Depending on the position you were hired into, you could be considered full-time equivalent (FTE) or part-time equivalent (PTE). Other types of employment are permanent, temporary, and casual. There are benefits to all types of employment depending on your life circumstances.
Professionalism in nursing is complex. Often understood as an individual’s adherence to a set of standards, code of conduct or collection of qualities that characterize ‘best’ practice (aka evidence-based) within a particular area of activity, professionalism also speaks to the behavior undertaken while enacting skills and knowledge. Being professional means, you fully understand your role as a caregiver on an interprofessional health care team and that you appreciate how your actions influence the health care experience of both the client and your colleagues.
Continuing your education and changing roles from LPN to RN is a very personal decision. Most LPNs who make the commitment to the process of becoming an RN find that their previous experience as an LPN helps them transition into the new role with more ease. There are many schools that offer programs that recognize the education and skills already earned by the LPN. The programs typically spend close to two years to complete. Once you complete the NCLEX-RN, the biggest transition is the increased breadth of responsibility and the difference in role expectations (you may be given more acute patients and your skill portfolio may change as advanced practice skills are added to your role).
One of the first steps that may be helpful is to reflect on your own caring practices- How do you show that you care? As mentioned before, men often show they care differently than other genders, so reflecting inwardly to understand how you demonstrate empathy or support others may be a good place to start.
Many people find speaking with a peer or mentor in the field helpful, even if it’s not another man in nursing. Opening a dialogue with a trusted source who can offer insight or perspective often helps to make work-related hardships more tolerable and overcoming those hardships more achievable. Moreover, with the increasing number of men in the profession, many unions now have a male representative or group to help address any inequities that you may be affected by in your practice.
Communication is an excellent tool to offer both education and transparency. It helps to establish a trusting bond and promote collaboration while also developing an understanding that works to overcome pre-existing assumptions or biases. Whether it be with patients, peers, or another group of people, approaching each situation with an open mind and ready to have active discussions is one of the best ways to promote visibility, gender diversity, and a narrative that supports all nurses.
Gender discrimination and bias, lack of history regarding men in nursing, and even isolation to name a few. Evidence suggests that men choose nursing for many of the same reasons women do: the desire to make a difference and the opportunity to care for others.
Recognize and understand the challenges that men face in a female dominated profession. Addressing and challenging topics that encourage inequality in the workplace, such as referring to someone as a male nurse, instead of simply a nurse. There is no singular perfect solution that exists. It is important to verse yourself on ways that men express caring as well – some evidence indicates that while no ‘less’ caring, how men express that caring to their patients may be different than their female professional counterparts. Bottom line is nursing BENEFITS from a diversity in representation – talk to the men you work with to get their sense of what the experience is like for them.
Check your biases first. Everyone has them, be aware of them. Ask yourself what prejudices you may have towards the Indigenous populations you interact with. How have these biases affected your practice? Why do you have these biases? Take time to research and ask questions of the Indigenous populations surrounding you, let their thoughts, experiences and health practices inform and guide your holistic approach.
A great place to start is by learning and acknowledging the land in which you have the opportunities to work and live on. Researching local bands/reserves and listening to the stories of people in these Indigenous communities is always wise as they are the best experts about the experiences they have.
DiAngelo, Robin, 2018. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism: https://www.robindiangelo.com
See Interview with DiAngelo at https://nursingthefuture.ca/book-club/
In Plain Site: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Healthcare
Madeleine Dion Stout, Evelyn Voyageur, Alice Reid, Lea Bill, Rose Martial. Mâmawoh Kamâtowin. Coming together to help each other in wellness: Honouring Indigenous Nursing
Knowledge. International Journal of Indigenous Health, Volume 11, Issue 1. DOI: 10.18357/ijih111201615024
Kennedy, Andrea; Bourque, Danielle H.; Bourque, Domonique E.; Cardinal, Samantha; and Bourque Bearskin, R. Lisa (2021) Reconciling Taking the "Indian" out of the Nurse. Quality Advancement in Nursing Education - Avancées en formation infirmière: Vol. 7: Iss. 1, Article 6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17483/2368-6669.1276
Unfortunately, there are no national professional organizations for specific ethnicities, but this does not mean that support and community are not out there. Each province has professional organizations with grassroots approach to supporting nurses of colour.
For example, in Manitoba, you will find the Philippine Nurses Association of Manitoba. The Chinese Canadian Nurses Association of Ontario advocates to end classism and anti-Chinese racism. As part of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), the Black Nurses Task Force provide educational resources and a community platform for networking. Nationally, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association works towards improving Indigenous health through the support of Indigenous nurses.
It is our hope that, through our anti-racism conversations and the advocacy work being conducted nationally and regionally by a plethora of nurses across our country, that access to these nursing organizations will become more equitable with accessible resources.
All nurses in Canada are protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act (the Act). Within the Act, harassment is defined as “improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace.” Offensive conduct includes discriminatory acts, comments, and displays. As such, a patient/client making racialized comments towards a nurse is considered harassment.
The Act states that the conduct must be repetitive in order to be considered harassment. This means that the patient/client makes a racialized comment more than once. If you have asked a patient/client to NOT make racialized comments and they continue to do so, it is your right to refuse care. That being said, a single act of racism can be considered harassment if it is so severe that the nurse is significantly impacted for a longer period.
In addition to the Act, nurses in Canada are covered under the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. These regulations protect workers by outlining what is considered a “work place,” further defining acts of harassment, and your employer’s obligations to ensuring a psychologically safe work place.
If you encounter a patient making racialized comments, the first step is to approach your nursing supervisor to discuss changing your patient/client assignment. Other people that you can reach out to as resources include your local nursing union and regulatory body.