How to Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse

Labor and delivery nurses are registered nurses who are specifically trained in providing care to expecting women, new mothers and newborn children in different pregnancy and childbirth stages. If you want to learn about how to become a labor and delivery nurse in the US, the following guide would be of great use to you. It provides details on this particular career.

Should I Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse?

Labor and delivery nurses work closely with a multitude of medical professionals, including gynecologists. They also frequently interact with the families of patients. For these reasons, labor and delivery nurses need to have great communication skills, empathy, medical ethics and compassion. These nurses typically work in hospitals, maternity clinics or residential care facilities and spend a lot of their time walking, stretching, bending or standing.
If you think you are mentally and physically strong enough to take up this high growth and rewarding career, then continue reading this guide for more information. The following table provides a quick insight into this career.

Education Required Bachelor’s Degree
Training Additional training may be required
License/Certification Required
Key Skills Communication Skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Emotional Stability, Attention to Detail, Physical Stamina, Organizational Skills
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $77,460 (Registered Nurses)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 12% (Registered Nurses)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for a Labor & Delivery Nurse

The employment for registered nurses is expected to see a tremendous increase of 12% in the years from 2018 to 2028, as per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for labor and delivery nurses is also expected to rise as babies are being born at a consistent rate. These medical professionals will also be needed to deal with problems arising before, during or after the childbirth process.

Steps to Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse

In order to become a labor and delivery nurse, candidates will have to complete a series of requirements.

1. Get a Nursing Degree :Aspiring labor and delivery nurses must get an educational qualification in nursing. Options for degrees in nursing include getting an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or a diploma. Nursing degrees would typically cover coursework in physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy and pharmacology etc.

2. Get a License to Practice as a Registered Nurse :In order to get a license, aspiring labor and delivery nurses will have to provide transcripts, demonstrate basic medical skills and clear the NCLEX-RN exam. A few states require nurses to renew their licenses every 2-3 years.

3. Get Labor and Delivery Experience:In order to practice in a particular field, nurses will have to get the relevant experience. Licensed RNs may look for work in labor and delivery units, maternity centers, birthing centers or physician offices. These nurses may also be required to have some knowledge of pediatrics and neonatal resuscitation as well.

4. Get Certified:Even though a certification is not required, it is highly recommended for specialty nurses.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse?

The amount of time it takes to become a labor and delivery nurse would largely depend on the education path you take. For instance, if you go for an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), you will have to invest 2 years of your time. On the other hand, if you go for a bachelor’s degree, you will need to put in at least 4 years of your time. The licensing and training process might take an additional year or two.

What Are the requirements to become a Labor & Delivery Nurse?

In order to become a labor and delivery nurse, candidates will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Possess the required skills
  • Get a high school diploma
  • Get a college education or a diploma
  • Get licensed
  • Complete training in your specialty area

How Much Does a Labor & Delivery Nurse make?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of all registered nurses was $77,460 in 2019. The top paying industry for this occupation was Business Support Services, with an annual mean wage of $92,200, while the top paying state was California, with an annual mean wage of $113,240.

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