If you’re a single mom and a nurse, one of the main challenges you face is scheduling. Although you are in a fortunate position to have a professional career that does not require you to complete tasks or paperwork at home, working night shift or rotating days and nights can make finding reliable childcare nearly impossible. The following three tips will help you raise your family as you advance your career.
Don’t Go It Alone
As a single mom, your picture should already be next to the word “independent” in the dictionary. What you may not realize is that you aren’t alone. While comrades are great for commiserating, now is the time to think practically; you can take turns watching each other’s children, possibly saving thousands of dollars in professional childcare.
Get a Daylight-Only Position
What nurses do on a typical day varies depending on the type of facility they work in. While most nurses work in 24/7 facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, daylights only positions are still available. Doctors’ offices, ambulatory surgical centers, and dialysis clinics are typically open only during daylight or early evening hours. While they often come with weekend commitments, working in these settings allows you to avoid night or rotating shifts. If you must have weekends free, working as a school nurse is also an option. Taking a position in one of these areas is also a good way to gain specialized experience, although they tend to pay a bit less than 24/7 practice settings.
Go Back to School
If you want to truly advance in terms of responsibility and salary while working a daylight schedule, you will need to return to school. While it is relatively easy to find a floor nursing position with a diploma or associates degree, to become qualified for higher-paying specialties such as nursing informatics, nurse practitioner, nursing professor or nursing researcher, you must have at least a master’s degree. For the best opportunities, you need to earn a doctorate of nursing practice. Fortunately, many healthcare employers offer tuition reimbursement and nursing schools offer programs with minimal residency requirements.
If you’re a single mom, you owe it to yourself and your family to take the steps needed to advance your career. Whether you decide to gain seniority in your current position, secure a daylight position, or get more education, it’s time for you to join single mom nurses who already enjoy a professionally and financially rewarding career.