I am 24 years old with a year and a half left until I am done with nursing school. I have been married for three years and have no children. Am I crazy to want to get pregnant during my last semester in the RN program? I plan to earn my BSN right after which will mostly be online classes, but don't know about being pregnant while looking for my first nursing job. I don't want to put off having children because I want my kids to have as much time as possible with their grandparents and great-grandparents.
Jan 20, '12
If you wait until the time is perfect, you might be waiting forever. I knew a few people that got pregnant during the last semester and they did just fine, they all have jobs now. However I know it is really hard on one because she got hired immediatly after graduation and had to start their jobs when the baby was 4 weeks old.
I have heard a lot of jobs despise the fact that once an employee gets hired, they get pregnant right after and have to go on leave before theyve completed a full year of employment. But...what are they going to do about it? Nothing. I know within my facility in order to get the 12 weeks post delivery period for "baby bonding" you must be employed a year.
I am glad I had my kids before nursing school, because in my case I had a very difficult first pregnancy and went into labor at 6 months, and had to be on bedrest the remainder of the time. I would not have been able to complete 4th semester in that condition, not to mention the fact that I puked every single day, even up to two days after I delivered.
Some people have wonderful happy pregnancies and births with no problems whatsoever. If you and your husband decide to get pregnant you just need to be prepared that there is no way to anticipate the nature of the pregnancy itself. I would not choose to do this unless I was fully prepared to take time off school if I needed, and be prepared to re-take the final semester. If you are planning to take your online classes after you graduate and not look for work until your done completing those classes then that would give you time to at least be home with the baby for a while before having to look into daycare.
Feb 12, '12
One thing you really want to consider is maternity benefits and paid leave.
Let's say you get pregnant your last semester. If your pregnancy is noticeable when you interview for positions you are much less likely to get hired. If the job market is tough in your area, this might mean not working until after you give birth. That's at least seven months without working after school. Can you afford that? Also, once it's been that long and you haven't worked it can make it even more difficult to get hired and you can guarantee you will have lost some knowledge/skills.
But say you get pregnant and you do get hired. You'll have about five months where you can work (with some restrictions) until you give birth. Then you'll be out for at least 6 weeks or longer depending on how long you want to stay home. Your job is only protected for 6 weeks and very few hospitals will give paid leave. In order to qualify for FMLA, you have to be employed for at least a year before taking leave. So you won't be eligible for that benefit. So your only income will come from paid time that is usually accrued based on how many hours you work. In five months, even working full time, you'll probably have maybe two to three weeks worth of paid leave. It also takes time to apply for and take the NCLEX and get your exam. So it could be a couple months after graduation before you can even apply for a job. That means you'll only have two or three months to work before you have to deliver. Some jobs have a three to six month probation period where you won't be able to take leave or use your paid time off and still have job protection during that period.
If you really want to have a baby right after school, then the money and maternity leave factor shouldn't be an issue. But waiting could be beneficial. It gives you time to find a job, get established and settle in. Then, after working six months or so, if you get pregnant you can take a longer, paid maternity leave.
I got married the summer before my senior year of nursing school. I graduated the next May and found a job in July. I just found out I was pregnant in December and I'm due in September. I'll tell you that it's such a relief to know that I'll qualify for FMLA and be able to take a long maternity leave (at least 12 weeks) and be financially secure during that time. Having a baby is a big decision, just make sure you consider all the aspects.
Nov 11, '17
Hello! So I'm not exactly in the same situation, but somewhat similar.
I just got an acceptance/offer letter for a nursing program (2 year program) and I have to make the decision to go or not. I absolutely love what the field holds and admire the knowledge of a nurse, but if I'm being completely honest with myself, I don't want to do those long shifts forever and eventually want to (or would want to) use nursing as a stepping stone to get into preventative health care and get into health program coordination. Am I certain I'll like that? Not really, but I know somewhat the goal of what I hope to achieve later down the line and they seem to line up.
So a part of me is saying, should I just skip the nursing and just start looking for a job in health education and build experience from that?
on top of that, I really want a family. As ecstatic as I was to get that acceptance letter, it bothered me because I'd have to push having a family. And so then I thought, okay what if I did just that and got pregnant my last semester. But I don't plan on working after the baby is born, at least not for the first few years. And so eventually when I do go back to look for a job, will I even be able to find one?
im trying to figure out a way of having the best of both worlds in the sense that I can have the skill sets of a nurse, not experience the insane hours and exhaustion of a nurse ( at least not soon), but also plan a family soon.