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CNHPeople: Student Works to Increase Men in Nursing

July 14, 2014

andrew demaio headshotAndrew DeMaio is a junior in the five-year BSN Program at the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions and is currently completing his second co-op in Sacramento, California. For DeMaio, the Drexel name is “synonymous with family.” In addition to his parents, who met during their shared history class in Curtis Hall in 1981, DeMaio has three aunts and uncles who have also attended and graduated from Drexel University.

 “Before applying to colleges it was always a given that Drexel was a an option, but after learning about the school’s pass/fail rates on the NCLEX exam, as well as about the nursing co-op, I knew Drexel was the perfect school for me,” he said. DeMaio describes his first two co-op experiences (with the Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Operating Room and now Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California) as phenomenal. Shriners Hospital for Children is one of the premier burn hospitals on the West Coast; patients are regularly flown in for burn care from around the world. DeMaio likes the fact that the two units for which he has worked are such polar opposites in nursing care. One of the reasons why DeMaio chose Drexel is because he wanted to get the most out of his co-op experiences in order to decide which specialty of nursing to enter after graduation.

DeMaio first grew interested in promoting nursing to male students when he volunteered to sit on a student panel at an open house, answering questions for prospective students and their parents about the BSN Program and about Drexel University in general. Regina Ambrosino, Recruitment and Retention Manager, later informed him that there would be an event in Behrakis Hall where local high school guidance counselors would gather to receive information about the nursing program. DeMaio prepared a flyer with information about nursing as a profession and other things for high school students to consider if they were interested in the field. Roughly 40 guidance counselors attended, and many either took the flyer or had a conversation with DeMaio and his colleague Noah Zuares about their thoughts on the nursing program at Drexel. Many of the counselors were very interested in the fact that there is such a small number of men in nursing and were impressed by the way that the co-op experience allows students to explore areas of their field prior to graduation.

DeMaio plans to contact high schools in the area, especially all-male institutions, to promote nursing to the student population through career fairs at the schools.

DeMaio and the Male Nurses Association were involved with a March Madness tournament during which they raised $500 to donate to Prostate Health International in support of the Gary Papa 5k that took place June 15. The Association wanted to use the money to sponsor as many runners as they could to run the race. DeMaio was also pleased with the work that the Male Nurses Association did with another Philadelphia organization, The Other Carpenter. DeMaio looks forward to continuing work with this organization when he returns to campus after his Sacramento co-op, as he feels like The Other Carpenter’s mission embodies the spirit of a male nurse interested in becoming a well-rounded citizen who is able to more adequately understand the social and economic problems faced by the population of patients they must attempt to care for. DeMaio says that, “This bonding experience is also critical to the survival of our organization on campus.” After his positive experiences, DeMaio is looking forward to growing the group of male nurses here at Drexel.

After completing his undergraduate career, DeMaio hopes to gain entrance into the Drexel Early Assurance Nurse Anesthesia Program and to have a critical care nursing job.