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Returning to Nursing After Children: What to Think About

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Women often take time out of their careers, such as nursing career, to raise their children. It’s seen as the natural, ‘normal’ thing to do, and although times are changing and fathers are becoming much more involved, there is still the prevailing idea that it is the woman’s role to stay at home where possible to take care of the children, while the man goes out and makes money.  Of course, rising costs mean that this idea is becoming less and less possible, and women now are much more likely to have to choose when rather than if they go back to work.  Returning to nursing after children is a big decision that should not be taken lightly.

This is exactly what some women want, and it can be exciting to think of either starting a new career or going back to something you know and love. If you were a nurse before having children, you might wonder whether this is something you can go back to and worry that it’s too late now you’ve taken time away. After all, things change so quickly in the world of medicine that it might be too difficult to catch up. Plus, there are shifts to consider, and the emotional strain of being a nurse might not be conducive to raising children. 

There are many things to consider if the idea of returning to nursing appeals once you can get back into the workplace. It’s important to make the right choice for you. Read on to discover what some of those considerations are before you dismiss nursing entirely (or jump back into it without enough thought). 

More Money 

Possibly the biggest reason – at least for some mothers – to go back to work after they have had children is money. This is especially true if they had had a job before children, and the household is now on a reduced income. However, even if they had not worked before, having children costs money, and every little extra is sure to help. Managing on just one salary in the 21st century is not workable for everyone like it was in the beginning and middle of the 20th century. 

If you are already a fully qualified nurse with a degree from online DNP programs and other qualifications, you certainly have an option open to you. You would be able to go back to nursing and bring some money into the family. This is crucial in single-parent households, but it is important no matter what kind of setup you might have at home. Everyone needs money, even if we don’t like to think about it. 

The problem you might have is that you recall you weren’t paid a huge salary when you were a nurse in your earlier life. This can be worrying, especially when there are jobs that pay better, and you could train for and apply for those instead. However, there is no need to worry. If you are already trained as a nurse, you can save a lot of time by simply upgrading your qualifications. Taking part in online DNP programs will boost your salary. In fact, any additional degree will give you a chance to earn more. So if you were an RN before, take the chance to become a DNP, for example, and your salary will automatically increase.

Nursing practice
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

You Will Receive Additional Benefits 

Money is one thing, and it is important. It is definitely something to consider when you are wondering whether it’s time to return to work after having children and when you are thinking about enhancing your nursing skills with online DNP programs. You may need to spend money to make money. 

Yet money is not the only added benefit you will receive when you go back into the nursing profession. There are additional extras that can make your life easier and make the lives of your children easier. It will depend on where you work and what packages are on offer, but some benefits of going back to nursing include:

  • Health insurance
  • Bonuses
  • 401(k)
  • Childcare
  • Dental 
  • Extra training – often free or subsidized 

These benefits are going to be different depending on what type of nurse you are, how long you’ve been working, and where you are working, but you will certainly receive some at the very least. As you can see from the shortlist above, many of these will help your children too, and therefore going back to nursing can give them a better life. 

Nurses are always going to be needed, and right now, there is a nursing shortage. This means that you should be able to find a job once you decide to return to nursing or finish with your online DNP programs. You might even be able to find a job where you can dictate your own hours, working around your childcare needs. Of course, this isn’t guaranteed, but it is something to think about nonetheless, and something to work towards if it’s a goal you want to achieve. 

You Will Gain a Social Life 

Nurse talking to young girl
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

If you have children, you’ll know that your social life will have changed a lot, perhaps even disappeared altogether. Friends without children will not always understand why you can’t go out with them, and friends who have children will have scheduling problems just like you do. When you do go out, you might spend the entire time talking about your family and, as lovely as they are sure to be, sometimes it’s good to get completely away for a while. 

If you go back to nursing, you will suddenly gain an entirely different kind of social life. You’ll be able to spend time with other nurses who understand exactly what kind of a day you’ve just had and will be able to understand the hardships and the rewards that nursing offers. Plus, you’ll have so many other things to talk about. It will be quite a change from the norm, and even more of a change if you have started to feel rather lonely and isolated, which many moms do. 

