Published Jan 3, 2001
I've always had an interest in women's health and maternal child nursing but I started out in ER and med-surg for the experience. I felt I'd have a better future after that type of work. Well, I didn't last long in those areas because I had a hard time working with the very sick and dying. I am now following my heart and will be starting L&D very soon. But is there life after L&D? I mean even after my limited experience in ER and med-surg,I was offered jobs in several different areas. Where can I go with my L&D experience? It seems opportunities are limited unless you have an advanced degree.
I guess I'm just confused by your question. Where would you like to go? Are you talking about moving up to management, or moving on to other areas? I too followed my heart to OB/Women's Health. Not once have I ever thought about "where I'll go from here", I'm perfectly happy where I am.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think jhope is asking if she will be limited in terms of other areas of opportunity should say 5,10 yrs down the road she decide to pursue another area of nursing. I have also wondered about this. As a nursing student, I LOVED my OB rotation and would jump at a chance to start out in L&D, even in a post-partum capacity. But, like Jhope, I have wondered if this will limit my opportunities should I choose to explore other areas later in life. I mean, doesn't the average nurse work in ~5 areas of nursing during his/her career? Anyway, I would be curious to hear from others and their experiences with this. Thanks! Shannon
"The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
Yes! this is exactly what I'm trying to get at. Thanks for the clarification Shannon. I too would love to hear from others on their experiences
All I was trying to say is that it seems odd to say that you're "following your heart" to an area of nursing, but you're already having thoughts about what you'll do next. Yes, some nurses change areas often in their careers. Yet most of the nurses I work with (in OB) started there right after nursing school. In fact, this was a hot topic in nursing school, that all OB nurses were "old timers" and contributed to the idea on why it was hard to get into OB (nobody ever leaves). Nobody I know has ever left OB, but I don't see why the experience couldn't transfer to another area. Lots of aspects of OB care branch out into other areas: newborn care (peds), c-sections & gyn surgeries (med/surg), emergency situations (ER), etc. I encourage you to go into this with a positive attitude and not worry about what's next. Good luck to you in your new venture!
I was in L&D for 12 years at a charity hospital. I loved it!!!
But there finally came a day when I realised that I was having a very hard time keeping up the pace. It was also time to seriously consider that my retirement years are not that far away and retirement income is based on your base pay at our facilty.
After much thought I accepted an administrative position. There was no way to increase my pay scale in L&D. No posibility to advance to a higher position in L&D. Do I miss it--Very, very much. I do still fill in when they are short-handed and that does help.
If you work in an L&D with a high risk area you will be using all your med/surg and ER skills. Those pregnant ladies have everything the average patient has-- they are just pregnant in addition to that.
If you go into L&D you will either love it and stay forever (almost) or you will hate it and leave before much time has past at all.
I say go for it and see how it works out.
If you enjoy word puzzles come visit me at www.CrosswordsForNurses.com
I started in OB many years ago and along the way spent time doing part time work in other areas of nursing. My OB experience did NOT limit my "hire-ability" in any manner. I did utilization review, consultations at nursing homes, staff development and taught childbirth techniques. When I realized that I was an OB nurse deep inside myself, it was clear where to work. I have now been in OB for 15 years and it makes the day worth facing. On staff where I work, there are 6 nurses who have done OB for 20-30 years and still love it. Others have done it for 10-15 and still enjoy it. I believe the market is open to the "OB nurse" inside and outside the hospital and within nursing itself. So follow your heart and you too, may never leave OB. We just seem to go on and on and on.... We just love it.
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