Dear Nurse Beth,
HI. I'm a mother of young kids currently set to start nursing school. Do u think that it's a good idea? I'm nervous about my working options afterwards. The 12 hour shifts nurses work. Should I be concerned? Should I change tracks?
Nursing can be a great career choice for women with children because of the many options. There are jobs on all shifts, all hours. You can find traditional “office hours” jobs or you can work one pm to one am in the ED, or anything in between.
I was a single mother of three when I started nursing school. When I graduated and had to work twelve hour night shifts, a girlfriend of mine who worked day shift slept over at my house and babysit my kids.
On weekends when my ex-husband had the kids, I would work two twelves and then be off four out of the next five days, happily at home and able to attend school field trips.
Later in my career I found a job where I could work Telemetry, three twelves, with no weekends! (It was called the Baylor Plan).
Shortly after that, I took the manager position on the same floor and worked “office hours” Mon-Fri. Home every night with my family.
Now I work Mon-Thursday, 10 hour shifts. A three day weekend every week! I’m writing this from Monterey, CA, where my husband and I go for frequent weekend get-aways because of our awesome schedules.
Everyone’s circumstances are different, and circumstances change as life goes on. But in nursing there’s always a way to work and meet your family’s needs. You’ll be surprised by how your fellow nurses will help out and trade a shift with you when needed.
Fellow nurse Moms and Dads- what’s your experience working as a nurse with kids? How did you make it work for you?
Good luck in school.