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It is now more acceptable for men to become nurses and we need to get more involved


“I came to realize that I wanted more.”

John Franco’s career path led him to make some interesting choices and nursing was not his first choice. His professional career began as a wildlife firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Both of which required the ability to think on your feet and to make appropriate and accurate decisions quickly and with a moment’s notice. Sounds like a day as a Registered Nurse. These experiences helped to shape the next career choice.

“As an EMT I worked with a bunch of different nurses, and I came to realize that I wanted more,” says Franco. “I chose nursing because of my children. I wanted to know my options. In case of an emergency I would be knowledgeable about their care.

Satisfying the prerequisites for nursing school was a challenge but Franco was determined. He began at Kings River Community College, in Reedley, CA and for the science requirement he attended West Hill College in Lemoore, CA. You see with John, anything is possible! And in June 2004 Franco graduated from Fresno City College nursing program.

I was one of two males in a class of 55 students. The number of men choosing a career in nursing has slowly increased. For example, in Oregon the percentage of men in nursing has increased three percent. “It is now more acceptable for men to become nurses and we need to get more involved,” says John.

“As an EMT I am familiar with the hospital routine but it is my preceptor, Kristle Petty, RN who has taught me that as I care for my patients to integrate critical thinking as I apply the nursing process,” declares John. According to John, Kristle Petty, RN, is also his mentor. “She knows her stuff, and she’s very positive,” he says.

Franco currently works in the Emergency Department (ED) at Children’s Hospital in Madera.CA. He later plans to transfer to a Medical- Surgical Unit to continue to hone his organizational skills and the ability to set priorities. “This specialty has many different aspects and I can gain a lot more experience there.”

Today in health care the ability to speak and understand a language other than English is in high demand. John is bilingual. He speaks English and Spanish and this is an added plus when he provides care to patients whose primary language may be Spanish. John says that as a bilingual nurse he has an opportunity to affect patient care outcomes and that he brings new and fresh ideas to the table.

Nursing is truly one career with a thousand opportunities.