I am a new grad RN who graduated in June and passed NCLEX in July. I guess I was a little excited to graduate because my last menstrual period was June 18th and I am now almost ten weeks pregnant. Welcome pregnancy, unwelcome interruption to the career that I was finally supposed to be able to have.
I have a history of placental abruption and premature labor. During my last pregnancy (just prior to nursing school), I was placed on automatic bed rest at 20 weeks. The pregnancy went very smoothly, so I don't anticipate deviating a whole lot from the care plan for this go-round.
Between being nearly 10 weeks right now and knowing that I will either be bedrested or at least unable to fully dedicate myself to the physical demands of a new grad job, I have decided that it is likely best if I delay employment until after delivery (financially this is within reach, which I am grateful for). Though I am early enough that I could obtain a job without the employer knowing I am pregnant, I don't think it would be fair to work for them for only a few weeks. I also know that FMLA would not protect my job since I obviously will not be there a year before taking a leave. I really wouldn't blame an employer for being disgusted, and I wouldn't have much time at all to make a good impression on the floor.
So my dilemma is: How do I keep the gap between licensure and first time employment from causing me problems when I am able to apply for jobs next year? I do not want an employer to see the gap and wonder if I've lost all my skills because I didn't have work experience to begin with and then let a year go by unemployed. To a certain extent, I am okay with explaining I was on bedrest and wanted to wait until I could fully dedicate myself to a job, blah, blah, blah.
I graduated with an ASN so I will be working on my BSN during this time, but I don't think it will be complete by the time I'm ready to apply for jobs. What are some other things I can do to make sure the time is not wasted? And how do I make sure I stay current? I am also really hoping to work in an acute care setting for a first job. I really enjoy ICU and ER nursing, although I know new grads don't always get to be picky.
Thanks in advance for your input
Aug 25, '12
I'm sorry that I don't have much advice for you other than to keep with the plan
of waiting until after your pregnancy is over to begin searching for employment.
It's of utmost importance for you to rest.
I suppose that while you are on bedrest you could do some reading, studying up
on your drugs... taking courses online for CE's... anything you can study that would
have anything to do with actual clinical practice, such as perhaps the latest
edition of Lippincott's Manual of Nursing Practice. Then when you are ready
to apply for jobs, you can let employers know that you've been doing what
you could to stay current.
The REALITY is that it takes some new grads, months and months to find
a job in acute care ANYWAY. Jobs are harder to come by than they used
to be. You may very well end up having to settle for a job that you didn't
exactly have in mind, in order to gain some experience, and some pay. LTC,
psych... what have you. I wish you the best of luck! Happy pregnancy!
Aug 25, '12
Not sure where you live but I know it has taken some of my fellow new grads almost a year to find a job. My personal opinion is that gap won't hurt you since there are others out there who are still waiting to get jobs for months just as the previous poster has stated. I think it's a great idea in the meantime to maybe add to your resume. Go get your ACLS or do some volunteering and community outreach! I know we have programs in Vegas where you can volunteer and give immunizations and flu shots in the winter. It looks good on a resume and gives you some practice. Congrats on your pregnancy!
Aug 28, '12
You can also try to find some non-clinical types of things. Flu season is coming up and some companies do Flu shots. It is a job that may (or may not) require an RN. It can be temporary. There may also be some telephone positions for drug companies. Granted, if you'll be in bedrest within 2 months, it may be hard to even start a job so soon. Yeah, like Tree5981 said, some types of volunteer work could be helpful. I'd stay away from hospitals (if you have a risky pregnancy, I wouldn't further risk it with all the communicable diseases).
Aug 28, '12
I would first apply for a part-time position (very often, these quickly go to full-time positions) to get your foot in the door.
While it is ok to mention at the interview that you were pregnant when you graduated and thought it would be best to search for work after you had the baby, I caution you not to mention you were on bed rest.
If you are young enough to where having a baby in the future is a distinct possibility, your future employer will view this as a major headache to deal with, should you choose to expand your family.
This is where a little information is a good thing, too much information could sink you.
Aug 30, '12
I have a friend in a similar position. She had already accepted a new grad position when she found out she was expecting her first child. She started the position, but for a variety of reasons the new grad position didn't work out. She decided not to pursue other work because of her risk factors for a difficult pregnancy (age, family history, health hx of TBI and fluctuating BPs). Anyway, she did wind up getting PIH and Gestational diabetes and has willingly been on "house arrest".
What she is doing now is bridging from RN to BSN. By completing her BSN she is keeping her brain sharp and when graduated, she will once again be considered a new grad. Just a thought!
Sep 6, '12
The weird thing is that sometimes it does take a while to get that first new grad position after getting an ASN, that most employers may not even notice the GAP.
You could say you have been applying to the positions and working on your BSN at the same time. Which is exactly what you will be doing.
The market here isn't that favorable for new grads, as there are a glut of us, not sure it is like that in your area, but hey at least you are moving forward and I do not think that it is career suicide.
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