Role of the L&D Nurse vs. Midwife

  1. Hi All,

    I was wondering if someone could tell me what the role of the RN in labor and delivery involves? I'm curious as I wonder how the RN and RM (registered midwife) work in labor and delivery and if there is any overlap of their roles.

    Across the forums I have noticed that North American nursing students all do clinicals in and study OBGYN. In Australia we cover no aspects on maternity nursing during our BN programs. This is all in the field of midwifery.

    Can someone enlighten me?
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    About imaginations

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 125; Likes: 35
    Registered Nurse; from AU


  3. by   futureRN_Anastasia
    I can tell about the RM role in Canada. I don't work as one, but I was recently giving birth with one. RM takes care of the patient since the very begining of pregnancy. Books all the tests that are needed to be done, educates, checks the size, position and the heartbeat of the baby at every appointment, and eventually delivers the baby (no doctors, only RMs unless there is an emergency). She also takes care of mother and baby 6 weeks postpartum. Initially when I was choosing a health-care provider, I read about RMs at this site, it has a pretty good explanation of scope of practice:
  4. by   FLOBRN
    In the US, the L/D RN admits and "labors" the patient. The CNM(certified nurse midwife - an RN with at Masters and soon to be Doctorate degree) does all the prenatal care, gives all the orders for the care of the patient during labor and delivers the baby. She also provides post partum care in the office. Some CNM's are actively involved in coaching the patient during labor but it is not usual in my experience.

  5. by   tablefor9
    Some CNMs are very much active in the labor process; the RN will not do SVEs on their patients unless needed emergently, and the RN will not push with the pt. Others practice much like MDs and show up in time to catch (barely).