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May I ask??

May I ask a question??

Nearly every time I do a job search, it seems like there is always openings for ER RNs and L&D RNs.

Emergency RN vacancies I can see - I worked in ER for 2 years, and I can understand why people do not flock to that specialty! Very stressful!

But why would L&D be a tough floor? It seems like it would be a nice field to be in, except I would want to take all the babies home with me!

Can anyone explain why more nurses are not in L&D?

I enjoyed my time in L&D, but...ever seen a baby die? Ever seen one born dead, or watch the mom and baby die? Ever taken care of a crack or AIDS baby? It looks like peaches and cream working L&D, but it can be very stressful. I'm not an L&D professional, but that's my guess as to why some folks don't want to work there. I expect the malpractice suits are pretty harsh, too.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

For both ER and L&D, hospitals probably only want to hire those with previous experience. While there are lots of nurses who might want to work in these areas, there are probably very few who have adequate previous experience in these areas. So you might see these positions open for awhile as the hospital waits for the right candidate to apply.

babyktchr, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery.

It is such the common thought that L&D is the greatest floor to work on...after all, all you do is rock babies right? I am not poking fun, just echoing a phrase I have heard more times than not. While OB is the specialty that takes care of the well patient (for the most part, but when a pregnant mommy is sick, she is SICK)...it is a highly stressful, demanding place. You are taking care of two patients at a time and deal with pain at some of its greatest levels within the confines of one of the highest liabilites there is in medicine. And while OB is primarily a 'happy' place....there are the heartbreaking moments when you are telling a family that their baby has died and then endure labor and delivery knowing that they will not bring home their baby. Or, carry a baby around on postpartum that is withdrawing from the methadone or percocet or any other narcotic that its mother took during pregnancy.

It used to be that you had to wait for someone to die before you could get a job in OB, that is how low the turnover was. I don't see many jobs personally, but my guess would be as you said for the ED, high stress and burnout could be the culprit.

It takes a special breed to be an OB nurse. Not everyone can do it...just like not everyone can be an OR or ED nurse, or even MED/SURG for that matter.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

As others have said, it takes a unique breed to specialize in L&D, and not everyone wants be an L&D nurse. The reason why you see so many ads for L&D is because units are always on the lookout for an L&D nurse with more than 2-3 years of experience, they're hard to find.


Specializes in NICU.

AND, L&D/birthing centers are some of the only "money making" units for hospitals. You want to build a new hospital? You better build the best, biggest, newest and most beautiful birthing center. Also, the call for L&D units is usually pretty harsh. :/

My unit usually has a handful of openings at a time. We attract a lot of commuters who end up quitting for something closer to home. People who have done it for years get burned out and leave (usually for ER or OR type work). Others quit due to illness or moving out of state. It sometimes feels like a revolving door! But for every spot that keeps opening up, there's a spot that's been occupied for 10+ years. And yes, our manager sometimes holds out for someone with OB experience who won't need 12+ weeks of orientation.

Call requirements for L & D are harsh, at least on my floor. This is the main reason people leave, or go prn. It's almost impossible to work full time for very long, because all you do is work, you have no life because you can bet on being called in on your call days. There are very few of us who have remained full time. Also the stress, and a lot of OB doctors seem very nice to their patients, but the majority of them are not nice to the nurses. Also the liability is HUGE in L and D. People who don't do it think L and D is all rainbows and sunshine. But having a PIH mom, or an eclamptic one is not fun. Also fear of having your patient hemorrhage. Not to mention all the things that can go wrong with babies. The list could go on and on.[h=3][/h][h=3][/h]


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