Nursing is a noble and rewarding job. However, it also brings hassles as nurses have to deal with physical demanding tasks on a daily basis. This affects them even more when they are assigned to do overtime shifts. Thus, balancing work and life is indeed a challenge.

Here, we look at some of the best tips for juggling parenting and a nursing career.

Choose a "family-friendly" career path

Nurses must realise that there are diverse nursing jobs that can be explored. She may choose a nursing job that offers her more flexible working hours, such as becoming a school nurse or home health nurse. Home health nurses are required to complete 48 working hours of work per week. Hence, this gives the nurse more flexible working hours and the luxury of working four days a week and taking three days off.

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the manager knows that you are a single working parent so that he/she can gauge your commitment capacity.

Currently, there are numerous non-clinical nursing jobs offered worldwide. If a nurse feels that she cannot fully commit to providing bedside care—she may consider other jobs, such as patient care consultant, nurse researcher or nurse coordinator.

There are also nursing careers that allow one to work from home, such as nurse writer, medical coder and transcriptionist. If your passion is still in patient care and clinical areas—you may search nursing jobs that offer day shift work, such as hemodialysis nurse and registered nurse (RN) who work at clinics.

Create a support system

A support system plays an important role. When raising a child single-handedly, it is good to seek help from family members or friends who live nearby.

Additionally, this may even give the children an opportunity to make new friends. If family members or friends are not an available option for help—the nurse can also seek counseling from professionals, such as a family practitioner nurse who can help her in balancing her career and family life.

It is not impossible for a single working parent to gain success in both nursing career and life. Personally, I knew my decision to begin my first duty as an RN, full-time Master student with a young child would mean hard work and sacrifice—but, it was that important to me that there had to be ways to make all these commitments work.

It goes without saying that, it took balance, organisation and a good support system to make it through all the challenges. Even my daughter was resistant and uncomfortable at the beginning. Nonetheless, she soon witnessed that her mother had worked hard for her, and it was a good lesson for her to learn in the future. For me, it was indeed truly gratifying to be a nurse—and a mother who raised her child single-handedly. MIMS

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