The best ways for a new grad to get in L&D???

  1. 0
    Hey guys! I finally graduated in Dec 2012 and am scheduled to take my NCLEX in 2 days! I can practically feel that license in my hand! Woohoo!

    Next step: try to get a job I actually want! I know that being picky is not the best way to get a nursing job, but I'm not desperate to take whatever comes my way right now. I already have a great (non-nursing) job, and I'm not too keen to take a pay cut to go from a job I like to a job I hate (read: Med-Surg). So I'm ignoring all sane advice and seeking paths that lead only to L&D. OB was the whole reason I went to nursing school. It's everything I want and love about nursing. Now how the heck do I get in???

    I did my senior preceptorship on an LDRP, but they don't hire new grads there. I'm spending obscene amounts of money getting certs: ACLS, AWHONN's EFM course, I'm working towards NRP, and I'm thinking about trying to get STABLE. I only have an ADN, but I'll be headed back to school part-time in the fall to work towards my BSN while I'm working. I'm willing to do pretty much anything to get into L&D, but I don't know where to go next. I was thinking about maybe trying to get certified as a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, or doula? Those seem pretty time and money intensive, does anyone know if these routes would pay off? Is there a specialty that is easier to get into that would provide a smoother transition into L&D?

    I know L&D is one of the hardest specialties to break into, but it is my passion. I'm just looking for that extra something to make my name and application stand out from the 10,000 other new grad applicants so I can get into the hiring manager's office and show them my passion.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I know L&D is one of the hardest specialties to break into, but it is my passion.
    Being passionate is good, because chances are you'll really like all the extra coursework you're doing (EFM, NRP, ACLS, STABLE). Yes - it's money - but it's also knowledge, and if it's knowledge you want to have, it can only help you. I've loved just about every course I've taken - doula workshops, lactation courses, EFM - all of it.

    It sounds like your doing things right by bolstering your resume with some very pertinent coursework.

    You still may have to take a job that is not L&D first. I'm currently applying for a med-surg job in a small hospital - hoping they'll float me over to L&D, PP when they need extra help. They do that more often in smaller hospitals - cross-train everyone.

    I think there are some pretty good threads on these boards describing ways to boost your resume if you want to get into L&D. Might take a little searching. Try searching for "L&D new grad" "OB new grad" "maternity new grad" --- here's one thread:

    http://allnurses.com/ob-gyn-nursing/...to-576277.html
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.
  5. 0
    I was hired on the OB before I graduated. I think being willing to relocate will be your best bet. Search for programs that train new grads (that's how I got my job). Apply everywhere! And bug the HR people. I called a few times before I ended up speaking to someone who was able to help me. Taking those classes will help. I also have my ADN. I've put off going back to school because being on the OB is like being back in school. There is SO MUCH to learn that they don't teach in school. I hope this helps.
  6. 0
    As an experienced ("seasoned") L&D nurse, and now a Nurse Educator, let me tell you that your enthusiasm and strategies to prepare yourself to be the best OB nurse ever is wonderful. Now for the part you don't want to hear. Don't go straight into OB. Learn how to be a nurse first.

    Nursing school is sort of like Driver's Ed. It doesn't teach you how to be a nurse, but gives you the base information to start learning. Spend a year on a med-surg floor learning how to manage a patient load, time management, and picking up on the subtleties of changes in your patients' condition. Then, you will be ready to transfer to a specialty area, ready to concentrate on learning L&D / OB / etc. Otherwise, it would be like leaving Driver's Ed and getting behind the wheel for the first time for in the Indy 500.
  7. 1
    My heart was in L&D from the start as well. When i graduated my job was getting a job in L&D I worked at it day and night. I even externed as a L&D nurse during the summer in school. When I graduated the hospital I externed at didn't have any positions but I still tried every damn hospital in the tristate area. No luck. I settled for a job in the OR as I was previously a Surg tech. I've been there for over a year and finally got my dream job in L&D. I start in two weeks. It's at the place I externed and worked as a nurse assistant at so that's advice to take. They remember me. Anywho please do not listen to the people telling you to do med Surg for a year and then go to a speciality. If your heart is in L&D then go for that or another specialty. There is no reason for you to be miserable in med Surg or Tele. I had no problem being a nurse in the OR to get my experience. I would have HATED doing med Surg or something like that. Don't do it if you don't want to. Good luck and make sure you reach out to the nurse recruiters as many times as it takes for them to call you back. Sell yourself nd tell them all about your going above and beyond to further your education. Hope you land your dream job. And if you don't....take something else in the meantime that will lead you in that direction.
    Teresita RN likes this.
  8. 0
    I don't think you have to do med surge but I'm very glad I did! I worked 7 months there and I was not miserable. I learned A LOT!!! It really helped me with time management, meds, assessments, and pathophys. The nurses on my L&D unit say nurses have a lot easier time on L & D if they come with at least some experience first.
  9. 0
    If you could spend some time out in the boonies (central wyo) there are a couple of hospitals hiring for women's care/OB. Not saying it would be the greatest job but it would get you the needed experience to get your foot in the door elsewhere, perhaps.
  10. 0
    I find it wonderful that you have such enthusiasm as well! During school I took some extra certs, ACLS etc, however after doing an internship in L&D during my last year I spoke with several of the nurses and manager who told me honestly don't take NRP, EFM courses, etc before working in L & D because even though you do learn some from it, you do not apply it until you're working there for a while and gain a little experience and more understanding. My job paid for EFM and NRP, which was nice (nothing out of pocket for me as some of those courses can get expensive). As I said, I did an internship for several months during school in L&D and also NICU for several months, so those helped big time on my resume compared to other applicants who might not have done that. I think that the fact that you also did something similar will boost your chances!! I didn't listen to those who told me to go and work in Med-Surg or another type of nursing before going into a specialty either. While it's nice to have some experience going in from another specialty and having those time management/assessment skills, it's still quite a different specialty. I went in as a fresh new grad and have had no problems at all (learned everything very quickly) and we all work was as a team on my unit. I remember my L&D manager stating that she liked to pick fresh grads when they had spots for them because they could train us from scratch, rather than someone experienced in another field of nursing (not OB) that may have some habits, etc. Of course recently we've hired a few experienced high risk L&D nurses on our night shift, which is awesome because everyone learns something different from each other !! Keep applying to as many hospitals as you can and keep your options open to moving (as someone else mentioned...if you can that is) and keep in contact with HR or the L&D manager!! Good luck!
  11. 0
    I wouldn't call you insane for for only wanting L&D, but do keep in mind just because you loved/hated something in nursing school does not necessarily mean that you will love/hate it once you're in the field. I've seen many new grad hires that went to nursing school just for l&d, and were out of there before their one year anniversary hit. I've also seen nurses that hated l&d, wanted no part of it, and that's where they ended up settling. I was one of the haters, but it just so happened that l&d was where I ended up fresh out of school. I never would have believed it would be my passion.

