More and more moms are choosing to work once they have had children. Some take a bit of a break and return to the workforce once their children are at school. Others go back as soon as possible after giving birth and settling into their new role as a mother. Some moms go back to their previous career and position, whereas others look for something more flexible that suits family life. There’s certainly no right or wrong, and the decision is personal for each family and their specific situation.
One thing that most working moms have in common though, is that career advancement is more difficult now that they have other responsibilities, priorities, and time constraints.
Nursing is an incredibly popular career for moms, whether they were nurses before starting a family or have entered the profession since. Nursing jobs can be flexible and fulfilling, and it’s certainly a career that offers moms the chance to advance. It might not be easy, but these tips could help.
Why Nursing is a Great Career for Moms
It’s easy to see why nursing is a natural fit for so many mothers, and, indeed, fathers. Nursing is a great career for compassionate people. A career in nursing offers plenty of options, such as working in a family medical practice, which can offer fantastic flexibility, and time off. It’s also a varied career, which can appeal to those who like their days to be different.
The Benefits of Further Training as a Nurse with Children
With so many commitments, you might wonder why any parent would want to put the time, effort, and often, money, into advancing their careers. Wouldn’t moms be better off settling into the role that they have if it works for their families? Well, not all nursing jobs work that well, and there are a few benefits to career advancements. These include:
- Greater career options. Further training can lead to jobs in management and administration, or research and teaching. For many, these roles can offer greater flexibility and more time with their families.
- The opportunity to work in different settings. As well as leading to different roles, greater training and education can mean that nurses can work in different settings, such as schools, family practices, old people’s homes and specialist hospitals, and departments. This can be ideal for parents.
- To decrease the risk of boredom. As fulfilling as nursing can be, most of us get bored from to time. Career advancement keeps things fresh and interesting.
- Higher pay. Children are very expensive, and most parents would love to earn more, especially if they can do it without having to work more hours.
There’s no denying that any kind of career advancement is going to be difficult, especially while your children are very young. Here’s a look at some tips to help you take your career in an exciting new direction.
Speak to Your Superiors
If you’ve decided that you’d like to progress in the workplace, one of the first things that you should do is speak to your superiors. Talk about where you are in your career and where you’d like to go. Ask them for advice and guidance. They’ll have some valuable insights to share with you, and perhaps an easy solution that could help you, especially if you are looking to gain promotions in your current setting, instead of making a bigger change.
Find the Courses and Training Programs That Suit You
Sometimes, career advancement can be achieved by working hard, making plans with your superior, and applying for promotions. But, often, we need to undertake training courses and further training programs.
If you’ll be undertaking extra training or study while you work, there are a few things that you need to think about.
Look for Flexibility
Online courses like those from Marymount University are popular with both existing nurses and parents because they are much more flexible than having to go and study in school. Marymount University offers a range of courses including an MSN to Doctor of Nursing practice which could allow you to become a nurse leader and give you further options in your career.
Find a Course That Lets You Make the Most of Your Time
If study is required, make sure you choose a course that makes the most of your time, instead of learning things that you already know or things that you don’t need.
Furthermore, seek certifications that you can prepare for with ease. For instance, when it comes to exams like HESI, TEAS, and NCLEX, there’s a wide range of reliable resources, including study guides and practice exams. Consider using the HESI practice test by Career Employer Test Prep Company, which provides comprehensive exam knowledge, making your preparation more efficient.
Look for Training that Allows You to Keep Working
As a parent, one of the elements of study and training that you may worry about is the cost. You might not be able to both spend money on a program and lose earnings by taking time off. Where possible, try to find programs that allow you to learn while you work.
Have a Clear Plan – But Leave Room for Flexibility
Advancement often takes a concerted effort. It rarely comes without some kind of plan. Think about what it is you want to do with your career, both now, and in the longer term. Find training that fits both, allowing you to get the job that you want now while working towards the future.
But remember that things change. Your plans may change, as might your lifestyle. You never know what’s going to happen, but you do know that education and training will always be useful.
When it comes to studying, we get out what we put in. It can be hard to study as a parent but, if you take a poor approach, not giving it the time or effort that it needs, you are wasting your time. Try to commit to your studies, even if you can only do it part-time, and you’ll gain much more from the experience.
Build a Great Support Network
If you really want to excel in your career, you’ll need plenty of help, both at home and at work. Build a fantastic support network of friends and family that understand and support your goals. Find people that will be a shoulder to cry on when times are tough, but that will also get stuck in picking the kids up from school and helping you study for exams.
Ask for Help
Most of us have more support than we think, but we’re not always very good at asking for help or accepting it when it’s offered. Ask for more help at home, ask friends for favors, and ask your tutors and superiors if you need more help at school or work.
Plan Childcare in Advance
Before you start any kind of progression, whether it’s more work, study, or training, make sure you have childcare in place. Interview childminders, speak to your family and try to make regular arrangements with people that you trust.
Then, whenever you’ve got exams or work placements, make sure you have extra childcare arranged in plenty of time so that you don’t need to worry about it.
Get Better at Organizing Your Time
As a working parent, you are probably already fairly good at managing and organizing your time, but there’s sure to be room for improvement. We get into routines and we rely on them. Yours is going to change, even if only because you are taking on a new role in your current setting. Look at ways to be more organized at home, such as by using a family planner, syncing calendars, and organizing weekly family meetings.
Find Time-Saving Hacks
When we’re busy working and raising a family, we can never have too many time-saving hacks. Things like getting everyone’s clothes out the night before, freezing meals, packing lunches in advance, and buying pre-chopped ingredients can make a huge difference over the weeks.
Start Giving Up Some Other Responsibilities
Take a look at the things in your life that you could give up or delegate to other people. Start giving the children more chores, hand other cleaning over to a cleaner if you can, give up your position on the school council, and cut anything else you can, even if it’s only for a short time.
Gain More Experience
Training and education aren’t the only ways to advance your career. In fact, as a nurse, your experience can be just as, if not more important. As a parent, you might not have the opportunity to work in other parts of the world, which can be very helpful. But you could work in different departments, volunteer at blood banks and other settings, and gain some experience in specialist fields, even if it’s not at your current level.
Look After Yourself
If you are serious about advancing your career, and willing to put in the time to learn, you are going to be putting more pressure on yourself. It’s more important than ever that you look after yourself. Find a hobby that you enjoy and find relaxing, or perhaps try something creative. Make sure you get some sleep, exercise regularly, even if it’s for short periods, and eat healthily.
Being a mom doesn’t have to put your career on hold. In fact, many of the skills that you’ve gained as a working mom, such as organization and time management, could help you along the way.
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase through one of my links. Please see my disclosure for more information.