CHANGING FACE of NURSING - School of Nursing - University of ...

CHANGING FACE of NURSING - School of Nursing - University of ...

MINNEAPOLIS STAR, March 13, 1950


IN ‘U’


Men Join Women in

Nursing Classes


Minneapolis Star Staff Writer


FOUR FRESHMEN in University

of Minnesota school of nursing

aren’t worrying about keeping their

hair off their uniform collars or

whether fingernail polish should be

removed for operating room duty.

They are the first men students

to enrol for the 16-quarter program

leading to a degree of bachelor of

science in nursing.

Since last fall they have been

among 20 students in the freshman

class. As the group prepared for

clinical work in University hospitals

this month, the problem of uniforms


With several of their women

classmates, faculty members and

physicians, the male nursing students

selected their official on-duty


It includes white duck trousers

and white tunic with a V-neck

and blue pocket strip to match

the women’s uniforms. There is a

white jacket for dress wear and

white shoes.

The four invaders of the field of

Florence Nightingale are:

Russell E. Church, 3179 James

Avenue N., who switched from

Four University of Minnesota freshmen who have enrolled in the

school of nursing learn to handle a young customer, Brian T. Overboe,

one-week old son of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Overboe, 608 Washington

avenue SE. The male nurses are, from left, Russell Church, William

Kidd, Olaf Tiikkaninen and Eugene Roedl.

engineering to nursing after serving

two years as a pharmacists mate

third class in the war.

Olaf Tlikkainen, Virginia, Minn.,

who was a navy radio technician

for three and one-half years.

William Kidd, Eyota, Minn., who

worked as an orderly at Rochester

Minn. state hospital and at Mayo

clinic in the summers while attending

St. Olaf college, Northfield, Minn.

Eugene Roedl, Eden Valley,

Minn., who was in the merchant

marine for three years and transferred

to the university from St.

Johns university, Collegeville, Minn.

Only six men are active RNS

(registered nurses) in Minnesota—

about one-tenth of 1 per cent of

the 5,789 active RNs in the state.

Making the university nursing

school co-educational was an action

taken by the faculty, Katherine J.

Densford, director, reported.

Male student nurses take the

same classwork and clinical training

as their women classmates.

“There is increased demand for

male nurses today,” Miss Densford

pointed out. “They are especially

needed in mental health care,

urology and in the care of male


“High salaries in the nursing field

make the profession more attractive

to men.”

“I like to look at the broader picture, develop programs, involve

people in solving problems, and make things happen,” he says.

His success is due in large part to his nursing education and clinical

experience: “That gives me credibility and helps me hone in on

problems. I’m able to ask the right questions.”

During his years at Valley Health, Borg has worked to implement

cutting-edge programming. Soon after his arrival, the system

initiated case management for patients with special health needs. In

the early 1990s, Valley Health created a parish nurse program. More

recently, Borg led the development of a comprehensive diabetes

management program.


For Borg, nursing was the perfect career choice. “It gives you a

broad entry to health care and health organizations,” he says.

“It offers mobility, an excellent living, and tremendous rewards.”

He would like to see more men enter the field. “The door is

open,” he says. “Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?”

Interested in nursing? Today’s nurses are of all backgrounds, all

ages, and both genders. Their specialties range from pediatrics to

geriatrics, from bedside care to public health, from administration

to industry. Learn more at

fall/winter 2008


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