Need advice: graduating in May and newly pregnant - what to do?

  1. I'm graduating from my ADN progam in May, and I'm 7 weeks pregnant right now. This is my first pregnancy and was quite the surprise, but we are happy (despite the somewhat bad timing!) I was planning on trying to get a year of nursing under my belt before getting PG.

    I am trying to figure out the best way to approach taking a job after school. I am due on Sept. 25. Although money would be a bit tight, we could have me stay home and study for boards and start work after I have the baby and feel ready to start working. Or, I could take a job right away and try to get 3-4 months of experience under my belt before the baby assuming all is healthy in the later stages of this pregnancy.

    The clincher is that I do not want to return to work full-time once I have the baby. I am trying to decide if I should take interviews and mention nothing about the pregnancy (I am not showing, of course) - this is the suggestion of my nursing instructors. Or, whether I should be open about it and tell employers that I would like to return part-time or PRN after the baby. OR, whether I should just postpone work entirely until I pop this thing out! My fear there is that I'll technically be a new grad then and I'm sure will be expected to work full-time for at least 3-6 mos.

    Any suggestions on this topic would be great - especially from those who may have been in this situation or have friends who have. Thank you!
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   mom2michael
    A girl that I work with was newly pregnant when she got her GN job. She is a women of obvious child bearing age and our manager realizes that we are all capable of having babies during that time, so why get upset. She has been there now for 3 months and is now on 12 weeks of maternity leave. Who knows what her plans will be when she comes back, but again, our manager knows things change so she'll roll with the punches when it happens. Life happens and most managers are aware of that.

    You need to do what is best for you and your new family. Only you can decide. However, I have to disagree with your instructors on the non-disclosure thing. I don't think it's ever a good idea to hide your pregnancy while in the nursing field. There are so many things that can hurt you or your baby - your employer needs to know. Obviously that doesn't need to be the 1st thing out of your mouth at the interview - but when the time is right, they should know. And if they are jerks about it - do you really want to work there anyway?

    Good luck and congrats on your new addition!!!!
  4. by   charebec65
    Congrats on your pregnancy! You and your SO have to figure out what is best for you. I'm not sure I'd wait until after the baby is born to take the NCLEX, we were told it was better to take it sooner after school. I agree with mom2michael about the non-disclosure. You cannot be descriminated against d/t the pregnancy and there are a lot of things you need to be careful about in the healthcare setting.....ie MRSA.....which can negatively affect the fetus.....

    Good luck to you!
  5. by   secondfiddle
    Thanks, everyone for the replies so far. Just to clarify, whatever my decision turns out to be, I would NOT postpone the NCLEX until after the baby. I'd probably just take an extra month or so after graduation to brush up on the studying as there would be no rush if I wasn't needing a job ASAP. It is interesting that most of you feel that nondisclosure isn't a great idea, because I have been feeling the same way. I would think that it would just create conflict later on when the truth came out if they hired me not knowing. I'd rather just be straightforward and tell them when I'm due and that I'd ideally like to come back part-time afterward - but I fear that they won't hire me because of the part-time part.

