Nurse Educator vs. Labor and Delivery Nurse


So I received two job offers:

1) Nurse educator/community heath educator

2) Labor and Delivery training program

These are both wonderful opportunities so I'm not sure which one I should take and need others opinions.

First off, I'm a fairly new nurse. I've been working in a small but very stressful ICU for over 4 years now. My original goal when I first started nursing was to go in L&D but there were no programs, so I went into an ICU new grad program and have been there since. Lately I've been really frustrated and have started to dread going to work that I realized I needed a change of pace.

I applied to a Nurse Educator position at a different facility which I would work 9-5 weekdays and no holidays (I've worked every holiday for these past four years) but its a little lower pay and its nonclinical. Also, I'm in the process of getting my Masters in Education because I love teaching. I also applied for a training program at my hospital for L&D which would be a great opportunity since thats were I originally wanted to go into.

So if you were me, even if you're feeling burnt out would you take the L&D position because it's difficult to get into a training program but risk having that feeling of dread going to work? Or would you take the educator position because this is most likely what I'll be doing in the future? But with the risk that I lose time at the bedside if I did want to go back?

I feel very blessed to have been made these two offers. What do you think?


21 Posts

What causes you to dread going to work in the ICU? If those things aren't present when you do L&D why worry about the feeling of dread. Also, there had to have been reasons why you originally wanted to go into L&D. I think you should try and remember what those are and then jump on the L&D position.

I personally think L&D would be an amazing opportunity. Good luck!

Nurse ABC

437 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

This would be a tough decision for me too since I would be interested in both of them. What type of area would you most be interested in teaching? If it's anything with mother-baby go for the L & D position to get that background. There is a lot of teaching in that area as well so if you're original interest was L & D and you enjoy teaching it could be a good combo. Also just because you dread going to work now doesn't mean you will dread it in an area that you're more interested in. If you just need a break from the hospital and don't think you'll regret not trying OB then go for the other since that's where you're headed anyway. Just know once you leave the hospital it will be harder to get back in, esp in the area you want. I personally don't like working five days a week as well but a lot of people do so look at which schedule you will like better to. I hope this helps and good luck!

Specializes in Pediatrics and Women's Health. Has 8 years experience.

I'm not a nurse-yet. So the best advice I could give you is to follow where your heart is leading you to. If you wanted to do Labor and Delivery originally that may be where your heart is. However, after the four years things have change for you maybe the Nurse Educator position would be best. Where do you think you would be happiest? Whatever comes to mind first is where you should be. Hope this helps and best of luck to you!


2 Posts

I am a recent grad and found myself in a similar predicament. I had a hard time picking between working ER and L&D. I got an ER position instantly when I graduated but only casual positions were available in L&D, so I accepted the ER position. It was awful, I hated it and dreaded going to work after my 3rd shift. It wasn't necessarily the work, it was the managers and some of my new co-workers that made it so terrible for me. I come from en education background, I was a teacher before becoming a nurse and I eventually could see myself as a nurse educator too. I ended up working only for a few months in ER before moving on to L&D. I LOVE being an L&D nurse. It's such a magical and happy place to work (for the most part), and I definitely want to grow my career from here. There is a lot of teaching in this area of nursing and still a lot of opportunity fr clinical skills, I like the balance. I hope this is helpful. It sounds cheesy, but follow your heart, it will make you happiest.

Specializes in FNP- psych, internal med, pediatric. Has 12 years experience.

Well....I may not provide the enlightening words you're looking for, but anyhow, why are you being so hard on yourself for not being happy? You got that "guilty for trying something different" and there's nothing wrong with honing your profession to how you want and expect it to be. Should it be nothing less? In one year's time, I began at a health dept, felt I was losing valuable nursing skills, then went on to a Med/Surg floor (loathed it, not the pts, but rather the politics of how to do nursing), spent one day at a pain clinic only to find that I couldn't even drink water for 5 hours it was so hectic (said, sorry, not for me), and then started teaching. I figured, I better do something more hospital-like and also started at an ER. The difference is night and day between them all, but I know for sure what I won't do! Now I will say that all the orientations are very daunting for the job hopping I did, and it wasn't because I can't stay put, but I refuse to be miserable at the same time. The ER is so amazingly different from floor nursing and teaching has been so much fun, iut's not even like work so I start grad school this fall. The point is that, it's ok to change specialties so long as you understand you'll be learning the ways of the "other" dark side of nursing until it just becomes routine for you. Explore your profession because when you leave one facility or even stay at your facility, but change depts. sometimes the money increases with that change too! Now myr esume this year looks confusing, but at least I can say with certainty that this is where I want to be....and stay! :coollook:

Nurse ABC

437 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Which did you end up choosing?