Nursing question??

  1. Hello. Ok im kind of confused about this whole thing! My question is what are the nurses called that work in the maternity areas with the newborn babies? I am really interested about starting my career in this area. I did not graduate high school but i do have my ged. I would like to know more about this career. I just love babies and that would make me very happy to be working with them everyday Now my questions are........
    What are the nurses called that do this? How many years do you have to go to college for this?What kind of courses do you have to take in college? Do you have to become a RN? Exactly what do you do? For instance do you have to take the babys blood and give them baths, feed them,ext..? And around how much money do you make? If anyone is in this field I would greatly appreciate as much information as possible!!!Im just so confused!! Thanks in advance everyone!!
  2. Visit ashleyh_84 profile page

    About ashleyh_84

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 11


  3. by   Anaclaire
    It sounds like you want to work on a "Mother-Baby Unit" or in a "Well Baby Nursery".

    There is no designation for nurses who work in these areas other than to call them "Mother-Baby Nurses" or "Well Baby Nurses".

    RNs require 2-4 years of college at a 2 year community college (to earn an Associate Degree of Science in Nursing) or a 4 year university (to earn a BSN - Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing). They can continue on and earn Masters and Doctorate degrees in specialized areas. After receiving your AD or BSN you can apply to take a test to be licensed as a Registered Nurse by your state.

    LPNs require 1 year of training usually at community technical schools. After completing your courses you can apply to take a test to be a licensed as a Licensed Professional Nurse by your state. (Some states call LPNs LVNs meaning Licensed Vocational Nurses. The terms are interchangable.) They work under the direction of the RNs by law.

    Nursing Assistants are called many different names like Patient Care Assistants, Orderlies, Nursing Assistants, etc. They receive about 3-6 months training at community technical schools generally. Different schools have different courses.

    In the Well Baby Nurseries I've worked in the Nursing Assistants did a lot of bathing babies, feeding babies, diapering them, and helping with doing vital signs (temperature, heart rate, breathing rate) and informing the nurses about babies who do not meet the normals for their vital signs, or any other abnormality. They also did the PKU tests (prick the babies heels for a few drops of blood placed on a special paper sent to the state to test for metabolic and other disorders.) They would come to the Mother-Baby Unit to help do vital signs on the Moms, help them with walking the halls, emptying urine bags, helping turn surgery patients, pass out ice and refreshments, clean up the unit, restock supplies, and things like that.

    I'd suggest you contact your local community technical school and see if your GED is enough to get you into their school. I'd imagine it is. You could become a Nursing Assistant rather quickly and be able to begin working and see if it's what you like. Then you can watch the RNs and LPNs at work and see if you think you'd like to do what they do, and then continue on to school for their jobs. Lots of hospitals will help pay for college for you if you will work a while for them when you graduate and if you keep your grades up in a decent range.

    Good luck! I hope this has helped you out some.
  4. by   ashleyh_84
    Thanks that did help me out alot!!
  5. by   ashleyh_84
    Ok sorry im still just a little confused!! I just read it again. Ok so what your saying i should do is to take a one year training at a technical school and then take a test to be a LPN and start working that. And then if i like it then go to a college and become RN. Now if i do all of that and i become an RN will i still be doing the same things as i did when i was a LPN? Sorry im still a bit confused with this whole thing!!!
  6. by   melissa24

    What Anaclaire was suggesting is that you first become a Nursing Assistant (CNA, etc.) by taking the course for that, which can be done in a relatively short amount of time. Then you can work in a hospital in a newborn nursery or on a mother-baby unit. By doing this you will accomplish two things:

    1. You will be able to work with babies without having to go through a lot of schooling.
    2. You will be able to watch the nurses around you, talk to them, and see if becoming a nurse is what you really want to do.

    If you decide to become a nurse, you will have to decide whether to become an LPN or an RN. I would suggest you become a CNA first and make the decision about nursing school later.

    Like Anaclaire said, LPNs work under the direction of RNs. Because they have less education, they are generally paid less money. Some people become an LPN first, then continue their education to become an RN.

    Best of luck to you!

  7. by   andrewsgranny
    In many areas they have taken LPN'S out of LD/OB and Nursery.
    I say if thats the field you desire skip the medial stuff and get your RN. Even in a "well Baby" nursery there are bad babies that come along. Its not a picnic. But it is an awesome experience. Good Luck to you.

  8. by   NICU_Nurse
    Hi, Ashley! I am a nurse who works with babies who are sick or premature and who require intensive care; we *do* most certainly have an official "designation"- Neonatal nurse. ;>) Nurses in the 'well-baby' nursery are also called Neonatal nurses, but as the above poster mentioned, they are often called 'Well-Baby' or 'Mother-Baby' nurses as well. I agree with some of what the other posters said; I'll throw in my own two cents here, too.

    First of all, this area of nursing can be tremendously rewarding, and many, many nurses are so happy with their jobs that it may even be difficult to come upon an opening! I've found that the large majority who go into Neonatal nursing never leave that area of nursing, which can make job hunting a bit of a pain at times. Of course, there are also those who find it isn't for them, or who wouldn't come near the nursery if you paid them! I am sure that given the opportunity to work or spend clinical time on any level nursery will help you decide if you actually want to work there.

