Am I being unrealistic? Is nursing maybe not for me?

  1. 0
    Hi guys.

    So I'm going to honest here. I'm interested in nursing, but I'm picky with the department I'd like to work in. I'm really only interested in L&D or mom/baby. Not that I'd refuse other units, but those are the ones that made me want to go into nursing. When I had my first baby 13 years ago I remember thinking how I would love to work in that unit. I have three kids and each time I've thought the same thing. FINALLY this year I started prereqs. I'm still pretty young...33.

    Anyway. Here's the problem. I'm nervous that I'm setting myself up for disappointment. I'm scared I'll get stuck working in another unit that doesn't interest me at all. I can't imagine myself cleaning old men's poo and things like that. LOL

    So I wonder if maybe nursing isn't for me given that I'm so intrigued with one area and not at all with the others. Maybe this will change but at this very moment i feel that if I graduate and am unable to find a job in L&D or postpartum I'll want ti give up nursing all together. Or maybe in school I'll realize I love another unit, who knows.

    Your thoughts?

    Oh and I also wanted to ask (someone suggested this to me), is there a way I can work in one of those units NOT being a nurse just to get a feel for it and see if it's anything like I picture? I live in CA and had my babies at Kaiser and I just assumed all the ladies were nurses but maybe not?

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  2. 47 Comments...

  3. 0
    If you are not a CNA, you may want to consider getting your CNA license first, and trying to get a job on a L&D floor. (Perhaps landing a job as a CNA on a non-L&D floor might help you understand what happens on those units better) All of this will give you experience and help you decide if you really like it or not. This will also help you get a "foot in the door" for when you do get your RN. Not a guaranteed job, but it can definitely help.
    Another option is to find out what kind of volunteer opportunities are available. You might not be able to do as much, but the more exposure to the field you can have the better.
  4. 0
    You know, I have thought about that and I've actually spent about a month searching online but I have never once seen a job opening on L&D other than an RN! I wonder if where I live they only use RNs on L&D, who knows... But thanks for the advice and I will keep searching!
  5. 0
    I asked a nurse friend of mine this once. She told me that, at least around here, you apply at the hospital, the hospital hires you, and the hospital makes the decision on what unit you work. You can tell them you want L&D but if they need help on cardiac you either go to cardiac or apply somewhere else. Maybe it's only that way in my area, I'm not sure. You could maybe call the nursing director and ask them how to get an L&D job (maybe not in those words)... Like if you can pick the unit you work on or if they just put you where they need help the most.
  6. 4
    I just graduated in May and have spent the last 6 months working on a Progressive Care Unit. My dream job is L&D but I will tell you, chances are you will have to put your time in on another unit and then apply for a L&D position. I know several hospitals do internal hiring for L&D and those few jobs that do get posted publicly will want experience. Unfortunately new grads aren't usually the candidates hired to fill open L&D positions. I think you received some good suggestions above.
    antania31, RunBabyRN, Fiona59, and 1 other like this.
  7. 3
    I am a new grad that was lucky enough to get hired in L&D so it is not impossible. If it is your goal than you should really try to position yourself in such a way that you have an edge over other applicants. I think trying to become a CNA is a great idea if they are utilized in that department. You may also want to investigate the prospects of becoming a unit secretary or volunteer. When you have your L&D clinical in school make sure to try to develop connections and talk to the unit manager if possible. Let them know about your interest in their department and facility. Stand out by being prepared, willing to learn and lending a hand whenever possible. Show a genuine appreciation for any help your preceptor gives you.
    You should also prepare yourself for the fact that L&D may not be where you start your nursing career and that is O.K. too. Use any job you get to really develop your nursing skills, so you will become a more attractive applicant in the future for a L&D job.
    Like you, when I started my path towards becoming a nurse L&D was my goal. I found during my clinical rotations that what was really special for me was the connections I was able to develop with my patients. It mattered less what unit I was working on. You may realize that another patient population or specialty is really interesting to you also. Just keep an open mind.
    antania31, RunBabyRN, and BJS2013 like this.
  8. 0
    It definetely depends. Most facilities do want experienced nurses for L&D. I would call the hospital, ask to speak to the manager, and set up an appointment to speak with her about your future goals. Find out what you have to do to work on the unit. Then start working toward those goals.
    Ask if they use CNA's and if you can apply to work there. Another thought is to work at an OB/GYN office as a medical assistant. Any way to get your foot in the door.

    You can also become a lactation consultant,which is another way to get your foot in the door-- and here's a link--I would research and see which general ed sciences you would need to be eligible:

    Eligibility Criteria | IBLCE

    Best of luck!
  9. 4
    You live in a very high unemployment area for nurses. This means that not only may you not be able to get a job in Mom/Baby or L&D (one of the top three high demand areas for new nurses, which means heavy competition), you may not be able to find a job in a hospital or anywhere at ALL for over a year after graduation.

    Most people go into nursing school thinking they are interested in one specialty or another, then get their feet wet and find things they didn't think they would enjoy more appealing and their original passion not all they thought it would be. The key here is in not being invested in getting everything you want. If you can keep an open mind, if you can accept that few people get their dream job right out of school, if you can recognize the challenges you are setting yourself up for - then of course you can and should still be a nurse. But you need to do it with your eyes open. You may not love L&D after all. You may love something else. Or you may indeed only love L&D and very likely WILL have to work with other populations before you get any kind of opportunity in your specialty of choice. Those are just the realities of today's market for nurses. Only you can decide if you are willing to put in the time, emotion and money to chase a dream that is by no means guaranteed. Only you can decide if you are able to morph that dream and allow it to expand. Trust me, I do a whole lot more than "wipe old man butts" and so do all of the rest of us who are not in L&D.
    RunBabyRN, Altra, Fiona59, and 1 other like this.
  10. 6
    I don't think you're not meant to be a nurse because you only want to work OB. Many people have that same opinion, myself included. I do think, though, that it would be unrealistic to go through nursing school with the thought that you *will* only work OB. In the current job market, you will be lucky to get a job - any job - in nursing within the first six months of graduation. I certainly would not hold out hope that you will get a job in OB as your first job. It's highly unlikely that you will find a job in your desired area right out of the gate. That's just the realities of the job market right now.
    RunBabyRN, BuckyBadgerRN, renardeau, and 3 others like this.
  11. 1
    Quote from jadelpn
    You can also become a lactation consultant,which is another way to get your foot in the door-- and here's a link--I would research and see which general ed sciences you would need to be eligible: Eligibility Criteria | IBLCE Best of luck!

    I can't recommend this. Obtaining your IBCLC can easily take a couple of years. Many people get their RN to get the IBCLC. This is a timely and expensive way to get experience.
    Altra likes this.


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