How can I get more OB experience as a student/new grad?

  1. Hi! This is my first post. I've read a lot of posts from allnurses over the past few years, and you have all been so helpful! I'm the first nurse among my family and friends, so your support means a lot to me. Thank you!

    I attend school in a rural location, and it's hard to find enough clinical sites. I'm going to graduate in May (It's hard to believe I'm so close! , and I've only had a few days of OB experience. I requested OB for my preceptorship, but did not get it, because there are only a few openings and lots of applicants. I've also had sims - but let's face it, watching an electronic arm push a plastic baby out of a giant rubber vagina is just not the same thing.

    For a long time, I've dreamed of working in OB and women's health, and I've loved the OB experience that I've had. I have a passion for this area because of the things I've been through. But I feel like my dream is fading because of my lack of experience in OB.

    How can I get more experience in OB as a student/new grad so that I can be competitive and prepared for an OB job later?
  2. Visit thoughtful21 profile page

    About thoughtful21, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 71; Likes: 152
    from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    8 Comments

  3. by   thoughtful21
    To clarify my question a little further...I've heard vague rumors about nurse residency programs, but don't know much about them, and don't know of any in my area. No hospital will be willing to train a nurse who isn't going to work there, will they?
    Are nurse residency programs expensive?
    I've also heard about job shadowing - but this doesn't provide any hands-on experience, does it?
    I'm sorry that my question sounds dumb. As a first-gen nurse, there's a lot I don't understand, and your help is very much appreciated!
  4. by   klone
    Nurse residency programs should not cost the nurse any money. It's basically a new grad program where new nurses are hired by the hospital and do a combination of on-the-job orientation and classroom. Nurse residency programs are often the only time some hospitals will hire new grad nurses.

    To find a nurse residency program, your best bet is to call local hospitals and ask HR if they offer such a thing. Are you able to relocate to a different community for a job?
  5. by   thoughtful21
    Nope, can't relocate. I have to stay close to my family. There is one larger hospital in my area though, and I'll call them and see if they have a residency program. Thanks for the good idea! Can you think of any other options that I could/should ask them about at the same time?
    I do already have a job lined up after I graduate (which is very nice!). If I do a residency at a certain hospital, would they expect me to work for them after I completed the residency?
  6. by   klone
    Yes, typically. Besides, most residencies are only a few months long - you would not be particularly marketable after only a few months of nursing experience. Best to work at your first job for at least a year or two before moving to a different facility.
  7. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from thoughtful21
    Nope, can't relocate. I have to stay close to my family. There is one larger hospital in my area though, and I'll call them and see if they have a residency program. Thanks for the good idea! Can you think of any other options that I could/should ask them about at the same time?
    I do already have a job lined up after I graduate (which is very nice!). If I do a residency at a certain hospital, would they expect me to work for them after I completed the residency?
    Just curious, why do you have to stay close? If you aren't married & have kids if you move more doors will open.
  8. by   thoughtful21
    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    Just curious, why do you have to stay close? If you aren't married & have kids if you move more doors will open.
    My parents need me right now. We're a close-knit family. My husband's job is also in this area.
    I could apply for a job in OB at the larger hospital in my area, but because I have so little experience, I'm not sure I would be ready for it! You know how small rural communities are...if I bite off more than I can chew, I could get a bad reputation in the community and burn bridges.
    I guess I'm looking for something like transitions but not...something that would give me a few weeks/months in OB working with an experienced mentor... and I don't think an opportunity like that exists unless it is in school or on the job.
    Does anyone have any opinions about job shadowing?
  9. by   klone
    Quote from thoughtful21
    I guess I'm looking for something like transitions but not...something that would give me a few weeks/months in OB working with an experienced mentor... and I don't think an opportunity like that exists unless it is in school or on the job.
    Any nursing job you take will offer that. You are a new grad - you will not be expected to work independently for at least several weeks. At our facility, new grads get 12 weeks of orientation to postpartum/mom-baby (more if needed, but generally 12 is enough). After a year in postpartum, they're then trained to L&D and that typically takes 2-3 months as well.
  10. by   mejsp
    How about continuing education courses dealing with OB? You could also teach childbirth education or become a doula. Is there a local midwife who would allow you to shadow her?

    I accidentally ended up in the Family Centered Care Unit. I'd worked Med-Surg and ICU as an LVN, but needed a more flexible schedule to pursue my ADN. The OB director was willing to accommodate me. OB wasn't something I'd considered in school, but I stayed and loved it probably because of my wonderful mentors. Approximately half of my career was in OB, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I wish you success.

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