If you think of a woman when you hear the word “nurse”, you’re not alone. It is true that nursing has been a predominantly female profession since way back in the days of Florence Nightingale. (True or False: Louisa Parsons, the founder of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, was a student of Florence Nightingale’s. That would be a resounding “True”.)
In 2017, 13.6% of the BSN students at the University of Maryland are men. The 2011 U.S. Census reported that 9.6% of working registered nurses are men compared with only 2.9% in 1970. Is it just more accepted now or are these just super smart dudes who realize this is an amazing profession? Well, if you go by the men at USG in the school of nursing, the latter would be true.
Thanks to these classmates for agreeing to share some thoughts on their choice of nursing.
- Originally from the Philippines, Christian Flores says that God called him to be a nurse to fulfill his goal to help people in whatever way possible.
His mom is also a nurse so his family was very excited to hear he would be going to nursing school. He believes the most challenging part for this program is how to study, but knew the studying was worth it when he first walked into the hospital setting. “There was a feeling that I belong in this kind of setting.” Christian would love to see the world and learn about different cultures so his plan is to pursue a career as a travel nurse.
- David Freeman comes from a family of medical professionals. “Everyone in my family is a medical professional (doctors, nurses, CNAs, physician assistants, nurse practitioners), so they were all excited that I was following the family footsteps in entering the medical field.” Something that surprised him about nursing school is the enormous amount of knowledge that nurses bring into the field. This is important because “nurses provide continuous care in order to properly manage patients with different health problems. How great is that!” He sees himself taking care of critically ill patients in a trauma ICU or step-down unit.
- Over the years, Maurice Alvarado had met many nurses who suggested nursing to him, but it took years to make up his mind and build up the courage to take on nursing school. He says, “The most challenging part is how busy we are and how it cuts into what was once leisure time. The workload is manageable, but it comes at a price: sacrificing your evenings and weekends.” He did not expect there would be as much camaraderie as there is with his classmates. “Having been to college before I only had a few close friends but now I feel like we’re all related. We are on the same path so it makes more sense we are supportive of one another.” After graduation, he wants to work as a nurse with the elderly, the dying and those who lack access to healthcare.
- Adam Steffes, a Patient Care Tech in the ER at Suburban Hospital, said his family was surprised when he decided to go to nursing school since he has a background in business and foreign language. Now that he is at USG, he said that the most challenging thing about being in school is simply being back in school. He says, “I love to learn new things, but I hate being ‘in school’. I like to learn by doing and working, so taking classes and tests are difficult for me to sit through.” He says that his girlfriend has been most supportive. “She has my back no matter what I decide to do, and encouraged me to get out and explore things when I was wavering and unsure.”
- EMT Patrick McNamara said he first knew he wanted to become a nurse when he was in high school and his grandmother ended up in the hospital after a series of accidents. Whenever he would go and visit her, there was always a nurse there that he and his siblings called “Tall Mike”. “He was always attending to her every need and I believe he instilled hope in her to survive. My dad called him her guardian angel in disguise.” Patrick’s dad is his biggest supporter. “He really wants me to succeed in life and accomplish my goals and dreams.”
- Ravi Patel decided he wanted to be a nurse when he was in high school and volunteered at Children’s National Medical Center. He says the most challenging part of the program is not having enough time to study for exams. “As soon as you finish one,” he says, “you are getting ready for the next.” His goal after graduation is to be a pediatric nurse in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit.
I consider myself very fortunate to be able to attend USG with these smart and driven men. Thanks again for sharing your stories.