EDITORIAL A turn for the nurse: Boys should consider nursing as a career, and Walters State agrees

(The Mountain Press) When you ask adolescent boys what they want to be when they grow up, you usually get answers such as policeman, athlete, doctor, lawyer, computer expert. But what about nursing? It’s a field that will need more and more trained people as baby boomers age, and a field in which a person can work almost anywhere because of the shortage of qualified nurses.

Unfortunately, boys may think of nursing as a career for girls. Not so. It’s a stereotype that doesn’t fit the actual situation. Walters State Community College realizes this and is trying to change both the stereotype and the profession. The college’s nursing program plans a free two-day career symposium for young men June 27-28 on the Sevier County campus.

“This career symposium will expose young men to the wide range of specialty areas within the profession,” said Cheryl McCall, head of the nursing program. If you want to be a nurse, Walters State is the program in which to be enrolled. It has been named a Tennessee Board of Regents Program of Excellence and has been recognized as one of the country’s top producers of registered nurses.

“The camp provides information on nursing education and the role technology plays in healthcare today. We’ll also explore areas like flight nursing, nurse anesthesia, forensic nursing, critical care, emergency/trauma nursing and military nursing,” McCall said. The camp will also give young men a chance to meet role models.

About 7 percent of all nurses now are male. The figure has nearly doubled in the last decade. Many young men, though, still think of nursing as a good field for women. The facts are, nursing offers flexible schedules, good pay, rewarding experiences, more career options and a chance to do really god work in service to others. It also has great job security. Got the itch to move out west or up north? You’ll always find a job. Nursing skills travel well.

If you are a teenage boy undecided about s future and worired about the job market in the next 10 years, think about nursing. Attend the camp. The profession needs all the good people it can attract. The Men in Nursing Career Symposium is open to males ages 15-20 and meets from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. each day. Registration forms are available at www.ws.edu/academics/health/nursing.