Imagine being someone who can help bring new life into the world. As a labor and delivery nurse, that can be your defining role. These gifted professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring that the emotional and physical needs of expectant mothers and their babies are being met. Nurses provide information, reassurance and guidance to patients as they navigate a delicate new life, a new family member, and a completely new experience. Always in demand, this is a fulfilling career you can have with the right educational background.
What are the Responsibilities of a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
As a labor and delivery (L&D) nurse, you will work with obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) to ensure that the mother and baby are healthy through the entirety of their visit. Before the baby is born, you’ll prepare the mother for labor by administering the appropriate medicines, creating a personalized birthing plan, and giving guidance for a healthy delivery. Throughout labor, new mothers will look to you for support and guidance through the birthing process and emotional support during and after labor. Being attentive and empathetic during delivery is crucial for creating an effective post-birth plan. After delivery, you will administer tests and shots to the newborns to assess their health. From beginning to end, you will play an integral role in bringing new life into the world!
Where do Labor and Delivery Nurses Work?
Most L&D nurse jobs are in hospitals, private clinics or stand-alone birthing centers. They spend most of their time working in delivery rooms and maternity wards working alongside other doctors, nurses and OBGYNs.
How Can I Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
Does the prospect of being a part of a new life’s first experiences interest you? Now is the perfect time to pursue this rewarding career. The journey to a rewarding career in labor and delivery starts by earning an Associate or Bachelor’s degree and becoming a Registered Nurse. You’ll also have to earn your National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) license. However, it takes more than meeting the educational requirements to be a truly successful L&D nurse. Due to the complex job of advocating for both mother and baby, you’ll need a strong set of soft skills to facilitate the best experience possible for everyone involved.
What Special Skills Do I Need?
Quality care is about more than providing just literal medical care, but also providing comfort, strength and insight to mothers during one of the most stressful times of their lives. As an L&D nurse, you’ll need the strongest set of soft skills to provide high-quality care to the most fragile of patients. Empathy, calmness, and strong leadership skills are required, and the labor process can be exhausting, painful, and difficult at times so a strong character and the ability to make decisions under pressure are essential.
A career as a labor and delivery nurse is incredibly fast-paced. You’ll have unique experiences each day — bringing new life into the world and supporting new moms during an incredibly emotional time. Your job won’t always be easy, but your strong education and interpersonal skills will help you excel and provide the highest quality care possible.