Fathers are consistently concerned with becoming better role models for, providing for, and building a relationship with their children. Nursing is an ideal career choice for fathers, but men sometimes shy away from nursing, viewing it as a women’s field, which is absolutely false. There are many reasons that nursing is a wonderful career for men, but today we’re going to discuss a subset of those – the top 10 reasons why nursing is the ideal career for fathers.
There are lots of reasons people relocate, be it proximity to family, career changes, marriages, divorces, or other life changes, and sometimes, finding a career in a new area can be a challenge. For nurses, however, finding a new position is easy because nurses are needed all around the world. If your partner finds a new job in Chicago and you need to relocate, finding a nursing position is lightning fast. Two months later, you need to move to England. Nurses are needed there as well! Around the nation and around the world, nurses have a bright future ahead of them, so you don’t have to worry about your career outlook.
One of the most obvious reasons nursing is a great career for dads is the schedule. In most nursing positions, you only work 3 or 4 days a week in 12-hour shifts. While at first glance, that may sound daunting but it also means that you have more days off with your kids. You may get to do things that normal 9-5 dads don’t get to do, such as pick them up from school or watch their afternoon soccer games. You get to actually spend time with your kids, not just eat dinner with them and put them to bed. Even though spending time with your kids is the most attractive part of the schedule, an added bonus is the savings you pocket from not spending money on childcare for that time.
As a nurse, you have knowledge that saves lives every day, and in an emergency at home, you could be prepared to save the life of those you love most. Maybe your toddler cuts his forehead on the coffee table. Does it need stitches? You can look and see. Your teenager is feeling incredibly dizzy when standing up and you know what to do. You have the knowledge that could help your kids and family through their bumps and scrapes. Look out, however, because in some cases this can be a double-edged sword for those parents who are quick to notice dangerous symptoms (is your teenager dizzy because they’re dehydrated, or could it be a sign of a brain tumor?). Even given this, most parents sleep better at night because of their knowledge of emergency medicine.
Patience exercises, daily
Nothing tries your patience like parenting, but nursing comes pretty close. A chaotic shift full of patients with demands and needs that can’t wait, and people pulling on you and screaming at you often mirror life with kids. Being a nurse can prepare you well for a chaotic afternoon full of kids with demands and needs that can’t wait, and kids pulling on you and screaming at you.
New perspectives on body fluids
In similar fashion, kids’ body fluids are no longer a big deal, because you deal with it at work as well. In fact, compared to what you’ve seen and smelled on your shifts, it’s not even going to be a problem.
Triage at home
Prioritizing needs is a skill that you refine as a nurse – should I get that patient an extra blanket first or pass meds first? Should you comfort your two-year-old who is screaming for more apple juice or stop a fight, put out a fire, clean up the legos, cook dinner, or listen to your daughter who’s going through a breakup? Nursing can help you not lose your mind when you have multiple needs to be addressed at the same time.
Career advancement opportunities
One of the best things about nursing is the opportunity for career growth. Nurses are always needed, and good nurses are appreciated. Don’t be surprised if you see promotions coming your way a little bit faster than in another career. Nursing also has many school pathways that can accomodate your needs. Need quick entry into the nursing workforce? With an ADN (which can be as few as 20 months in some programs), you can get working quicker and then you can advance with an RN-to-BSN later on, which opens more doors into management and more advanced and higher-paying specialties. Alternatively, you can choose to go straight to a BSN Degree and get started early.
As a nurse, especially if you work nights, you will be used to the demands of long hours at work. Or if you’re still in school, the clinicals in our ADN and BDN programs, which are sometimes very early or extremely late, will make you forget sleep was ever a thing. When your 5-month-old baby won’t sleep at night and you need to stay up for another two hours to rock them back to bed, you’re prepared to keep going the next day as if nothing happened. Although you’re not invincible, you’re better prepared to function on low levels of sleep than normal dads.
Lessons in respect
Nothing teaches you respect for all people like nursing. One of Nightingale College’s values is Respecting Humanity, which is a core principle of nursing. In the nursing field, you have to leave all judgement behind and just care for people. Caring for someone who has overdosed, or who has not taken care of themselves, or who may not look or act the same way you have been raised to do is a basic requirement of nursing. In fact, in order to become a nurse at Nightingale and most other schools, you have to pledge to do so. Nightingale’s pledge reads “I pledge to care for my patients with all of the knowledge, skills, and understanding that I possess, without regard to race, color, creed, politics, or social status. I will spare no effort to conserve meaningful life, to alleviate suffering, and to promote health.” That unconditional understanding and empathy is one of the most valuable things you could instill in a child.
Being a role model
Although all the reasons above make a convincing case, the closer is being a strong role model for your kids. Having a respectable, reliable career that pays well and still lets you be with your kids is something that will leave a lasting impression on them. Nursing will help you teach them when to say no, the importance of education, compassion, hard work, empathy, grit and strong boundaries. And because you have developed these traits, YOU will have the ability to extend compassion, strong boundaries and the rest of those attributes in your own relationships with your children.
Nursing is not only a great career for fathers, it can make those who are fathers BETTER fathers by providing extra practice in respecting humanity, triaging needs, and allowing for more time with the family. From scheduling to life lessons, nursing has something to teach everyone. Learn about how to become an RN in 20 months or less at Nightingale.edu/learn-more.