It's been seven years since I graduated from high school, and even though I had good intentions of going back to college (only took a couple quarters), I never really could find a career that really interested me. I'm married now, with two children, and now I'm considering getting my AA in nursing at our local community college, and I'm interested in Obstetrics. I guess it hit me after having my own kids. But before I jump in with both feet I would really like to ask those that are already OB nurses some questions. I have an appointment in two weeks to talk to a student councelor, but I would love to ask these questions ahead of time. First, how much education am I looking at to become an OB nurse? What classes should I be looking into to make myself "stick out" from others? And what do you like most about OB nursing? What do you like the least? And, if you could go back and do it all over again, would you pick OB nursing as your career again? I know every job has it's ups and downs, but I really would like to weigh some options. Thanks for helping me out.
Feb 19, '99
It's great that you've chosen this field of interest to enter. In my small facility we allow new nurses (no experience) 3-6 months basic training. They take a NRP and PCEP...neonatal resusitation courses. This gives them the knowledge to work the floor.. post-partem, nursery, and be the helper (baby nurse) along side the labor nurse. We train up to a year or more depending on need to be a full fledged nurse to include Labor and Delivery responsibilities. Being a small country hospital we staff only 2 per 12 hour shift. (6 LDRP's/ 30 births every month) with very litte support. The doctor is either sleeping or at home until close to the birth time. As for special classes.. just get your RN degree first. We have found it very valuable to require that our new nurses have at the very least 1 year of med/surg experience before they transfer to us. Learning is much quicker and a good base is obtained. I recommend you do this yourself. New life is always wonderful and I never tire of seeing it and watching new families grow and bond. On the downside is the 18yo having her 3rd child by a 3rd father with the other 2 already in state custody. Always the good with the bad. But mostly the good! Good luck to you..
Feb 22, '99
Thanks so much for your reply. I guess I need a little reassurance that this is really the career I want to do. I've decided to work on getting my prerequisits done before getting into the program. I'm going to take 1-2 classes per quarter, because of lack of time and money. It will be good though to take it slow, since it has been seven years. I'm nervous about taking all those science coarses, everyone tells me how hard they are. Oh well, I know I can do it. Thanks again.
Feb 24, '99
Working in a smaller hospital will increase you chances of working in OB. This area is often considered the plumb of all units and in larger hospitals the wait will be a long one indeed. Most facilities don't hire new grads for OB, but there are always exceptions to that rule. Because of the autonomy in the OB department, managers usually want nurses with a minimum of one year's experience in med-surg nursing to sharpen the assessment skills. One very possible way to circumvent this requirement is to seek employment as a nursery tech or extern during semester breaks while you're in school. This is sometimes enough to get your foot in the door especially in a smaller hospital.
Congrats on your choice of nursing specialties. Where else could you go to work every day and witness a miricle?The opportunities for teaching are endless and in most cases , the work load is lighter. Good luck!
Feb 26, '99
OB nursing is the best field I could have picked...I am a Hi-Risk Labor and Delivery Travel Nurse, I have been involved in over 7000 deliveries and can't even imagine doing any other kind of nursing...I went back to college and got my degree after being out of high school for 14 years and while I can't say it was easy, it wasn't as bad as I had thought it was going to be. The hardest part for me was daycare for my 2 boys. If you can't find a local hospital to train you...look a little further and decide if the commute is worth it....I did a travel assignment just outside of Yakima in Toppenish and I know that they hire new grads for their unit....It's a fantastic hospital to work at....Good Luck Lisa
Apr 5, '99
I am about to graduate from a Bachelor's program in May. Women's health has been my primary interest for most of my educational career. One thing that I did that appears to make me more marketable is to participate in an externship. This is basicly an internship. You work with a single nurse who acts as a preceptor in the summer before your senior year. For me it was an excellant experience personally and has improved my chances of getting a women's health position as a new grad. I did a program offered in Phoenix, Arizona. If you are interested, inquire at your local hospitals to see what they offer. Another good way to get into OB is to be an aid or patient care assitant on an OB floor. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and get some experience as well. Good Luck.
Must Read Topics