New Nurse New Mom - How do I get back to work?

  1. Hi fellow nurses!
    I am in desperate need of good advice. I am a new nurse - just under a year of experience after school and a new mom - 6 month old. I went to work in a specialty right after school and found that I did not want to spend my entire career in that particular specialty. I gained some very specific skills but lost/forgot/out of practice most of general nursing skills from school. I would like to ideally start working in med surg and gain clinical skills and then think what specialty I want to be in. Or at least to start working again... The thing is, I am a new mom to 6 month old and I am the only caretaker for my baby. None of my family are willing to babysit for even 1 shift + commute time per week. They are fine with dropping by for a few hours especially on the weekend, but that's it. My mom will retire in 3 - 7 months and will be able to babysit full-time. I have very modest income that my family supports me with, but it would be nice if I could make some money. Also, I love nursing and I am itching to get back to that environment. My questions is - what do I do? Do I wait for my mom to babysit and then look for a job full-time? But I am afraid I become less and less marketable as time goes by, especially if I don't want to work in the specialty where I spent last year. Or do I find something/anything for a few odd hours/office hours a week when I have some babysitting help and then look for something else? If so, what do I look for?
    Any responses will be much appreciated. I don't know how to get out of my long "maternity leave"
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   somenurse
    You might have to hire a babysitter, if you ARE intent on going to work before another 7 mos goes by. You'd have to subtract what you pay the sitter per hour, from what you make per hour, to decide if this is worth it.

    I had a best friend next door, and we traded sitting hours, back and forth, cash free, and it worked out for us, but, of course, i was just extremely lucky to have that set up. And my kids were school ages, not babies. She took my kids in pre-school hour(early morning hours), and i was home first, and had her kids and mine after school. we were all lucky that way.

    Babytimes go by so so fast, and don't come back ever again, and i always wish that most babies can be raised by one of their own parents, or, have at least one parent working only part-time, cuz working full time + raising a baby, can be exhausting. CAN be done, yes it can, but, it takes a very energetic person, imo. And of course, it is not an option for everyone to try to only work part time while they raise babies.

    I worked fulltime, and raised my kids part time, and it was not ideal for me or my family, but, i had no choice. I wish you best of luck in your decision, and hope you are able to determine what is best for you. GOOD LUCK!!

    PS---You obviously want to ask your mom if her watching your baby IS okay with her, too. NOt all grandparents want to babysit 40 hours a week, but, some do!
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 10, '12
  4. by   MJB2010
    I think it would be worthwhile to try to find a suitable daycare that offers "drop in" days. Once you have that lined up, start looking for a part time gig. The good thing about nursing is that you can still be home 4 days a week if you work full time, or just pick up some part time hours to get experience. With your level of experience, you probably would not get hired as PRN. What specialty were you in? Could you go back there prn or temporarily until you qualify for an internal transfer within the facility? I think I would be nervous about waiting too long. It is going to probably take a few months to find a job so I would get my ducks in a row and start looking now.
  5. by   illininurse
    Thank you all for responses, more is welcome! I talked to my mom and it's gong to be more like 7 months until she can take care of the baby full-time. I also thought of my priorities. I think what I need to do now is to find any nursing job that requires short shifts, up to 6 hours, possibly on the weekend, maybe temporary work... Just something to keep me in the field (even if I don't get to relearn some skills) and earn some change I will pursue my full-time dream job when my mom can help out with babysitting.
    So it brings me to another question - what kind of positions/whre should I be looking for? I will appreciate any ideas.
  6. by   RNperdiem
    Finding short shifts is difficult. I do pick up 4 hour shifts for coworkers who want to leave early, but I already have a job and am well known.
    You could try picking up per diem work with your former employer. Most places will want you to work the whole 8 or 12 hour shift and are not sympathetic to child care issues as a reason for missing work. You can also try agency work.
  7. by   dfs1961
    You could work as a school nurse substitute - prn and they are short 7 hour days.
  8. by   beeker
    In my area you need peds experience to work as a school nurse
  9. by   dfs1961
    Schools are desperate for substitute nurses. You won't need peds experience or your certification to be a sub. I live in MA and I subbed for an entire year w/no peds experience or certification. I recently got my first school nursing job. That year of subbing gave me peds experience.
  10. by   T-Bird78
    Try an office--M-F and usually 8 1/2 hour work days, plus you get evenings, weekends, and holidays home with the baby. Baby gets the bonus of being in daycare and playing with other babies and learning to interact with other adults. I know a lot of people don't like daycare, especially for babies, but a lot of moms and dads have to do that. My oldest was 6 weeks old when he started at daycare. I, too, have a baby now (he's 10 months) and am looking to get back to work and the search is tough. Look for companies that say they're great for working moms and are family-friendly and you might have more flexible options, or try home health where you can set your own schedule.
  11. by   jrinct
    Yes, an office is a great option. Often you can find short shifts in an office to fill in staffing holes or to add to staffing during busy hours -- like when everyone shows up for physical exams with fasting blood draws early in the morning. Another option is telephone triage. Or maybe methadone clinic?
  12. by   Orca
    My mother (an ICU RN for years) took significant time off from work when my sister and I were born. I still don't know how she pulled off returning to her career, with all the catch-up learning that was required, after such a lengthy absence.
  13. by   babysteps25
    I agree with trying a clinic or doctor's office the hours are usually much shorter. Home health care could work too, instead of committing to an 8 or 12 hour shift you can choose how many visits (typically only 1 hr each) you want to do per day and tailor it to a busy schedule.