    As far as saying you don't have to have med surg experience, no you don't, but it makes life much easier. OB nursing in itself can be overwhelming when you are coming straight out of school and learning to be a nurse, not to mention learning the specialty area aspects of nursing. I say yes, l&d is a specialty area unlike many others, but you still have to deal with sick mothers and the effects of it on the baby. It's especially helpful if you do decide to ever work in a high risk setting because you're already familiar with the disease processes, and then you can apply it easier to mom/baby. Experiences vary, and what I've found is that if you're in a large hospital as a new grad, you will have more of a support system than a new grad in a smaller hospital. If you're in a small or more rural hospital, it may just be you and one other nurse on nights, so you're going to have to get it faster....keep that in mind.

    As far as rather or not you should take NRP or any EFM courses, I would advise you to wait. Until you see it and are around it, it's not going to really make a whole lot of sense to you. By all means, you can get resource books and be familiar with the terminology and even your basic strips, but I would wait to see if it is something provided by your facility.

    As far as how to get into the field, all of the new grads at the rural hospitals I worked at started out on post partum and harassed the manager from there. The larger hospitals hired new grads that applied, called, and made surprise visits to the unit to see the manager. Sometimes, HR may or may not forward the applications without experience. Good luck with everything, and I hope you end up where you want to be!! I'll also pass on the best advise I was ever given when I started work...it takes 2 years to feel competent in l&d!
  12. 0
    Quote from SheWalksWithBeauty
    Hey guys! I finally graduated in Dec 2012 and am scheduled to take my NCLEX in 2 days! I can practically feel that license in my hand! Woohoo!

    Next step: try to get a job I actually want! I know that being picky is not the best way to get a nursing job, but I'm not desperate to take whatever comes my way right now. I already have a great (non-nursing) job, and I'm not too keen to take a pay cut to go from a job I like to a job I hate (read: Med-Surg). So I'm ignoring all sane advice and seeking paths that lead only to L&D. OB was the whole reason I went to nursing school. It's everything I want and love about nursing. Now how the heck do I get in???

    I did my senior preceptorship on an LDRP, but they don't hire new grads there. I'm spending obscene amounts of money getting certs: ACLS, AWHONN's EFM course, I'm working towards NRP, and I'm thinking about trying to get STABLE. I only have an ADN, but I'll be headed back to school part-time in the fall to work towards my BSN while I'm working. I'm willing to do pretty much anything to get into L&D, but I don't know where to go next. I was thinking about maybe trying to get certified as a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, or doula? Those seem pretty time and money intensive, does anyone know if these routes would pay off? Is there a specialty that is easier to get into that would provide a smoother transition into L&D?

    I know L&D is one of the hardest specialties to break into, but it is my passion. I'm just looking for that extra something to make my name and application stand out from the 10,000 other new grad applicants so I can get into the hiring manager's office and show them my passion.
    I am a new grad RN. I started in a new grad L&D program last month. My advice is to research the hospitals in your area that do hire new grads in L&D. Find out what classes they recommend or require, and classes they have their staff attend.

    I also took NRP, ACLS, CLEC (through UCSD) to help expand on the specialty since nursing school doesn't give you the info you need! The fetal monitoring course helps a lot.

    Good luck and don't give up!


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