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Nursing program sees increase in male students at Barton Community College
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Male nursing students at Barton Community College are shown with a computerized manikin that can simulate a real patient. Pictured are, from left: Tyler Reeves, Scott Mickle, Curtis Ford, Sim-Man, Zach Smith, Chad Ludlum, Ray Horton and Edgar Perez-Medina. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

While nursing may be traditionally known as a female dominated career, it doesn’t seem to matter to the male nursing students at Barton Community College.  They’re more worried about getting the chance to care for people.
“I wanted to help people out ...I get to be around great people and impact peoples’ lives and that’s what it is all about,” said first-year nursing student Tyler Reeves.
The number of male students in both the Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse programs combined is up from 11 percent in 2010-2011 to 24 percent in 2012.
Barton Director of Healthcare Education Programs Dr. Kathy Kottas said overall knowledge of the great opportunities within nursing are what she believes is driving more male students to the field.
“Nursing is a respectable, viable and lucrative career and it is gaining popularity in both genders, but especially men,” she said.  “There has been more and more publicity about the place for men in nursing and I think it has gained a lot of positive attention.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012-2013 the average salary for a PN is about $36,200 - $45,200 and the average annual salary for an RN is about between $66,500 - $85,000.
While Kottas did say that the attractive salary is something that may be driving interests in the profession, the Barton students had other motivations for choosing to pursue nursing as a career.
“It’s not about the pay for me,” said first-year nursing student Curtis Ford.  “It’s about impacting people’s lives, and also there are so many different fields you can go into and specialize in.”
Second-year student Zach Smith agreed that compensation is secondary to him.
“I know the pay is decent, but I really just like taking care of people, and that is the part that is most rewarding,” Smith said.
Ford said studying at Barton has been helpful in jump starting his career.
“I’ve had a really good experience with our teachers and our clinical sites,” Ford said.  “I can tell my teachers really want me to succeed.”
Smith also identified his experience in the nursing program as positive.
“I  have had great interaction with the instructors, and one-on-one attention, and the clinical sites are very good,” he said.
For more information on Barton’s Nursing Program, visit or call (620) 792-9357.