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Men are nurses, too

As National Nurses Week continues, we took a look at three nurses who are at different points in their careers, but have one thing in common: they're all men.

BANGOR, Maine — Nurses, doctors, and all health care workers and first responders have been battling COVID-19 at hospitals around the state for weeks. Even after the coronavirus pandemic, these medical professionals will continue to work for us.

Dr. Anthony McGuire is the Program Chair and of Director of Nursing at Saint Joseph's College in Standish. McGuire became a registered nurse in the 1970s and said he wouldn't tell people he was a nurse.

“Yeah I work in healthcare," McGuire would tell people, "because I knew it was a buzz kill for people back then.”

As the number of men who became registered nurses continued to grow so to did the popularity of the terms, "male nurse", or "murse", don't say those names around Dr. McGuire.

“I’m not a male nurse, I’m a registered nurse," he said.

Credit: Dr. Anthony McGuire

Jordan Garrigan-Swett is one of the newest nursing students to begin his career in the medical field. Graduating from Saint. Joe's last Saturday he said he always wanted to join the health care professional to help others.

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“I think regardless of gender we can all provide a fundamental essence of nursing we can all lift each other up and support each other," Garrigan-Swett added.

Oluwakorede Omolola became a registered nurse in 2006. His nursing school was completed outside of Maine, in Nigeria. Omolola goes by Korede and has been a nurse at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for more than a year.

He works as a float nurse meaning he works on different units, with different specialties every shift.

“I’m much better in terms of my knowledge and expertise then when I came here last year," Korede said.

He found a passion for nursing by watching his mother treat others back home. She was also a nurse and helped care for people in Nigeria where medical resources and health care is limited.

“I have actually lots of women give births to their babies in my house," Korede added.

Credit: Oluwakorede Omolola

Earlier in his career, Korede understood the challenge of being a man who is a registered nurse as one patient didn't want his assistance. 

"It was a learning moment for me and also an opportunity to also learn how to talk to patients, get them to understand why we're doing what we are doing, and get them on our side."

Korede described the moment as a one and one thousand experience. 

AAMN/VITAS Volunteer Call to Action To shape the practice, education, research, and leadership for men in nursing and advance men's health. To be the association of choice representing men in nursing. The purpose of AAMN is to provide a framework for nurses, as a group, to meet, to discuss and influence factors, which affect men as nurses.

He and his wife, also a nurse, moved to Bangor from Nigeria together. Their biggest challenge wasn't the adjustment to a new country or new hospital, the challenge was something all Mainers deal with every winter.

“The only challenge we had when we came here was the weather, the cold," Korede added. 

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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