NEW GRAD: L&D, PP, or ANTE

  1. I am a senior nursing student LOVING my OB clinicals and am really considering it as a career.

    I have asked my preceptor nurses about whether they thought it was better to start out in PP or Ante and then move to L&D (if I want) or vice versa. One said L&D possibly too fast of a pace for new grad and one said if you start in L&D you get to see the whole picture, which would make you more successful in PP or Ante. Both viewpoints make sense to me.

    What is your opinion? I am also looking for the easiest transition from being a student to a Graduate Nurse.

    In addition, I have heard a lot about the liability involved in OB. Is it huge enough to keep me away from the field? I am scared. :smilecoffeecup:
    Can you give me what you consider to be the PROS and CONS of OB nursing??

    THANK YOU!!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    If I had my choice, I would start you out in Postpartum or Mother-Baby. Not that this area is "easy" but it is a different pace and not as acute as Labor/ Delivery are. I have seen so many nurses do much better if they start out in PP/MB first and then move onto L/D after a 6 month to 1 year period, or more.

    There IS a lot of liability in OB---not just L/D but PP too. But if you learn your way well around PP and the potential complications that can occur there, you will be a better L/D nurse, IMO.

    As a new graduate, I had to learn it all---I started out in LDRP (labor/delivery/postpartum/recovery), one-room care. It's tough cause I had to learn all areas fast. I think it's far better even in LDRP settings, to have new grads start out taking care of PP couplets and then learn to receive babies in the labor setting, and then move on to L/D.

    But this is just my opinion after 10 years at it, and observing many new graduates in this time frame.
  4. by   Curious1alwys
    Thanks Smilin'. Can always count on you. Nice to have atleast ONE opinion.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Well my opinion is certainly not the be-all, end-all. It is just what I think after 10 years doing LDRP nursing. I wish you luck no matter what you choose to do.
  6. by   nrse4evr
    Just my opinion but I would try to get a med surg position for about 6 mon or a yr to develope assessment skills and time management skill. I know that is not what you wanted to hear but despite not enjoying med surg the experience can teach you alot. From the above mentioned skills to being grateful that you don't have to do med surg nursing. (Sorry about that to those of you who love Med Surg. Remember, just my opinion) Once you get some experience under your belt go for the L and D position. If you can handle thaqt everything else is a walk in the park. Not that I am advocate that other areas are less important, I'm not. It's really hard to be politically correct in this forum and not offend any other specialty.


    Hey Smiling Sorry bout them Bears. My son is a huge fan and he was devastated.

    NRSE
  7. by   HappyNurse2005
    First of all, i'd learn what the facilities in your area have. do they have LDRP's ? do they do mother/baby couplets, or have separate postpartum and nursery nurses? Do they do antepartum as a separate unit or as part of L&D? (ours is a part of L&D)?

    also, find out if your hospital of choice will even hire new grads. that would be good to know.

    good luck!
    I came to L&D after 15 months on another unit. love it.
  8. by   KellNY
    I joined Antepartum and I feel like I get a well rounded group. My post here has a pretty good description of my job.

    I worked in a nursing home as an LPN while in school for my BSN, but refused to "do my time" in Med Surg. No, I don't regret it, and no, I don't feel as if I'm at a disadvantage. Then again, I've known that I wanted to be in OB for the past 8 years or so. If you're unsure, then MS might be a good bet, to get an idea.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    Last edit by KellNY on Feb 8, '07
  9. by   nurse79
    I definitely was fortunate enough to be hired as a new grad directly into postpartum/mother baby. I didnt take the med surg route either, I knew my calling was in women's health, so I began with couplet care/well baby nursery for 3 years. In my opinion, you develop time management, and learn skills that will help make a smoother transition into L/D. I recommend at least a year or so...good luck!
  10. by   Calzonan RN
    Thrashej,
    I didn't know you were interested in OB, are you going to try to do your preceptorship there? I've been working in L&D as an extern since Jan and just LOVE it. I'm hoping that with a year of experience as an extern I'll be okay going straight in as a new grad. They've already told me that I can transition in as an extern II and then as a new grad RN once I pass the boards. I know you're working tele as an extern, could you try to transfer to L&D and see how that goes? Either L&D or PP is great, I'm sure you'll just love it!!
    Keli
  11. by   PreggersRN
    I graduated over a year ago, I went straight as a new grad to Antepartum. Personally, I feel that it is a good choice to do Post Partum or Antepartum first. Many of the new grads hired that I have seen hired in L&D have made many mistakes. I do not feel as if L&D is a good place for a new grad to start.

