Future nurse, single mom

  1. 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 nursing specialties, etc., etc., but I will start with the most important questions as a single parent and future nurse...

    Since I am the mother of a 7-year-old daughter and single, where is the best place for me to start out working as a nurse and still get the most valuable experience--hospital, doctor's office, nursing home?

    What are the best "working mom" hours?

    I was told that working in a cath lab is good because the cath lab is closed on weekends. However, how do I get started working in the cath lab? Do they work well with graduate nurses?

    I just need ideas, points in the right direction!!

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    First off, welcome to the boards!!!

    Now, I don't know what "working mom" hours are, frankly. All parents are working parents we all have to make it work somehow, however nontraditional the means.

    My hours are primarily weekends, night shift. It works best for me. My hubby is w/kids at this time and we use no daycare this way. For you, it may be a Mon-Fri type job which may be office nursing, school nursing or ambulatory/day surgery nursing. Hard to do this in any hospital nursing. They usually have openings in nightshifts and you WILL be worki some holidays and weekends, almost guaranteed. Some OR's where I work have hours that are like 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 9 to 5 (they overlap each other there)--- But they have to take call on weekends, often.

    My only suggestion: You have to do some checking in ads and hospital job postings to see who offers what. Nursing is a BIIIG field and I am confident you will find what you are looking for. Check the websites of hospitals near you to see what they are posting and look at want ads in your area. I wish you luck in whatever you decide!
  4. by   futurenurse66
    Hey SmilingBluEyes,
    Thanks for the reply!

    I have thought of office nurse; however, I would not be utilizing all my nursing skills in the office. I have seen some hospitals advertise offering 8, 10 and 12-hour shifts.

    I always do thorough research before obligating myself to anything, most especially when it comes to my kid.

    I have plenty of time to do investigating; however, the questions I posed are top on my list!

    Thanks again!
  5. by   purplemania
    You will definitely make more $ in a hospital. Surgery, same day surgery, cath lab and cardio-pulmonary rehab are examples of M-F, 8 hr shifts. Maybe dialysis, with people alternating calls. Our floor nurses work 3 12/hr shifts weekly (off 4 days) and really like this. Others hate it. Hospitals give you a variety of skills and opportunities not found in other facilities.
  6. by   futurenurse66
    Thank you purplemania for the reply! I will take the various departments into consideration.
  7. by   zambezi
    As others have mentioned, there are many jobs out there for you to choose from. As far as I know at my hospital, the cath lab does not take new grads, but yours may have a special training program. Anyway good luck, you will find something that works for you.
  8. by   JJFROG
    And you will have Call with the cath lab. You will find your niche...Good luck!
  9. by   peaceful2100
    I would say you would have to evauluate your support system and take it from there. The stronger your support system the better options you have. I just graduated in May and have been working for 6 weeks now. I work nights from 645pm-715am. 3 nights a week. I will get to choose my own rotation schedule out of 6 different options. Which will start in August. The rotation schedule I decided to choose would go like this. One week a month I will have a 7 day stretch where I am off for 7 days. Week one I would work Mon, Tue, Wed night, Week Two I would work Thur, Fri, Sat night. Week three I would work Tue, Wed and Fri night and then week 4 I would work Mon, Tue, and Thur night and the rotation repeat itself. However, I work on a med-surg unit where there are MANY openings so I basically get a choice while the classmates I graduated with and still talk to who are in areas like OB, NICU and ICU do not get a choice they get a schedule and have to go with it and they are working more weekends then I am. I really don't consider Fri night a weekend because I don't do nothing on Fri night expect sit at home bored to death. I will only be working one sat a month and no sundays which are weekends for me. I love Sundays because that is the Sabbath day for me and I attend church and able to spend time with my loved ones.

    Just explore your options and do what is best for you and your child.

    I know what it is like to be a single mother and try to figure out the best way of doing things. I was in your shoes but I figured it out and have a plan for more in the future. You will figure it out too.

    I have a strong family support system so my parents/family keep my daughter on the nights I work.

    If you are looking for more of a traditional schedule like Mon-Fri then you may consider the OR, doctors office, clinics. Although working in doctor office and clinic you will make much less if you don't mind.

    As far as Cath lab at my hospital they require at LEAST 1 year experience in ICU first.

    From my understanding the sky will be the limit once you gain some experience in a hospital ESPECIALLY med-surg but new grads can start ALMOST any where they want now days.
  10. by   shodobe
    purplemania, where did you ever get the idea that surgery was M-F only? SDS, yes but surgery no. You forgot to factor in the call time or the having to stay over to finish a case because there is no one to relieve you scenario. Unless you work somewhere that has 24 hour shifts or the regular staff fights over call time you pretty much have to figure on staying more than 8 hours a day when on call. Just thought it was funny reading that. But getting serious, there are alot of positions that only require regular shifts and these do work well for parents with kids, but remember there are situations where you just can't drop whatever you are doing just to go and pick up the kids. It takes awhile but everyone finds their niche. Eight hour surgery days, heh, heh. good luck, Mike
  11. by   nptobee
    I'm a single mom with a 7 y/o daughter, and I worry about that too. I'll graduate December 2004. I want to work nights, and those 3 12's seem pretty good. The sitting options I've considered so far are family from time to time, or hiring a student stay with her, and maybe even boarding school when she reaches middle/high school. I don't want to leave a teenaged girl home alone at night.
  12. by   futurenurse66
    Thanks Zambezi for your reply.

    I found out that at one of our local hospitals, the cath lab requires 17 days call. Therefore, as a single mother, that would not work for me.

    I think that initially I will work either in the ER or on a med-surg floor and get at least 1 year experience under my belt and then move on to public health nursing which would afford me holidays and weekends with my daughter.

    With the flexibility and limitless opportunities with the nursing profession, I could always decide to do another type of nursing as she gets older and more less dependent on me!

    Thanks for all the replies!
  13. by   futurenurse66
    Hey Peaceful 2100,

    Thanks for your reply. How do you feel with your daughter sleeping away from home during a school night? I thought of that also, but I wondered...

    I live near my mom in Greenville, Georgia and travel to Columbus State (Columbus, GA). My mom picks my daughter up from school on the days that I can't. My mom is also willing to move in with me when I decide to "settle down"--when I decide at which hospital I want to work, etc. She is wonderful.

    I guess as mothers we tend to feel guilty that we can't be there all the time to do it "all." I hope I get over that in time!

    Thanks again for the replies. I welcome it all. You guys will be hearing a lot from me throughout my time in college and even after. This site is wonderful!!
  14. by   futurenurse66
    Peaceful 2100,

    When you say nights, do you mean 7p-7a or 11p-7a?


    Thanks

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