Calling all OB nurses - NEED ADVICE!!

  1. I am graduating in December and I have been offered a position as a L&D nurse. Naturally I have had a lot of opinions thrown at me regarding different nursing areas but I truly enjoyed my L&D rotation. I know there will be many challenges ahead and I have a lot to learn but my question is this. Some say that once you become a L&D nurse you stay there, (1) Is that so bad?? What are the perks of the job and what are the difficulties?? I am looking at a position in the neuro ICU also but it seems like L&D nursing could be just a challenging and rewarding, both hospitals are in the Texas Medical Center and both seem to have very supportive and friendly staff members which helps while training. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you!
  2. Visit Daehne profile page

    About Daehne

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 3
    Graduating nursing student


  3. by   Jolie
    If it is what you want, GO FOR IT!!!

    Just make sure that the orientation is adequate (12 weeks or so 1:1 with a preceptor.) Also make sure that you will have adequate back-up from experienced nurses and a mentor on the shift to which you will be assigned after orientation.

    If you ever tire of L&D, you will have a multitude of skills that you can take to almost any area of nursing: OR, PACU, Same day surgery, Nursery, Mother-Baby, Post-partum, Med-surg, OB office, Home care, etc.

    Since you are considering 2 units from the same hospital system, you could ask the recruiter to set up a shadow day with each unit. That may help you to decide, but again, if L&D is what you want, GO FOR IT!!

    Good luck in your new career!

  4. by   canoehead
    If you eventually chose to go to high risk OB you would have the advantage of OB and ICU, so it doesn't have to be one or the other.
  5. by   rdhdnrs
    The great thing about nursing is that if you find one area is not for you, then you can switch (unlike MD's who are pretty stuck after residency).
    I'm biased because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE L&D!!!!!! But I say go for it; it's very rewarding and you will learn a lot.
    Good luck.
  6. by   Sable's mom
    I have worked L&D, OB,NICU, office and home care in the last 24 years. Each area has it's poitives and negatives. Right now
    I'm in a small rural hospital and we do L&D, PP, and Nsy - it's great. The biggest draw back I've seen in OB is that in a small hospital your back up may be very limited. We have no residents, most ER doctors are terrified of OB, and the supervisors,etc aren't much better. That said, I still love it and would probably never do any other kind of nursing.

    One caution - OB can be the best/happiest place in the hospital or the saddest!! When something goes wrong in OB it's TERRIBLE!!

    I agree with the poster who said make sure you get enough back up and orientation.

    Good Luck in you future.
  7. by   mother/babyRN
    Congratulations! I also think you should do what you love. In our hospital the labor and delivery staff has to recover and circulate, so we have cardiac/critical care skills too. If you are in a teaching facility, you will have the option to change.
    I think the deal in the past where you start in med surg and go on from there is still the best route because it is helpful . On the other hand, you wil develop many assessment skills especially if your patients are high risk.
    Sounds like you have a great opportunity and I wish you well. I have done ICU, PCU, med surg and through all that, I have to say delivery is STILL the scariest place because you rarely know what is coming through the door. That makes it both exiciting and rewarding. I agree with insisting on the appropriate orientation as these days most places will attempt to hurry that through and count you as staff. The fallbacks for us center on them wanting us to do everything and that can tire you out. BUT, if it is your dream, no better time like the present to give it a try. Remember to MAKE CERTAIN you get good malpractice insurance AND disability insurance. Talk to the people who have been there awhile. They usually know what the best routes are..Good luck and welcome!