Labor and delivery nurses take care of the expectant mothers while they are in labor or if there are any complications during their pregnancy and have to be hospitalized. They monitor both the mother and baby to make sure both of them are stable, and they also help the mothers during the pushing phase of their labor. These nurses help ensure that the mother's delivery goes as smooth and stress free as possible. They are required to be quick on their feet, prepared for anything, and have great communication skills since they work closely with patients, families, doctors, and other staff members.
Most hospitals require that you have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing. However, some will accept those with associate's degrees, or certification from a program that is offered at a hospital. To become this type of nurse, you must first become a registered nurse (RN). Once you are an RN, you will want to work in Obstetrics (OB), which will help give you a little experience in labor and delivery. Some RNs take specific labor and delivery classes as electives, while others just jump straight into the field. After you graduate, you will need to get your certification and licensing by taking the National Council Licensure examination (NCLEX). In order to become a board certified labor and delivery nurse that is specialized in a particular area, you will need at least two years of clinical experience in that area. Always check what the specific requirements are for the state that you intend to practice.
Salaries for this particular type of nursing normally depend on their experience, location, and education. If you are a board certified nurse, you may receive a higher salary because of your certification. The average salary is around $75,000. Again, depending on where you get a job, your salary may vary. In Texas, the average salary for a nurse in labor and delivery is about $79,000. In New York, the average is about $97,000, and in California it may be around $89,000.
There are plenty of job opportunities in the nursing field, and this particular field is expected to grow. By 2018, it is expected that job opportunities for this specialization will have grown by about 22%. There are many different places where someone could find employment for this field. They can work in a hospital setting, a women's clinic, birthing center, maternity center, or a gynecologist's office. During employment, they continue to learn and expand their education as well as renew their certifications and licensing.
Becoming a labor and delivery nurse can be a very rewarding and exciting career choice. They help bring new life into the world as smoothly as possible. If you want to make a career change, this could be the perfect choice for you. You can get your degree online or at a particular college or university. Always check with which ever college you wish to attend to make sure they have the particular program you need to become a nurse in this field. Nursing is such a vast field and there are so many different specializations, but every single one helps the world in one way or another making it a highly sought out profession.