New grad/SAHM/starting a family questions!

  1. I am curious if any of you graduated and then did not become employed as an RN for a while due to starting a family or other reasons.

    If you don't work as an RN after nursing school and instead stay home with you family for a year or more, how hard is it to go back?

    I assume someone out there did this....life didn't exactly go as planned. What do employers do if you have the degree but took some time off? Would you have to go through refresher courses or would they just hire you on as a new grad 1-2 yrs later? Because of starting a family, I am considering not starting my career until about 1.5 years post graduation. Would this be professional suicide?

    Thanks for any advice. I know things vary from individual employers but I guess what I am asking most is will I ever be able to get a job again if I don't work now?:spin:
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   RNperdiem
    A situation like that would be unusual, but not unheard of.
    I wanted a lot of time off when my sons were babies, so I worked full time for a couple of years, then switched to per diem where I worked 4 hours a week on a Sunday morning. That lasted a few months, and then increased my hours. It was an ideal situation. The kids spent a morning with their Dad, no childcare was paid for, I kept my job, got really well paid(35/hr weekend rate), and maintained my credentials. I still consider myself a stay-at-home mother even though I work.
    Call up or email some nurse recruiters, and ask them how they handle the situation and what they would recommend.
  4. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Unless you have already been working as a LPN/LVN, I would strongly consider not having a child until you have worked six months to a year full time. Nursing school doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what it's like to work as a nurse. If you waited to start working, you would probably still be treated as a new grad. However, I think you would lose the reenforcement and mastery of your nursing skills you started to learn in school. Six months will fly by. It will also make it easier to get a more flexible schedule with your family if you already have a foot in the door. Just my .02.
  5. by   elkpark
    The expression "use it or lose it!" applies VERY strongly in nursing -- IMHO, it would be a v. serious mistake to finish nursing school and take a year off before trying to start practicing. You will forget large amounts of what you've learned, which is, after all, only the "tip of the iceberg" of what you need to know anyway -- most everyone now considers the first year or so of working after graduation/licensure to be a (vitally important) continuation of your nursing education, and, if you check some of the older threads here, most of us experienced RNs and educators discourage new grads from even working part-time (as opposed to full-time) right after graduation for that reason. You just don't learn enough to make a good transition to practicing RN.

    There are also many older threads here from people who "took a break" before starting practice and ended up never getting a job -- the more time passed, the more inadequate and anxious they felt about getting started in practice and the more overwhelming it seemed. Granted, those threads are nothing like a representative or scientific sample, but they document that that phenomenon does exist ...

    Also, whatever nurse recruiters may tell you in advance (if you contact them, as RNperdiem suggested, which I agree is a good idea), keep in mind that, as a person who's been out of school for quite a while before looking for a new grad position, you will likely be the least desirable/competitive candidate for any particular job. New grads are already less desirable to hospitals and employers, in general, than experienced nurses, and you will be at a disadvantage (as a job candidate) compared to all the other new grads out there! I'm not saying you wouldn't be able to get a job, but you will be in a v. poor position to compete with other job candidates -- you would likely have a v. hard time getting a job that anyone else wanted ...

    Since you ask, IMHO, what you're suggesting would be "professional suicide." In the long run, 20 years from now, is it going to make that much difference whether you had a baby six months or a year sooner or later?? I don't mean to sound harsh, only realistic -- I think we are often too eager, in nursing, to tell people what they want to hear, and that is doing people a disservice. However, I would never presume to tell anyone else what s/he "should" do with her/his life -- there are far too many variables and considerations, and everyone's experience is unique. Only you can decide what is the best choice for you. Best wishes!

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