Any nurses that have started and transferred out of L&D?

  1. Hi everyone! I'm a recent new grad, and may have a good opportunity to have a job in L&D. I networked with someone who said they would be happy to pass my resume along as they are in dire need of filling some spots on their unit. As some background, I'm still trying to figure out what type of nursing I want to do, but am ultimately leaning toward a pediatric ICU setting. I enjoyed my L&D rotation but didn't ever really see it as something that I would do long term. As I'm struggling to find jobs, I don't want to pass this up (who knows, maybe i'll love it!).

    But in the chance that I find out it's not for me, has it been easy for anyone to transfer from L&D to other types of nursing? It seems like such a specific unit to me, and there are many different skills I feel like I won't be learning. But I also know it can be fast paced and high risk, which is great in gaining critical care skills. Has anyone had experience in starting in L&D and transferring elsewhere? And if so, do you think this may be a good place to start as a new grad who ultimately wants to work her way into an ICU? I guess I just have a fear of losing some important foundation skills that I would gain in a med-surg setting since L&D is so specific.
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    About allysg08

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 1


  3. by   ashleyisawesome
    I have coworkers that have gone on to work in the OR, PACU, NICU, ED, Dr Offices, ICU, med/surg, peds, psych, home health, and probably some other areas I'm not thinking of. L&D is a varied specialty and you will learn a lot. You can spin the experience to work in your favor for almost any specialty. It's good for an ICU nurse because you learn how to deal with complex patients on a 1:1/1:2 ratio, you will learn a lot of the basics you'd learn in med/surg (gtts, I&Os, prioritization, assessment, communication with physicians, etc). You might not be coding patients a lot (hopefully), but you deal with a lot of emergent situations like hemorrhages, stat c-sections, shoulder dystocias, uterine ruptures, abruptions, precipitous deliveries, eclampsia, etc. A lot of our patients have comorbidities like DM, HTN, seizure disorders, psych issues, heart defects, etc. I have even had paralyzed patients that I had to do incontinence and wound care on! You will become very familiar with a well newborn assessment which will help you if you move on to PICU one day. There is also a ton of parent education which is great practice if you want to work in a PICU--you will be dealing with scared parents a lot!

    Remember there are a lot of roles an L&D nurse fills. Along with caring for a delivering mom and her baby in labor, you might also end up helping with neonatal resuscitation, in the OR as a scrub or circulator, in PACU recovering a fresh post op, in triage dealing with anything from rule out rupture/labor to yeast infections, to preterm labor and obstetrical emergencies. If you work in an LDRP you will also care for postpartum couplets, which is a lot like med/surg lite.

    And as a new grad, you aren't losing any skills by starting in any specialty. You can only gain skills. Don't take this negatively, but as a new grad you don't really have any skills to lose. For instance I don't know the first thing about caring for a patient on a ventilator, because I have never had to. I may have seen or cared for a few in nursing school under the guidance of other nurses, but in no way would I have ever said "I can take care of vent pts because I learned that in school." I am sure I could learn how to if I picked up a job in ICU, but they wouldn't expect me to know how when I started and they would teach me. Any knowledge you become rusty on or skills you feel like you didn't use much in L&D will be learned on whatever floor you end up on next. That's why they have orientation.