Greetings! I'm a long time follower/reader, but I think I've only posted here once before.
Long story short, I had to delay starting nursing school due to a surprise pregnancy followed by having a little one with some health issues. He's our 8th (and last) baby. I am two weeks away from finishing my last pre-requisite for nursing school, and have decided to do an ADN program even though I already have a bachelor's degree. The accelerated BSN program isn't financially feasible right now, but most employers will pay for an ADN to continue on to get a BSN.
Here's my hang up. The nursing program I am applying to is a day program, and once you graduate and get hired by the local hospital, you are placed on orientation for your first year. You get to name two practice divisions you are interested in, and they place you where they need someone. After orientation, you are hired on to the unit. The majority of them are night shift, but sometimes day shift options are open.
I recognize that new nurses need to be open to working night shift, but I genuinely have concerns about my health and safety if I were to work a night shift position. I live over an hour away from the closest hospital, and moving to a new home that would be closer isn't an option anytime in the near future due to my husband's job. Sometimes he will get calls to come in at night for emergencies (he's an engineer), so child care is a major concern of mine in those instances. Beyond that, I really wonder how safe it would be for me to drive home after working that long of a shift at night, as well as the health effects I'm reading about (I already have risk factors for heart disease and carry genes that increase the risk for breast/ovarian cancer that I am in the process of addressing).
So, I'm wondering if I should even attempt to go to nursing school. I want to be a nurse, but at the same time, I feel very conflicted about being present for my family and wanting to maintain my own health. I'm in my early 30's. I really want to be a L&D nurse, having experience as a midwife's assistant and also certifications as a doula and breastfeeding counselor. This has been something I have wanted to do for years and years. The divisions of practice that you can select when you apply as a new grad group L&D in with Mother/Baby, Pediatrics, and NICU. I will admit that pediatrics isn't of interest to me, although I don't mind working with newborns. I mainly wanted to do L&D for the mothers. Beyond that, maybe day surgery would be an option for me, or working in a clinical office. So, there is always the possibility I could apply for a specific division and end up somewhere I don't feel comfortable being in, and that scares me. I am trying to keep an open mind about that, because I know you can't really know until you experience it. The school I'm applying to changed their curriculum to a concept-based one though, so getting to do clinicals on various floors may not happen anymore.
I know I probably sound like a horrible person, but I do want to be the best nurse I can be, and also want to be the best mom that I can be as well. I've been at stay at home mother for over 13 years and am burned out, so I definitely want to do something for myself as well.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.