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Student Spotlight

Stellar Students - Glenn Malecki

Glenn Malecki is a nursing student at UW-Oshkosh College of Nursing.  Glenn’s first eye-opening experience into the world of nursing was at the age of four, when his cousin was diagnosed with medulloblastoma; a type of brain cancer. Glenn recalls “Visiting her in the hospital was always awkward with not knowing what to say, but the nursing staff was always there for my family and helped us through tough situations.”  Glenn recalls his mother offering advice and helping him figure out if nursing was for him. At the age of 17, Glenn realized “my mother knew me more than I knew myself, so I heeded her advice.”  In his early high school years, he continued to consider nursing as an option but was hesitant to make that career decision because of his gender. During his senior year, he gained the confidence to pursue a nursing career.

Glenn shared his perspectives on diversity indicating that “If half the population is male and only ten percent of nurses are male, then men’s health will not advance as quickly.” Furthermore, “the lack of diversity creates a gap in healthcare. Having a healthcare team better reflecting the patient population will benefit everyone and advance our healthcare by reshaping the model.” When asked about some specific challenges men face in nursing, Glenn identified several challenges.  Men pursuing nursing face challenges mainly from their peers. It took me about three years to be convinced, and with a final push from my mother, pursue a career in nursing. Telling my peers that I was doing nursing was sometimes embarrassing when I was in high school and early college because I was always expected to justify my decision. ‘Why don’t you just become a doctor?’ was the main question I faced. It is still almost an expectation that a male in healthcare becomes a doctor and a female becomes a nurse. So yes, I have faced some challenges that eventually disappeared as I became more mature and didn’t care about justifying my choices to others.”

Glenn provided some sound advice to students pursing a degree in nursing.  “Nursing classes are a lot different than non-nursing classes. The black and white answers are over and replaced by an odd shade of gray that takes a semester or two to fully understand.”  “Older study habits are not going to always work and one needs to be prepared to change in order to succeed.”  Glenn initially faced challenges and shared how working as a certified nursing assistant in the emergency room helped him in the nursing program. “I always had a hard time with picking apart the NCLEX-type questions, but after seeing everything and applying the knowledge from nursing school in the work setting, my nursing confidence formed. Not only am I able to answer NCLEX questions but I am confident in why I choose my answer.”  My advice to others would be to do more than your education, and actually get out and apply it. I learned more from my mistakes than I have ever imagined. I believe this will give me the advantage over other new graduates.”

Submitted by:
Juanita (Terrie) Garcia, MEd, RN
WCN Board of Directors
Project BEYOND-2 Coordinator - Marquette University College of Nursing

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