Ed Fouhey, center in white hat, with the Bruzzese family at a New England Patriots game

Ed Fouhey’s path to Northeast Clinical Services was different than most of his fellow nurses at the agency. He started his nursing career 27 years ago at the age of 40. Fouhey was a teacher at the time, working for the North Shore Education Consortium and the City of Peabody,  but was looking for a second job that offered flexibliity, versatility, and purpose. Fouhey joined Clinical Services 15 years ago, and when he retired as a school teacher 6 years ago, he focused exclusively on home care nursing.

While Fouhey’s path is different than many of his Clinical Services colleagues, it is similar to many men who enter the nursing profession. According to Columbia University, men make up just 12% of registered nurses in the United States, and many of those men are career-switchers who may transition from roles such as first responders to nurses. As the nursing field grapples with a staffing shortage, recruiting more men into the profession has been identified as one potential solution. But one key barrier to that is stigma, since nursing is often stereotyped as a profession for women, especially by patients. It’s something that Fouhey experienced regularly.

“[Older] patients usually assumed that I was the doctor when I came into their room, which frustrated some of my supervisors primarily during my nursing school clinical rotations,” recalled Fouhey. “I’ve been very fortunate that I have had some very supportive and helpful peers and supervisors.”

Fouhey spent the early part of his career working as a floor nurse at a hospital. But he found that impersonal and transactional. “I often felt that I would get everything done but at the end of the shift I would know the patients date of birth and their primary diagnosis but I could not tell you anything about the person.”

Fouhey eventually shifted towards providing continuous care nursing at home for medically fragile patients like Anna Bruzzese. Anna has a rare neurologic disorder known as GNAO1 encephalopathy that causes developmental delay, seizures, and abnormal movements. With support from nurses like Fouhey, Anna has been able to attend school, go to sporting events, and simply be a part of her community.

“My favorite part of working for Northeast Clinical Services is that I can focus on one family,” says Fouhey. “I have been very fortunate to be working with the Bruzzese[s]. They are an extraordinary family.”

Northeast Clinical Services is always looking for talented RNs and LPNs to join its team. View all openings here.

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