How many went from new grad to L&D? - page 2

I was emailing a exp'd L&D nurse. I was relaying my love of L&D. When I was in nursing school, my instructors (all of them) said go to med/surg for at least a year, and then specialize in what area... Read More

  1. by   BETSRN
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    "Move up"? Meaning what Betsy?

    First off, Med-surg is an extremely critical care area itself these days----and a speciality too. So I don't consider OB a "step up" from med-surg rather, a lateral cross train. That connotation is unfair and unwarranted.

    And still so many seem to want to tell new grads to start out there. Med-surg can eat a new grad alive just as any other area. And nursing overall is more litigious than ever. Being in med-surg first? I can't say it would help many of them in OB truly. It's apples and oranges to me...... We have had quite a few crosstrain from med-surg to OB and do no better really than the green grad did. The one thing they DID bring that I appreciated is a knowledge base of knowing when someone is "going south" at times. But OB is so different than med-surg that the two dont' even compare. I can't see med-surg as a "stepping stone" to OB. CCU/ICU? Yes, easily. OB? No.

    Where I work, We have hired several new grads who have done terrific. I guess it depends on the orientation and attitude of the staff and manager alike. I just do not believe new grads must start in med-surg to go into "speciality" areas like OB. I am living proof and so are many others here.
    Meaning move into L&D when you have had a chance to get comfortable with mother/baby. There is so mcuh to learn. Some basic comfort level (like getting your NRP out of the way) and skill with newborn will only enable the new to L&D nurse to concentrate more on the new skills required of her.
  2. by   Nursesuzi
    I went straight from nursing school to L&D after a 6 week senior preceptorship there, I got hired. I have often wished I had a strong med/surg foundation; even a med-surg preceptorship would of gotten my feet wet. You do need med-surg principals. I can really tell the difference in quality of care in the nurses on my unit who worked in med surg before L&D. You are a more thinking nurse and have a more "macro view" of your patients, I believe. Straight from school w/no nursing experience, you rarely have the knowledge base to know when someone is going downhill; the critical signs. Especially if you work in a low risk unit like I do. It's a use it or lose phenomenon (after nursing school and boards much of what you learned goes out the window if you don't use it!)

    I often think I'm missing out not having more general experience. I always thought L&D/Maternal health was my calling, but now that I'm a nurse I see it's a big world out there with lots of interesting specialities.

    And by the way, the young are eaten everywhere, not just med surg. Enter nursing with a thick skin and know who is you can go to for questions and who to stear clear of. There are lots of tough old broad L&D nurses who have been there forever; too long to go somewhere else (nor do they want to). They are burnt out and have no patience for us clueless newbies. To reduce their annoyance, be helpful to your other nurses. L&D often has down time between deliveries or during latent stage. Don't just sit at the front desk and read a magazine if you have a lull in patients. Team nurse.



    Quote from Foxfour
    I was emailing a exp'd L&D nurse. I was relaying my love of L&D. When I was in nursing school, my instructors (all of them) said go to med/surg for at least a year, and then specialize in what area you want. I put 2.5 mons into med/surg., and I couldn't put one more day into it. I hate med/surg (I hated it during clinicals as well). Another thing that happened that scared me was a lot of nurses in other specilites would ask what area of nsg was I going into when I graduated, and I would say L&D. They all had nothing but negative comments as to why I shouldn't go into this area. In my head, I wrote it off as just an area that they didn't appreciate, but the one thought that I couldn't erase from my mind was the volume of nurses that was telling me this; however, I'm thick-headed, so I tried to get into L&D when I graduated, but no one would hire me due to lack of exp. I'm soon moving to WA where I'm going to try once again for L&D. My question is did any of you L&D nurses go into L&D right out of school. Also please tell me that L&D is as great a job as I think it is in my mind.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from WhatToDo
    I would love to go into L&D right after graduation as well! I'm currently volunteering at a LDRP unit in a teaching hospital and they hire new grad nurses (with BSNs only).

