Nurses Who Are Moms Should Consider These Careers
The work-life balance struggle is real and difficult for anyone, but especially for moms and dads who are nurses, caregivers at home and on the job. On one hand, you want to enjoy the benefits of your work — the mental stimulation, the opportunities to learn, the connections you make with other people, and, of course, the paycheck. But like any parents, nurses also want to be present for their child’s first steps, piano recitals, and sick days.
With around 70 percent of mothers with children under 18 in the workforce (or looking for work), the struggle to find parental and professional balance is something most parents can relate to.
If you’re a parent and registered nurse with a few years of experience under belt, you’re in luck! Nursing offers a diverse and flexible career trajectory, which means moms and dads who are nurses can have a rewarding career, provide for their families, and spend time with their children, too! If you’re a parent currently, or want to be one some day, here are three career options in the nursing field that can be well-suited for parenthood.
A school nurse
This is an often forgotten subset of nursing, but such a fruitful one. School nurses educate and serve student populations from elementary to high school, and even at the university level as well. Your responsibilities might include administering medications, assessing potential illnesses, and teaching first aid to teachers, to name a few.
Becoming a school nurse is a wonderful option for mothers and fathers, especially those with youngsters in school. Not only will you share the same hours with your kids, you’ll also get those coveted weekends off, too. Hate working holidays? You won’t have to worry about it as a school nurse! Want more time with your children to enjoy the summer together? You got it.
Parents who are school nurses can also enjoy a little more calm at work than, say, an ICU nurse. This isn’t to say school nurses don’t save lives! They do, but the pace and demands of a school nurse’s work environment can more closely mirror your home. This similarity will alleviate the shock of transition every time your shift ends, so you won’t have to jump from critical care right into homework supervision like some parent nurses.
One last benefit: Depending on your school district, there’s a chance your child could attend the school where you work. This could give you the opportunity to be actively involved in their education and get to know their teachers; though they may hate not being able to get away with anything!
Related resources: The Art of Studying, Working, and Raising a Family As a BSN Student
If you feel like you work with kids enough at home, an older generation may be more your speed. Home healthcare workers are always in demand — and that demand is only growing as the population ages.
Home healthcare nurses work directly with patients in their homes. These patients often have complex medical problems that require the aid of a skilled nurse. Nurses might help patients manage medications, treat wounds, or deliver IV therapy. One of the perks of being a home healthcare nurse is that you typically get to set your own schedule. If you want to see your patients from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. so you’re home in time for the school bus, you can.
The job is flexible, depending on the needs of your patients, and is perfect for nurses who are parents. Since you’re responsible for setting your own appointments with your patients, you can schedule your breaks around doctor’s appointments, sporting events, or chaperoning the Spring Formal. In addition, you can do your charting at a different time, like after your kids go to bed. You can spend more quality time with your children instead of cramming every activity into the two hours between dinner and bedtime.
Related resources: Why You Should Consider Nursing As a Second Career
A per diem nurse
Sometimes it’s more practical for one parent to only work part-time, depending on the age of your children, your spouse’s job or work flexibility, or your economic situation. Per diem nursing offers many benefits — freedom, new working environments, and a little higher pay — but one of the most attractive for parents is the flexibility. Per diem nursing is perfect for mothers and fathers with young children who aren’t quite yet in school. You can set the hours and terms in which you want to work. Maybe you’d only want to work on the weekends. Or maybe you can only work on Tuesdays. Per diem nursing is a great way to make your life fit around you and your family’s needs, and not the other way around.
Of course every family is different, and something that works for your colleagues might not work for you! What’s your experience with working and raising a family? Any advice we missed? Let us know on our Facebook page!