Extended Maternity Leave- How long is too long?

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    I have been home since delivering my dd in October. I was working med/surg for a little over a year until having dd, and psych for about a year before that. I can afford to stay home for quite some time yet if I wanted to, but have mixed feelings about it.

    I do have the itch to go back very part time, but do not want to regret it and quit. It will be difficult getting childcare during orientation only. (I plan on working weekends only when dh is here) So I don't want to go through the trouble of finding childcare for orientation and then quit the job, to have to go through it again a few months later. I planned on returning in January, but now my dh has a business trip out of state in Feb. so that is out. I am now looking at returning in March.

    I am wondering... How long is too long to be out of nursing before you have difficulty finding a job? I know I can go back to either of my last places of employment, but do not want to go back to those places for various reasons. How hard is it to get back into the swing of things at work? Please tell all! Thanks in advance!
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    Well, since my goal is to be a stay-at-home mom, I'm not sure I'm a good person to answer this question.

    I work part-time and have since my son was 4 months old. I stayed home with my older kids full time.

    One of the things I've found is that my schedule would be changed to add one day here and one day there until I was working full-time. I recently made it clear that I only want to work part-time. I'm pretty laid back and never said much before but I'm putting my foot down now. The time in Vietnam when I missed my 5 year old so much was the defining moment for me.

    I think if you don't need to work, I wouldn't do it. But that is just me. I don't think it would be hard to get back into the swing of things if I took time off and then came back to work.

    One of the good things about rural nursing is that I do a bit of everything - med/surg, ER, OB, OR, etc. So my skill-base is more flexible.

    If I could stay home, I'd do it in a New York Minute. But since my dh is a private contractor, we need the medical insurance my job affords.

    Good luck to you in what ever decision you make . . . .

    steph
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    [quote=stevielynn]

    One of the things I've found is that my schedule would be changed to add one day here and one day there until I was working full-time.

    Thanks for answering! That is one thing that I am afraid of. I don't want to get talked into working more than every other weekend. I am a sucker, and know I will wind up working more when short staffed, and I didn't really have anything special planned. I know my dd is going to grow up fast, and I don't want to miss it!
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    Right now I'm a SAHM, but I did go back to work after my first was born. She was about 10 months old when I went back to a new job at a different hospital. I had been out of nursing for just over a year. The orientation period was the hardest. I think it was 4 days of 8:00-4:00. Then I started on the floor two days a week. I think it would have been easier to go back to where I had previously worked. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have taken the job in a new area. I had worked peds before I left and the new job was in pp. I ended up quiting after about 3 months, so I may not be the best one here to answer your questions. I've now been out of nursing for 6 years, and I've had two more kids. I am taking a refresher course this fall. I'm still undecided in what area of nursing I want to pursue. I'm hoping the refresher will help me decide. Good luck.
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    Quote from KarryRN
    Right now I'm a SAHM, but I did go back to work after my first was born. She was about 10 months old when I went back to a new job at a different hospital. I had been out of nursing for just over a year. The orientation period was the hardest. I think it was 4 days of 8:00-4:00. Then I started on the floor two days a week. I think it would have been easier to go back to where I had previously worked. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have taken the job in a new area. I had worked peds before I left and the new job was in pp. I ended up quiting after about 3 months, so I may not be the best one here to answer your questions. I've now been out of nursing for 6 years, and I've had two more kids. I am taking a refresher course this fall. I'm still undecided in what area of nursing I want to pursue. I'm hoping the refresher will help me decide. Good luck.
    I don't really know what area I want to go into. Every hospital except the last one I worked at is in the next state so I will have quite a commute. The last hospital I worked at really sucks, and Im not crazy about med/surg, so I really don't want to go back there. I am afraid of orientation for a few reasons. I don't have anyone to watch my dd. I don't know if I can find a day care to take her for just a few days while I do orientation, since day care wont be needed after that. I don't want to quit after going through that, to have to do another orientation. I am also still lactating, and plan to be for the next year or so. Its hard enough to get breaks at all, yet a couple breaks to be able to pump. How would I do that, yet while on orientation? I guess I have a lot to think about. I just don't want to have to take a refresher course. I wonder if I can find somewhere to let me do orientation on nightshift so that I wouldn't need a sitter...
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    Quote from GooeyRN
    I don't really know what area I want to go into. Every hospital except the last one I worked at is in the next state so I will have quite a commute. The last hospital I worked at really sucks, and Im not crazy about med/surg, so I really don't want to go back there. I am afraid of orientation for a few reasons. I don't have anyone to watch my dd. I don't know if I can find a day care to take her for just a few days while I do orientation, since day care wont be needed after that. I don't want to quit after going through that, to have to do another orientation. I am also still lactating, and plan to be for the next year or so. Its hard enough to get breaks at all, yet a couple breaks to be able to pump. How would I do that, yet while on orientation? I guess I have a lot to think about. I just don't want to have to take a refresher course. I wonder if I can find somewhere to let me do orientation on nightshift so that I wouldn't need a sitter...
    When I went back to work I was breastfeeding my daughter too. I had my husband take a couple of days off of work the week I had orientation and I pumped while on breaks. She did better than I thought she would. Then when I started back on the floor I pumped whenever I got the chance. It was convient working on a pp floor, we had breast pumps in the nurses lounge.

    Do you have family in town or know someone who could watch your daughter for just the week of orientation? I know that was the hardest for me, being gone for that long the week I did orientation. I was lucky that my husband has a pretty flexible job and was able to take some time off.
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    Quote from KarryRN
    When I went back to work I was breastfeeding my daughter too. I had my husband take a couple of days off of work the week I had orientation and I pumped while on breaks. She did better than I thought she would. Then when I started back on the floor I pumped whenever I got the chance. It was convient working on a pp floor, we had breast pumps in the nurses lounge.

    Do you have family in town or know someone who could watch your daughter for just the week of orientation? I know that was the hardest for me, being gone for that long the week I did orientation. I was lucky that my husband has a pretty flexible job and was able to take some time off.
    That does sound pretty convienent, and I would assume the other nurses would be understanding to you having to pump.

    I don't have anyone to watch my dd. Our family lives about 80 miles away, and they all work. We are still new to the area, so don't really know anyone here that could watch her. I guess I just have to count on getting a nightshift orientation. My dh's work schedule isn't very flexible, unfortunatly. I thought I had everything planned perfectly, with the schedule I would want, and the schedule dh has. But then there is orientation..... Thanks for replying.
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    I went back to work part-time when my youngest son was one year old. We paid for a plane ticket for my mil (and paid her something for her time too) to come stay with the children for a week while I went through orientation. It worked out very well.

    I worked every weekend (yes, every weekend) at that job for 5 years, because my dh worked Mon-Fri, and one of us was always home with the kids.

    Then we moved, and I ended up quitting and taking 8 years off to be a SAHM.

    Then I took a refresher course and I am back at work part-time, and going to school for my BSN.

    I understand your desire to avoid the need to take a refresher course, and your desire to stay at home with your dd. Good luck finding a solution that works for your family!


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