I worked in all areas in a pediatric hospital for 18 years, including the units and critical care areas. I have been at home with my kids for the past three years and have another year before I head back into nursing. I am getting too old to go back to working nights, weekends, and 12-hour shifts and I need to be home on the weekends for my family. Are there any positions in nursing that are family-friendly and would allow me to start later and finish earlier? Is there anything I can do now to become more marketable or to prepare for my dream job?
Dear Donna replies:
You dont mention whether you want to stay in pediatrics. If you do, I would suggest you look into school nursing. It is a family-friendly specialty, because you work the same hours your kids are in school and have off the same days that they do. Consider doing some substitute school nurse work first to try it out. Read my article The Scoop on Informational Interviewing at www.dcardillo.com/articles/thescoop.html. Also, do some informational interviewing now with school nurses in your area, especially officers of your state and local chapter of the National Association of School Nurses. Find out more about the specialty at www.nasn.org.
If school nursing doesnt work for you, you have plenty of other options, including home-based work. Get out to Nursing Spectrum and NurseWeek Career Fairs whenever you can to learn about options, make contacts, and brush up on self-marketing skills. Be sure to talk to agencies while there, since many have part-time offerings, including school nurse positions. See what’s coming up at http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Expo/. Also, read How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Career Fair at www.dcardillo.com/articles/fair.html.
To stay marketable and to gear up for re-entry a year from now, I suggest that you join (if youre not already a member) your state nurses association. Unemployed nurses usually get reduced dues. Its a good way to stay connected through publications and other communication. Get out to an occasional chapter meeting, too, to keep your networking skills sharp.
My best wishes,