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Mom of 3-what job should I take?

Nurse Beth   (149 Views | 0 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

19 Followers; 115 Articles; 238,148 Profile Views; 2,169 Posts

Hi, Nurse Beth -

I have been home with my children for several years and am looking to re-enter the workforce. My previous experience is in peds and outpatient clinic setting (teaching patients home dialysis as well as running nephrology clinics). In the time I have been home with my kids (ages 5, 3 & 1), I have really been able to “nail down” what I love about nursing: I love working with kids and I love educating/ teaching families. I am very fortunate in that I get to make a choice to go back to work, so I can be “picky” so to speak. I am likely going to be faced with the following choice:
1) Take 32 hour/ week day job (4/ 8 hour shifts) in a pediatric dialysis clinic. No weekends, no nights and no on call (just triaging over the phone). I know this job. I did it with adults. I know it will be different with kids, but I loved my previous job because there is so much patient and family education and autonomy for the nurse.
2) Work as a substitute or part-time school nurse. If I am a sub, I get to pick when I work. Part-time could be a few full-time days a week, or a few hours everyday. Once my youngest is in school, I could transition relatively easily to a full-time school nurse job.

My dilemma is this... I am choosing to go back to work to stimulate my brain in a fashion outside of motherhood. I love nursing and I love all of the “hats” nurses can wear. Option 1 would be an incredibly rewarding and exciting job (this would be in a top 3 pediatric hospital), but would have me away from my youngest sons 32 hours a week. Option 2 is nursing in a non-medical environment so presents a unique set of challenges. It isn’t as “glamorous” as the first position, but it checks a lot of my boxes and affords me to maximize my time at home with my kids while they’re so little. I also know that once you enter down the school nursing path, transitioning back to a clinical environment is not impossible but extremely challenging.

Do you have any advice for me? I realize how fortunate I am and that this is a “good” problem to have. I just want to look at this from every angle before making my decision.

Thank you!

Dear Dilemma,

This is an age-old conflict women face. Pulled in two directions. There's an old saying "You can have it all" but there's another saying "Just not all at once".

It's really a values question. With your youngest one aged 1, and you being an experienced mother of 3, you likely have your routine down, and you're realizing that, much as you love being a Mom, you don't want to give up your career and lose the professional, productive part of you.

Option 1 has a lot going for it. It gives you the best of both worlds. You'd be managing sick patients, evaluating labs, doing lots of teaching. It would take you away from your boys 4 days a week, but they are 8 hour days, not 12 hour days. Children do adjust.

A key point is-a lot depends on how comfortable you are with child care arrangements. 

Option 2 sounds like somewhat of a sacrifice for you, although you could grow to embrace school nursing. On the upside, it gives you much more time at home.

So the question is, how ready are you to take the leap? Do you believe that option 1 would hurt your boys, or do you believe they'd adjust and be fine? 

Keep in mind that children also benefit from having a Mom who role models being a professional, serving others, and pursuing knowledge.

Best wishes and wisdom in your decision,

Nurse Beth



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