I'm not in the medical field either, but I am a librarian - a predominately female profession. However, I say if you're interested in doing it, do it! Plus, nurses are always in demand. I would find either a good community college or four year university and enroll. Nursing school can be competitive and stressful. I used to work for the community college in my area (actually, in the library for nursing students), and they were always stressed to the max - mostly about grades because you had to maintain a certain GPA to get and stay in the program. It's a lot of work, but it will be worth it.
Not to hi-jack, but I've been thinking a lot about getting a library degree and working for a law library after law school. How'd you get involved? How is the pay? How do you like your work environment?
Not a nurse, but I was a pharmacist for the Navy, now I'm finishing up med school- still in the Navy. The military has a lot more male nurses that I've seen in civilian settings. Nursing is a high demand field, and the CRNA program is a pretty good deal in terms of the time investment and the excellent salaries.
Interestingly, pharmacy is becoming an increasingly female dominated field. I found this annoying at times, mostly because I think men are easier to work with. Male pharmacists don't get harassed about their profession yet, but I've seen some male nurses the butt of jokes, e.g. "hey Focker!" and crap like that.
If you don't mind working around women extensively, I would say go for it. With your paramedic background, you would probably fit right into an ER or ICU setting. Have you considered PA school? This can be a good way to go also, depending on your state's laws governing practice.
Can't help you directly. I do have a (female) friend in nursing. From what she tells me: you can always find a job. You will work long hours. Expect to be yelled at a lot, by family, supervisors, and doctors.
Wow. Thanks for the amazingly fast responses, men.
The school I am looking at is a transition from Paramedic to Associate RN through Excelsior College (excelsior.edu) They are a fully accredited distance learning college based interestingly enough here in New York. I am just shy of 60 credits of General Education at a community college, and since I am working full time now as a medic it is hard to get back to school due to my rotating shifts and crazy hours. This distance learning allows me to take the courses at my own pace and then take the Credit By Exam Tests for the courses. I know it sounds like I would be paying my way, but the Paramedic curriculum here in New York is an associate level training with around 800 clinical hours which bounce you around the hospital into different settings to observe and help the nurses with patient care, as well as sticking you in the back of an ambulance in NYC. The college only accepts health professionals who are already certified and working full time in certain professions (paramedic is the only EMS field they recognize) into their programs.
In response to the question regarding being a Physicians Assistant. I have looked into that route, and following the advice of several PA's and doctors in the area, I have opted for nursing because of the room for advancement. Going to school to be a PA would be just as hard as going to be a nurse and eventually a CRNA, but there is another route in being a Nurse Practitioner that I can explore as an RN. The RNP is more autonomous here in new york and it would be easier to transition out of EMS and into a hospital and work my way up to RNP. Also, CRNA would be difficult, but the fiancee has assured me that should i make the choice, she will support me 100% since I have been supporting her through school.
I have heard things about the reverse discrimination against men in nursing and i think I can handle it, but we will see.
I appreciate all the input from you all, and welcome any other words of advice you can dish out.
I am a LPN/LVN in Texas. I worked as a nurse for the past 16 yrs. I have worked all relms of nursing. Not in the ER, or ICU. I have worked in Med Surg. Also worked in a Step-Down unit. In the early 90's I worked with End stage AIDES patients. I worked for hospice, and geriatrics, home health. Currently for the past 6 years I worked pediatric home health. And I Love it. I went to school via the Army Corps Nursing School. I was active duty for a year.
The majority of co workers have been women. You will sometimes get harrassed by your peirs, and your friends may give you a hard time. But I have always had work, and the opportunity for overtime is always available. Good luck.
I am a respiratory therapist in a small hospital. We have 3 male nurses out of a staff of about 25. Believe me, the discrimination may exist, but it doesnt here. Also, both of our CRNAs are male as well. Especially w/ your background in paramedicine, you will be a ER's dream nurse. I can honestly say that the best nurses I ever worked with for the most part got into nursing from EMS/paramedicine, and many went the Excelsior route.
I'm not a nurse. I'm currently a medical student who has worked in the past as a hospital phleb tech and lab assistant, as well as a Navy Hospital Corpsman with the Marine Corps infantry.
At the hospital where I worked in northern New England, there were a number of male nurses. The ER and ICU had the most men working there, and there were a few dispersed throughout the rest of the hospital. I would say that close to half of the CRNAs were XY. Almost all of them were excellent, and I didn't see a lot of the reverse discrimination mentioned above. That doesn't mean that it wasn't there, of course.
CRNA is a great gig, by the way. My friend who was in CRNA school has graduated and immediately had his choice of jobs and locations all over the US. He is now working and making a ton of money... while the guys who were in med school at the same time are now slogging through their residency training making 45k a year. In fact, the docs who are going into primary care specialties will likely make less as a fully-licensed physician than he makes as a CRNA.
I'm an RN and just started CRNA school recently. My advice is definitely go for it. I worked in the ICU at a major teaching hospital for 2 1/2 yrs before applying for CRNA school. If possible, try to get your BSN (instead of ASN). You are going to need it eventually, and there are some really nice transition programs out there. My buddies ragged on me in college (I consider myself a manly man), but they were envious when I was working 3 12hr shifts a week and making solid money with many opportunities for overtime. As Corey mentioned, there are a variety of nursing disciplines and environments to work in. You'll find the most men in the ICU and ER ( I worked with about 35% guys).
CRNA school is no joke. The programs are full-time and most are between 24-36 months in duration. It's intense, but will be very rewarding! Good luck my man!
This is a great forum for me, as I'm planning on becoming a nurse myself. I have yet to start college after taking two years off, and I have come up with a lot of pros for nursing, not many cons though. Being able to travel is a great one, and having job security and a decent pay check in times like these will be an enormous help.
For those of you in the field already, what do you see as some of the cons for this field?