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I need some advice about L & D

gensing82 gensing82 (New) New

I am actually posting this thread for my wife. She graduated from nursing school in 2003 and went straight to Med/Surg, where I feel like she developed a lot of excellent nursing skills. She has always had a tremendous desire to work on L & D, and was told that once she had worked on Med/Surg for a couple of months she would be able to transfer over to the L & D floor. Well she stayed on Med/Surg for 2 years before she finally quit because she never received an opportunity to transfer. She then attempted to hire on at various other hospitals: UTMB Galveston, Clear Lake Regional, Mainland Medical, etc., (We live very close to Galveston, TX) as a L & D nurse and has not been succesful in the least. They all would be happy to hire her on as a Med/Surg nurse but not as a L & D nurse. She has become so depressed because of their lack of interest in her. One of the interviewers said that every where she goes they are going to try and push her onto a Med/Surg floor since that is where she already has experience. She has worked as a Hospice nurse for the past year since she we moved in 2005 which has provided her with opportunites to develop her patient management skills. She is the case manager for all of her patients and basically takes the responsibilty of these patients entirely on her own. I am just so surprised at how difficult it has been for her to get into a L & D position.

I was wondering if anybody else is having or had, a difficult time getting a L & D position, and what steps she should take. I am an eternal optimist and love my wife dearly which is why it hurts me so much to see her so frustrated and depressed. She really is not enjoying her job at all and I feel like no one should have to put up with being miserable. This has been a 2 1/2 year ordeal that finally reached a boiling point today when she was turned down for another position at Clear Lake Regional Hospital. Please help me come up with a way to help my wife :crying2:


Has 26 years experience.

OB can be really tough to get into in many hospitals. I always recommend that nurses wanting to break into OB try a few things:

Let every and anyone they know they want to work in OB---especially nurse managers and nurses who already work there.

Find a hospital that offers OB internships or residency programs---- these are designed for new graduates or nurses wanting to laterally-transfer from other specialties to OB. You will mainly find these in larger hospitals or teaching institutions.

Continue to apply for every OB opening that exists, whether it be fulltime, parttime or per diem. Ask the managers and/or HR departments about future openings or those that may not be posted.

Get a job with the hospital float pool and request you float to OB if possible---this will get a foot in the door, as well, in many places.

Gain NRP (neonatal resuscitation program) credentialing ASAP. This will also show managers how serious a person is about working in OB.

Cast a wide net, if possible. If one hospital is not working out, try several, if possible.

Keep networking as much as possible. This is how many people get jobs of all sorts, and OB is no different.

I wish her good luck. Her med-surg background is an excellent start. We have hired many fine med-surg nurses into our OB department and they tend to do well. Tell her NEVER give up and keep trying.

Welcome to our forum!

Thanks for the quick response. Do you think it would be better for her to try and hire on at a Med/Surg position and transfer to OB? She got screwed last time she tried to do that and she is very wary of doing that again.

How long will it take her to get her NRP cred.? She is busting it right now in an ADN to BSN program, and would like to become NRP certified but she does not want to take away a lot from school.

I just want her to be happy, and I hope and pray that she can find a job that she enjoys. She really got screwed over by the first hospital she worked at and that has caused her to believe that she will not be able to transfer from Med/Surge to L&D.


One other question. Almost all of the jobs that she has applied for require that she has some sort of L & D experience. How is she supposed to get experience if no one will give her an opportunity? Any tips on how she can get experience in L&D? Some of the hospitals that she has applied for have actually hired new graduates over her. This is one of the things that has frustrated her as well. (no offense to the new graduates)


Has 26 years experience.

NRP can be achieved in just a day or weekend. Tell her to get with the nurse educator or see this site:

AAP: NRP: Provider Resources: NRP Online Evaluation Overview

Also, ALL OB jobs I have ever seen posted ask for experience. DO NOT LET THAT DAUNT HER!!!! Tell her to apply anyhow, They will hire nurses who have not had OB experience, if they want a nurse. So keep trying.


Specializes in L&D. Has 10 years experience.

Has she tried applying for any postpartum positions? This can be a launching pad to L&D.

Your wife should not feel she is inadequate b/c new grads are being hired over her. The reason for this is money: it's a lot cheaper to train and raise up a new grad who'll start at the lowest wage than a nurse with several years' experience.

I wish your wife the best of luck :)



Specializes in ED.

I don't have much to offer except some ideas.. I am a nursing student who "thinks" I want to work in L&D also. I am open to other areas but that is currently my main interest. I also have seen that they like experience in that dept. The things that crossed my mind when I read your post was maybe she could try to get involved in something related to L&D nursing while she tries to get a job in that area. Get some training as a birth doula, work in another part of a hospital that deals with babies/moms, work as a birth educator???? Just throwing out ideas. I think the idea of being in a float pool would be great, she would get her foot in the door of a hospital and then make some contacts in L&D. I think any experience in birth etc would help put her above the others applying. Even volunteering in some way helping pregnant women, breastfeeding support, etc.. good luck to her and I hope she finds the job she is looking for!

She might want to go to some of the new grad orientations at the hospitals. I saw some nurses doing this to network with the directors of different departments. She may also have to be willing to say that she is willing to take a little less money while training. I saw many L and D openings while going to all of the major hospital orientations. Good Luck.

Thanks to everybody who has posted so far. When she got home from the interview today she was so upset that she really did not want to talk about it. I told her that I had posted her situation on this forum and she was very receptive to what you all had to say. It is really difficult for me to tell her that I understand where she is coming from because obviously I don't, I am not a nurse by the way. Hopefully she will be ablt to get her NRP cred. next week if we can find her an instructor. She had about a two hour conversation with a local L&D nurse that she was friends with growing up and that seemed to calm her down. She is in much better spirits now but I still know that she is really disapointed and needs all the information she can get. You all have come up with some great ideas, and hopefully when she gets some time she will be able to get on here and join in the discussion.

She may want to try and get her feet wet in a postpartum or gyne ward. I also started in med/surg where I worked for 2 1/2 years. I just had to keep applying for L&D positions and I applied for a year and a half before I got a job. I was ready to move to another city that was going to train me when I got the call. I just say keep looking and try not to get too discouraged. Best of luck to your wife.

Good luck and besh wishes on her endavours.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Best wishes. Please tell your wife not to give up. Just gotta keep knocking...and keep on....and keep on....


Specializes in postpartum, nursery, high risk L&D. Has 4 years experience.

One other question. Almost all of the jobs that she has applied for require that she has some sort of L & D experience. How is she supposed to get experience if no one will give her an opportunity? Any tips on how she can get experience in L&D? Some of the hospitals that she has applied for have actually hired new graduates over her. This is one of the things that has frustrated her as well. (no offense to the new graduates)

this seems to happen a lot where I work also. We do get RN's from other floors but most of them that I've talked to say that they had applied several times to transfer and kind of had a hard time. and we hire many new grads.

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