Help! I want to get into L&D

  1. Hi,

    I live in the St. Louis Area. I am getting back into Nursing after a few years off. I had 1 year experience and now I have a job in a major hospital here on a Med Surg floor. I really want to get into L&D. What is the best way to get into it? I keep being told that you need experience, well.....how do new nurses get into L&D without experience? They have to start somewhere. Right? Anyhow, any advice would be welcome.

    Thank you
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    Don't sell yourself short. Your Med/Surg experience is valuable in pursuing a L&D job. You have strong skills and a knowledge base which will enable you to care for pregnant patients with a wide range of medical conditions. You are skilled in the care of post-op patients, which, of course, includes C-section moms. You have time management and prioritization skills which are extremely important in L&D.

    If your hospital won't allow you to transfer directly into L&D then you might want to consider High Risk Antepartum, Mother-Baby, Post-Partum, Nursery or NICU, any of which would be a good stepping-stone into L&D. You say that you are in a major hospital, which is good, because bigger hospitals can typically offer a more thorough orientation. Make some friends on the L&D unit so you will have an "in" when a position opens up.

    Good luck and be persistent! I have never wanted to do anything other than Maternal-Child Health, and I thank my lucky stars that I've never had to!
  4. by   Angel Baby
    Is there an internship for L&D at your hospital? If not, is there an internship program in the community (most will take in outside nurses/new grads for a fee). If the hospital needs L&D staff they may be willing to assist in training you.

    See if you can talk to the manager for L&D, as well as some of the staff. Jolie's advice is great, also. If they won't train you in L&D--get your foot in the door wherever/however you can. Good luck.
  5. by   mother/babyRN
    Everyone has mentioned several areas and methods in which to get started. I sort of "fell" into it after being burned out at my position in cardiac care...I, like so many misinformed others, decided that a change was in order to an "easier" area...Couldn't have been farther from the truth. I spent 6 years in a step down ICU and delivery turned out to be the scariest place I have ever worked. I love it... But, don't forget that it is NOT always a happy place....The first week I was on the unit and had to assist people after delivery (because generally, you do not begin in delivery), there was so much blood and "yucky" stuff going on, I thought I would lose my lunch...When I finally did get to delivery, the first time I saw someone give a local for an episiotomy, I actually stood there with my legs crossed, in horror...
    Let them know that you are interested. If it is a teaching hospital, ask them to call you or arrange to go in for a delivery or c/s assuming the patient consents. Most of them are glad to be part of a learning experience. Consider going perdiem and training in that area...Med surg or ANY other experience is appropriate and necessary for your journey to labor and delivery...Med surg /cardiac/psychological/emotional/renal/pul,pmary/etc... happen to our patients too, and a nurse such as yourself with the experience to identify and intervene with a patient could mean the difference between life and death or at least sickness and health, for a patient for whom some subtle nuance might be otherwise missed.....The more and varied experience, the better...BELIEVE me!
  6. by   rnoflabor2000
    I started right into L&D after graduation. It depends upon the area that you work in and how badly they need nurses. Nursing shortages work in your favor, alot of opportunities. But remember, it DOES have it's ups and downs, just like anywhere else. Too many people think it is always a happy place, but it is high stress and problems happen all too often. Keep that in mind when choosing your area. Good luck!

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