More men graduating from nursing program

By Kortez Wilson

With the economy in turmoil, people from all walks of life have begun to pursue careers in fields they had never even considered an option.

The female-dominate UK College of Nursing graduated 16 male students at the December Commencement Ceremony.

“When I walk across that stage, it will all be well worth it,” said Steve Lawson before he graduated with a nursing degree in December.

“More people have begun to understand the opportunities in the field on nursing,” Julie Armstrong-Binnix, a graduate admissions officer of Bellarmine University, said.

Similar to UK, Armstrong-Binnix said Bellarmine plans to graduate 18 male students in May, a strikingly high number compared to usual numbers in the past.

She said an increasing number of men are realizing the nursing field has the job security that is needed to support their families in the struggling economy.

The national unemployment rate for men in December was 8.5 percent, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Lawson, 30, said he originally was a medic in the Navy, which is where he was inspired to pursue a career in nursing after a friend in the Navy advised him to do so.

Lawson and Armstrong-Binnix both agreed this is how many males get their start in the field of nursing, and that it is through high-adrenaline careers, such as a military medic, and realizing the benefits in joining the nursing field.

Although there are those who get involved through working in similar fields, there are many males today who understand their own personal interests.

“I chose this career due to economic and personal interest,” Shathan McCoy, a nursing sophomore, said. “On the economic standpoint, there is already a demand for nurses, yet along a huge demand for male nurses. With that said, I feel confident in being able to find a job as a male nurse at almost any hospital.”

As the statistics of men with nursing degrees continues to steadily rise, it isn’t the number of male nurses that directly care for their patients growing, but the number of administrative nursing positions that is on the increase.

“In the field of nursing, men have what is known as a ‘glass escalator’ that moves them along in female dominated areas,” Armstrong-Binnix said. “Men have great opportunity to move up into administrative roles as they move along in the field of nursing.”

Whether it is the direct hands of approach or the administrative role, career nurses have an abundance of paths to follow once into the field.

“Nursing also offers a wide variety of care,” McCoy said, “and I plan on furthering my education as a nurse and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.”

McCoy said that although the nursing field has great job benefits, the nursing field is for people who really care about helping out people in society.

“I do this because I get a good fullness in my heart to help those that are in need of assistance,” Lawson said.