    I share your frusteration with some hospitals requiring L&D experience to work in L&D, how are you supposed to get this experience if lots of places are unwilling to train you? I have no idea if this will make a difference, but I'm planning to participate in my nursing school's birth companions program and become a doula prior to graduation. I suppose having this experience is better than nothing.
    ONE solution is to go into the float pool or be willing to float from your regular unit to OB, when the opportunity arises. I know a few nurses who did it this way. Where there is a will, there is a way. I can't understand units hiring BSN only. They fare no better than ADN nurses with the same experience or lack of it.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Funny how controversial this issue is. I wonder what the studies show....anecdotally, I can't say med-surg nurses make better L and D nurses.
  5. by   jennobrn01
    I firmly believe that most OB nurses are "born"...that we know from the first that we love it and will always find a place to work that allows us that expression of love.
    I completely agree with this! :-)

    I went to OB right out of nursing school in 2001. We have a small unit, and our new grads do a certain amount of time in the post partum/gyn area before doing L&D. This area also receives non-infected med-surg pt.'s when we are slow. This does give the new grad good organizational skills while still being in an OB environment.

    My belief is that they are easier to train when they are fresh. The med-surg nurses that have come to our unit just don't quite "have it". We do have a couple nurses that did ICU before L&D, and they are very good.

    I love ob nursing! For me that is nursing.
  6. by   judy ann


    I graduated from a 3 year (36 month) diploma school on August 3, 1959! I started in OB (L&D, nursery and pp) within 2 weeks. I had not taken boards yet, and was the only nurse in the department at night. (That sure wouldn't fly today!!!) The night supervisor was my RN backup and she was scared to death of pregnant women. She would bring them to the fourth floor and push them out as soon as the elevator door opened, and get out of there as fast as she could. The thing that saved both my moms and me, was that I had trained in that hospital, knew all the docs (and thery knew me) and I had just finished an extra OB rotation. I had no orientation, but I did already know the unit.
    I have worked L&D, well baby nursery, NICU, post partum and high risk antipartum. I was the head nurse in a busy OB dept for several years. Then I moved, and continued as a staff nurse in the LDRP and High risk antipartum area. Recently, I found it difficult to keep up with my patients, due to arthritis in my knees. I took a refresher course and began to work geriatrics. My friends laugh ---"you have them coming and going" . I love geriatrics, but miss OB so very much. I may just go back--mom-baby maybe.
    Yes, I think that a new graduate can function very well in L&D. Just remember to keep up on med-surg stuff--no one says that an OB can't have a gall-bladder attack, or a broken leg.
    Thanks for asking. :angel2:
    Last edit by judy ann on Mar 29, '05
  7. by   jennobrn01
    wow judy ann, i'd love to sit down with you and hear all your tales. :-)
  8. by   giodom1
    Quote from Foxfour
    I was emailing a exp'd L&D nurse. I was relaying my love of L&D. When I was in nursing school, my instructors (all of them) said go to med/surg for at least a year, and then specialize in what area you want. I put 2.5 mons into med/surg., and I couldn't put one more day into it. I hate med/surg (I hated it during clinicals as well). Another thing that happened that scared me was a lot of nurses in other specilites would ask what area of nsg was I going into when I graduated, and I would say L&D. They all had nothing but negative comments as to why I shouldn't go into this area. In my head, I wrote it off as just an area that they didn't appreciate, but the one thought that I couldn't erase from my mind was the volume of nurses that was telling me this; however, I'm thick-headed, so I tried to get into L&D when I graduated, but no one would hire me due to lack of exp. I'm soon moving to WA where I'm going to try once again for L&D. My question is did any of you L&D nurses go into L&D right out of school. Also please tell me that L&D is as great a job as I think it is in my mind.
    I was a new grad going into labor and delivery 6 years ago. Someone had suggested I also do med/surg but I refused. I was not interested in that unit. I am now and have been for 4 yrs. a "strong" and "primary" labor nurse. I am now a team coordinator. I can work labor, nusery, postpartum, and peds. I have never been in a situation where I have not been able to care for my pts appropriately and we do a lot of high risk deliveries were I work.
  9. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Quote from jennobrn01
    wow judy ann, i'd love to sit down with you and hear all your tales. :-)
    Me too!!!
  10. by   tryingtomakeit
    I went directly from nursing school to L&D. I will save a lot of space here and tell you that you should read the thread I started titled "Have I made a mistake?".

