One Fresno Unified school is working to empower men who want to be nurses

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nursing is still viewed as a predominately female profession, but the magnet program at Duncan Polytechnical is working to change that. "I'm trying at the high school level to let the boys know it's ok to say I want to be a nurse," said Laurie Wehner, Registered Nurse and instructor.

Aimed at encouraging male nursing students to stay their course. The program hosted a seminar with industry expert and registered nurse John Cordova.

With an expected shortage of more than 100,000 nurses nationwide by 2020 Cordova discussed career opportunities that come with nursing as well as the stigma associated with being a male nurse. Something Paul Lam said won't stop him from pursuing his dream. "Don't be afraid to chase your dreams. If you're a man and you want to go into nursing, go for it. Don't be discouraged by what other people think because in the end its what you want."

He's one of the several seniors earning their hands-on experience through clinicals. "You have so much ability, and I'm really compassionate-- I like to take care of people. I like to be able to know that I can help that person and change their life basically," said Lam.

"I'm there for the patient. I listen to them, sometimes they don't have anyone they can talk to, sometimes their families don't visit them," said Jesus Ruiz, senior.

"Males in the industry are just as important, and very needed for the skills that they bring," said Katie Navarette, Pathway coordinator.

And even thought he number of male nurses has more than tripled since the 70's, right now, only one in ten nurses are men. As for Duncan Polytechnical's numbers-- about 25-percent are male.

When students graduate, those that test have the opportunity to get their Certified Nursing Assistant Certification.
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