Currently, I work on a postpartum unit at a large academic medical center near my hometown. I started on this unit as a new grad and now I have 14 months of experience. The floor I work on is mostly great, I enjoy my coworkers, I enjoy my patients and I don't dread coming to work (obviously if staffing were better, I'd love that). Given my current life situation, I'm looking to relocate. This was not a rash decision, rather one that I've been pondering for a bit and recently felt as if it were a good time. My boss is currently on maternity leave. Obviously, I would like to list her as a reference on my job application. Should I email her and let her know? Should I do that but also list the person covering for her? Should I apply to jobs and then tell her when they pull references? This process could take months, as everyone knows, so I don't want to bother her on maternity leave if nothing amounts from applying. Inversely, I do not want her to be surprised by an automated email from a future employer!
I know this is vague! I've held one other full time job since college, but I held that one for over 4 years and they knew that I was looking for nursing positions.