Labor and delivery nurses are one of the few groups of nurses that remain primarily in the hospital setting. Whereas many nursing disciplines are shifting out into to the community, labor and delivery nurses typically work in hospitals, clinics, and birthing centers. Nurses who have earned an RN to BSN degree are able to enter the field of labor and delivery to care for women and families throughout the birthing process.
What is a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
A graduate with an RN to BSN degree who chooses to work as a labor and delivery nurse cares for women who are having pregnancy complications, are in labor, or who have recently delivered. They also provide care for newborns and, along with other health care professionals, create a plan of care for the mother and her baby. Some labor and delivery nurses may work in the nursery or with the physician during a cesarean section.
Required Education to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse
Labor and delivery nurses must be licensed as Registered Nurses within the U.S. through a hospital diploma, associate degree, or RN to BSN degree. Many employers prefer to hire labor and delivery nurses who have earned a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and may require two years of prior medical-surgical experience. Labor and delivery nurses must also be certified in neonatal resuscitation and fetal monitoring.
RN to BSN degree graduates who choose to work in labor and delivery nursing must possess good communication skills in order to work effectively with patients, families, and other health care professionals. They must also be able to prioritize patient needs and work effectively in a fast-paced environment.