    As for the health of the developing fetus, I wanted to add also for other pregnant people who might read this - I agree that there are some patients a pregnant person would want to avoid (shingles patients, for example), but that MRSA itself is NOT a teratogen. There would be a risk that a mother colonized with MRSA could acquire a resistant infection and even possibly that the new baby could develop one - similar to the risk anyone colonized with MRSA would face undergoing invasive procedures where skin damage might occur. Just don't want any preggies to freak out about dealing with MRSA people - it can't cause the fetus to have 3 heads.
  6. by   nurseangel47
    As long as you are able to avoid the potentially communicable diseases associated with possible ill effects/birth defects/endangerment to your or the fetus' health condition, I'd say work where and when and for however long you feel like working before delivering. There's nothing wrong, either, with being at home w/baby for at least the first few months/years while they develop their immunities before being shoved into the germ world of daycare outside of home. Just remember one very important lesson I learned while having babies and going to nursing school then hurrying up to enter the nursing profession: babies grow up MUCH too quickly and it's time you cannot possibly get back....those milestones, smiles, cooes, first steps, crawling, transitioning from infant to toddler, etc. are MUCH too precious to miss much of while trying to be superwoman in today's unfair working world.
    You must do what is right for you and baby and bonding together as a family unit with hubby. Do what you feel in your heart and soul what is right and trust me, you'll know yourself inside when it's time to decide for sure.
    I wish you luck....remember, baby and you and hubby first....careers can be started, resumed, maintained at a later date and you have decades to work. :hatparty: Oh, and CONGRATUALTIONS! ON YOUR PREGNANCY...TAKE CARE OF YOU, YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING ARE FIRST AND FOREMOST DURING THIS AWESOME TIME OF GROWING THAT MIRACLE INSIDE! Let us know what you decide and how you're doing!
  7. by   charebec65
    Who said that MRSA is a teratogen?
  8. by   secondfiddle
    Quote from charebec65
    there are a lot of things you need to be careful about in the healthcare setting.....ie MRSA.....which can negatively affect the fetus.....
    I took this part of your post as saying that MRSA could negatively affect the fetus - the use of "fetus" sounded to me like you were talking about effects MRSA could have while the baby was still developing inside the womb as opposed to something that would occur after it was born. I'm sorry if I misunderstood.
    Last edit by secondfiddle on Feb 8, '07
  9. by   RN_Amanda
    I was in the exact same situation last year. I graduated in May and had my baby in August of 2006. I did not start working until after the baby because most jobs would not allow you to take time off until you have been employed for 1 year. (FMLA) Anyways, I did take my boards before I had the baby. Also it was easier to find a job because I didn't have as much competition as if you were starting with all of your fellow graduates. So, if you can wait, I would suggest doing that. You can relax and enjoy your pregnancy.
  10. by   secondfiddle
    RN Amanda, did you go back full time after the baby was born? How long did you stay home before you returned? If you did return full time, how did it work out? I figure I have no chance of getting hired part-time for my first job. Thanks for your input!
  11. by   maryloufu
    Hey Amanda- I had a baby as a new grad in August last year as well! I tell everyone that my baby helped me with boards (One kick for A Two kicks for B...etc) OP I think you should just be up front with your plans to potential employer. Try not to stress- your baby years will go by fast and you will have plenty of time to get on with your career- but definitely get boards over with. I got a job right out of school and they let me get most of my orientation over with before the baby was born. I dont know if it would apply to you- but since my husband was the only one working while I was in school we were eligible for medicaid. And since the baby was born to me when I was on medicaid- she will have medicaid for a year. That means we are also eligible for WIC. These things can really help when money is tight. I only stayed home for 6 weeks- but hubby is now in school so he is not working and he can take care of my sweet baby. Good Luck and congrats!
  12. by   RN_Amanda
    Hi! Sorry it took so long to reply. I have been working a string of nights and haven't had a chance to get on the net. Anyway, I was an LPN prior to becoming an RN. So after the baby was born I returned to where I was working as a LPN and worked PRN, a couple of days a week. Well, I just found a job in the NICU; which is my passion for nursing, but it is nights. Well, the family is not adjusting to nights so I believe I am going to have to go somewhere else until the baby is older. I am sad because I love the NICU, but my manager cannot put me to days, and there are others that are on nights that will go first. But, my husband says not to worry that I will soon get there one day because I have the rest of my life to work. So I have an interview with a peds home health to see if I can do that so I can go to dayshifts.
  13. by   jov
    Quote from secondfiddle
    I'm graduating from my ADN progam in May, and I'm 7 weeks pregnant right now.

    I could take a job right away and try to get 3-4 months of experience under my belt before the baby assuming all is healthy in the later stages of this pregnancy.

    The clincher is that I do not want to return to work full-time once I have the baby. I am trying to decide if I should take interviews and mention nothing about the pregnancy (I am not showing, of course) - this is the suggestion of my nursing instructors. Or, whether I should be open about it and tell employers that I would like to return part-time or PRN after the baby.
    1. Congratulations!
    2. my advice is to go interview at the hospital where you want to end up and say nothing about your pregnancy.
    my rationale is:
    a) it is really none of their business what is going on in your personal life and whether or not you intend to work on a full time basis or part time basis, based on some future event.
    b) I think you are kidding yourself if you think you will be hired when you tell them you are already pregnant. You would have to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit in order to get that protection.
    c) landing the job and getting your 3-4 months experience before taking a maternity leave will be a chance to show them what a great nurse you are and why they would want to retain you as a PRN or part time nurse following delivery... Going in announcing your pregnancy is just going to be an X against hiring you without them ever knowing your great skills!
    d) I know you have plans but again they are based on a future event. You might find out you HAVE to work full time, new baby or not. You might find you CAN'T work at all.

    so go ahead and interview, leave your personal life out of it, get the job you want and then make changes as you need to. It is up to the managers to deal with unexpected glitches like pregnancies. They know about 'em, and they are used to it. YOU don't have to do the manager's job for her... LOL
  14. by   secondfiddle
    jov, thanks for the advice! I agree with what you said, and that has actually been my decision - I have an interview coming up next week. I am going to interview as I would have normally and give myself a chance. I guess the question to myself will be whether I decide I want to take the job when they send out offers. AND whether I should tell them of my situation at that time (when I've already been offered the job).

    My husband and I are now sort of leaning toward me not working at all until after the baby is born, so I'm wondering if would be possible to defer a job offer when, and if I get one. This is such a confusing situation - I have to say that it takes a lot of the happiness out of the pregnancy for me (Doesn't help that I'm nauseous 24/7).

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