A labor and delivery nurse is a registered health worker who cares for mothers and newborns at the hospital. This nurse plays an integral role that cannot be ignored at any moment. He or she provides support during labor, monitors vital signs and ensures mothers deliver safely. Here are the things you need to consider if you want to become a labor and delivery nurse.
Go for Nursing Training
Everyone who aspires to become a labor and delivery nurse must undergo a thorough training process in a certified college or university. They are required to pursue at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing to qualify. A nursing diploma from an accredited school is also allowed. Bachelor’s degree programs usually take four years to complete. Associate’s degrees or diplomas take two and three years respectively. You will learn crisis resource management for labor and delivery and many other aspects of nursing. You will also be assigned practical placements in different settings throughout your course. Placements can be anywhere from six to nine weeks.
Obtain a License
You are required to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing examinations before licensure. These exams are designed to make sure you have the skills to work as an entry-level labor and delivery nurse. You must have an Authorization to Test (ATT) from a member of the board of nursing you practice to sit for these exams. You have up to 365 days to take the exams once you register. The exams are divided into RN and PN. The RN exams usually take six hours to complete, while the PN take five hours.
Go for Certification
A nursing certification shows that you have met all the standards of practice and demonstrated a commitment to professionalism. It also shows that you are capable of meeting the needs of employers and patients. You can go for voluntary professional certification offered by the National Certification Corporation or a credential from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. These bodies offer certifications in areas such as basic life support, neonatal resuscitation and cardiovascular intervention. You will have to sit for an exam to get certified.
Nurture Your Skills
You need to have a variety of skills and knowledge to work as a labor and delivery nurse. For instance, you must be in a position to teach mothers how to prepare for birth and how to take care of their newborn children. You must also be able to respond well to complications that may arise during delivery. Other essential traits include confidence, stamina, adaptability, ethics and critical thinking.
There are huge prospects for those who want to become labor and delivery nurses in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate is projected to grow by 16 percent over the next 10 years. This rate is much faster than the national average rate. The growth will be fueled by the increased emphasis on safe child-births and preventive care in early childhood. Labor and delivery nurses earn an average salary of $67,490 per year.
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Assisting someone to bring new life into this world is a satisfying experience everyone would want to achieve. The steps discussed above will give you helpful insights on how to become a labor and delivery nurse without too much struggle.