An individual who wants to work as a nurse on the maternity floor of a hospital may wonder whether he or she can earn a Master’s degree in nursing and specialize in labor and delivery. Some people really enjoy working with newborns and their mothers. Consequently, they feel a calling to work in the area of labor and delivery within the nursing field.
In order to become a labor and delivery nurse, a person must first become a Registered Nurse. Some students start by earning an Associate’s degree while others begin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree. Starting with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree is a better choice for someone who plans to earn a Master’s in Nursing. While earning a Master’s degree, students can take courses that focus on the duties of a labor and delivery nurse. In many cases, a Registered Nurse is able to work in the labor and delivery area of a hospital in order to get hands-on experience and training while participating in a Master’s degree program. In addition to these specialized courses, a person who wants a job as a labor and delivery nurse must take an exam in order to become licensed and certified in this field. Certification is offered through National Certification Corporation.
Typical Duties of a Labor and Delivery Nurse
One of the most important responsibilities of a labor and delivery nurse is to prepare a pregnant woman for birth. During labor, a labor and delivery nurse will monitor fetal heart rates, the mother’s heart rate and blood pressure, temperature, and contraction timing. The nurse will also help labor progression. During delivery, a labor and delivery nurse will act as a coach, helping the soon-to-be mother with breathing exercises and pushing, according to Licensed Practical Nursing’s website. If a Caesarean section is necessary, a labor and delivery nurse assists with this surgery. Before a woman leaves the hospital with her new baby, the nurse answers her questions about feeding, changing and caring for the baby.
Related Resource: Master’s Degree in Pediatric Nursing
Qualities of a Labor and Delivery Nurse
In order to succeed in a career as a labor and delivery nurse, a person needs to have a calm demeanor. Oftentimes, when women enter the hospital to have babies, they are nervous. A nurse can help to calm a pregnant woman by speaking and acting in a relaxed way. A nurse’s job is to set a pregnant woman’s fears at ease regarding the level of her care. Understanding is another quality that a labor and delivery nurse needs. A woman who is giving birth may be in a lot of pain depending on the situation. Also, she may have a lot of fear and even mixed feelings about the child. A labor and delivery nurse who is understanding of all of these feelings can better serve a woman who is in the hospital giving birth to a child.
It takes a lot of preparation and training to become a labor and delivery nurse, it can be both professionally and personally rewarding. Someone who wants to earn a Master’s degree in Nursing and specialize in labor and delivery is entering a field where he or she will learning something new each day!