Nursing is on the verge of a crisis. Worldwide, there are not enough nurses to meet rising health care needs, and the U.S. will see a shortfall of nurses by 2030, according to the American Nurses Association (ANA).
A low supply of nurses means hospitals will have difficulty finding staff in order to provide timely and quality care for patients. When hospitals cannot find qualified nurses, patient care suffers, and turnover rates increase as hospital staff struggle with high-stress levels and burnout from lack of resources causing less qualified workers to take up more duties with less supervision from supervisors.
What Are the Struggles of Being a Nurse and a Parent?
Becoming a nurse is an exciting and rewarding career with many opportunities available.
Nursing offers a number of possible career paths with various “career heights” ranging from primary care such as licensed practical nursing and nursing assistants to some of the highest-paid nursing salaries in the United States, such as pediatric nurses and advanced practice registered nurses.
The health care of the country will rise or fall depending on which groups get the jobs in each field.
While becoming a nurse is challenging, it is also very rewarding when your hard work pays off and you earn a good income. However, many people have found that the enormous amount of time and effort needed to succeed in this field can be overwhelming at times.
Studying for a Nursing Career as a Parent
The U.S. is seeing a shortage of nurses due to the aging nurse workforce and lack of new graduates.
Moreover, the number of registered nurses (RNs) graduating each year has declined dramatically since 2010 and is expected to fall further in the coming years.
This is why courses like the accelerated DNP programs have become more popular, allowing professional nurses to work while studying. They are particularly popular with parents because they provide flexibility in work-life balance.
However, not all nursing degrees are created equal.
The key to attaining a good career is to understand the different types of nursing degrees and find out which one is right for you.
Finding the Right Balance as a Parent
When a new parent is trying to balance being a nurse and being a parent, the bottom line is this: you can do both at the same time.
Your ability to succeed as a nurse depends on your ability to combine caregiving responsibilities alongside studying, working, and even parenting. Some people will find that their careers are more successful when they do not work full-time, while others may need help from their employers in order to balance work, family life, and domestic duties.
Here are some tips for parents to help them find a work-life balance:
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Employer for Support
If you are trying to become a nurse and still want to spend time with your family, don’t be afraid to ask your employer for flexible working hours.
The government recommends that employees speak with their managers about any request related to flexible working arrangements.
Make Sure Everyone Understands That You Have a Job
Having a job doesn’t make you a bad parent, and you’re not a bad nurse because you are a parent.
Everyone in your life needs to be comfortable with the fact that you can and will do both very well.
Make Time for the Kids
You want to be a good parent and still be a good nurse, so remember to make time for your children.
No matter how busy you are with work or school, carve out some time for your kids every day. Your children will drop everything if you tell them you need help, and they’ll feel better about themselves if they can help you.
If there aren’t any extracurricular activities they can do to help out around the house or with taking care of the family, get creative! You could set aside a weekly chore chart that updates each week and rotates jobs among household members—or even just tasks within their own rooms. They can also help with cooking or setting the table when they’re older.
Improve Your Work-Life Balance
To successfully balance your career and home life as a new parent, you must definitely have the right attitude; otherwise, it could backfire.
Earn More as a Nurse Contractor
Although nursing is a great job, it isn’t always easy to earn more in this field than in other professions.
However, there are ways to make more money as a nurse. For example, you could use your clinical knowledge to earn extra income by working as an independent contractor. If you have the clinical knowledge, consider becoming an independent contractor by using the work at home program or earning through online subscriptions.
This will be the easiest way to gain extra income and avoid having to spend time on the studies that put off many parent nurses from pursuing more lucrative and higher-paying jobs.
Have a Plan with Your Partner
In order to be a parent and succeed in your nursing career, it is important that you have help from your partner.
Your partner will help you take on extra household duties so that you can manage your time better and even look after the kids when you are at work.
Take Time Off When You Have Babies
If your employer doesn’t provide paid parental leave, take any unpaid leave provided by law to spend time with your family. It can be hard to find time to spend with them, but it’s important to do so when there are small children around.
A lack of attention from parents can cause children to have difficulties in school later on.
Take Time Off for You
Make sure you spend plenty of time with yourself every day too.
Your children may need you, but they will also benefit from you being relaxed and stress-free, and that can only happen if you prioritize self-care.
Improve Your Prospects
Don’t give up on finding a high-paying job if it takes longer than expected. With the right attitude, hard work, and dedication to both your career and family life, it is possible for parents to be both successful and good parents.
Nursing is an important part of the health care system in the United States. It is more than just providing direct patient care; it includes research, policy development, education, and administration.
Balancing Work as a Nurse and Parent Can Be Difficult
It is difficult for a new parent to balance work and family responsibilities, particularly if they are trying to become a nurse.
If you are looking for a part-time or flexible job as a nurse, there are some ideas you should try out. For example, you can take on independent contractor jobs that allow you to work from home, which will make it easier for you to balance your career and family life.
If these options don’t suit your situation or interests, consider taking an online nursing degree. Online degrees let students work from home and still get their education on time, and online programs save students money on tuition costs as well.
As a new parent, you’ll be able to work part-time while you raise your children. Work is an important part of raising children, but it’s important to ensure that you’re spending enough time with them.
What Are the Benefits of Working as a Nurse and a Parent?
Working as a nurse and a parent can have many benefits for both the nurse and the family, including helping build strength and skills in both parents’ working lives.
The more practical skills that nurses develop on the job can often be applied by parents at home in their parenting roles.
Nursing Is a Great Job for a Working Parent
Before you start working as a nurse, you need to make a plan and decide what you’re going to do if you become pregnant. The sooner you make your plan, the better.
You should think about how this will affect your professional goals and whether it’s okay for nurses to be pregnant at work if your hospital has specific rules about maternity leave and returning to work from maternity leave. If there are no specific rules regarding this, discuss it with your employer in advance so that they know that children are going to be part of your life from now on.
Some hospitals will allow nurses to take parental leave, but you may not get your old job back when you come back. Once again, it’s important that you make the best decision for yourself, your family first, and your employer second.
Although it may be a challenge to work as a nurse and parent, it is possible if you make an effort. You will adjust to your new life as a new parent and succeed at both if you are dedicated and persistent in continuing your professional career.
Conclusion: The Nursing Profession Needs More Parents
Nursing is a great profession for working parents. Nurses are required to work on the clock but in most cases are allowed to have flexible schedules, including taking care of their own children.
The flexibility also allows nurses to be home when their children are sick, which can be a great relief for parents.
A night shift nurse and a day shift parent can work different shifts; however, at times they may not have enough hours worked on different days to meet all the child care needs of their family without doing some solo child care.