Search for school

Labor and Delivery Nurse: Education and Career Information

If you have a maternal instinct and love working with babies and new moms, you may want to consider becoming a labor and delivery nurse. These nurses are skilled at helping the new mother become comfortable during labor, and helps to make sure everything is going well with the baby before their entry. There are a number of stages and things that occur during labor, and there are also risks and complications. This is a great position for someone who can think fast on their feet in a fast-paced environment. A lucrative career and it can be very rewarding.

What does a labor and delivery nurse do?

A labor and delivery nurse is an integral part of the maternity ward. They help provide care and comfort to women who are in the different stages of pregnancy and childbirth. They provide routine care, but are also able to work with emergency care and other healthcare professionals in times of crisis. They monitor the baby prior to childbirth to ensure everything is going well. This type of registered nurse (RN) can work in hospitals or women care centers and may choose to work in labor, delivery, recovery, or postpartum care. They may also work in each area based on the needs of the facility in which they work. These nurses also assist in operating rooms where Cesarean sections are needed. They are also able to work in the nursery, bringing the baby to the mother for feedings and other things, and demonstrate to the mom how to change diapers, start breastfeeding and properly care for the umbilical cord. Specific duties include:

•Monitoring the vital signs of the mother and baby during labor
•Measuring the timing and strength of the contractions
•Administering medication
•Performing diagnostic tests
•Working with other members of the healthcare team
•Assists with induction of labor
•Coaching the new mother during delivery
•Identifying complications
•Monitoring and performing tests on newborns

How much does a labor and delivery nurse earn?

A labor and delivery nurse is a registered nurse (RN). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for registered nurses is $66,640, but can go over $98,880 per year depending on the demand, education, specialty, experience and location in which the nurse is employed. This field is expected to grow by 16% through the year 2024, filling a huge void that is continuously growing. Depending on where the nurse is located, the earning and employment potential can be great.

What types of skills are needed to become a labor and delivery nurse?

Communication Skills: A labor and delivery nurse must be able to work closely with the mother, healthcare professionals and other family members to disseminate information. They must be able to listen closely to what the mother is saying and feeling to fully comprehend the situation and move forward. They should be able to direct other staff members on what the mother needs, and should be able to clearly read and write to keep everyone on the same page.

Decision-Making Skills: Making sound decisions is crucial when working in labor and delivery. The nurse must be able to determine whether or not the mother is in distress and move quickly. They must also be able to decide when the physician must be called. This can be a highly stressful position at times, and thinking quickly to make the right decision must be a top priority.

Time Management Skills: As a labor and delivery nurse, there may be a number of things going on at one time. The nurse must be able to juggle multiple tasks while still dedicating the time and resources to each and every patient in a timely manner.

Computer Skills: It is important to have computer skills. Every patient has an electronic health record, and the nurse must be adept at working with these and other forms of technology in and out of the patient’s room. They must be able to use different types of software to make sure all the information on the patient is accurately recorded.

Supervisory Skills: A labor and delivery nurse must be able to direct the LPN and other staff members on how to assist when needed. They must also be able to take charge of a situation to make sure the patient is comfortable and well cared for.

Clinical Skills: Every nurse must have an in-depth knowledge of clinical skills to draw upon when needed. Labor and delivery can get intense within a matter of seconds; knowing what to do, what is going on, and how to resolve the situation from a clinical perspective is key.

Internship Requirements

Every program has certain clinical internship requirements that must be completed. The number of hours vary based on the educational level, requirements of the program, and specialty in which the student is seeking.

Education Requirements

In order to become a labor and delivery nurse, the student must first obtain training. This requires an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from an accredited program. An associate’s degree or nursing diploma is generally two years, and the BSN is a four year program. All nursing degree programs usually have coursework in microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition and anatomy. Taking specialized courses in fetal monitoring and resuscitation is also a good idea.

Once the student graduates from the program, they have to demonstrate basic nursing skills and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to show proficiency in the knowledge and technical skills required to perform the job. Some states require the nursing license to be renewed every two to three years.

Once the license is obtained, a licensed RN who wishes to work in labor and delivery must gain practical experience in this area. The nurse may apply to work in a birthing center, hospital labor and delivery, a clinic, or physician office. Once the nurse has practical experience, they may apply for a specialty certification through the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Although not required, this will help distinguish the RN as someone who is serious about this area, and is willing to do the work to open additional doors of opportunity. There are a number of sub-specialty certifications available in this area. Certifications must be renewed through continuing education credits.

Becoming a labor and delivery nurse can be very rewarding and is an important part of the nursing profession. If your passion is in helping people and assisting in bringing babies into the world, this is the right career path for you. Although lucrative, it takes a very special person to be able to deal with the various stages of labor and complications should they occur. A labor nurse is a very special person. Knowing you took part in assisting with a new life can bring immense personal joy to not only the nurse, but the family as well. These nurses appreciate the value of life and take pride in all they do.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association
Thank you for sharing your preferences.
You can find other options through our sponsored listings below!
Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

Southern Technical College

Southern Technical College provides education and training in a variety of medical and technical areas that enable graduates to obtain entry-level employment.

Programs:

  • Diploma - Veterinary Assisting
  • Medical Assisting (Diploma)

Ross Medical Education Centers

Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • And more...

UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs:

  • HVAC Technician (11-month diploma program)
  • Criminal Justice (11-Month Diploma Program)
  • Medical Office Specialist (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • And more...

Northcentral University

Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

Programs:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

Florida Career College

Train for the real-world skills that help you launch a successful technology or healthcare career with a degree, or diploma from Florida Career College.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant Technician (10-Month diploma program)
  • Patient Care Technician (10-month diploma program)
  • Dental Assistant (10-Month diploma program)
  • And more...

Florida Technical College

After 35 years of serving Florida’s educational needs, Florida-Technical College has merged with National University College (NUC), which until now had been a sister Institution. 

Programs:

  • Network Administration - Associate of Science Degree
  • IT with Emphasis in Cybersecurity - Bachelor's Degree
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist - Associate of Science Degree

University of the Southwest

Pursue your MBA or MSEd online.

Programs:

  • MBA Sports Management and Recreation
  • MBA Strategic Management
  • MBA Accounting
  • And more...

Milan Institute

Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.

Programs:

  • Esthetician
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Registered Dental Assistant
  • And more...

Los Angeles Film School

Get the career of your dreams with an education from the Los Angeles Film School.

Programs:

  • Associate of Science, Film
  • Bachelor of Science, Entertainment Business
  • Bachelor of Science, Film
  • And more...

Independence University

The Secret to Getting Ahead Is Getting Started

With a mission of helping students graduate, launch better careers, and gain greater independence to live the life they want as soon as possible, Independence University offers flexible fully online degree programs. Program options are available in healthcare, business, information technology, and graphic arts. The programs are career-focused to help ensure the knowledge and skills you learn match what today's employers are looking for.

Programs:

  • Business Administration - Human Resources Emphasis (BS)
  • Nursing (RN completion to BS) (RN req.)
  • Medical Assisting (AOS)
  • And more...

Related Post