I was very excited to start L&D travel nursing at the beginning of the year. This has been my dream to do what I'm doing right now and I'm grateful for the experiences and opportunities I've had as a travel RN for the last 7 months.
Now I'm having a tough time finding assignments because I don't have post-partum,PACU, and (most importantly) OR Circulation experience. At the hospital I was trained at, L&D nurses just did labor/delivery/recovery for vaginal deliveries and immediate care and resuscitation of the newborn, if necessary. I have found that this is NOT ENOUGH experience to maintain employment as an L&D travel RN. I've gotten lucky with the last few assignments because the hospital either worked with me by switching assignments if the patient turned into a c-section patient (and had the perm staff circulate OR and I would get the labor patient) or the hospital already had designated OR nurses/team. I'm learning that most hospitals don't operate this way.
Lessons learned. I'm disappointed that I have to quit travel now. Plan is to find a permanent job that will train me how to circulate OR so I can travel again in the future. I've had two hospitals offer to train me to OR while on assignment, only to later change their minds because they don't want to train a traveler to a new skill, which is understandable.
If you'reconsidering travel nursing as an L&D nurse, I would recommend training at a facility that let's the RN do everything (i.e.triage, resuscitation of the newborn, OR circulating, PACU,antepartum, and even couplet postpartum care- which is a bonus). You can go everywhere and anywhere you want with that kind of experience.