student interested in L&D

  1. I am a senior year nursing student, with a strong interest in perinatal nursing. I graduate in May 99, and I would like some advice on becoming a L&D nurse. Many hospitals require 1 yr. clinical exp., but where does a new grad. get a start? I have previous OB exp., but I worked as a CNA.
    I am planning to become a certified doula, and I have attended several breastfeeding
    courses ( I plan to attend a breastfeeding support specialist program hosted by Lamaze in Oct.). Am I going in the right direction by attending these programs, and striving to receive these certifications, or
    is it simply impossible for a new grad to be hired as a L&D nurse. Please give me some advice!!!!!!!!!

    -lauri, SN
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Willow
    Hi Lauri:
    I don't know if you are interested in relocating but I did see a posting for and RN in Witita(sp) Kansas at the Mercy Medical Center. No mention of needing experience. It's in the birthrooms.. Try www.mercymc.com ( I think) if this isn't right let me know and I'll look it up. Does Kansas appeal to you?
  4. by   kathleen
    Lauri,
    Many nurse managers look at new graduates, especially if they have additional training, such as breastfeeding specialty training, or childbirth instructor training. Usually, if she has a choice, she will hire an experienced nurse (even one with a different type of nursing experience, such as med-surg or pediatrics) over a new grad. But , at the hospital I'm employed at, there have been alot of nurses leaving lately and our manager has hired several new graduates. So don't give up!!!! Just Be prepared for a stressful first job if you are planning on doing Labor and Delivery or LDRP.
  5. by   dswalker
    Go for it Lauri! You didn't say where you are located, but I know of two hospitals currently hiring new grads for L and D. One in Southern California and one in Michigan. L and D positions are alot easier to come by these days than they were a few years ago. You will undoubtedly get an extensive orientation (hopefully). If you consider nurse-midwifery in the future, we have a great program here at the University of Michigan. Let us know!
  6. by   scoutgirl17
    I dont know if you are willing to relocate or not. If not I recommend starting at your local hospital in another area if necessary and talk to the ob nurse manager and let her know you are willingto float into ob if she needs you. Be willing to be called in on your days offf, night shifts a few hours if needed when there are many labor pts. Then once she sees your work, and knows how willing you are
    to go the extra mile, when the next position comes up (and it will eventually) you have a good shot. I got into ob from Med surg by taking a very hard to fill supervisor\charge nurse position who did labor pts (the only nurse on the floor trained for that on that shift). It was hard to get thrown in like that because I had no backup after initial orientation but I survived. Also find some books on fetal monitoring and dealing with L&D and do some self study to get a head start. Good luck and perseverence will get you in.
  7. by   Piglet
    Lauri-- Check into any nurse residency or internship programs at your county hospital. These can be really tough, but they are a great way to learn a new specialty area. And they are often willing to hire new grads simply because they are in need of nurses! After a year at a county hospital, you could market yourself just about anywhere! Good luck!


  8. by   Bethany
    Lauri,

    I graduated in May 98 from Truman State University (Northeast Missourri State Uni) with my BSN. I had a job in L&D even before I graduated. 5 of my 40 other classmates aslo had L&D jobs to start out. You just have to be persistant and sell yourself to the hospital. What really helped me was doing 100 hours of elective rotation on L&D and having worked in a OB/GYN office as a secretary. Good Luck. It is possible!
  9. by   kimberly
    lauri,
    I graduated in June 98 and am currently working as an RN in the Perinatal Special Care Unit of the most highly respected and busiest Womens Hospital in my area. I, like you, had a strong desire to work as an L&D nurse so I did several preceptorships in this and other local hospitals in the L&D units over my breaks. When I graduated I also attended an in depth Perinatal, L&D and recovery class offered at our local Regional Perinatal Group (I don't know if they have those where you are) I was offered three jobs in L & D at smaller hospitals and I accepted this job with the agreement that I would be cross-trained into L&D within 1 year. I took this job because I wanted the high risk experience and it was in the hospital that I felt would give me the best education and job advancement. You definately can get a job in L & D when you graduate. Just put in the extra effort with preceptorships and extra classes and certifications i.e. ACLS, NRP, etc and you'll be there. Good Luck!
  10. by   are inn
    I am a L and D RN of less than two years. I graduated, worked in a nsg home full time and took a part time position at the same time in L and D at a small hospital. That part time position for only three months got me the full time L and D position I now hold. When you graduate find out who the L and D managers are in the hospitals in your area, write to them and let them know of your interest in L and D. It is hard to start OB with no experience, but it can be done, we had some new grads who didn't make it but were able to stay on post partum, and then came to L and D later. Med-surge experience is also a plus for getting in to ob, you use a lot of the same assessment skills. When you are in your ob rotation, get to know the nurses, get as involved with pt care as you can at clinicals, etc. Good Luck, and hang in there, it really is a wonderful place to work, just remember every L and D nurse had to start somewhere.

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