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Nurse First News Blog

Male Nurses: What You Need to Know

Posted December 16, 2021

The nursing profession needs dedicated people to the care of others – male or female. There is an old perception that nursing is only a female profession, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Males bring just as much to the table as their female counterparts. Nursing is not about your gender, but about how much care and love you put into the profession. This blog will explore how to become a male nurse, why men should be nurses, what it is like to be a male nurse and the pros and cons of male nursing. It’s time to throw away the “male nurse” stereotypes and follow your passion!

How to Become a Male Nurse?

The steps to becoming a male nurse are exactly the same as they are for female nurses.  You can read complete details in our “How to Become a Registered Nurse” guide – but as a quick reference, you must complete the following steps to be a registered nurse:

  1. Complete an accredited RN program
  2. Take and pass the NCLEX exam
  3. Obtain a state license

As soon as you have completed each of those steps, you’re ready to apply for your first nursing position!  The challenging and exciting world of nursing is waiting.

Why Men Should Be Nurses 

Nursing is a profession in high demand. The healthcare field always needs more phenomenal nurses. According to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Registered Nurses is set to grow 9% from 2020-2030. This rate is an average growth rate. Most of the openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the nursing field or retire.

Nursing is a rewarding, challenging and lucrative nursing career path.  Registered nurses earn an average salary of about $75,330/year. Keep in mind salary will depend on your specialty, state and facility.  As a nurse gains more experience, better opportunities will arise. This in turn will increase yearly salary! For instance, on that the average national base salary for a Nurse Manager is around $83,874/year.  

Whatever path in nursing you decide to take, you are sure to find fulfillment. The field has a variety of specialties to choose from. You can feed your adrenaline side in the ER or delicately care for the elderly in a long term care setting. Whatever your passion or motivation, you will find it as a registered nurse. Gender doesn’t define a great nurse. It is the kindness, compassion, empathy, drive and motivation to do right by your patients and their family members that makes a phenomenal nurse. 

What Is It Like to Be a Male Nurse?

You have accepted an offer at a hospital! As you anxiously await your start date, many questions roll through your mind, such as:

  • Will I be the only male nurse on my floor?
  • How will I be received on my first day?
  • Will I get weird comments from patients about being a male nurse?
  • Will I have to explain my career choice to everyone I encounter?

As you walk into your first day, more than likely these anxious thoughts will soon dissipate. When you begin your career as a male nurse, you’ll realize that your team has one main goal in mind. That goal is providing excellent patient care.  Only 12% of nurses are male. You may notice that conversations will spark about your career choice.  This is a great opportunity for you to share your passion for the profession, along with creating a relational moment between your patients and co-workers.     

With any career, your experience is what you make of it. It is crucial to have a positive, helpful and team player attitude on your floor and throughout the entire facility. The vibe you give is the vibe you’ll get. 

Popular Specialties for Male Nurses

It’s been found that men are attracted to certain specialties. These specialties are usually higher paying, more physically demanding, and have a fast-pace. Below are some of the top specialties male nurses specialize in.

Emergency Room

Being an Emergency Room nurse is challenging and requires competency in a fast-paced environment. ER nurses see a wide array of patients with different levels of ailments throughout a shift. They always have to be ready for the unknown. This draws a lot of adrenaline junkies to the field. 

Some tasks ER nurses are responsible for are:

  • Administrating medication
  • Taking Vitals
  • Performing EKGs
  • Collecting blood and urine samples
  • Assisting in minor procedures (needle biopsies, closing wounds, draining abscesses)

Expected Earnings: $68,774/year according to Indeed.

Intensive Care Unit

Critical care nurses work with critically-ill patients. These patients have serious illnesses or injuries. This means an ICU nurse must execute the patient care plan and make quick decisions effectively. For more information on ICU nursing hop over to Critical Care Nurse: All You Need To Know.

Some tasks ICU nurses are responsible for are:

  • Evaluate patient conditions
  • Create effective care plan
  • Perform diagnostic tests
  • Begin treatment and monitor doses
  • Care for all patient needs during recovery

Expected Earnings: $98,702/year according to Indeed.

Pros and Cons of Being Male Nurses


End Stereotypes

It’s almost 2022! Nurses are not only female, say it with me!

Be proud and confident in your career choice. You are a kind, caring, compassionate, empathetic and an intelligent person. (We know this because it is not an easy task basing the NCLEX!) Every time a male enters the field, they are slowly erasing stereotypes. You might be treating a young male patient that sees you as a nurse and it inspires them to also go into healthcare. The ripple effect is endless.


The more perspectives we have in the nursing community, the better. People with different backgrounds and experiences are an advantage to the field. When patients need care, insecurities can be high. Having a same-sex nurse can provide some comfort in an uncomfortable time. Male patients disclose their needs faster with other male nurses. This is why it is great to have that option available for patients!

Scrubs Only

While your banker friends are trying to decide on their shirt and tie for the day – you get to slip on a comfortable set of scrubs! Not only is your work attire comfortable, but you can choose a pair of shoes that feel like you’re walking on clouds. Not every profession has this luxury! If you’re still looking for the “right” scrubs, we suggest checking out FIGS. According to their website the uniforms are made with Technical Comfort, which is design, performance and comfort all rolled into one. 



It’s difficult to believe that gender bias in specific occupations still exist today.  This gives you the opportunity to defy perceptions by being an exceptional nurse. When you look at the other side of the coin, women take on roles as physicians, accountants and police officers – all jobs that were once dominated by the male population.  There isn’t room in our society for gender bias. Male nurses are excellent and necessary additions to the profession. 

The Doc Is Here

Gender bias is in full effect with this one! Some of your patients might assume that you are the doctor because you’re a male. Try to roll with the punches on this one and take pride in your incredible abilities as a nurse.  Stand proud!


Great nurses are not defined by their gender. These nurses are defined by their unique characteristics and undeniable love for their profession. To quote Aristotle, “where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.”    

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