Work-Life Balance of a NP

  1. I'm a 21 year old male freshman in a nursing program at a community college in the southeastern US and one day, I would like to become a Pediatric NP. I have felt a call & passion to specialize in pediatrics since I chose to become a nurse. I've thought about other fields, but it seems like pediatrics is the winner.

    Since my main goal in life is to raise a family, everything I will do in the future revolves around them and I think about my future often. I am currently single with no kids. My concern is, though, if and when I am blessed with a family, how high in demand are Pediatric NPs in primary care? The reason I am concerned is because I do not want to come home after work each day and not be able to enjoy time with my family. I don't want to mentally/emotionally bring my work home with me. I don't want to worry about being called in to come examine a patient after hours when I really just want to be with my family. And I certainly do not want my future children or wife adopting the attitude of, "Well he takes care of sick kids all day at work but when he comes home, he never has time for his own kids." Keep in mind, my goal is primary care, not acute.

    For the Peds NPs out there, how do you manage a work-life balance? Are you required to take call, work nights, weekends, or holidays where you work? Are you able to come home from work each day and not focus on the patients you had that day? I want to be a NP badly one day, but I don't want a career that will drag me away from my family all the time. That's one of the many reasons I chose not to pursue medicine. Any thoughts? I will clarify further if needed, just let me know. Thanks!
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    About futurern118, CNA

    Joined: Jun '15; Posts: 5


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Moved to APN nursing
  4. by   Cococure
    Hey futurern118,
    Congrats on getting into the nursing program. First let me say I am an NP student, so my advice would be to study hard in school, pass your boards and work in peds. Once you work in peds you will know whether or not it is your true calling. Nursing on a whole is physically and emotionally draining, that's just the nature of the work. I too wanted to do peds until I rotated on a peds oncology floor in school and then I realized that it was too emotional for me. As for the work-life balance there are pediatric NP's who work M-F 8-5 or as hospitalist working 12hr shifts. It nice to see that you are thinking about your future but it is hard to say whether you will take your work home, that depends on your personality. As a nurse you will have good and bad days but as a community we deal with it together and comfort each other on those really hard shifts. Also many organizations have programs in place for their workers to help them achieve a good work life balance.

    Just my 2 cents
    Good luck in school
  5. by   asystole00
    I'm an FNP who works in a practice the is split between General Peds on one side and Family Medicine (i.e., adults) on the other side. I take care of patients in both areas, but 90-95% of my patients are considered pediatric. I see 20-25 patients per day, so my days get pretty busy. There quite a few days during the week that I have to stay after hours to finish up notes, put in orders, and review lab/imaging results, but I typically don't stay any longer than an hour afterwards. I take after-hours call every 10 weeks, but there is no hospital coverage involved.

    I am still learning to not take work home with me as there are quite a few patients I worry about. I also read journals and textbooks after work to beef up my general knowledge base and to do research on the conditions I come across during the day. There is a lot of self-directed, independent learning to be done as a provider. Nobody is spoon feeding me anything.

    Even with the aforementioned above, I still lead a very balanced life. There is plenty of time after work for me to enjoy myself and wind down. Weekends are all mine. I would never return to the 12 hr shifts of an RN. On the days that I worked, I felt like as soon as I came home, it was time to go to bed. I worked 7 days on, 7 days off, so I rarely had to take PTO to go on vacation. That was a nice benefit, but I felt very exhausted during my work-week stretch.