I didn't find much when searching on this topic. What's been your experience with maternity leave options? Most places wouldn't fall under the FMLA as that requires a minimum of 50 employees. I've seen some references to 6 weeks paid leave as a standard, but nothing official.
How many people have family leave/maternity leave even mentioned in their contract? Is there usually a minimum time that you'd need to work to qualify?
I will graduate this year and am in that unfortunate pinch point of wanting to get established in my new career and pull in an income again yet being unable to escape the closing window for having kids. I'm wondering what happens if were to get pregnant not that long after starting a new NP job. I realize the burden that would place on a practice, but certainly would feel pretty rotten down the road if I lose the chance to have children because I was so gung-ho on starting a job right away. I could just have a kid and not look for a job for a year, but of course I want to start while info is still fresh. It makes me so nervous looking at all these posts about new FNP grads struggling to find work.
Feb 6, '14
IMO you would be fine to wait a year before securing a NP job. I worked as a travel nurse prior to my new NP gig. Oh, and now I have the perfect gig for myself. My reasoning was different. I wanted to enjoy my kids, travel and have some down time after school!
Feb 7, '14
In small private practices, it's completely up to the owners/partners in the practice. It truly varies from the full 12 weeks to absolutely nothing. I knew of one physician in a practice who actually hired and paid a replacement out of her own pocket. If any place is going to offer maternity leave, it will undoubtedly not be available in the first year at the practice. Even FMLA doesn't kick in till your 13th month on the job. An option to consider, if at all possible, is to look for a position with a practice either owned by a larger organization (I.e. hospital-affiliated clinics) or there are some large multi-site group practices. Either of these would qualify you for at least FMLA since the minimum requirement is >50 employees within 75 miles. In addition, larger organizations are better able to absorb the effect of a provider on leave and frequently have even more generous leave benefits. Either way, I would strongly recommend you don't plan on taking leave your first year of practice especially as a new grad. I know several APNs who choose to have a child between graduation and their first job as an option just like you mentioned. None of them waited a year to go into practice but it gave them the luxury of setting their own timeline for boards, licensing, credentialing, job searching, etc... (if you can call studying for boards as a new mom a luxury).
Feb 7, '14
That's somewhat as I suspected. Thank you for your input. Looks like I either need to wait quite a bit before starting work or wait a long time before trying for kids. Just don't want to put off kids and then it takes me 8-12 months to get my license and find a job anyway! Sometimes being female just doesn't feel like that much of a blessing.
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