Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grossmont College 'pinning' ceremony for nurses to include more men

When nursing students participate in Grossmont College’s traditional “pinning” ceremony Tuesday afternoon, June 4, more of them will be men than ever before—a sign of changing societal attitudes towards what once was considered a profession for women only.

Debbie Yaddow, dean of Allied Health and Nursing, says eight men, or 20 percent of the graduating class of 40 students, are males, compared to what it was like just 30 years ago, when Yaddow graduated from Grossmont’s nursing school, and the class had zero males.

Yaddow credited the nursing profession’s efforts and its campaign to broaden nursing for the turnabout in men’s thinking.  She said that media campaigns such as one run by the Johnson Foundation, with posters and advertisements, help to  popularize the idea that nursing is a profession for both genders and for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Grossmont College accepts 40 new nursing students per semester, with 80 potential graduates per year.  Regarding the increasing number of men in the program, she said, “we have guys who are second-career folks.  They are not just out of high school.  The medium age here is 35 and they have been former police, former firefighters, big tough kinds of jobs, but now they want to become nurses.  It is primarily because they want to help people and they came from some kind of helping profession.”

“Or,” she added, “they were in another kind of profession that they didn’t find satisfying.  We have had accountants who said all they did before was crunch numbers, and they felt they were more ‘people persons.’  And they came into nursing because of that.”
Dean Yaddow said salaries for beginning RNs are fairly good.  “You are not going to become rich as a nurse, that’s for sure.  But if you come in as a new graduate, and you are working nights, you will start at a salary of over $70,000, which isn’t bad for an entry-level nurse.”  

The campus is hosting a seminar about men in nursing on Saturday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m in the Griffin Gate room at the back of Griffin center.  

Yaddow said that male nurses tend to like duty in the emergency room, or intensive care, or home nursing, but tend to shy away from work in obstetrics.. 

The June 4 pinning ceremony continues a nursing tradition in which every nursing graduate must have her or his pin affixed by someone who is an active or retired nurse.  In this way, the new nurses are formally welcomed into the profession.

“Every year we have a tradition in the program where the students purchase a Grossmont College nursing pin and it has the Griffin (school mascot) on it and says “Grossmont School of Nursing,” Yaddow said.  “We’ve had some instances of students being pinned by their great grandmothers.  We had a grandmother in a wheelchair who pinned a student, which was so sweet.  Sometimes it is a nurse who has been out working in the field, perhaps someone who a student met during practical training in the last four weeks of the course.  Or it can be a faculty member, but whoever it is, it has to be a nurse who pins them.”