Quote from Sangrita RN
I was wondering if you can answer a couple questions I have about NFP. What is a typical work week like? Does volunteer experience help or do I need OB or public health experience? (I'm a new grad working on a tele unit for 5 months).
Any cons to the job? (It sounds pretty amazing to me)
So far I've found zero cons to the job. Okay, maybe one. I do tend to worry about my favorite patients when I'm at home, and I never turn my phone off at the end of the day in case of my ladies needs me, but that's on me, not the job. Two hours a week are devoted to a group meeting where either 1 nurse will present a client to the group (for feedback, information, moral support, or just because you are proud of that patient) or we do something educational. I love when our group is all together. Then 1 hour a week is devoted to a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor, and that's one of the best parts of the job. It's all about positive relationships in NFP. The one-on-one is to address problems, but it's never, ever done in a demeaning or punitive way. It's about growing and improving as a nurse. So that's 3 hours of the week. You make your own schedule with clients (although that is highly likely to change, my calendar is done in PENCIL!
). Each client visit takes an hour to an hour and a half. It takes some time to prep for a visit, and then the paperwork requires time afterwards. You also have to figure travel time in to your schedule. I can usually comfortably do 3 visits in one day without feeling rushed.
I had about 15 years experience as a maternal child nurse, and I would be lost without that experience. One of our nurses only has about a year in OB, and that was years ago, and it does hinder her. Your client is asking you questions, and they want answers, they don't want to hear "I'lll go look that up." about every single thing. I know that there are really good NFP nurses with no OB experience, but I'm just speaking personally. I had no public health experience coming in to the job. I tend to feel a little out of my element when dealing with toddler issues, but by that time you've built a relationship with the client, so it doesn't make them wonder about you if you don't automatically know the answer. I wish I had more knowledge about rules of Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing, but that will come with time. If my client calls me and tells me she has some pregnancy-related medical issue, I can deal with it off the top of my head. It's when they tell you they need a dentist (not covered by Medicaid, I've discovered) or that they are about to be homeless within the week(and you can't find a shelter that will take a pregnant girl) that I feel ignorant, but I'm learning.
It is an amazing job. I feel like everything I've been through in my nursing career has led to this, and I can't imagine what I'll do if something happens to this job. It's an amazing program with years of evidence-based research to back up what it's doing, and it does good work.