Raising a family as a NP or an RN?

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    Hello,
    I am currently a senior in a BSN program and will be finishing in May. I have applied to a few Pediatric Nurse Practitioner programs (both Masters and DNP) and am in the process of discerning what path is right for me. I have been accepted into one excellent but expensive program, but am still keeping my options open. I would like to be an NP someday and plan on working as an RN during the 4+ years of graduate school. During nursing school I have really enjoyed the bedside care and spending time with my patients.
    Any advice is welcomed, my main question for you all is which role (NP or RN) is more conducive to raising a family? I hope to be home with my kids as much as possible especially while they are young. Being a mom is my number one priority so if becoming an NP would jeopardize that, I will not do it. What are the hours like for both? If I was to be an NP, would the work come home with me?
    Thank you!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    it depends on the setting you choose to work in. clinics usually have better hours and acute care/hospital settings usually require weekends, holidays and on call. NP's that work in Walgreens and other pharmacy chains tend to have decent hours too. I think its fair to expect that when you work directly with patients, nontraditional hours are common. wish you the best in your studies.
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    I think there are pluses to both, but one thing to keep in mind when looking at the NP role is that you have to be at work. Meaning, it is extremely difficult to call in sick, so if you're kids are sick, you need to be able to go to work and have sick child care available. There may be some jobs out there where it is easier to find people to cover for you, but if you have a full schedule for the day, you need to be there seeing your patients. Whereas, as a regular bedside nurse, they can float someone to cover your shift if you need to call in sick. There are also a lot more job options as an RN, so it is easier to find hours and locations that work best for you. NP jobs do not have that type of flexibility. If a family is your #1 priority, then work as an RN and focus on your family. You are in a much better position to be able to just show up to work, do your job, and go home. NPs have a lot more responsibility and accountability, which requires it to at least be as important as the other things in your life.
    Crux1024 likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from GoBigRedhead
    Hello,
    I am currently a senior in a BSN program and will be finishing in May. I have applied to a few Pediatric Nurse Practitioner programs (both Masters and DNP) and am in the process of discerning what path is right for me. I have been accepted into one excellent but expensive program, but am still keeping my options open. I would like to be an NP someday and plan on working as an RN during the 4+ years of graduate school. During nursing school I have really enjoyed the bedside care and spending time with my patients.
    Any advice is welcomed, my main question for you all is which role (NP or RN) is more conducive to raising a family? I hope to be home with my kids as much as possible especially while they are young. Being a mom is my number one priority so if becoming an NP would jeopardize that, I will not do it. What are the hours like for both? If I was to be an NP, would the work come home with me?
    Thank you!
    I'm going to assume that you don't currently have children, and are therefore planning for future children as well... because me being in school all the time, per my kids, kind of sucks.

    That said - as a mom, I expect my pediatrician (or PNP) to be in the office when my kid has the flu, and someone is going to be taking call after hours - possibly the NP... depends on the agreement, when he has an earache. As an RN, I work weekend 16s and I homeschool. I go to school part time, for my master's, and I've timed it so that my husband retires roughly at the same time I start the 9-5 schtick. I work with some nurses who work M-F 7 to 3, because their kids are in school, some do 11-7 because their baby is sleeping - there is a lot of flexibility. OF course, I know one NP who only works two days a week because her kids are little - she finished school and had the loans paid off before she had them, she could stay at home financially if she wanted to. Most of the docs and NPs that i work with though, work more than 40 hours a week and take the stress, if not the actual work home with them.

    So my opinion depends on where you're at in the parenting cycle. Taking prenatals and scoping out OBs or preschools - I'd stick with nursing. Early 20s and not dating seriously, NP could be a good bet. Somewhere in the middle? Depends on what kind of support your future father can offer.
    ToFNPandBeyond likes this.
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    I'm not even a nurse yet so I can't comment on RN vs NP stress levels, I do sometimes look at job postings for psych RNs and psych NPs as I want to go into psych but have similar concerns as you, OP. This has allowed me to get a good sense of the types of schedules available for each. I'd recommend looking at those job postings for pediatric RNs and PNPs in your area so you can get a feel for how many part time vs. how many full-time positions are offered. You could also ask faculty or advisors at your nursing program.


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