Working as a nurse is a truly fulfilling career primarily because you get to help people and work with a professional team at the same time. But, being a labor and delivery nurse can offer you so much more. Helping bring new life into the world will be a challenge but the end result is fantastic for families and health care professionals alike. You will be able to work with women and families throughout the pregnancy and birthing process. If you are interested in pursing and career as a labor and delivery nurse you will need very specific education and training as a nurse.
First, you should determine which type of professionalism you would like to attain. Various levels of nurses practice within a labor and delivery unit. This includes LPNS, RNs, as well as CNMs who are nurses who are also certified as midwives. Each of these roles will have different responsibilities and qualifications.
To become an LPN you will typically need at least 1 year of education. These programs are available at vocational schools as well as community colleges. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and start a medical career. However, you will be limited in the labor and delivery unit. Often LPNs are responsible for organizing charts, taking care of patients on a basic level, deal with admissions and discharges or support doctors and other professionals in the delivery room with technical procedures.
To become an RN there are different routes available. Some can attain an RN certification through a 2-year community college program, which will award them with an associate’s degree. You can also work with a hospital for a 3 year program. Finally, you can attend a 4-year college or university to attain a bachelor’s degree. Both LPNs and RNs learn the most about labor and delivery while on the floor and working in a hospital. You may not specifically study labor and delivery in your classes, but should look into hospital programs that will allow you to work and gain experience in the delivery units.
Finally, you may want to take your degree and experience a step further. Unlike LPNs and RNs, CNMs already have experience in labor and delivery form their time in the hospital. When they earn their CNM certifications they will specifically study labor and delivery in classes. Those with an associates or bachelors degree can continue on to become a CNM. These professionals are trained in both nursing methods and being a mid-wife. A CNM has a high degree of expertise in labor and delivery that is extremely valuable to a medical facility. Some of these programs lead to a masters or doctorate degree. Often they are completed in about 2 to 3 years.
Each of these programs will allow you to work within a labor and delivery unit at different levels. All are rewarding and valuable to any hospital or healthcare facility. You will be able to learn about and help with medical procedures such as pregnancy exams, delivery procedures and even be able to help cord blood bank. No matter which route you decide to take, labor and delivery nursing is noble career path with amazing personal rewards.