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New Grads path to L&D

Ob/Gyn   (961 Views 6 Comments)
by Ella2598 Ella2598 (New) New

600 Profile Views; 7 Posts

Hey there! So I'm going to be graduating this May, and more than anything I want to work in L&D! I've seen some people saying their L&D unit loves to hire new grads, and others saying it's impossible.

I've looked at L&D job postings in my area and it seems like sadly they all want atleast a year of experiance. I'm wondering if doing my preceptorship in L&D will be worth it, considering I likely won't be able to start off there. 

My question is does your unit hire new grads? if not, what floors do they hire from most? What would prepare me most? And how did you get your start in L&D?

Thank you 🙂

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14 Posts; 1,012 Profile Views

I would absolutely fight to get an L&D job right out of school, but big piece of advice: Not everywhere that decides to give you a shot is actually capable of giving you a real shot. 

When you go into your interviews find out more about the hospitals: Are they private or county hospitals? Is it a teaching hospital? Have new grads been trained to their unit before? do they have a set system or a cohort of people who will go through it with you? do they have a nurse educator? Are they short-staffed/do people on the unit seem to be satisfied with management and have the resources they need to be successful? 

My first shot at L&D was a bust because I took a job at a smaller private hospital without many resources, had an unsupportive preceptor and not a lot of others to turn to, in a hospital culture where being anything less than perfect was unacceptable.

I went to Postpartum for two years then ended up at a different hospital after that to try Labor and Delivery again. The new hospital I work at is night and day to my first job. It's a large county hospital, a teaching hospital where learning and asking questions are welcomed and making mistakes are just part of being human, something you grow from. I'm flourishing now when before I was drowning and constantly being told it was all my fault!

I wish I hadn't been so desperate for a job in L&D that I was willing to go anywhere. I wish I'd been able to see the first hospital I interviewed at wasn't going to be able to support me.  I honestly feel like I didn't know what to look for though until I went through it: Go with a teaching hospital, somewhere that is used to new things/new faces. Somewhere where there are multiple layers of support for new grads and where new grads often go to get trained in L&D. You only get that foundation one time!

Switching into postpartum and doing that first was actually a really great way to learn nursing and be in a specialty that was close to what I wanted. I feel like Mother/Baby is kind of like the med-surg of women's health, prepared me well for the transition into L&D. That would be another good option for you, to start out there. It's a fairly common way to do things. 

If not postpartum, I'd try for something OR, where you learn sterile techinique/timeouts/counts and other things that will also be something you have to do during a csection.

 

Good luck!! 🙂

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

3 Followers; 13,337 Posts; 115,575 Profile Views

Absolutely try to get a preceptorship in L&D if that's where you're hoping to be. Think of the preceptorship as a month-long interview (or however long it is for you). This is your time to SHINE and impress the hell out of your hiring manager. If they love you, they will hire you if there is a position to be had (I have done this with 3 different new grads). Skills can be taught, but knowing that they mesh well with the rest of the team, they have a good personality, good work ethic, and hunger for knowledge - that is priceless, and is what you can show them you have during your preceptorship.

In answer to your last question - I started in L&D as a new grad. I've never worked anywhere else besides women's health/obstetrics (although I've worked in a few different settings, not just inpatient L&D). As a manager, I absolutely do hire new grads into L&D, particularly if they impress me with their personality and intelligence.

Edited by klone

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60 Posts; 1,066 Profile Views

If L&D is your passion, absolutely pursue it!  I did my preceptorship in L&D at the hospital I wanted to work at, and got a job there as a new grad.  So happy that I followed my heart!  

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swinans91 specializes in Labor & Delivery.

2 Posts; 30 Profile Views

Definitely will help to do your preceptorship in L&D or maybe get a CNA job on a L&D unit. My unit does not like to hire new grads but will under certain circumstances. We have hired 4 in the past 5years. The more familiar you are with the unit or basic L&D skills will benefit you.

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7 Posts; 600 Profile Views

Thank you everyone!! This has been so helpful, I think I'll definitely try for a L&D preceptorship! :)

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