Everyone wants to achieve the perfect work-life balance but juggling the two while advancing your career can feel impossible to some. When you are passionate about your work, but you also love spending quality time with your family, it can feel almost selfish to want more. However, striving to be the best in your career is good for both you and your loved ones. Leveling up will keep you satisfied at work and it can mean more money to play with at home. So, whether you are an experienced nurse or you have just embarked on your career, here is a guide to help you advance your career while maintaining a good work-life balance.
Step Up with a Qualification
Whether you got your degree many moons ago or you have managed to attain your current position by working your way from the ground up, a new qualification can give your career a boost. Holding down a nursing job and spending time at home may already take up a lot of time but carving out a slot in your busy timetable to study will enable you to take on more responsibilities at work and enhance your earning potential. With a specialist degree, you could accelerate your nursing career and get that promotion you have had your eye on. It will open up new doors and work opportunities that are only possible for qualified professionals.
Get Your Degree Online
In today’s modern world, you don’t need to leave your home to get a university degree. All you need is the will to educate yourself further and a strong internet connection. This is great for people with busy lives, especially working parents who need to juggle their children’s schedules too. With a huge array of online degrees from reputable institutions, you can now get your education at a time and a place that suits you. Online learning allows you to fit in a few hours of study around the demands of your family, and you will achieve a career boosting qualification at the end of it.
Make a Career Move That Complements Your Lifestyle
A career in healthcare is often associated with endless shifts, late night (or early morning) finishes and a poor work-life balance. Although this can be true in many healthcare roles, there are a few career choices in nursing that will allow you to juggle your work and home life well. When looking for the most suitable nursing positions as a parent, you need to consider what it involves in terms of hours and shift type.
Full Time VS Part Time
Depending on the type of work setting, full time nursing positions can take a lot out of a parent. However, with some negotiation nursing professionals can coincide their children’s routine with working hours. Part time nursing positions can offer parents flexibility if the hours work around their family. However, they may be more difficult to find than full time positions, and you will be bringing less money home too.
Choosing a position with office hours is great for people who want to spend time with their kids after school, while positions with flexible hours can help parents work around their kid’s after-school activities. Working after hours usually equals a higher rate of pay, so it can be a nice extra earner if you can entrust your children to someone else in the evening. Home-based roles give nursing professionals more flexibility and can work for parents with older children who need less supervision.
Nursing Roles for Parents
Besides the hours and the shift type, the type of nursing role you choose can also make a huge difference to working parents. Certain positions may be less physically demanding, which will leave you with more energy for after work activities. Some roles also come with consistent, flexible schedules.
Depending on where you practice, nurse practitioners (NPs) share similar responsibilities to doctors and they are able to practice independently. Nurse practitioners can work as primary care providers or they can provide preventative care. Responsibilities can include examining, diagnosing and managing patients. This includes prescribing medication, ordering diagnostic tests and providing treatment. NPs can choose to specialize in different areas, such as family health, child health, women’s health, oncology and gerontology. Licensed nurse practitioners can work in a plethora of settings from private practices and clinics to major hospitals and schools. A nurse practitioner can also provide care to people in their own homes. The varied nature of this role means that you can work as a healthcare provider while also enjoying a high salary. You also have the potential to achieve a positive work-life balance depending on the area of specialism and the work setting.
Homecare nurses provide one on one care to patients in their own homes. Patients often experience chronic illnesses that prevent them from seeking treatment outside of the home or are elderly and have mobility issues. Homecare nurses assess and monitor the health of their patients, they administer medication and they help their patients with personal needs. This can include driving them to the doctor’s office when necessary. Although this position can be physically demanding, homecare nurses are often given a list of patients in any given week. This means they benefit from consistent scheduling and have the autonomy to work through their list of patients, which allows them to manage their time better.
9 to 5 Nursing Positions
Nursing professionals who work in ‘9 to 5’ positions, such as in a private practice doctor’s office, can benefit from a consistent schedule that involves regular days off. Not only do working parents have the opportunity to get their children ready before school in the morning and spend their evenings with them, they also have time off to spend quality time with their family.
Nursing professionals who work in an educational setting, such as a school nurse, can enjoy similar scheduling as other staff members. This means that they only have to work during school hours, they have evenings and weekends off, and they also enjoy set vacations. In general, school nurses have a lower than average annual salary compared to other registered nurses, however the job satisfaction rate is often higher. Besides the favorable hours, school nurses work with a range of children to provide physical, emotional, mental and social care. The nature of the work can be incredibly rewarding for some working parents.
Consultants, such as medical consultants and legal nurse consultants, primarily work from home. They do not have inflexible, set hours, and they can choose to take shifts around their kid’s routine. This enables them to be present for their children and have time for other social activities. Not to mention, they can pick and choose the type of work they want, which can boost their level of job satisfaction. Consultants also enjoy a high earning potential with legal nurse consultants earning an average annual salary of $76,503. Medical consultants can enjoy an average salary of $70,594 per year.
Seek Out Reliable Childcare
No matter what sort of nursing position you work in, most people require some form of childcare at some point in their life. In order to advance in your career, you need to make sure you seek out reliable childcare and that your kids are cared for properly. Entrusting your kids to the right people will allow you to focus on your job during work hours without worrying about how they are doing away from you. Childcare arrangements can involve family members and friends who you trust or a vetted babysitter. Alternatively, daycare and after-school clubs are good choices depending on the age of your child. Nursing professionals with partners can consult their schedules and split childcare accordingly to suit each other’s work patterns.
Network With Nursing Professionals
If you want to climb the nursing career ladder, networking can help give you a leg up. Networking with nursing professionals at work can help keep you motivated and engaged in your field. If you find a nursing professional who you are comfortable with and trust, networking can also lead to mentorship. Having a respected nursing professional to turn to can help you make the right decisions in your job and encourage you to work better. Besides making connections within your workplace, you can also join professional nursing organizations to widen your professional nursing network. Being part of a nursing organization can open up new opportunities in terms of career advancement. You will be able to attend events and conferences to benefit your career, and you will be exposed to members-only work opportunities too.
Making time to network can be difficult when you already have your hands full with work and home life. Instead of face-to-face networking, consider networking online instead. Nowadays, there are plenty of digital networking opportunities that allow you to attend virtual events, workshops and talks from the comfort of your own home.