My latest post over at Scrubs Magazine. I seem to keep coming back to that darn ‘male nurse’ thing lately. This time I found an interesting myth – I think?
Yeah, yeah, I know. I said I wouldn’t use that darn term ‘male nurse’, but honestly I can’t think of a better way to describe and refer to this most recent phenomena. I think we’ve driven the male nurse urban legend into the ground with all the common myths out there, but this one blindsided me.
For those of you who do not know, I am a full-time student in an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program. It’s still currently a Master’s prepared program. You graduate with your MSN and then can sit for your national certification exam in your chosen specialty (ACNP, FNP, etc.)
What most don’t know is that Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Mid-Wives, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist all sort of start out with the same basic masters level education. Now, I’m just talking the basic courses here that are common to all the aforementioned advanced degrees. Your Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Physiology, Research classes, Statistic classes, Health Education/Promotion classes, etc. Obviously each program will have a VERY different curriculum, but in the beginning and at it’s most basic level we all take the same Master’s entry-level courses.
I have shared classes and classroom with all the above mentioned students. Each curriculum is of course diverse in its own nature, and everybody is of course on a different timeline. It’s not uncommon to have 1st semester students with 5th or 6th semester students in the same class. It all depends on where you started, what program your in, etc., etc.
The whole point of my rambling is this. Apparently I’m not following the majority rule (yet again). I have lost count how many times I get asked how I like the Anesthesia program. Or have fellow classmates ask me about Anesthesia clinicals, or how did my Anesthesia clinicals go. Or they ask me for advice on Anesthesia classes and professors.
Some classmates will just blatantly ask me “You’re in Anesthesia right?”. When I reply no and explain I’m in the ACNP program, they look at me like I have 4 eyes or I have horns coming out of my head. (OK.. Maybe not that extreme).
But they have to take a step back. I have even had 2 students ask me why I’m not in Anesthesia???
Does the majority think that I chose Nurse Practitioner as an afterthought, or maybe as a back up plan or something? Or maybe they think I’m an Anesthesia flunky and this was my next best option?
I think this new myth rolls over from the other myth that all male nurses choose emergency/critical care nursing. Once again, probably the majority of male nurses CHOOSE to be in critical care or emergency nursing. I sure don’t ask the ones not in these specialty areas why they aren’t there.
I could be blowing this whole thing out of proportion ( I do that often). Maybe it’s just me and my personality? Who knows.
What I do know is that I made a conscious and deliberate choice to pursue a career as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. A choice I am very proud of and a role I am eager to step into.