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What nursing specialty has the best work life balance?

Nurses   (23,697 Views | 60 Replies)

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

4 Followers; 6,233 Posts; 69,562 Profile Views

I went into utilization management. 4 days per week, working from home was a great perk.

Good luck with your decision.

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HelloWish has 3 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in IMCU, Oncology.

485 Posts; 7,165 Profile Views

I don't recommend clinic nursing with small children. I found it to be more exhausting than working 12 hour shifts on a med/surg floor and having to use so much PTO just for appointments. Plus getting sick or having sick kids, it is really hard to miss work. Those days off during the week when you work 12 hour shifts are wonderful. I am trying to get back in the hospital now after working a great job, M-F 8-5:30. My work in a clinic was never done and I had to drive in rush hour everyday. I ended up having to drive close to 10 hours per week. It was totally exhausting with so little time to get things done outside of work. At least in the hospital, when you leave you are done!

If you can do PRN, I think that is best. I have to provide benefits for my family and so need to work full time.

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

1 Follower; 435 Posts; 4,871 Profile Views

How about a IR department or a procedural care area? or PACU? I don't know anyone who works a med-surg job and isn't exhausted after just one 12 hour shift. Those areas I mentioned -- I have heard they are less stressful. I have also heard this about vascular access. These are all areas where you could still work 12 hour shifts (but maybe less?). Seems like I've seen some more scheduling flexibility in these areas.

Oh another is wound ostomy. But you don't go into that unless you have a passion for it. But those nurses work in a variety of settings and do often have 8 hour shifts. In a hospital setting they will work weekends as well on some sort of rotating basis... which actually would be nice for being able to get stuff done during the week (shopping, doc appts, etc)

Good luck!

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dez_455 has 10 years experience and specializes in ER.

13 Posts; 2,102 Profile Views

can you message me more info on that type of work Been there, done that?

Edited by dez_455
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dez_455 has 10 years experience and specializes in ER.

13 Posts; 2,102 Profile Views

I work as an OR nurse and at first it was great. No routine weekends and only one holiday shift a year. Now we're short staffed and working mandatory overtime including nights and weekends. OR is stressful but when fully staffed it is nice to get out early when the cases are done for the day and only minimum in house staff is required.

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7 Followers; 3,337 Posts; 23,118 Profile Views

I don't think there is anyone here who can answer that question for YOU! As you've probably noticed there as many opinions as posters. I have worked literally every shift available in healthcare from 8 hour shifts to 24s, days, nights and evenings. The regular schedule in the clinic where I work now is four 10s. I worked five 8s instead due to a special assignment. In January they asked me to go back to 10s. I tried it and hated it!!! The extra day off didn't make up for the utter exhaustion and the fact that I had absolutely no life in the evenings. I was going crazy. Not to mention that my brain is wired to be done at 4. By 3pm I start to fidget and my level of concentration starts going to pot. I was miserable. Fortunately my manager could tell that the longer shift was impacting my well-being and allowed me to go back to 8s and I am much happier.

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3 Posts; 141 Profile Views

To be honest - I've had to change it up every couple of years. I started off regular shift work, then took a 8-5 case management job no weekends, smooth sailing for 6 years, but after having a kid it was stressful d/t no flexibility. So I got a job to work from home which turned out to be more demanding than any other position! I am now on a road map to home health and hoping the variety of patients, the break between cases, and flexible schedule will work better for me.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,210 Posts; 17,654 Profile Views

One important point that hasn't been mentioned, since you're talking about switching jobs and employers: Keep in mind that your FMLA (and hence, maternity leave) won't go into effect until you've been at your job for at least a year. Similarly, when you take FMLA for maternity leave, you use the vacation time that you've banked in order to get paid while you're off. Basically, someone who has been storing up PTO for five years will have a much more solid maternity leave PTO bank than somebody who just started a job, and has accrued little to no PTO. If you move to a different unit within your same current hospital, you will likely remain eligible for FMLA (without restarting the one year clock), and you will have your current PTO bank to draw from during maternity leave.

On a related note, if you do change jobs, I would personally give yourself a little time to adjust and settle in before you start trying. Starting a new job is stressful. Orientation is stressful. Leaving your old crew and meeting a whole new one is stressful. And above all, pregnancy can be very stressful (if you found shift work exhausting before, try doing it while pregnant, sore and nauseous). In my humble opinion, the worst case scenario is that you jump into an 'ideal work-life balance' situation, become pregnant, and then realize you hate your new job, you aren't getting the emotional support you need from your new coworkers because you barely know them, but you can't quit this job because you'd lose your 'one year' required for FMLA eligibility.

You mentioned you wanted to make a plan before stopping your birth control. I'd take it a step further and say, 1) find (and get) the job, 2) make sure you actually like the job, and 3) get through most of your orientation before stopping your birth control (just one gal's opinion). Also, in that scenario, ideally you may want to wait to actively start trying until you've been with an employer long enough that you'd be FMLA eligible by the time of your delivery (and remember, some babies come early, which can mess up the math).

All that to say, the logistics are surprisingly tricky, so I'd try to think them through and have a plan in place, since once you get pregnant there's no going back.

Finally, all of the prior posters are entirely right. A schedule that works perfectly well for one family may be terrible for another. You and your partner have to sit down and think through the logistics (who will be providing care when you're at work, what are the expectations for uninterupted sleep in between shifts, taking turns between who wakes up and who sleeps during the night, etc). All of those things can affect what schedule will work best for you. Also, as your kids grow, that system may change over time, as will the ideal schedule that works for your family.

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AnnieOaklyRN is a BSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

1 Follower; 2,577 Posts; 34,534 Profile Views

Lol, I figured it would come across that way in my post as you have clearly picked up on. So I had to get that cleared.

I think she was more referring to the people you insulted that read this board that do happen to be "fat" or "obese", but not necessarily lazy!

Annie

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8 Posts; 172 Profile Views

I work M-F, from home, UM. I usually start at 7 and work til 330. Some of us don't start until later if that's what they choose. We can work more than 8 hours if we want to leave early another day and just flex our schedule as we need. No weekends or holidays. Best work life balance and no stress.

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Heylove has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B.

203 Posts; 4,330 Profile Views

I work "weekend option" - only two days per week and I love it. I don't have to work extra days unless I want to, and am compensated enough to make up for the fact that I don't have weekends off. I have M-F off to be with my kids and to be at their activities. I do miss some weekend activities, but that's just the nature of the job. I'm old and a little bit lazy - so I am exhausted after two days of work. Three days in a row or erratic schedules would not work for me.

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42 Posts; 784 Profile Views

Peds homehealth works for me ( private duty) , you chose the length of shifts u want ( 8 hrs, 10 hrs, 12 hrs), the days u want, the pt u want. You can work as little as one 8 hr shift per week and as much as every day. I work 8 hr shifts 0800-1600 and it's not hard and not stressful so you don't come home exhausted like after 12 hrs on the floor. The only thing is that it pays less, and if youre looking for a social workplace environment its not for you. Key is to find a pt home and schedule you are comfortable with, and its smooth sailing from there.

Edited by tami2017
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