How Do I Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse?

Labor and Delivery NurseDo you want to become a Labor and Delivery Nurse? Labor and Delivery Nurses provide care to mothers and newborns in the Labor and Delivery department. As one of the many specialties in nursing, Labor and Delivery has become a popular choice because many nurses enjoy providing care during such a monumental time in a patient and their family’s lives. While Labor and Delivery, often called L&D, is a popular specialty, it can be a chaotic and stressful environment as well. With the moments of tremendous joy comes responsibility and other heart-wrenching moments that you must be able to cope with. If you want to work in this specialty, learn more about the work environment and what it takes to become an L&D nurse.

What Are Your Roles and Responsibilities as a Labor and Delivery Nurse?

You can work in several different areas when you are employed as a Labor and Delivery nurse, and where you work will depend on your training and the setup of the hospital where you are employed. You may work in labor, delivery, or recovery, or you could work in the Maternal Care Unit where emergency C-section surgeries are performed. Some L&D nurses specialize in caring for newborns and work primarily in the nurseries. Your professional level in nursing can also play a role in your responsibilities. LPN’s in this specialty will perform simple care, organize the charts and help with processing. Registered Nurses are likely to provide more comprehensive care to newborns and their mothers from admission to discharge.

Steps to Becoming a Labor and Delivery Nurse

Now that you know just how the roles in Labor and Delivery can vary, the next step is learning what you must do to work in this highly demanding department. Unlike some specialties in the field of nursing, most LPN’s and RN’s who work in L&D will learn the roles and responsibilities on the job. While it is common for new hires to have little or no L&D experience, hospitals do prefer that applicants do have hands-on nursing experience. There are hospitals with extensive training programs who will train new hires with no experience immediately after graduation.

You will need to be an LPN or an RN to work in Labor and Delivery nursing. This means that you must take a NCLEX exam and pass this exam to earn your license. If you would prefer to earn a special certification specific to the field, you can pursue a Certified Midwife-Nurse certification. To earn this certification, you need to be licensed and then attend a special graduate program approved by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Once you complete the program, you can take the exam administered by the Board and put CMN behind your name. CMN’s are high in demand.

Related Resource: Neonatal Nurse

While you can work in Labor and Delivery at any level of certification in nursing, many prefer to get their CMN before applying for positions. This specialization will earn you a higher salary than the national average of $69,110 for RN’s. If you are considering working in Labor and Delivery, be sure to start taking coursework that pertains to this specialty while you are still in school. Compare the many CMN programs that are available, and decide if this is necessary to become a Labor and Delivery Nurse in your area.