need advice on breaking into ob nursing

  1. HI,
    My name is Elizabeth. I have been a nurse for 8 years. I have always wanted to work in OB, but have so far always been turned away. How can I get in without OB experience? I am a BSN with 3 years ER experience, plus experience in ortho, public health and case management. I have just (again) applied for OB positions at all 5 hospitals within a 150 mile radius of my home and have again been told that I have been passed over because they are hiring a nurse with OB experience. Of course I understand this, but how did they get their experience??? I went the BSN route because I want to get my CNM, but have been putting off making the move to go back to school because I feel I should have L&D experience first. I am now 35, and there is nothing else in nursing I am interested in. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can make myself more marketable to an OB department supervisor in light of my lack of experience. I have not yet even been invited to an interview for OB, after 8 years of applying every 2 years or so (when I get burnt out on whatever department I'm working in because it isn't the nursing job I yearn for). Any advice would be appreiciated.
    PS I do not live near any large hospitals which seem to have a higher demand for OB nurses.
  2. Visit wizbeanne profile page

    About wizbeanne

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 2


  3. by   nursejohio
    Any kind of experience r/t OB can give managers a reason to look over your application. Have you checked into being a doula? Even if you don't go all the way through, "working towards DONA certification" might get your foot in the door, it did with me.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    How about trying to start out on Post Partum or well baby nursery? Lots of folks break into L/D by entering into these areas, first. Just a thought.

    Also, try to get NRP (neonatal resuscitation program) certification, to show them you are very serious about entering into OB nursing.

    Networking helps, too. Have good friends/colleagues in OB who can speak on your behalf, to maybe help get you hired? Might be helpful. Make sure your references can really help you as well, extolling your virtues as a nurse, in general. Most OB managers DO appreciate prior experience in places like the ED, ICU/CCU or med-surg. Such nurses have proven they have wonderful time management skills and can handle high levels of acuity easily.

    Also, you could become an AWHONN member (and put this on your resume). See for information/details.

    GOOD LUCK and KEEP TRYING! There surely is a manager out there smart enough to see your merits and hire you, sooner or later.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Also see that you get some education regarding breastfeeding. There are classes out there for health care providers to help us be breastfeeding advocates for our patients. WHO (World Health Organization) provides training. There are any number of books to help you from La Leche League, too. Just another idea.
  6. by   CMCRN
    Ever consider moving? I don't know where you are located but when I started 25 years ago no one would hire me either so I started in Neurosurgery then to post partum and finally talked my way into L&D. Now we are hiring new grads with an elaborate training program and orientation, they would love someone with your experience! And there is a great Midwife school here too...! All previous suggestions are good too.
  7. by   wizbeanne
    Thanks for the advice and support.
    CMCRN, what hospital are you speaking of? I can't move (shared custody with X husband), but I might be able to travel some where and spend my 3 shifts there and then home for 4 days. My limits would be Sac or Bay Area.
  8. by   jannrn
    Another route could be to get into the float pool of a hospital, and then they may be able to train you to float to that area. Usually they train you enough to take postpartum pt, sometimes the postpartum area also takes Gyn surgeries that you could primarily take, then they may pay for or provide NRP cert for you and soon you will also be taking babies on to your assignment. getting lactation education can help.

    The hospital I work at (very small) is just outside the SF Bay area and we just hired 2 new grads to the LDRP unit here. I think we even have an opening on the med/surg unit, and they are MORE than willing to take one of the Med/surg RN's and train them for the L&D side so that they have more options to get nurses to float over to them when they are busy!!! Hardly anyone on med/surg WANTS to float there, only 2 of them will. Once you start floating, they start calling and that gets your foot in the door. then as long as you are willing to learn and open to helping out wherever you can (even if it is holding a pushing mom's leg!) you are much appreciated and can watch for those openings, they'd easily hire you then as they know you! so keep trying, you'll get in and never look back!

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