Published Jul 12, 2009
I started my career briefly in maternal/newborn and because of relocating am now in the NICU. I like it but my long term career goals are in women's health. The job market is tough and there are currently only a handful of L&D openings in my whole county - of course they are asking for experience but I applied anyway.
Just looking for ideas of classes I can take or certifications I can get to make me more marketable for a L&D position. I was thinking about fetal monitoring and lactation. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
mzjennx, BSN, RN
I want to do go into Labor and Delivery too, but dont know how to start. Some Labor and Delivery units recommend fetal basic and advance monitoring classes, ACLS, NRP, PALS, but most seem to require nurses with high-risk labor experience. I started my new grad in med-surg, but definaely want to get into women's health too. I feel lost because I havent had much feedback and dont know how to get into this speciality.
I hope someone replies back to answer our question!
NurseNora, BSN, RN
It seems to me that NICU experience would be of use for an L&D nurse. AWHONN is the national organization for Women's Health, Ob, and Neonatal nurses. Becoming a member would entitle you to their publications and would look good on your resume. You can take the basic fetal monitoring class online at awhonn.org, but to take the intermediate, you need 6 months of experience. But it never hurts to have the basic under your belt. Depending on the kind of hospital you're interested in, STABLE could be of use. It's for smaller hospitals that ship out their sick babies; it teaches how to stabilize the infant in an organized way for transport (Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood, Labs, Emotional support). If your NICU sends a team to high risk deliveries, you probably already have NRP.
Volunteer to be the one to go to deliveries, to check out the L&D board to see what's cooking, talk to the L&D nurses. Let them know you're interested in going over to L&D and that you'd like to know of any positions that open. If you show interest, they'll pay attention.
It's a lousy job market right now, so opening will be few, but once the economy starts coming back, lots of people who have been putting off retiring or going part time will leave and a place for you will open up
Hi - thanks so much for your reply. I am already a member of AWHONN but thanks for the reminder to put that on my resume. Unfortunately my NICU is in a children's hospital and not a delivery hospital so I dont have the opportunity to go to deliveries. I do have NRP and STABLE so for now I guess I will take the online basic fetal monitoring class and go from there. I am also working on my spanish as I live in an area with a large spanish speaking population. I might also try to go to an AWHONN chapter meeting and maybe I can meet some L&D nurses. It seems like many times it's not what you know but who you know. Thanks again for responding to my post!
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