Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

When Caretaking Competes with Care Giving: A Qualitative Study of Full-time Working Mothers Who Are Nurse Managers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2008

Journal Title

Journal of Nursing Management

Volume

16

Issue

7

First Page

858

Last Page

867

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the motivations and stresses associated with full-time working mothers who practice as nurse managers. Background Full-time work outside the home for mothers has been recognized as a circumstance which may present certain benefits and risks to family life. Nursing management is recognized as a high-stress occupation, which may be filled by mothers who work full time. Little is known about the specific needs and stresses of full-time nurse managers who are caring for children at home. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 mothers who worked as nurse managers. Results Participants expressed challenges in several areas including balancing/separating work and home, self-imposed advancement inhibitions, and constant giving. Challenges were offset by assets, which included complimentary roles, health insurance, added income, and professional and personal fulfilment. Conclusion Participants ‘wanted it all’, including the conveniences of part-time employment and the benefits of full-time employment. Implications for nursing management Full-time nurse mangers with children at home experience unique tensions which characterize their work and home environments. Employers may assist nurses by adopting flexible scheduling, educational and child-care support and assistance in negotiating work and home roles.

Keywords

Caregivers, working mothers, nurse administrators, nursing practice, nurses

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