DiversityNursing Blog

Tips For Balancing A Nursing Career and Parenting

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Fri, Sep 30, 2022 @ 11:55 AM

GettyImages-1325578537Being a parent and a Nurse are demanding roles and it may seem almost impossible to thrive and manage both at the same time, but it is possible! If you're a parent in the Nursing field consider these tips below. 

Parent Guilt

This feeling of missing out on important moments in your children's lives while away at work can really build up negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. 

Author and Journalist Amy Westervelt has some advice to overcoming this guilt. First, stop beating yourself up over your choices and circumstances. Instead, remember the reasons behind your choices. Every time you think to yourself, “I feel bad about __” replace that with, “I made that decision because ___” and then move forward.

 Amy mentions it's important to remember that guilt is inherently tied to empathy. Feeling guilty means you have compassion, care, and concern for those around you. 

Set Standards Early

You must show up and give it your all at work as well as at home so it's best if you set clear parameters and priorities from the start. Openly talk with Supervisors, Coworkers, and Family about what shifts and commitments you are able to attend.

It's great to help coworkers with an extra shift from time to time but work shouldn't come at the expense of your family. If it's your day off, don't check emails and voicemails, focus solely on enjoying your time with loved ones. 

Connect With Fellow Nurse Parents 

There are plenty of Nurses who have children, it's a good idea to get to know them. They can give you tons of great advice and suggestions to improve your work life balance.

These parents know exactly what you're going through and can offer empathy and support. Just being able to talk to someone who can relate is a stress reliever. 

Declutter Your Days

In a perfect world you'd attend every parent teacher meeting, do car pool, eat pizza after soccer matches, etc. but in reality you can't say yes to everything. Life can become hectic with everyone's different schedules.

So in order to stay on top of everyone's availability, creating a calendar at home and on your phone is a great way to stay organized. You can plan out meals for the week, keep track of extra curricular activities, kid's chores etc. Organization is key to a good work life balance.  

Hired Help

If you can afford to outsource help it can alleviate a lot of stress and free up time to spend with your family. For example, if trips to the grocery store are taking up too much time try getting them delivered. Overwhelmed with house cleaning? Hire someone to come and help clean for a couple hours. You find you don't have the energy to walk your dogs, local dog walkers are always available. 

Don't Forget About You

Balancing family and your career can tire you out physically and mentally. There's the old saying, "You can't pour from an empty glass." So it's important to take care of yourself. 

It's okay to ask friends and family for a helping hand in taking care of the kids so you can have some time to do things for you.

Use that calendar we mentioned above to schedule some self-care or time for the hobbies you enjoy. And if you find yourself with an open time slot, that doesn't necessarily mean you should fill it, leave some space to breathe. 

Give yourself some of the love you are constantly giving to others. You are a wonderful Parent and a terrific Nurse, so keep going - you got this! 

Topics: nursing career, self-care, work life balance, parenting

Quality of Nursing Worklife: Balancing work and life

Posted by Pat Magrath

Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 12:22 PM

CNR-Ad1.jpgWork/life balance has been on people’s minds for decades. As individuals and companies strive to improve work/life balance, we want to focus on work/life balance for Nurses. Are you familiar with Dr. Brooks Quality of Nursing Worklife Survey? If not, this article will help you and your place of employment.

Any discussion of quality of life would not be complete without addressing the concept of worklife and specifically nursing worklife, a critical element in healthcare delivery. Developing and retaining the nursing workforce is one of the biggest challenges facing health care employers today. Importantly, the quality of healthcare is frequently judged by the quality of nursing care. The overall quality of care and excellence in nursing is intimately tied to the quality of nurses’ worklife. Quality of nursing worklife is clearly essential to quality care and is an essential component in recruitment and retention of the nursing workforce. Here I make the case for measuring quality of nursing worklife, instead of job satisfaction. 

Historically nursing has focused on measuring job satisfaction and linking job satisfaction to patient outcomes. In practice settings one often hears “satisfied nurses make for satisfied patients.” The relationship between job satisfaction and organizational outcomes has been discussed for so long in the literature that a causal relationship is often inferred, when in fact studies have actually denounced the relationship (Bradfield & Crockett, 1955; Hom & Kinicki, 2001; Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton, 2001; Organ, 1988). The validity of the concept of job satisfaction and its relationship with organizational and performance outcomes has been questioned for decades (Brayfield & Crockett, 1955; Hom & Kinicki, 2001; Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; Judge et al., 2001; Organ, 1988). 

In fact, much nursing job satisfaction research linked to patient outcomes found only a correlational relationship not a causal one (Ma, Samuels, & Alexander, 2003). The questionable nature of this relationship might be in part due to questionnaire items (empirical referents) that do not have a strong theory base or unclear and ambiguous conceptual definitions of job satisfaction (Brown, 1999). This leads to inconsistent operational definitions that directly influence how job satisfaction is measured. On the other hand, quality of worklife, and in particular quality of nursing worklife, as the variable of interest does not suffer from the weaknesses in job satisfaction research in job satisfaction research.

Quality of worklife (QWL) has strong theoretical underpinnings that can be traced back to socio-technical systems theory. Socio-technical systems theory maintains one must co-optimize both social (people) and technical (equipment, the environment) subsystems to not only improve worklife, but to also improve the organization's productivity. In fact, going back as far as the 1950s Trist and Bamforth (1951) found a causal link between improved QWL and productivity. In addition, psychologists have found that as much as 30% of the variance in measures of job satisfaction measure personality something an employer has little influence over (Agho, 1993; Judge, 1993; Remus & Judge, 2003). Yet, employers continue to attempt to improve satisfaction in order to improve productivity.

There is increasing conceptual clarity around the construct of QNWL. My dissertation research synthesized years of empirical and conceptual research that studied QWL. A conceptual framework devised by nurse researchers at the University of Toronto was based on many of the principles underlying sociotechnical systems theory. Moreover, measures of QWL take into consideration the balancing act employees do between their worklife and home life. This too made sense for QNWL since nurses, like any employee, balance work and family. The strong theoretical underpinning from socio-technical systems theory (STS), the conceptual framework, and qualitative research exploring the worklife of nurses from the research unit became the basis of Brooks' Quality of Nursing Worklife Survey(C). Requests to use Brooks’ Quality of Nursing Worklife Survey have been received from graduate students and researchers in 30 countries from Greece to Estonia, Canada (Ontario, Quebec), India, Iran, Australia, Malaysia, Turkey, and Taiwan. And, my survey has been translated into 5 languages. 

It's important for organizations to look beyond job satisfaction when attempting to improve the work life of their employees, as well as the productivity of the organization.

Related Article: Nurses Practicing Self Care

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