Brian Hornby, BSN, RN, CEN

Senior Staff Nurse

Emergency Department

NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing Class 2014

I am an outgoing, hands on person who likes to be challenged. Nursing appealed to me as a rewarding career that would allow me to pursue my passions outside of work while maintaining a healthy work life balance. Since graduating from college I have worked a variety of different jobs; building theater sets, residential contracting, and adventure travel, all while looking for a career. I was inspired to become a nurse by creative friends who had gone back to school for nursing. Increasing numbers of men are joining the nursing workforce to enjoy the rewards and benefits of a career in health care. New York City Men in Nursing (NYC MIN) is working to strengthen the nursing profession by bringing these men together and inspiring others.

While working in California I got involved with the Five Ton Crane art collective building large scale sculptures for Burning Man. Most of the members of this group are professional artists building this passion project on the side. At the same time a few of my friends had returned to school to become nurses. I realized that I had the opportunity to work many fun and interesting jobs, but I did not have a career. Having taken Wilderness First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician courses, I had a budding interest in prehospital care and a desire work hands on with people. The challenge of transitioning from an arts career to a nursing career rooted in science appealed to me. I went to community college in California and was accepted to NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. While I was in nursing school I had the opportunity to work as a Student Nurse Extern at NYU Langone Medical Center in the Emergency Department, where I was later offered a full time position.

What is most rewarding about nursing is the impact that we have on patients every day. One patient I had seemed like an uncomplicated urinary retention patient going to a medical floor. After careful assessment of the patient, I found he had an altered mental status, an infection source and vital signs trending in a troubling direction. I performed a bedside test, which indicated possible systemic infection. I presented all of this information to the medical team, who changed his course of treatment to a higher level of care. My experience working as a team with doctors, physician assistants, nurses and technicians in the emergency department is the best part of nursing. One of the biggest challenges to nursing are the recent changes in healthcare specifically an emphasis on metrics including patient satisfaction (not patient care) and throughput requiring specific documentation and prioritization requirements. These changes are relatively new, and it is uncertain whether they improve patient outcomes. They are tied to the payments the hospital gets from the government, so there is pressure to meet them regardless of their effect on patients. The healthcare system is in desperate need of change to control costs and improve outcomes, so these challenges may be stepping stones to improving healthcare for everyone in the future.

One opportunity for the NYC MIN may be reaching out to students and the public through social media such as instagram, facebook, snapchat and career days in high schools. This would give men of all ages an example of some of the opportunities they could have as a nurse. This would hopefully inspire men of different ages to consider nursing as a career. The nurses who participate in this outreach would have the benefits that come with sharing their knowledge and experience with others. Nurses who are feeling burnt out by their jobs may find it rewarding to mentor nurses. Nurses who share their hobbies outside of work could show that nursing allows you to have a rewarding work life balance, if you chose. I believe that part of staying in nursing for the long term is having a passion outside of work, that is a positive outlet for stress.

I have been working as an Emergency Department nurse for two years now, recently becoming a Certified Emergency Nurse. It has been an interesting and rewarding journey to get here. I am able to pursue my passions of collaborating with friends to build large art projects for Burning Man, Maker Faire and other events. While working as a nurse I am continuously learning and trying to improve my practice. I am looking forward to working with NYC MIN in the future to encourage more men to join the nursing profession and keep men engaged as caregivers improving patient outcomes throughout New York.

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Adrian Go, BSN, RN

Adrian Go, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse – Mount Sinai Hospital

College of Mount Saint Vincent – Class of 2015

Why did I choose nursing?

Nursing was a career that I never foresaw myself doing.  As some new college students do, I was going to go in undecided or possibly look into doing communications, but my mother shined some light on me about a major I should pursue.  This was nursing.  I reflected on her idea of it and believed that it would be a fit choice considering that I wanted to be able to impact lives and make a difference, but it was still not a definite decision even when I entered college.

After doing basic nursing classes, I was still not convinced that I made the right decision.  But this all changed when I started working as a patient care associate at New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center.  As a PCA and a fairly new nursing student, I did not to know what to expect except for what was explained in the description of the position.  After a month, each shift was more or less routine: AM/PM care, vital signs at twelve o’clock, refilling isolation carts, and making sure patients were comfortable and needs were attended to.  Most of the patients I encountered were typical med-surg patients, but eventually I encountered one that changed my experience.  An old Spanish man was admitted to our unit, receiving care for a post-transplant surgery of his liver.  Each shift I would always be assigned to him and one day, he asked me to sit down and talk with him.  We talked about our cultures, sports, family, you name it.  Eventually, our conversations occurred just as much as checking his vitals and providing AM/PM care.

As time progressed, he began to reject his liver and declined.  After about two months of care, he passed.  This was the first patient I ever experienced dying and as a nursing student, you rarely encounter this type situation.  At first I was unsure of how to react and would talk to the nurses about it.  What they told me was these types of situations will happen, which of course I knew came with the job.  I was so focused on how tragic it was that passed, but one thing I never thought about was how he passed.  I realized that during his time here, I played an essential role in making him more comfortable, whether it was bathing or making conversation.  Though physically he may have experienced pain, I felt that mentally, I was able to put him at ease and make his passing more comfortable.  At this point, I was assured that nursing was the path I should take.  The fact that I was able to help someone as much as I did as a PCA, made me see that I could make more of a difference and impact others’ lives on a more critical level as a registered nurse. 

How do I see myself in the nursing profession in the next five years?

As a new nurse in the field, I solely want to focus on strengthening my skills at the beside and eventually transition over into critical care.  Throughout my education, I had to the opportunity to do a rotation in the PACU and OR and because of those rotations, they peaked my interest in being a part of the surgical team.  Since those experiences, I have decided to pursue a higher education in becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

What is your vision of the NYC MIN group?

Thanks to a good friend, I was able to become a part of a rising movement, NYC Men in Nursing.  I am thankful take part in such an influential group and attend meetings to both develop my knowledge and meet great people.  Each meeting has its unique experience and is beneficial to all of us.  I am able to walk out of each meeting with new information, meet new friends who share the same goals, but more importantly walk out knowing I had chosen the right career.  The members in Men in Nursing have been very helpful to me since day one, helping me with applications, interviews and what to expect in the real nursing world.  With the help of MIN, I was able to land a position in Mount Sinai Hospital and I am grateful for their guidance and support.

In terms of the vision in Men in Nursing, I wish to change how nurses are looked upon.  Some people discriminate nurses in their role, but also as a career not suitable for men.  I believe that the NYC MIN has the ability to influence others by showing how diverse nurses are, whether you are male or female, black, white, purple, yellow or orange. Ultimately, we (as nurses) are all here to some save lives and heal even some more. Not only can NYC MIN show how diverse we are culturally, but that nurses are also diverse in their role.  Though working bedside is a critical part in our career, it doesn’t define how much more we can do.