Orientation time in Labor and Delivery

Specialties Ob/Gyn


I'm being considered for a L&D position in California. I've been told that the orientation would be about 3 months. With being cross-trained into post-partum, nursery, circulating in sections, and l&d itself, if this is adequate time. If you guys don't mind sharing how much orientation time you received in this area as well, I would very much appreciate it. Thanks everyone!! :) :) :)

3 months seems sufficient for L&D itself, but I hope this doesn't include your orientation to the other areas! My orientation to post partum alone was 2 months! 2 weeks of classroom, 1 week of shadowing another nurse, and 5 weeks slowly increasing our patient load with a preceptor.

Good luck & congrats Shannon!


Shannon, I am just finishing my orientation in L&D and I received 3 months in that area alone! I still feel shaky, can't imagine trying to orient in the other areas at the same time! :eek:

This time includes circulating in sections.

[ May 22, 2001: Message edited by: caroleann ]

I agree with Heather and Caroleann. I am just finishing up a three month L&D training program (including circulation for sections, and mom/baby recovery)and that seems to be the norm. We had a couple weeks of classes and then switched over to one class per week and 3 clinical days with preceptors. 3 months does seem kind short to do L&D, post partum and nursery.

Congratulations on Graduating, and good luck with your new position.

Thank you so much for sharing your replies with me :) I'll keep ya posted as to how the job pursuit goes. 'Nite all!

Okay, now I'm nervous. I have also accepted a position in L&D and I was told it would be for 12 weeks...for PP, L/D, Csec, and it's also the first time the hospital has hired new grads into L&D...so it will be quite an experience for all of us I guess! :eek:

OK, you all need to come to Las Vegas!

My L&D unit gives a 12 week preceptorship course to experienced nurses and also to new grads, to help them learn the ropes in L&D!

We've had some fabulous L&D RNs come on staff that way...starting out scared to death & now flying on their own!

After the 12 weeks, they have a 'buddy' as a resource person for a while, too.

Generally we tell new L&D nurses that if they aren't asking questions or for the opinion of another RN, for at least a few YEARS, then they don't know what they don't know!!!

L&D nursing is part science, part psych, part "gut instinct" & part "art"!

(Experienced L&D nurses don't usually take the class...just several weeks orientation)

Thanks for the offer HazeK. I have begun my new job and it looks like they will take more time than originally planned for us new grads. I will be cross-training in the nursery and postpartum for now and pick up L&D some time in the fall. Whew! There is so much to learn, but I'm very excited about it all!

Shannon, don't forget to update us about your new position!

Good luck!

:D :D :D

After 13 years as an ER nurse & 2 as a flight nurse, I went to L&D> JEEZ!!!! Scared the daylights out of me. I felt like Mammy in "Gone with the WInd".. " I don't know nothin bout birthin no babies"! Can't begin to tell you the number of times I thought, "OH, I really need to go back to where I knew what I was doing." Anyhow, after 15 months, a great orientation from my peers, I feel like I'm relatively competant most of the time. I still have questions & still have new things happen. I agree with the earlier post, "If you stop asking, then you don't know what you'don't know." Have fun, there's nothing quite like this.

I got 6 months on a 13 bed LDRP unit. I had already been doing mother/baby because of floating over from med/surg for about 3 months before formally transferring so my entire 6 months of orientation has been L&D. We work on 4 person teams and we do not circulate for our own sections: we have an OR on the unit but not enough staff to cover the floor and the OR & PACU.

I think its important to keep in mind when you are considering length of orientation how big the unit is and how many births you have per month. There are two LDRPs in my county: ours is 13 beds, the other is 7 beds. We average around 65 births per month, the other is less than 30. They can't afford to hire anyone without experience because it would take too long to orient to L&D. That's why we do 6 months on our small catch-all unit as oppposed to a shorter, more intense L&D orientation on a separated unit. The most births we've had in a period of time was 6 between 0800 and 1430: 4 scheduled sections, including one set of twins, and one NVD. Quite a lot for a small unit! Then I'll go days without having even one active labor pt...

I'm really scared, I just finished 6 weeks ( 12 hours) of orientation to labor and delivery. I spent 3 months in mother/baby and nursery. Every opportunity I had i jumped into delivery rooms to watch. Still i am scared to death. I have had two days on my own. the first day was hell, not from my lack of experience but because of unfair assignments. My second day was much better. So I have to healthy deliveries by myself. the staff on this unit is very supportive and i don't feel like i am being left on my own but still it is very intimidating

Originally posted by finallyRN

I'm really scared, I just finished 6 weeks ( 12 hours) of orientation to labor and delivery. I spent 3 months in mother/baby and nursery.

I hope that wasn't a typo...did you have only 12 hours total in those 6 weeks in L&D?? Or were they 12 hour days?

I'm a new grad (May 2001). Did 1 week general hospital orientation, 1-2 weeks postpartum & gyn orientation, and have been in L&D for orientation for the last 4 weeks or so. My manager is already talking about when to switch me to nights (my position I was hired for was FT nights...am orienting on days right now). I take boards on Aug 1st. I have only been exposed, so far in L&D to high risk...had ONE low risk last night...but it was a precipitous delivery, the MD & CNM did not repond to pages, and my preceptor RN ended up catching the baby. NOT the way to be oriented in L&D, she said!!

Needless to say, I'm scared to death of the time that I will be finally on my own....though my manager reassures me that I will not be alone for a while....ha ha...I managed this labor yesterday almost entirely on my own. My preceptor had 2 other labor patients that she was trying to manage, while TRYING to keep up with what I was doing. Luckily, I was giving her frequent updates as to what was going on with my patient.

I am VERY glad that I grabbed her when I did...this pt when from "pushy" to delivery in less then a few minutes. I've never seen a baby pop out so fast! :eek:

Jennifer, new grad in L&D

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