    As all nursing is, working with babies can be terrifically hard work and emotionally overwhelming, but personally, I am extremely content with my choice to work where I do, and wouldn't trade it for any other unit in the world. It usually doesn't take long on these units to figure out if you want to stay. I rotated through a Level II nursery for a bit during nursing school, and by the time I had graduated knew that was where I wanted to work without a doubt. I know that everyone has a different opinion about which route to take, but only you can examine your personal situation, goals, and desire and choose the best option.

    I, myself, do suggest that IF it's feasible for you that you consider becoming a CNA prior to entering nursing school. (That is, if time, finances, etc. allow such a decision, and if you want a taste of what is to come as a nurse.) I worked as a CNA on a Mother-Baby unit while I was in nursing school, and personally it only confirmed what I had an inkling about- that I wanted to be a nurse and that I wanted to work in the Maternal-Child area in some capacity or another. It was very hard work, and though it was certainly limited by my own limited experience and knowledge, it provided many opportunities for me to learn and connect with other healthcare professionals. I met other CNA's, some of whom were in nursing school and some of whom had made it their careers. I met other nurses, lab techs, respiratory therapists, radiology techs, and clerical workers, all of whom had a fantastic insight to the career I was considering, and all of whom had an opinion (which I took with a grain of salt) as well as a plethora of personal experience that I tried to hear about as often as possible. I asked trillions of questions, and was always observing the way they interacted with each other, the physicians, the was a great learning experience and I would recommend it highly. I learned medical terminology, hands-on-procedures, charting, anatomy, you name it. I learned how to function as part of a team, and I had an opportunity to participate in nursing without the responsibility of being a nurse.

    You could check in your area about paths to becoming a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) or PCT (Patient Care Tech)- they call it by different names in different areas. Some courses take only six to eight weeks, the longest I've seen take six months and are taught by a community college. As a CNA, I worked on a unit in which the postpartum and nursery areas were combined, and often the moms would keep their babies in the room with them. My duties were exactly what was mentioned above, as well as technical stuff like discontinuing IV's, starting and removing catheters, doing perineal care for the moms, helping them walk and transporting them various places, assisting with breastfeeding, etc. CNA's are vital to nurses- they are the eyes we use when we can't be everywhere at once, and they are also our hands when our own are full. If this is a possibility for you, I encourage you to undertake it. At the very least, it will show you where you DON'T want to work and lead you away from nursing. It may very well be your entry into nursing- giving you knowledge and a part-time job while you're in school.

    Nursing school is HARDHARDHARD. Our dropout rate was sky-high- some of our classes were cut in half by midsemester of the first term! If you are not sure you want to go into nursing (and this board is a great start, but remember that many people come here to vent and so you may end up with a slightly skewed perspective from just listening to us!) this is a great way to work in healthcare and give you a bit of time to decide.

    If you do this, or if you are sure you want to go into nursing without a doubt, then we come to the whole 'What kind of nurse do I want to be?' issue. LPN vs. RN. There are many, many threads on this board discussing just this issue, and I highly recommend to you that if you haven't already, take some time to read them. In between some of the heated arguments, there is valuable information about the differences between the two, and many pro's and con's you can consider when making your own decision. I won't rehash all that here- but after you read them and if you still have questions, feel free to ask and I'm sure you'll get plenty of replies!! ;>)

    I am an RN with an ADN; I went to nursing school for two years in addition to a number of years in a regular university where I was not yet studying nursing. My program, if started right away (I switched majors), would have taken about three years total to complete. In our area (Louisiana), LPN programs are generally about 16 months, plus a bit extra to complete pre-requisites like Math, English, etc. BSN programs take four years to complete, and this was not an option for me for many reasons.

    Whatever you decide, please remember that you will be a valuable asset to the healthcare community, irregardless of degree or title. In my hospital, LPN's are not allowed to work in the NICU, but they can hold jobs in the Newborn nursery. There is very little they cannot do there.

    You asked about pay... Basically, LPN's get paid less than RN's. How much varies; it can be as little as $2, but in my area, it is about $5-6/hr less than RN's. In the nursery, the work LPN's and RN's do is very close, so the pay gap may be a block for you. RN's in general get paid anywhere from 14-22$/hr (or so) to start. You can then add specialty pay (i.e., for working NICU) per hour, as well as shift diffs (i.e., extra money per hour for working evenings, nights, weekends, or holidays) to that.

    It's really impossible to tell- every place is different- but you may try looking in the classified ads, at online job postings from local hospitals, or by asking nurses in your area what they get paid. If you ask someone, be sure they clarify what their base pay is- that is, the pay they get without the diffs added to it. This is the minimum money you will be making per hour to do your job- all the rest is extra.

    Good luck to you!

    Let us know if you need any more help. ;>)
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  9. by   ashleyh_84
    Thanks very much all of you that really helped me out!! I know that being a nurse is hard work and the schooling is gonna be hard but i am up for a challenge!!!
  10. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    You go for it ashleyh_84

    doo wah ditty