Hypothetical New Grad Residency Pregnancy Question

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    I'm not yet in nursing school, though I've been accepted to a program that I'll start this summer. Nor am I pregnant. Yet. Nor will I be for years. I'm just trying to get a jump start on my family planning.

    I was looking into new grad residency programs for after I graduate. That's my 1st choice for what to do after graduation. I like the "bridge" they provide between school and practice. I like the opportunity (some of them have) to rotate through a few units and find my spot. I'm willing to relocate wherever the residencies are.

    Many of these residency programs contract the signee for time commitments of up to 3 years. I'm willing to do the time....but me and my DH want to start trying to conceive as much before I turn 38 as possible. By the time I graduate, I'll be 35. Let's figure to be to the safe side that I get my first "real" job by the time I'm 36. So those up-to-3-years of optimal conception time would also, if I signed on to a residency program, be my 3-years-of-contracted-commitment too.

    Has anyone here gotten pregnant, or known anyone who got pregnant while contracted in a new grad residency program? Which ones? How did the hospital react? Do most places just allow you to take maternity leave if you're covered by FMLA, or does your residency contract make you sign away your right to FMLA? And, if you got FMLA, do you then have to extend your contract to make up for having taken maternity leave?

    Or am I too stuck on new grad residency programs, and would I be better off looking for a regular job?

    Thank you all in advance for sharing! Sincerely, Cinquefoil
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I'm a new grad, not in a residency program, but I am under contract with the hospital that employs me. I am required to work for 4 years to pay the hospital back for paying my tuition. My husband and I have recently started trying for a baby, and I understand (according to co-workers who have been through it) that their system is not sophisticated enough to "pause" my payback schedule during maternity leave, so I won't have to tack extra time onto the end of my contract. Your mileage may vary, though, since every contract and hospital is different. :heartbeat
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    I know of a couple people who had their baby while in a new grad residency program. Being out with the baby during the actual residency program is where you could have issues. Most programs I'm hearing are as short as 12 weeks, and as long as 8-12 months. But many are set up differently. If you go out on leave during the program, you won't be able to finish the requirements with everyone. One co-worker of mine was out during the program, and when she came back had to finish the rest of her precepting time and testing. The other person had the baby right after taking her final testing, so she actually finished the program, she just has her 2 year contract to now carry out. Once you finish the program, you are just like any other employee, with rights to FMLA (don't think anyone can have you give those up?). You go out on maternity leave just like anyone else. You are just contracted to be an employee for the specified time, even if you're out on leave for part of it.
    Cinquefoil likes this.
  7. 0
    There were two girls who had babies in my nursing program, one in second semester and the other one in the third semester, and another one pregnant in the fourth semester. They all passed. The girl who had her baby in the mother/baby rotation seemed to garner more sympathy from the teachers though, that was second semester. Why not just do it while your in nursing school?
  8. 0
    Quote from IsisC
    There were two girls who had babies in my nursing program, one in second semester and the other one in the third semester, and another one pregnant in the fourth semester. They all passed. The girl who had her baby in the mother/baby rotation seemed to garner more sympathy from the teachers though, that was second semester. Why not just do it while your in nursing school?
    1) DH chronically ill & not in great job besides
    2) My nursing school health insurance is OK for regular preventative stuff, terrible for specialists, and private insurance is too expensive
    Better to wait until I can be employed at a job that pays me better than $9-12 an hour
    Better to wait until we have better health insurance
  9. 1
    I'm currently pregnant and in a residency program, though mine only consists of classes once a month for a year. I'll be missing the last 3 months of my classes, but my facillitators don't seem to care. As far as my unit is concerned, I'll be taking my maternity leave and then coming back like any other nurse.

    I don't rotate through units, and I didn't sign a contract for any required length of time. My thought on if I had signed a contract, however, would be that since I am coming back after a medical leave, it shouldn't really effect the contract length. That could vary hospital to hospital though.

    I had my first child during nursing school, and am having my second during my first year as a new nurse. I know, I'm insane. As an older grad though, you do have to get on with your life.
    Hope2B.Midwife likes this.
  10. 2
    Quote from Cinquefoil

    Or am I too stuck on new grad residency programs, and would I be better off looking for a regular job?
    Maybe a little. When I was in school I was really in to residency programs too- they sounded great and I liked the extra training they seemed to offer. Then I graduated and started looking for jobs, and honestly, the job hunt was hard enough without being limited to residency programs. I accepted a position with a hospital that doesn't offer a residency program but I still feel like I'm being provided with a good orientation. I've had two preceptors and they've both been fabulous, and being in a clinical setting with patients 3-4 days a week for 12 hours at a time is like nursing clinicals time 1,000 in terms of what you learn. I wish there was some sort of classroom component geared towards new grads (I've taken classes at my hospital, but they're mixed in with experienced nurses so sometimes the material is a bit ahead of me), but overall I'm in the specialty I wanted with a minimum 17 week precepted orientation that I can extend as desired.

    I wouldn't say forget about residency programs altogether, just be more open to looking at positions that don't have a formal program IN ADDITION to the residencies.
    ktliz and Cinquefoil like this.
  11. 1
    I may be misunderstanding you, and maybe I just don't know about the residency programs you are talking about ... usually the residency programs are for 12 or 16 weeks, some with classroom training, some have classes with your 'new grad' group for the first year, and some are closer to 6-8 months (preceptorships etc) for critical care. The 3 year committment would entail at least 2 years where you are a legit RN (out of preceptorship, on your own), right? If so, I haven't ever heard of any problems with maternity leave during this period. Depending on how your hospital works, you should be accruing PTO hours starting your first day of work and those can be used towards maternity leave.

    Good luck! Try to get a job in the hospital (tech/CNA) during school, this will only help you when it is time to look for the RN job!
    Cinquefoil likes this.
  12. 1
    I become pregnant one month into my new nurse residency program. Everyone was very supportive and I was allowed maternity leave under FMLA then allowed to come back. No issues what so ever.
    Cinquefoil likes this.


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