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Labor and Delivery Nurse

Many people go in to nursing specifically for this career. Labor and delivery nursing is an exhilarating and rewarding career in nursing. The process of delivering a child into the world can be stressful and exciting. The job description of a labor and delivery nurse involves prepping women both psychologically and physically for the process of delivery, monitoring babies heart rate as well as mother’s blood pressure, administering medication, watching closely for potential complications, and assisting physicians in delivery and post delivery care. This is a fast-paced nursing career. It’s critical that labor and delivery nurses are focused, sociable, and hard-working. 

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How to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse

Of course, you must be a registered nurse to work as a labor and delivery nurse. And your job description will greatly depend on your level of education. An RN with a bachelors of science in nursing (BSN) will have greater opportunity for employment as well as more responsibility within their labor and delivery position than those with just an associates in nursing.   BSN nursing programs more frequently prepare students with courses in management and leadership as well. 

Registered Nurse Education Requirements

To begin the process to become a registered nurse, you will obtain a nursing diploma (with either ASN, BSN, or MSN) and then pass the NCLEX-RN exam.  This certifies you to work as a nurse.  Some individuals who wish to obtain a higher nursing degree (such as a masters of science in nursing, MSN) will begin with the minimum requirement of just an associate of science in nursing. Then, once they have passed there NCLEX RN they can begin working while they continue school.  Almost every nursing school offers a bridge option. This is where your ASN or BSN credits are applied to your masters program. This is an excellent way to utilize your prior studies without losing credits. It’s also a practical way to accumulate the hours necessary for many of the nursing certification programs.  Popular nursing bridge programs include the RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN. 

In a Masters of Science Nursing program, you will be able to choose a labor and delivery specialty or midwifery. This focus will give you an in-depth study of the labor and delivery process. With a Masters in nursing, you will also have an opportunity to become a nurse practitioner (NP), Physicians Assistant (PA), or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). These nursing positions yield to a higher nursing salary, as well as more autonomy and responsibility within nursing jobs.  Labor and delivery board certification can be obtained after your clinical experience has been completed in the labor and delivery unit.

Online nursing programs are now widely available at even the best nursing schools in the country. Many individuals choose an online nursing school so that they can continue working while they get their degree. Schools such Kaplan College, American Career College, Concorde, and other such as these offer excellent online study programs.  Florida State University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Colorado Denver, and Graceland University also offer top online nursing programs. 

Labor and Delivery Nurse Salary

It is difficult to accurately determine registered nurse salary due to the varying education opportunities in the field.  For instance, the average labor and delivery nurse salary for individuals with an ASN is around $55,000 per year. For individuals with a higher level of education, such as a bachelors of science in nursing or a nursing masters degree, salaries can be upwards of $75,000 per year. A nurse practitioner in labor and delivery (which may be certified as a nurse midwife) can actually deliver babies. The pay for a nurse practitioner (NP) or physicians assistant (PA) can be upwards $120,000 per year.