Male nurses make a difference at ECU

Chances are good that you have encountered a nurse who has played a big role in helping you recover from and illness or injury during your lifetime. But, chances are low that your nurse was a male. In fact, only 6-7% of practicing nurses are men, but this statistic is beginning to change.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, based in Washington, DC, estimates that more than 11% of students currently enrolled in nursing undergraduate programs are men. East Carolina’s College of Nursing reflects this trend with approximately 80 males enrolled in our BSN program. However, specialized graduate fields like nurse-midwifery do not have as much gender diversity. In fact, Ben Kitchin is the first male nurse-midwifery student at  ECU College of Nursing.

Kitchin, a Registered Nurse from Goldsboro, spent the majority of his career working as a critical care nurse and as a flight nurse for EastCare. Now working as a labor and delivery nurse at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Kitchin began his nurse-midwifery coursework this spring. Ben makes a great point that “Good care is not gender dependent; good care is a result of good nursing care!” Nurse-Midwives care for women throughout the lifespan, as well as provide prenatal, labor and birth care.

ECU offers the only nurse-midwifery education curriculum in North Carolina. Started in 1990, over 150 nurse-midwives have graduated from the ECU College of Nursing’s MSN Nurse-Midwifery concentration. Nurse-midwifery coursework is 100% online at ECU, and students complete clinical components of the degree in healthcare centers near their hometown.

The number of male nurses is increasing every year and it is likely that you will see a male nurse in a clinical setting soon. Take a minute to ask a male nurse why he chose nursing and you will be impressed with the dedication and passion of the response!

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor
ECU College of Nursing