We MUST have two NRP-trained fully qualified L/D nurses in house 24/7. That is our policy and it has been sorely tested many times. We can go from "zero to 60" in short measure, meaning on the rare times we have no patients, we can have suddenly have 2 or 3 actively laboring patients or true emergencies be wheeled in at any given time.
I came from a rural setting where we did only 25-30 labor patients a month. The way they handled it was, we had to be in house 24/7, immediately available to L/D. We were obligated to "float" to help out on other floors, usually ICU/CCU, or the ED, just doing PM cares, starting IV's and passing meds we were familiar with. We were also their "gophers", if you will. We were not assigned a patient load, in the case we had to report to L/D immediately. But make no mistake, we were never out of the house, despite there being no patients on L/D. We were called on more than many occasions back to L/D to handle a case that suddenly presented. You do NOT want to be without properly-trained RN's in a place that does L/D at ANY TIME.
Where I am now is also a smaller-sized community hospital-----delivering only about 70 or 75 babes a month. As I said, there is the option of "floating", if they do not want you sitting around, doing nothing all night, but you BEST have two well-trained and fully qualified nurses in house at all times, (with a 3rd on call as backup) cause, as you know, you have no way of controlling or predicting what walks in or is wheeled in, next.