Labor and delivery nurses have the opportunity to experience life-changing moments on a daily basis. They play an integral role in an unforgettable experience for new parents, who are welcoming a new child into the world. Students who are considering a career as a labor and delivery nurse should know what it takes to get a position on the labor and delivery floor.
Choosing a Career in Labor and Delivery Nursing
Given the job title, a nursing student might assume that her main role as a labor and delivery nurse will be to help a mother through the actual labor and delivery. However, there's more to this position than checking a woman's progress and telling her when to push.
Labor and delivery nurses also have to spend a significant amount of their time and energy providing postpartum care to the woman while also caring for the newborn baby that is delivered. It is a special career option for nurses, but it also can be filled with struggles and challenging moments. It's important that nurses consider all aspects of this career while they are earning their online degree and considering the various nursing careers available.
Qualifications of a Labor and Delivery Nurse
In order to work in a hospital setting, a labor and delivery nurse should be a registered nurse. While an LPN can work as a labor and delivery nurse, the opportunities for advancement are limited to those who have a RN to BSN degree. In addition to earning a degree in nursing, labor and delivery nurses must earn clinical experience and pass a licensing exam.
Beyond educational qualifications, nursing students should consider the personal qualifications and skills necessary to be an excellent labor and delivery nurse. Qualifications of a labor and delivery nurse include:
Strong Critical Thinking Skills — Labor and delivery nurses often have to make decisions in an instant, so it's important that they are able to evaluate the situation quickly and make confident choices.
Ability to Maintain Composure — During stressful and emotional moments, a labor and delivery nurse has to be the voice of reason and the foundation in the room.
Leadership Skills — A labor and delivery nurse must be able to take charge if necessary in order to do what is best for the mother and the baby.
Compassionate — Labor, delivery and the postpartum experience are difficult. A labor and delivery nurse must be compassionate and understanding while caring for patients.
How Do I Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
The first step toward becoming a labor and delivery nurse is to earn your degree in nursing. If you are an RN already, it may be time to consider earning your BSN in order to further your career.
At Our Lady of the Lake College, we have a unique RN-BSN online degree that allows you to complete your education in a way that is both flexible and affordable. The curriculum includes coursework that not only prepares students for passing the licensing exam, but also gives them insight into the world of labor and delivery nursing. For example, our Leadership Principles in Nursing course will help students gain the leadership skills they need to be effective in the delivery room.
Students who have a passion for women and newborn children will love working on the labor and delivery floor, where they get to help mothers through one of the most challenging experiences that rewards them with the greatest joy. Going from RN-BSN doesn't have to be challenging, and can easily be accomplished while working around your current work schedule.
To begin your online education at Our Lady of the Lake College, contact one of our advisors today. We will explain to you the benefits of our RN to BSN online degree, and help you discover the many nursing careers that are available to you.