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Pregnant new grad...need advice please!

by Catherine1997 Catherine1997 (New) New Nurse Student

I’m new to this site but I have an issue I wanted someone with experience to help give me advice on. I just graduated my nursing program (RN) and am planning to write my NCLEX in June. I just found out, however, that I am pregnant and will be due December 4th. I was reading the agreements for my local hospital and it said that nurses who are part time have to work at least 13 weeks to be granted 15 weeks maternity leave (which I would qualify for if I start working in July) This is my first child, however and I want to be able to take more time than that to spend with them. I currently have a food service job that would allow me to take more time off and be able to receive maternity leave pay for longer.

My issue is I don’t know if I should wait to get a nursing job until six months after I have the baby (which is the amount of time I would like to have with him/her) and do my NCLEX in June but stay working at my other job so I can get longer maternity leave, or if I should just go ahead with looking for nursing jobs and either suck it up and go back to work earlier or take longer leave and risk losing that job/get no pay.

And if I wait to look for nursing jobs is that too much time in between writing the NCLEX and finding a job? I just don’t want to forget my skills and I don’t want it to look bad for future employers

Sorry for the length of this post, hopefully it made sense! Thank you in advance for any help, I really appreciate it!


Has 36 years experience.

I say take the nursing job. Nursing, any job that's 24/7, works out well for new moms.

Get some good new grad experience. When the time comes you and your charge nurse or human resources can discuss your maternity leave, sick time, vacation time. You could or should even be able to work part time, per diem, etc., when you're ready to return to work for a few months.

But I don't know what health insurance you have, nor what family members to help out with your baby? That needs to be addressed.

Thank you, that’s what I was thinking as well, I want to gain as much experience as possible, and I don’t think I would mind working a few days a week once that 15 week mat leave period is up, it might even be nice to get out of the house at that point hahah.
As for health insurance, I only have what the Ontario government covers unfortunately, as the coverage I had before expired once I finished school. I have family that could most likely help out with childcare once I go back. The timing of this pregnancy is obviously less than ideal, but I’m telling myself millions of women make it work and that I can make it work too. I’m just trying to figure out what my best option would be since I won’t be working as an RN for too long before I would be due. Also, would you recommend I disclose I am pregnant at any interview I have?


Has 36 years experience.

This question has been asked many times on Allnurses.

I don't like, or can't figure out, the Allnurses search function. Maybe you'll do better than I do.

I think the responses are no you don't have to tell them and they can't ask during an interview and common decency and common sense is to tell them sometime after you get hired .....before you deliver....before it becomes obvious.....???

Nursing is "traditionally" top heavy with females so they are, should be, used to, accepting of, the fact that nurses are going to become pregnant.


Has 4 years experience.

I'd say land a nurse gig and take the 15 weeks. You went to school to be a nurse. I'm not sure what you make in food service but I'm going to assume your earning potential is much higher in nursing. By the way, I don't know where you're located but 15 weeks is a nice amount of off time (in my part of the USA) and the fact that your food service job would give you more is even more impressive. Ultimately do what you think would be best for you.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 19 years experience.

Tough choices there. First let me say I am impressed your food service job offers the 6 months of paid maternity leave you would like. That's unheard of in the USA. Heck even the 15 weeks guaranteed paid maternity leave from the hospital is rare. In this country it's typical that the only paid leave you get is up to the amount of PTO/sick time you have to use. Granted you are legally entitled to take a longer maternity leave but without the pay coming in most people can't afford to take advantage of that.

I'm not at all familiar with Canadian health insurance but I have to warn you that here you could potentially end up in the position of having no insurance or very sub-par insurance benefits to cover the pregnancy if you change jobs. Assuming your new job was in a benefit eligible position the fine print in the policy still might exclude your pregnancy from coverage as a pre-existing condition. Somehow despite some health care reform laws it seems insurance companies continue to get away with this insanity. Even if you are covered there's still large deductibles and co-pays to consider so the out of pocket expenses might not make it worth the increase in pay you would see being a nurse. I doubt that needs to be a consideration for you but it's something to think about.

Then again on the side encouraging you to get that nursing job locked in depending on your local job market waiting that long after graduating and passing NCLEX to land that first job might make it way more difficult to find a job when you are ready to work. Your timeline of taking the test in June, having the baby in December and then taking six months before returning to work puts you out until next June, so it'll be a full year after passing the NCLEX before you even start looking for a nursing job. By that time you'll be an old new grad and probably not eligible for those new grad jobs.

You don't need to disclose your pregnancy during the hiring process but of course at some point it will certainly become obvious. So deciding when to mention the pregnancy is definitely something to think about. That decision might come down to how you feel about the potential employer and whether you think being pregnant might impact receiving an offer. Unless it's a tight job market would you really want to take a position with an employer that makes you feel like you can't be upfront about your pregnancy from the beginning?

You definitely have some thinking to do before you make a decision. You didn't mention if you are raising the baby with a partner but if you are his/her opinion should also be taken into consideration.