Scholarship established to inspire men to choose nursing as a career

Photo of Curry Bordelon, Maria Shirey and Chris Hickman

By Jennifer Lollar

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Graduate Clinical Education – DNP and other Pathways Curry Bordelon, III, DNP, MBA, CNE, NNP-BC, CPNP-AC (DNP 2016), has been a neonatal nurse and nurse practitioner for more than 25 years. As a male, he is a minority in the nursing profession. Approximately 14 percent of nurses entering the workforce are male.

Barriers to men entering the profession include a lack of role models. Early in Bordelon’s career, he met a male neonatal nurse practitioner, Paul, who was the lead NNP in the first neonatal ICU in which Bordelon worked as a RN.

“He was inspiring and supportive to be more and to never stop learning,” Bordelon said. “That sparked my desire to become an advanced practice provider and ultimately a nursing educator.”

Bordelon and his husband Chris Hickman want to pay that influence and inspiration forward. Together they created the Curry Bordelon and Chris Hickman Endowed Nursing Scholarship to increase the visibility of male-nurse role models as they help students pursue their nursing education at the UAB School of Nursing.

“Traditionally, nursing has been viewed by many as a female-dominated profession,” Bordelon said. “It is our hope that with my visibility as a program leader in the School and as potential students see a scholarship established by a male nurse, more men will recognize their passion for caregiving and choose nursing as a lifelong career.”

Research, he said, also shows that patients want to see themselves in those who are caring for them. Often they are more likely to listen to someone with whom they identify.

“If a male patient has a male nurse or nurse practitioner caring for them, they may be more inclined to provide more information about their health, health behaviors and participate in preventative care, potentially leading to better health outcomes.”

Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Maria R. Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN, is grateful for this generous gift and for Bordelon’s leadership as a role model for men in nursing.

“This scholarship shines a light on the importance of attracting more men into the nursing workforce, not only to help ease the nursing shortage, but also to improve health outcomes within the male population.”

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