Going back to nursing simply to gain a better social life is not a good idea; it’s certainly not worth all the hard work online DNP programs ask you to put in. However, it is something that you can enjoy once you do make a choice and once you have put in the hard work, and it can be a reminder of just why you loved nursing so much in the first place.  

It’s very important for parents to spend time away from their children; it’s all about the work-life balance, and as hard as it might feel at first, over time, as everyone gets used to the new routine, it will work out well. You will feel fulfilled and happy, and you’ll be contributing to the household. The children will be well adjusted, and they’ll understand that work is an important part of life. When you do spend time together, it will be all the more special and memorable if it’s not something you get to do every day. 

Have You You’ve Planned for It?

You are the only person who can truly answer the question of whether or not if returning to nursing once you have had children is good for you. There will be no right or wrong answer; it needs to be what you are comfortable with. If you want to try a different career, then that’s what you should do. If you want to stay home and can make it work, that’s what you should do. You may want to be a nurse once more, and you are keen to take online DNP programs or other career-enhancing qualifications, that’s what you should do. It will always be your choice, and you need to be happy about making it. 

If you do decide to go back to nursing, you’ll need to have a plan in place to make it happen. Making a plan and following it through, ideally with a timeline attached, will help you determine just how ready you are to go back. Consider whether you need childcare, for example, and you’ll have the chance to work out the costs. You’ll know whether you need to carry out more training so you can go back to work at the level you were before with all the new knowledge. You’ll know whether you actually want to go back at a high level, and therefore you’ll need to find online DNP programs to get you there. 

Making a plan might not be much fun, especially for something as important as returning to nursing after having children, but it is necessary. List out everything that needs to be done before you can step foot back in a hospital, clinic, or private nursing job. Depending on how long ago you last worked as a nurse, there might be a lot to get done. However, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be ready. If it all seems overwhelming, break the tasks down into smaller goals that all add up to the end result of you being a nurse once again. 

Choose Where You Work

Hospital operating room
Image by Vithas from Pixabay

One of the issues that many women might think about when considering whether to return to nursing after having children is their work location. It would be difficult to have a long commute, especially if childcare costs would rise. The entire idea can be derailed if this is a truly big issue, and no matter how many online DNP programs you might have looked at, if there is no local job at the end of it, it wouldn’t be worth doing. 

Luckily, there is likely going to be a local job at the end of any studying and decision-making process. As we mentioned above, there is a nursing shortage, which means that most hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions will be looking for excellent nurses. It won’t matter if you’re newly qualified or just coming back into the profession after many months or even years away; if you have the qualifications and the skills, you will be able to find a place. If you have experienced too, that’s even better, and your chances of finding a nearby job increase. 

Returning to work can cause you to be worried about this aspect of returning to work, take a look at some of your most local hospitals. Are they hiring? The answer is probably yes. However, if they’re not, search out some local clinics, or even schools or prisons – they all need nurses. Once you have proved to yourself, there will be a job for you. You can look for online DNP programs to enhance your qualifications and start brushing up on your knowledge so you can apply for the job you want. 

Will It Meet Your Expectations? 

The idea of returning to nursing might have come to you slowly, over time, or it could have suddenly presented itself. Either way, if you miss nursing and you’re excited to get back to it, you’ll be keen to get started. Rushing in, however, is a bad idea. If you rush without planning, you’ll find you have forgotten to consider several things, and this can lead to fear, regret, and ultimately mean you have wasted your time and skills. 

When returning to nursing after having children, you must be ready for it if this is what you choose to do. Not only that, but you must know, as far as you can, whether or not it will meet your expectations. If you’re only looking for work because you need a break and want to get out of the house, is returning to nursing the right choice? Or would you be better off picking something less emotionally draining? If, however, you want to go back to nursing because it is something you enjoyed and you miss it, and you know you can do well, what exactly are you expecting out of a job? 

This is a crucially important question to answer, although it might be difficult to find a response to. To get there, think about the goals you have in life. What are they? Will returning to nursing help you reach them? If so, this could be exactly the right step for you, and taking on online DNP programs could be the first element of reaching those expectations, goals, and dreams. 

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