Future nurse, single mom - page 2
Hey to all the Mom Nurses out there! I am in my first year of a BSN degree program. I have lots of questions about the nursing profession as far as the schedules, types of hospitals, different... Read More
Jul 21, '03One of the great things about the nursing profession is how flexible it is. There are so many opportunities out there today, that you can virtually pick and chose based on your needs and goals. My goal was to work in critical care, but I also had four children to raise (along with my husband, who still needed work too :chuckle ). I chose to begin working general med/surg in the relief float pool so I could control my hours and still get some good experience. I then took a 24 hour a week job working cardiology night shift (8 hour shifts). I left for work at 10:30PM after the kids (and my husband) had gone to bed and I was home in time to get them all off to school. Then I'd wake up when they arrived home after school. It worked out very well for my family, and I gained valuable experience and confidence in my skills. I then took a 32 hour a week job working in nights in critical care. I did this for five years before night shift started to wear on me. Now I work day shift 5 days a week (8-12 hours a day - exempt) week-ends off managing our cardiology unit. I've been very happy with the options that nursing has provided for me while I've tried to balance career and family. I would DEFINATELY recommend at least one year of general med/surg experience before you head for a specialty area, like ED or ICU. I've seen to many super great nurses get eaten alive by these depts. You may even want to consider teaching. I taught clinicals for an ADN program in my community and it was a wonderful experience. And you get nights and week-ends off, just not a lot of hours and the pay isn't very good. As long as you are flexible and willing to explore opportunities, the sky is the limit with nursing :roll :roll
Jul 22, '03Hi TreceRN,
Thanks for replying!
Just wanted to ask how long you worked in general med-surg? I hear 1 year's experience is a good length of time for initial experience.
Jul 22, '03I worked 6 months in general med/surg. In our hospital, the "float pool" is a group of nurses trained to "float" to various units as needed rather than being assigned to a specific unit. Our float pool staff works the med surg floors, as well as cardiology (which is where I fell in love with cardiac nursing). A few float pool staff cross-train to psyche, ED, and critical care, but those folks are very experienced and have had extra orientation to those "specialty" areas which are considered "closed" units. By "closed", I mean that no one floats out, and no one floats in. Nurses have to get special permission from the unit manager to cross-train to these units. By working "relief", it means that you don't have a regular FTE (full-time equivalent) and aren't scheduled for more than a few days a month. In general, you decide what shift and what days you are available to work, and you "float" to whatever unit needs you. It's kinda tough, 'cause you don't have a "home" and you may work on a different unit each time you come in, so you lose that continuity of care. But you do learn a lot and can "sample" different nursing specialties and decide what you like best
Jul 24, '03TreceRN,
You are giving me a lot of very valuable information that I can definitely use when the time is right. I think I really like the idea of "sampling" different departments/specialties once I have at least a year of experience under my belt. Thanks a lot!
I lived in Tacoma, WA for over 5 years. I was considering moving back since my ex-husband and daughter's father is out there; however, his help with my daughter would not be reliable, whereas being here in GA with my mom is as reliable it will ever get!