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Pregnant new grad

Posted

Hi all,

This is more of a logistical question. I was hired on as a new grad (no residency program) on Friday. I'm 16 weeks pregnant-- due 9/9, with a 7/13 start date. I didn't want to tell them I'm pregnant until everything was lined up, but I would like to tell them now (I'm not trying to trick anyone- I just didn't want it to be a factor in my hiring decision, which is legally appropriate).

Now that I want to disclose- who do I call? My first thought was the nurse recruiter I worked with that is my point of contact, but I was wondering if I should go to HR first? Or the nurse manager directly?

Again, this is a great ICU float position at a hospital I'm very excited about, so I just want to start off on the best foot possible, knowing the timing isn't ideal (I'm a second degree student and we have had a hard time conceiving, so we pretty much welcomed the news at any time).

Thanks!!

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

I think I would tell your nurse manager as it will have the most impact on her and your unit. Congratulations on the baby!

EDNURSE20, BSN

Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 4 years experience.

You may need to cut your loses. By the time you finish orientation, you will be due to take maternity leave. With the current state of the health system, working while pregnant doesn’t seem smart, you wouldn’t want to put your baby at risk!

Possibly they could let you start later, or maybe you will have to wait to after you've had your baby to start looking again. In the mean time you could look for something temporary like giving vaccinations ect.

Delia37, MSN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 15 years experience.

You were hired for float pool in ICU, as a new grad, at a hospital that does not provide new grad residency?? Is this in the US??

….I second the above post, contact your manager and pray they defer having you on the floor until this crisis is over.

Sorry, so you guys are all saying to contact the manager directly, right? Or the recruiter first?

5 hours ago, emilyrose114 said:

Sorry, so you guys are all saying to contact the manager directly, right? Or the recruiter first?

Manager.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

7 hours ago, Delia37 said:

You were hired for float pool in ICU, as a new grad, at a hospital that does not provide new grad residency?? Is this in the US??

….I second the above post, contact your manager and pray they defer having you on the floor until this crisis is over.

I read this and thought it was very concerning

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

10 hours ago, Delia37 said:

You were hired for float pool in ICU, as a new grad, at a hospital that does not provide new grad residency?? Is this in the US??

….I second the above post, contact your manager and pray they defer having you on the floor until this crisis is over.

Yes this is so concerning on so many levels and has nothing to do with the pregnancy or coronavirus.

It's just not a residency program (no EBP project), they certainly have a new grad tailored orientation lasting 6 months with a mentor. The reason the no residency matters here is there are not constraints on starting timeframe like many residency programs have.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

Still, a new grad float position is very iffy, regardless of orientation

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

2 minutes ago, Hoosier_RN said:

Still, a new grad float position is very iffy, regardless of orientation

A new grad float position is extremely iffy. A new grad ICU position is extremely iffy. A new grad ICU float position?! Unsafe.

LauRN3367, MSN, NP

Specializes in PCU, cardiology. Has 9 years experience.

I would absolutely let your new manager know about your pregnancy. CONGRATS!

Though I did not do it, I think new grad to ICU is manageable. As a new grad, you are very malleable. It is all about your preceptors and how well they are able to teach, as well as how well you are able to learn! 6 months sounds like plenty of time, and you are NEVER alone in the ICU. Good luck. I hope you can still be brought on despite leaving for a bit in September!

MamaRN1719, BSN

Has 5 years experience.

I also took my first job out of nursing school pregnant. I also did not disclose the information when I interviewed because I didn't want it to affect my chances at getting hired. Completely legally appropriate, as you stated above.

When I started on the floor I told my manager/clinical educator in charge of the new grad program. They were obviously disappointed but took it well. I worked the remainder of my pregnancy and then continued after maternity leave. It is completely do-able. I would highly recommend sticking it out if you can! CONGRATS on your baby and new job! 🙂

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

22 hours ago, LauRN3367 said:

Though I did not do it, I think new grad to ICU is manageable. As a new grad, you are very malleable.

I think the bigger concern is the fact that it's a float ICU position, not the fact that it's ICU.

Granted, I've seen new grad float pools work (including ICUs) if there's an adequate orientation. Most of our peds float nurses are new grads. They start out orienting for several months to a single unit, then work there exclusively for a few full months; then, they move to the next unit, spend a full month on orientation and work exclusively on that unit for a few months; then, they spend a full month of orientation on the next unit and work there for a full month. They only actually start to 'float' between the units they've been trained to after several months, and they aren't trained to the highest acuity specialty units until they've had 8+ months of experience in the lower acuity units. The float pool new grad orientation ends up being way longer and more extensive than the normal new grad floor or ICU orientations.

Regarding your pregnancy, here are a couple of other things to consider:

As others have said, this is a tricky time for pregnant nurses. Even though newborns who have contracted the virus have done really well, as a pregnant employee you may fall into the immunocompromised, high risk category. Granted, while you're on orientation they may try to avoid giving you isolation cases (primarily to conserve PPE), but nurses are inherently unable to socially distance due to the nature of our work. Given that you've had trouble conceiving, the unknowns around COVID for pregnant women may be a consideration.

Also, you may already be well aware of this, but because you'll have less than a year of employment, you won't be eligible for FMLA and your maternity leave will likely be much shorter than normal (most of the places I've worked have given non-FMLA-eligible moms 4-6 weeks, vs. the 12 weeks mandated by FMLA).

All of that to say...it might be worth your while to ask if you can push back your start date. The worst thing they can say is no, and they definitely can't rescind your offer just because you've told them your pregnant. It's possible if they push back your start date that they might have to move you to another unit, depending on unit needs.

If you do decide to move forward, maybe you could ask to start by simply training and working on a single unit. It may be more worth your while to start out orienting and working in one place for two months instead of dividing your limited time between a bunch of places.

Also, you should be aware that even though this is entirely illegal, there are people on this site from time to time complaining that they disclosed a pregnancy on orientation, and were mysteriously let go for "performance issues" a week or two later. That type of discrimination is really hard to prove, but it does exist. That might be another reason to consider pushing back your start date: If you ask now, they can't rescind your offer because that would be concrete evidence of discrimination. However, if you start while pregnant, they can let you go and easily call it "performance-related." Hopefully your hospital wouldn't do something so dubious, but it does happen.

CONGRATS on your sweet baby!

Edited by adventure_rn

On 3/24/2020 at 12:04 PM, MamaRN1719 said:

I also took my first job out of nursing school pregnant. I also did not disclose the information when I interviewed because I didn't want it to affect my chances at getting hired. Completely legally appropriate, as you stated above.

When I started on the floor I told my manager/clinical educator in charge of the new grad program. They were obviously disappointed but took it well. I worked the remainder of my pregnancy and then continued after maternity leave. It is completely do-able. I would highly recommend sticking it out if you can! CONGRATS on your baby and new job! 🙂

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

On 3/23/2020 at 7:43 PM, LauRN3367 said:

I would absolutely let your new manager know about your pregnancy. CONGRATS!

Though I did not do it, I think new grad to ICU is manageable. As a new grad, you are very malleable. It is all about your preceptors and how well they are able to teach, as well as how well you are able to learn! 6 months sounds like plenty of time, and you are NEVER alone in the ICU. Good luck. I hope you can still be brought on despite leaving for a bit in September!

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your input on who to contact first:)