According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an 8% increase in Certified Nursing Assistant jobs between 2019 and 2029. This outlook is much faster than the average career which makes it the perfect time to consider a career as a nurse.

However, despite this positive outlook, there is a shortage of men in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12.6% of nurses were men in 2020. While this is a career that has been historically dominated by women, it’s beginning to change.

The stigma of being a man in a women-led field is fading away as gender roles become less relevant in our society. This is part of the reason why we are seeing more men in the field. However, there is still a lack of education about nursing for the average person. Many don’t realize how fulfilling this job can be.

Ambrose Felix, who works as a CNA at Loretto Health & Rehabilitation shares his experience as a man when he was entering the nursing industry. “Based on my experience, when I was first considering the job it was not painted in a very positive light, the perception of the role itself, there’s a lot of misconceptions.” However, after working there for a short time, he realized how dynamic and exciting being a nurse is. “I don’t think people quite understand what’s all involved in being a nursing assistant. For me, having gone through the training and doing it day-to-day, I’m not only a nursing assistant, I’m a counselor, I’m a hairstylist, I’m a chef, I’m a waiter.”

Felix became a CNA after caring for his mom who had pancreatic cancer. “Towards the end of her illness, she said, you know, you would be a great nurse, you would make somebody really happy if you were a nurse.”

Now, as a CNA, he is able to connect with people through his compassion. He says, “If I were 83 years old in a nursing home where I couldn’t see my family, I would hope there would be one Ambrose around who would spoil me for an extra cup of coffee or an extra banana or tuck me in at night or rub my hand or tell me something to feel good because I know how much it means to them.”

Felix encourages others who are considering becoming a CNA to take the plunge. “Don’t hesitate, do it. You will be surprised about how much meaning it gives to your life as a whole. For me, working as a CNA has given me a sense of purpose, a sense of making a difference.”

No matter your gender, nursing is a gratifying and meaningful career path to consider. If you are considering becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, Loretto offers paid training programs.

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