The West Coast University-Ontario campus was buzzing with excitement on June 26 for the annual Men in Nursing event in support of the practice, education, research and leadership for men in nursing.
The front lobby of the campus was adorned with black and white balloons, a photo booth and a prize table where students could enter a raffle to win WCU Men in Nursing gear.
More than 250 students filled the lobby to meet and network with 20 exhibitors. The event also included a keynote address from speaker Jerome Dayao, the chief nursing officer for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
Dayao spoke to students about becoming leaders within the field of nursing with a little luck and a lot of hard work.
“This event today is great because it shows students that there is more to nursing than being at the patient’s bedside,” he said. “Nurses can make a bigger impact when they lead others and develop more leaders.”
Following the keynote address, several male WCU alumni took the stage to talk with students about the importance of men in nursing and answer any questions they might have about the field.
The grad panel began with a special address from the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) President-Elect Blake Smith.
“Welcome to the West Coast University Men in Nursing Event. Males nurses provide a great contribution to nursing every single day,” he said. “The more individuals who enter our complex healthcare system who can better identify with patients will positively impact their quality of life. That’s why we welcome any person, male or female, into AAMN to help reach our goal of a more united healthcare system.”
The day ended with a Q&A with WCU alumni Andrew Tran and a special flyover from the Mercy Air 3 helicopter.
As a flight nurse, Tran provides emergency medical care while 8,000 feet in the air, treating trauma patients during their helicopter ride to a hospital. As a male nurse, Tran has had to fight stereotypes throughout his career but he is proud to be making a difference in his patients' lives.
“Healthcare is a field of passion, it has to be something that you really want to do,” he said. “Nursing is about taking care of the patient and making a big impact from bedside to administration to policies.”
WCU Career Services Regional Director Christina Rivera said she was thrilled with the day's event, especially the large turnout.
"We really wanted to show our male students our commitment to their development by providing different career options, mentoring and networking opportunities," Rivera said.