Labor and deliver nurses are often called obstetric nurses, neonatal nurses, and midwifery nurses. These professionals care for women during the labor and childbirth process. As a labor and delivery nurse, you will prepare women and family members for the birthing, monitoring, and care of babies.
Educational Requirements for Labor and Delivery Nursing
If you are interested in labor and delivery nursing, you must first earn either a two year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). To gain acceptance into these nursing programs, you may have to score well on the TEAS test. Additional requirements include letters of recommendation, good undergraduate grades, and both physical and mental competence.
Following graduation, you will need to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN test. Then, you can use the prestigious title of “registered nurse” or “RN.” Many nurses who pursue this field of nursing go on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), becoming nurse midwives. To gain entry into that program, you will need to score well on the GRE test, have an active RN license, and demonstrate competency in obstetrics and neonatal practice.
Labor and Delivery Nurse Certification
The National Certification Corporation(NCC) offers credentialing to labor and delivery nurses. To earn the NCC certification of Registered Nurse Certified – Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB), you must hold an active, unrestricted RN license, work for a minimum of 2,000 hours in labor and delivery nursing, and be employed in the field.
Labor and Delivery Nursing Career Opportunities and Salaries
Many sources estimate that labor and delivery positions are not as available as acute care and primary care nursing jobs. This is related to the fact that this area of nursing is one of the most popular among RNs. Most labor and delivery nurses work in hospital birthing units, birthing centers, and for obstetricians.
According to most web sources, labor and delivery nursing professionals with an ADN or BSN earn anywhere from $52,000 to $68,000 per year. Those nurses who are nurse midwives and hold a MSN or higher tend to earn more than $70,000 annually. Pay varies due to location of practice, employment facility, degree level, and years of experience.
Job Duties of the Labor and Delivery Nurse
Typical nursing duties of the labor and delivery professional include timing contractions, monitoring the baby’s heart rate, assessing the mother’s blood pressure, aiding in labor induction, identifying complications, and preparing the mother before, during, and after the pregnancy.
ANA (2013): http://www.nursingworld.org/
BLS (2010): http://www.bls.gov/
Nurse.Org (2013): http://www.nurse.org/orgs.shtml