I often wonder how true it is when they say they "can't find nurses". Particularly in OB, where as you see here, many people really want to work! Seems to me, when the bonuses and other overtures are offered, they often come out of the woodwork---I have seen nurses recruited from states on the other side of the country, so I know this is true!!!! I have also heard my manager woefully cry about there being "no nurses" as well, but many times, saw no positions posted in our website, nor did I see ads/attempts made at recruitment beyond haunting the local nursing schools
. Even nurses in our own hospital were unaware of openings unless we happened to say something to them.
The old saying, "if you build it, they will come" applies to nurses, as well. If you make the position attractive, and invest equally in retention AND recruitment, they (good nurses) WILL COME and they will STAY. But so far, few people doing the hiring seem to care to pay attention to this very fact.
Meantime, you were done a grave disservice as a new grad, being brought on to an LDRP with only 12 weeks' orientation, but we already discussed that. (I was done the same way in my hospital in rural Oklahoma---had 3 whole months' orientation before I was not only on my own as a staff RN, but charge at night, as well----very dangerous thing indeed).
I know you are smart and have risen admirably to the occasion, Mitchsmom. But then, I also know you have a lot of prior knowledge of the birth experience/process, breastfeeding and other issues and are greatly-motivated to be an excellent nurse. It's just a sad fact that all places are not created equally, when it comes to recruitment, retention and orientation of nurses. It really takes a solid 1-2 years (or more) to be fully-competent "on your own" in OB nursing, from my experience and what I have seen in others. And inexperience plus poor staffing can be such a dangerous equation, and not fair to nurses nor patients.