    I see absolutely no problems with going directly from school to L&D. It is an awesome area in which to work. My one bit of advice to you is make sure you get a propper orientation. The facility in which I work failed sadly in this aspect. Just don't assume that you will receive the orientation that you need and deserve. DEMAND it! You'll do great!
  11. by   LoriE
    I remember hearing the same thing from my instructors telling me to go into med/surg for at least 1 year. I couldn't stand it either when I was a student, I think I would have ended my nursing career had I had to start there. I began a L&D training program in Berkeley, California at a Level III hospital and learned a great deal. We spent 6 weeks of class time before we went on the floor with a preceptor. I have always wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse and that was the whole reason I went to nursing school after I had my three daughters. If you heart is in it, you will love going to work everyday. Try the internet and locate the hospitals in your area. They post training programs for new nurses on their websites. Good luck to you.

    Quote from Foxfour
    I was emailing a exp'd L&D nurse. I was relaying my love of L&D. When I was in nursing school, my instructors (all of them) said go to med/surg for at least a year, and then specialize in what area you want. I put 2.5 mons into med/surg., and I couldn't put one more day into it. I hate med/surg (I hated it during clinicals as well). Another thing that happened that scared me was a lot of nurses in other specilites would ask what area of nsg was I going into when I graduated, and I would say L&D. They all had nothing but negative comments as to why I shouldn't go into this area. In my head, I wrote it off as just an area that they didn't appreciate, but the one thought that I couldn't erase from my mind was the volume of nurses that was telling me this; however, I'm thick-headed, so I tried to get into L&D when I graduated, but no one would hire me due to lack of exp. I'm soon moving to WA where I'm going to try once again for L&D. My question is did any of you L&D nurses go into L&D right out of school. Also please tell me that L&D is as great a job as I think it is in my mind.
  12. by   newbaby101
    Hi , I was not hired to L and D after graduation, I was rec. to have med-surg exp. So I took a job in the Neurosurgery Dept. and it turned out I liked it a lot, what I discovered (once I switched to L and D ) was that it had been good experience working with people under moderate amounts of stress, not the craziness of Labor. As a new grad. I needed to get my feet wet that way. After working there for 4 years, I made the change to OB and have been there for 18 years and have loved every minute of it. The one thing I would add is that I work in a very big teaching hosp with a level 3 nicu, we do pediatric surgery so get lots of transports. Having neuro. exp has been valuable for me because we get a fair number of sick moms whose problems are varied and the neuro. exp has come in handy. I hope you have found the position you love and that loves you back!!! I think OB takes a lot of stamina. I always try to remember, that this is a day of work for me , but for the families I take care of, it is a day that they will never forget, and I am part of it!! good luck!


    Quote from Foxfour
    I was emailing a exp'd L&D nurse. I was relaying my love of L&D. When I was in nursing school, my instructors (all of them) said go to med/surg for at least a year, and then specialize in what area you want. I put 2.5 mons into med/surg., and I couldn't put one more day into it. I hate med/surg (I hated it during clinicals as well). Another thing that happened that scared me was a lot of nurses in other specilites would ask what area of nsg was I going into when I graduated, and I would say L&D. They all had nothing but negative comments as to why I shouldn't go into this area. In my head, I wrote it off as just an area that they didn't appreciate, but the one thought that I couldn't erase from my mind was the volume of nurses that was telling me this; however, I'm thick-headed, so I tried to get into L&D when I graduated, but no one would hire me due to lack of exp. I'm soon moving to WA where I'm going to try once again for L&D. My question is did any of you L&D nurses go into L&D right out of school. Also please tell me that L&D is as great a job as I think it is in my mind.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Welcome to all nurses and the OB/GYN/Midwifery forum, Newbaby!!!!

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