Pregnant- when to start new job search?

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    So to make a long story short, I am about 20 weeks pregnant and have been at my first nursing job (full time staff RN on a labor and delivery unit) for 1 year and 3 months. By the time I have my baby, I will have about 1 year and 8 months of experience, just shy of my "2 year" mark. I know for certain that I don't want to go back to my current job after I have the baby. I'm hoping to find something less stressful and probably less hours than I currently work. My question is am I going to totally screw myself if I quit my job when I have the baby and start looking then, with just shy of two years experience? Or do I take my 12 week unpaid maternity leave and then just go back to work after the baby and stick it out until I am able to find something new? I'm just really nervous because it took me over a year to find my first nursing job after graduating from nursing school (BSN). I really don't want to have to go through that again, but it just seems silly to take my unpaid maternity leave and go back only to turn around and leave once I find something new. Unless, of course, it ends up taking me say 6+ months to find a new job. So I guess I'm also hoping to hear from nurses with a similar amount of experience who have started looking to leave their first job. Is it going to be just as hard as it was the first time? I am looking in Chicago. Thanks so much!

    As an aside, it anyone is interested in the details, I am basically unhappy with my current job because some individuals have made my first year of nursing extremely unenjoyable. I love women's health, but I have come to the conclusion that bedside nursing may not be for me. Partly because it took me so long to find a job in the first place. I just feel like I am so behind and it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. I don't know how I am going to manage feeling miserable at work while also taking care of a new baby for the first time. I will probably look for a full or part time position in Mother Baby at a different hospital (if I decide to stay in bedside nursing) or maybe a doctor's office or community nursing position. But that's a whole different post. Thanks for listening!
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    The smart thing to do would be to have a job lined up before you quit your current one. If that means you would have to go back to your current job following maternity leave, that's what I would do. Also keep in mind benefits and FMLA eligibility. Weigh the pros and cons and go from there.
    poppycat likes this.


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