I recently completed my L&D clinical rotation in my nursing program and LOVED it! I am seriously considering pursuing this upon graduation, yet I wonder if it is true that it's recommended to get a year of Med/Surg experience under my belt before I go to L&D. I want to have a broad knowledge base and have my skills more solidifed, but I'm wondering if the opportunity presents itself for me to work starting out in L&D should I take it?? Will I be limiting myself if I decide to go on to grad school to pursue my FNP if I only work in L&D? Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
Apr 3, '00
i got into labor and delivery pretty much right after graduation in dec. 98. i have not regretted it. i don't know where you live, but in california, jobs are easy to come by due to short staffing, and an aging and retiring nurse population. just make sure to work at a larger hospital that doesn't require you to float to med/surg units to "help". this is common at smaller places and you will really be hurting without the med/surg background. i know i could benefit from more exposure to it. but i find it so distasteful that i am glad to have found ob.
Apr 9, '00
Shannon I entered as a new grad into Labor and Delivery 14 years ago, if I had to do it again I would get at very least 6 months of med/surg experience first. I am now the Head Nurse of our Maternal Infant Service Department. We do currently require that all new grads have at least 1 year of experience. If they have worked in our department as a student that time can be reduced to 6 months. This is very important if you are going to be working strictly L&D. All of our nurses are cross trained for Newbor Nursery, Mother Baby/Post Partum, Labor and Delivery and Antepartum/Triage. Working on the med/surg unit will help you learn to prioritize tasks and also sharpen time management skills. Good luck with your nursing career, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!!
Apr 10, '00
Thanks Shannon for asking a question that I've wanted an answer to. I will be graduating in May, and I really have a heart for the Maternity floor, and always have. I would really like to just jump into OB, and not spend my first year working in Med/Surg. Most people I've talked to recommed working Med/Surg for a year before specializing in any one department. Good luck!
Apr 10, '00
Put in a year or at least 6 months in med-surg. It's a great confidence enhancer and a chance to hone your skills and besides, many graduate-level NP programs look favorably on general experience. I'm curious, though. If you are going to specialize in L&D, why would you consider FNP, infants through geriatics? Why not CNM or a GYN-NP?
Apr 11, '00
I went straight to L&D after graduation from a BSN program. I'm glad I did; I love working LDRP, maternal/child, nsy, and sometimes peds. I don't know which hospital you're planning to apply to, but be wary! Some smaller hospitals, especially here in AR, will "float" nurses where they are needed, experienced or not; some hospitals, like the one I work at, consider maternal/child a closed unit, so fortunately, we don't get pulled to med/surg, etc. Good luck with your studies, and your decision!!
Apr 17, '00
I knew L&D was where I wanted to be as soon as I stepped foot in the L&D unit during clinicals! And I did all I could to meet that goal during school-including doing an independent study/externship in L&D my final semester. However, when I graduated, there were NO jobs available to new grads due to reorganization and cutbacks by our area hospitals. To make a long story short-I ended up moving out of state, and taking a med-surg position for ~1 year before I was able to FINALLY get my place in L&D. That position was in a large tertiary care center, so needless to say, it was quite the learning experience! Looking back over the past 5 years-I would have to say that I was forced to do the right thing and start out in med-surg, even though med-surg never felt "right". It is hard enough learning to be an RN fresh out of nursing school! I think that L&D would have been pretty overwhelming as a new grad!!! It is not an easy area, as many think it is ("oh-how'd I'd love to just sit and play with the babies!" is a common comment heard from RNs in other areas). L&D is a highly specialized area which can become CRITICAL pretty frequently! It really would be better to have the knowlege base re: general nursing and body systems/disease processes which can only come from ~1 year of med-surg. It will make you a better L&D nurse-not to mention more marketable in nursing, as the job market is always changing.
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