Musical selection: March of the Toreadors from Carmen, Georges Bizet, courtesy of Classical MIDI Archives, © 1999 Pierre R. Schwob

For a scholarly discussion on the role of men in nursing, click here.

I'm a Guy. I'm a Nursing Student. You Gotta Problem with That?

OK, all you red-blooded, macho male nursing students and nurses, listen up: Nursing school is a GUY thing. Here's your chance to sound off about the student nurse experience from the male point of view. How 'bout it, guys? It takes a REAL man to endure nursing school, but it takes a REAL real man to talk about it!

Mike Frost

Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a male nursing student.

I have done many things in life: camp counselor, marine service tech (hull maint. & repair), United States Marine, door-to-door salesman, and home health aide for the past six years. I chose nursing as a way to help people and provide some good to society.

My clinicals with the VAMC have been great, both personally and professionally, an experience that has been echoed by the other male students and an experience that the female students don't seem to enjoy. The patients that I have dealt with have been more than willing to have a male nurse work with them. In fact it is the female nursing staff and the female faculty that seem to have the most trouble accepting a mission oriented male student (or five in my class's case) in "their" profession. Oh, well, male nurses are here to stay!

Robert Ponce

Hello, I book marked your site and read the "I'm a guy, I'm a Student Nurse, So What!" and Think it's cool to be a nursing student! I'm a 33 y/o male, and LPN student going into my 5th week of clinicals. I have also been a truck driver, an armed security guard, I've worked with the mentally handicapped, I've done con- struction (road and bridge), I've worked steel ,and oh yeah, I was with the 82nd Airborne in Desert Storm, Do I feel less macho by being a male student nurse? No Way! In fact I am proud to be a nurse! As of now I have worked as a CNA- MA and I love it! So, to all you guys out there who have a problem with guys becoming nurses...Don't knock it 'till you try it! Thanks for the sense of humor your site gives, we all need it! Keep up the good work.


I am a male nursing student in my second year of nursing school, or a nursling as my instructors call us. So far, between working as a CNA/CMA for a year before school, and on clinicals my first year I have only had one female patient flat refused to let me take care of her. Since she was a 93 year old Mennonite missionary nurse, I did not pursue the matter. A little bit of humor, a professional attitude, and a smile have helped tremendously.

Yes, men are way outnumbered, but I get much more resistance from the female staff than any of the patients. I served with distinction in the US Army, worked in Law Enforcement and Corrections (a truly ugly career) and decided that I was tired of being shot at. The whole reason for being a nurse comes from an evening when I worked as a CMA with my wife ( an Army trained LPN) when a patient with dementia went from 400 blood sugars to 34. Since my wife knew what to do, and I was able to assist, the patient was fine by the time the ambulance arrived. The feeling I got there is why I want to be a nurse today.

Trust me, I have done the macho thing. I jumped out airplanes, rappelled from helicopters, went through war zones, received medals for valor, mountain climbed, hunted, and raced motorcycles. That does not exclude me from caring about my fellow man. A nurse is a nurse, and as long as I am competent and compassionate, I am a good nurse. Funny thing that, the Army teaches all of new NCOs in Primary Leadership school that Competence, Commitment, Compassion, and Courage are the hallmarks of a great leader. Sound familiar?

Well,I just wanted to say Hi and get that off my chest. By the way, my wife and four children will affirm that I am not homosexual, just an average guy that likes to help people.


I'm Ian, 35 later this month (and feeling it!) and in my 2nd year of an Adult Branch nursing course in Taunton, Somerset, England.

I've just transferred from an other university and am feeling lost and lonely at the moment.

After reading your intro, I think I fall into the recycled, international, gay, male student category, not much left is there? It would be good to hear from anyone else in any of the above areas, or anyone who feels like saying hello.

Charles Swenson

Nice little page, JerZ; wish I'd had something this kind of support back when I was in nursing school, but way back then we had to be satisfied with stone tablets and chisels.

Glomming over you page, I felt I just had to get in a contribution to your page on "I'm a Guy. I'm a Nursing Student. You Gotta Problem with That?" It's an experience that I've shared many times, and the guy nurses all seem to have had something similar happen. It's when you get that sweet little elderly patient who's overcome by the novelty of a guy nurse, and they ask that same old question, completely unaware of the implications of what it really implies in a female-dominated field.

Q: So, you're going to be a male nurse when you graduate?

A: I certainly hope so!

Oh well, either you get it or you don't, and it either leads to gales of laughter or a blank stare from a patient wondering if you think you might actually fail in what you're doing. Now that I've graduated and feel pretty secure in what I'm doing and in m'ability to banter freely with patients without wrecking our relationship, I've been known to respond in a little different fashion.

Q: So, you're a male nurse, huh?

A: (Pulling m'scrubs out a little and looking down in them...) Yup!

Humor is one the best ways to gain someone's confidence in a stressful situation; anytime you're having a worse time than your patient, you're both in trouble!

Best of luck to you, and feel free to use this if you'd like.


I am a 32 y/o male, who is returning to school for a second time. The first time was in 1986 to get my AAS for my paramedic. After 16 years of riding ambulances, I have entered nursing school to get my RN, then will transfer for my BSN or MSN. Ironically, my class has 6 guys out of 29 students-- the most number of guys in one class at my school.


Hi just found your page and saying hello. I am a 30 year old 6ft 4inch male student training in London. I love what I do, enjoy working with females except for one thing -- they are constantly bitching -- WHY!!!!!!!

Thomas Bravard

It is funny, when I was a little boy, I wanted to be a sailor. I was a sailor in the US Navy. I travelled all around the Pacific. I got to see too much war and I never wanted to see another person harmed again.

I emigrated to Canada and I found that the thing that made me feel closer to God was caring for another human being. I worked in one of the most pressured environments that I have ever seen. (Even with an Iraqi fighter radiating a weapons control radar on my ship didn't scare me so much).

I misstepped in my program and have to repeat my clinical. This means repeating my case study testing, and repeating my practicum. I felt as if my heart would crack. In the meantime, I had to start contributing to my family's well being. I intereviewed with BC Independent Living Services. BCILS is an agency that supports Quadriplegics and Paraplegics by setting enclaves in market housing development to achieve full integration. I am doing things that my classmates can only dream of. Catheter Care? Yep, pouring meds? Mechanical transfers? Care of Decubitus ulcers? All of that and all by myself. As well as caring for ventilators and using AMISLAN to communicate with one of my clients.

I still want to complete my program so I have applied to be in the next class. So what if I feel closer to God, I just love this work.

Thanks for letting me tell my story.

Thomas in Burnaby BC