new BSN in postpartum nights?

  1. Hello,
    I'm graduating in Dec. with a BSN and really loved my clinicals in L&D, high-risk antepartum, newborn nursery, and PP (in that order). I am currently interviewing for a position in PP at nights (that is all that is available for new grads).

    I am wondering how experienced RN's feel about a new grad going to PP at night and if u think it will be busy? I'm concerned that it will be quiet at night especially in PP. I was hoping for L&D but they have stated that the only opening is in PP. Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated.

    I'm just trying to weigh the options and decide if it's a great way to get my foot in the door or if it isn't a good idea since I will literally be brand new and in need of experience. A few RN's have suggested going the med/surg way for about 6 months but many say that is no longer necessary especially if I have no intention of ever doing med/surg. I do realize that OB incorporates a lot of med/surg (i.e. a diabetic pt).

    Thanks for any advice!
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   webbiedebbie
    I currently work PP nights. Our patient load is higher than days. I find many opportunities to keep busy on nights: teaching breastfeeding, reading through patient's chart for anything out of the ordinary and researching those findings, etc.

    We also take care of GYN surgeries. That's good for keeping up Med/Surg skills.

    Sometimes we get antepartum patients. You would pick up skills for use in L&D...so, yes I think this would get your foot in the door and your feet wet, so to speak.

    Good luck in deciding and keep us posted.
  4. by   BittyBabyGrower
    That line about med-surg for 6 months...it isn't really true. We have lots of new grads come into L/D, PP and NICU with no experience anywhere else. Go for what you want!
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I went into LDRP nursing right out of school 7 years ago, and with only an associate's degree, to boot! So I imagine, if the opportunity presents itself to you, you will be able, too. Good luck.
  6. by   SpecFuz
    Thanks for the input. I'm really hoping I get the position. I am still a little concerned b/c I've never worked nights but I think I may like it. For those working nights who do self-scheduling, do you work 3 in a row or try and do every other? I wonder if it's hard to do every other because then you are up in the day and asleep at night on off days?

    Thanks!
  7. by   MommyLauraRN
    I did high risk AP, NB, PP (combined unit) before I switched to L&D...I can't imagine going straight to L&D, it was sooooo helpful to know the terminology, diagnoses etc. because L&D is overwhelming enough!

    I love the night shift. When I did nights on PP, we were never bored. Nights is a good opportunity for teaching BF etc. without the docs rounding, visitors etc. Plus we did the daily newborn assessments and newborn screens etc. I did 6 months of med surge in between working there as a Nurse Associate (a program our hospital has for BSN students after their third year) and and RN. They do hire new grads and they do fine--just get a good preceptor!

    Do all your nights together...doing every other will kill you! Always get at least 2 days off in a row together too, one off isn't enought to recover or do anything and will make you more tired.
  8. by   fergus51
    I think nights are plenty busy. Since babies are born and eat 24 hours a day, you'll still get admits and breastfeeding teaching up the wazoo.
  9. by   Jamesdotter
    I worked on med-surg for about 3 years after graduation, then went to OB. I assure you that after 20+ years in OB (mostly postpartum), I don't really remember much from med-surg and what I do remember is REALLY out of date. I say, go where your heart is.
  10. by   Fiona59
    Postpartum on nights does not equal dull. There are alot of babies born in the dark hours. The first four hours down on pp units are busy, with monitoring of mum and baby (if they are rooming in).


    Mums get up early. Some are so wanting to get out and go home, I've seen them up at 0530 getting packed.
  11. by   jeepgirl
    you won't be bored on nights in post partum, i can tell you that! i currently work peds and i float to our OB floor to do mother baby couplet care. i really enjoy it when i go, and i'm always busy.... mom's and baby's are usually up for most of the night!

    my only advice is that because they are up so much, try to cluster your care and get everything done at once when you go in the room. sometimes these mommies don't have help at the hospital so they can sleep. and always ask about pain... many won't say anything unless you ask!

    always do good assessments... i get very upset when i go into a room and auscultate breath sounds and the mom's are asking me why I am doing that... as no one else has.
  12. by   breastfeedingRN
    i am a new grad almost ready to "fly" on my own in a week on a mother/baby floor. i love it and it is plently busy. there are lots of opportunities for teaching and also those patient's that aren't doing so well and require good criticial thinking skills. i have been orienting on days, but am going to nights this week. will be working nights part-time, 2 12s a week. there hasn't been a day that i wasn't busy all day between patient care and all the paperwork.

    i think that PP is a great place to get your foot in the door for L&D. we get our med/surg practice with the occasional gyne patient (usually post surgery), so that helps keep those med/surg skills up to date. PP women come with all sorts of medical issues as well, not all are perfectly healthy!

    i say take the opportunity and make the most of it.
  13. by   BETSRN
    Postpartum is a great place to get comfortable before eventually transitioning to L&D. L&D is critical care and the more PP and NSY experience you have before making that step the better. You need to get comfortable handling mothers and abaies you CAN see before you deal with the baby you CANNOT see yet. Get your NRP certification out of the way during your PP experiences and you'll be that much farther ahead. Good luck.
  14. by   SpecFuz
    Quote from BETSRN
    Postpartum is a great place to get comfortable before eventually transitioning to L&D. L&D is critical care and the more PP and NSY experience you have before making that step the better. You need to get comfortable handling mothers and abaies you CAN see before you deal with the baby you CANNOT see yet. Get your NRP certification out of the way during your PP experiences and you'll be that much farther ahead. Good luck.
    This is great advice, thanks. I am actually getting my NRP certification next weekend (while I'm still in school). Hopefully it will show that I am truly interested in maternal/infant. Out of 3 interviews so far that I've had, only 1 hospital was willing to consider me (a new grad) for maternal/infant. The others wanted me to go into step down CVOR and areas I wasn't as interested in.

    Thanks again

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