier for a man to do.
Why Are There So Few Male Nurses?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are somewhere in the region of 1,500 accredited training programs for Licensed Practical Nurses and job prospects in the nursing profession are expected to grow faster than for many other occupations due to the fact that the baby boomers are now reaching the age when they become ill more and need more long-term nursing care.
The American Hospital Association estimates that 75 % of all hospital vacancies are for nursing posts. According to the Department of Labor, registered nursing is the top occupation in terms of projected growth over the next few years, with in excess of one million new and replacement nurses being required just in 2012. Despite this fact, according to the American Nurses Association, only 6 % of nurses in theUnited Statesare men.
“Men in Nursing” is the first professional journal that has taken this phenomenon on and is targeting men to shuck the traditional and to become a male LPN or male RN if they so wish. The journal does this by highlighting the accomplishments of men in the nursing field and providing information about various specialties that men could enjoy as a male nurse without feeling that they are doing a “woman’s job.”
Nursing has always been seen as a woman’s profession, being that the woman is seen as the earth mother, nurturer, and healer of all wounds, physical and emotional, the shoulder to cry on and, somehow, also the weaker sex. Unfortunately due to the fact that women were (and still are in some countries) treated as second-class citizens; the nursing profession has also denigrated the value of nurses and the nursing profession in general.
Doing away with the perceived notion that a man who becomes a nurse is either doing so because he needs to earn money whilst studying to become a doctor, is gay or is just not clever enough to get better employment is of utmost importance in getting nursing for men more widely accepted as just another job that anyone can do, irrespective of gender.
The Advantages Of Becoming A Male LPN/Male Nurse
In a time when most countries are undergoing an economic meltdown and jobs are scarce, this is the perfect time for men to claim their right to join the nursing profession and enjoy all the benefits thereof:
- The demand for nurses is going to increase over the next decade so there will always be a demand for good, qualified nurses
- Nursing is a secure career move as it can provide secure employment in one of the few professions where there are no retrenchments, rather a shortage
- The nursing profession offers flexible hours, good benefits and virtually limitless opportunities as to where you will be able to find employment
- There are many specialities within the male LPN ambit of employment
- The pay is good and very comparable to that of middle management jobs – the median wage for an RN is around $64,690 and $40,380 for an LPN, depending on location, years of experience, specialization and various other factors
- There are significant opportunities for further learning and professional advancement within the nursing profession
- Nursing is a rewarding career that allows you to be of service to those that really need help and play a direct role in their recovery, which leads to great professional job satisfaction
Duties of a Licensed Practical Nurse
As a male LPN you will work under the direct supervision of either a medical doctor or a registered nurse. You r duties will include the following:
- Recording of vital signs, taking blood pressure readings, giving injections, giving enemas, dressing wounds and monitoring catheters amongst other tasks.
- Your duties will also include everything that goes with basic bedside care of a patient, such as helping them to get dressed, making the bed comfortable for them, assisting them to go to the bathroom. Bathing and feeding them and assisting them to get to and from appointments.
- You will assist physicians and registered nurses with various tests and procedures.
- You may also have to perform some administrative tasks such as filing in or helping a patient to fill in complete personal information forms, complete insurance forms, answer the telephone and make appointments, depending on where you work.
Types Of LPN Programs
There are various types of LPN programs that you could take, depending on your experience, circumstances and what you plan for your future in the nursing profession”
- Practical Nursing – is a basic nursing program which includes theory and practical training. It covers all nursing processes, basic clinical care of patients, and some laboratory processes.
- LPN Certificate Program – offered by various universities, community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. Some of the courses are 1 year basic courses whilst others that include prerequisite courses and introductory studies are 2 year courses. Graduates of LPN Certificate Programs can get their LPN Licensure.
- LPN Degree Programs – are associate degree in practical nursing programs.
- Pharmacology Programs – deal with the administration of medication and other intravenous substances. You will also learn about the toxic influence and side effects of drugs on the body’s health systems, and the legal implications thereof.
- Bridge Programs – are programs whereby a Licensed Practical Nurse can earn a bachelor’s or associate degree in nursing. These programs take between one and three years of further study, depending on the course. Some of the more common degree programs are: Adult Health Issues, Health Assessment, Psychiatric Nursing, and Nursing Management.
- Online LPN Programs – are virtually the same as the traditional LPN courses except for the fact that you can complete your studies in the comfort of your own home at times that suit you, and continue working whilst you do so.
How You Can Become A Male LPN/ Male Nurse
As much as the demand for qualified nurses is growing substantially every year, there are thousands of nurses who are getting turned away from nursing colleges every year because of lack of space in the program. Nursing schools have taken note of this dichotomy and have come to the party with some really innovative implementations of various programs to deal with the influx of nursing students in order to satisfy the need in the nursing profession. There are many bridge programs for those who are currently LPNs or RNs and who want to further their education in order to move up and earn better salaries. These programs allow for quick transference of credits and all the theoretical and clinical training required to transition.
For a young man who wishes to become a male LPN, there are a few alternatives:
Licensed Practical Nurse Education
Studying to become a LPN at a nursing school typically involves around twelve months of study, which includes theoretical and practical training. The LPN course can be done at a technical vocational school, hospital or community college. The theoretical side can include chemistry, biology, drug administration, medical-surgical nursing, psychology, emergency medical technology, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, and obstetrics and gynecology. The practical work that is required for this qualification is referred to as “clinicals” and generally takes place in hospitals or clinics.
In order to study to become an LPN you will need to meet certain requirements:
- A high school diploma or GED
- A good command of the English language
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Be caring and empathetic
- Be able to follow instructions
- Be a good team-player
- Be precise and meticulous in your tasks
- You may need to pass the NET and HESI exams to prove your English and Math acumen
Some programs also require you to take some other prerequisite courses which may include:
Because an LPN course is a course in basic nursing and usually the starting point for a nursing career that can culminate in being a manager or director, the program of study to enable the graduate to work under the direct supervision of a physician or registered nurse is basic and will include:
- Child Growth and Development
- Chemistry and Biology Courses
- Emergency Medical Care
- First Aid
- Food and Nutrition
- Psychological Science
- Physical Education
The clinical aspect of the training takes place in a hospital or clinical scenario and is hands-on training under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse, focused on preparing you to handle all types of situations when faced with them in the real world once you have qualified as a male LPN. Many of the colleges have a relationship with local hospitals and other medical institution and many of these institutions offer their interns permanent employment once they graduate and register as an LPN.
Registration And Employment Prospects
Once you have completed your training as an LPN and have graduated you will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam which you will need to do I order to gain licensure to practice. Once you have obtained licensure you will be able to look for employment in private homes, doctor’s clinics, homes for the aged, nursing facilities, hospitals and various other medical facilities.
Remember that if you really want to become a male LPN, you should do so and not worry about what society thinks; the more male nurses that there are the more society will become used to the idea that nursing is not a gender-specific profession.