    I love antepartum. The hospital that I work at is in a large urban area, so antepartum is very much like a medicine floor. With advancing maternal age, there are patients that present with CHF and a host of other "medicine" problems. I know just as much about medicine as some of my classmates that went to medicine floors. They come to visit me and are amazed that it is an OB floor.

    My opinion, work one year on Anepartum or Mother/baby and then go to L&D.
  12. by   rn/writer
    I started at my current postpartum position almost two years ago. I oriented at the same time as four L&D new grads (I am not a new grad). Of the four, one quit the hospital outright, one quit L&D and came over to us, and the other two are still hanging in there, but they said it was really, really difficult.

    We work in a large urban hospital that does just under 400 deliveries a month. My coworker who switched to postpartum said that in L&D she felt like she was under so much pressure that she was constantly stressed and couldn't enjoy the job or even learn as well as she might have under calmer conditions. She LOVES postpartum. We are certainly busy. There are nights where we run from the beginning to the end of the shift. But the adrenalin factor is not nearly as high as it is in L&D.

    I'm sure there are many new grads hirees who eventually do fine, but it seems like a rough road to be learning nursing in general at the same time as you're trying to take on any high-intensity specialty area. It takes a certain kind of personality and a supportive team atmosphere and the committment to be totally absorbed and exhausted for about your first year. It can be done, but you have to count the cost and see if you're willing to pay the price.

    If you work in one of the other areas, mom/baby, well baby nursery, antepartum, etc., you have a chance to learn time management, hospital policies, patient interaction, and many other things you only got a taste of during clinicals. Then when you have a chance in L&D, you would be free to concentrate on the unit-specific information. Kind of like doing the academic portion of nursing school before clinicals so you're not overloaded.

    Whatever you choose, I wish you well.
  13. by   LKB82
    i am a relatively new grad, (just over one year of experience), and i started in l&d. i don't think there is a right or wrong answer to your question, and the right decision ultimately depends on the individual candidate and the unit. when i started, there were three new grads that started orientation together in l&d. now i'm the only one left. i feel that one of the reasons that i'm still here is that i had a good orientation, lasting six months. my first month i oriented to mother-baby. (this provided me with a good foundation, and i became for confident in my assessment skills). then i oriented to l&d and ante-partum. (my unit is set up in a way in which mother-baby is a separate unit, and l&d encompasses ante-partum patients as well). yes, starting in l&d is very difficult, there were days early on that i wanted to quit, and even with the best preceptorship in a sense it is kind of sink or swim, and you just have to be willing to work hard, always ask lots of questions, and hope for the best. fortunately, i'm confident that the experienced nurses around me are always more than willing to help when i ask, and in many cases are able to foresee circumstances when i might need an extra hand. i do believe ultimately that the right new grad can succeed and do very well in l&d if an extensive and supportive orientation is provided, the new grad asks lots of questions, and is willing to work very hard.
  14. by   StudyingNursing
    I started on L&D as a new grad last June. I was hired into a fellowship with other new grads, there are 10 of us in our fellowship. Our hospital has a wonderful fellowship program that trains us to work in L&D. Our unit tends to stay busy; we had just under 12,000 deliveries last year, and is well organized so nurses do get breaks during the shift. I love my job, and I don't want to work post-partum so starting in LDR was what I really wanted to do.

    I did an externship at another hospital in the system the summer before I graduated in L&D, so had an idea of what the job entailed; and then worked in Telemetry as a ClinTech/Nurse Extern until I graduated. That taught me time management in a hurry (nothing like having to care for 12-20 patients on a busy Tele unit to learn how to manage your time, or to make me glad I was hired into L&D as a new grad). I learned a lot, but realized that L&D is definately where I want to be. A lot of the nurses in the tele unit were appalled at the idea of L&D; they loved Telemetry and couldn't stand the idea of working with 'screaming women' (their words, not mine). I'm glad everyone is different and has differing specialty areas they enjoy.

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