Job Description Labor and Delivery nurse’s are also know as Perinatal Nurse’s, who provide care and an additional support, for the laboring woman before, during, and after delivery of the newborn or in some cases newborn’s. The Nurse is the primary caretaker of the mother until delivery of the baby, and the OB/GYN Doctor arrives.
Education, Education, Education!
Educational Requirements In order to become an Perinatal Nurse, you must be a successful registered nurse. Going by the rules of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three main pathways to becoming a registered nurse. The first may be a Diploma in nursing from an accredited program at a teaching hospital. A student may also enroll in a two year program at a community college and earn his or her associate degree. The third and final pathway to this may be by earning a BSN from a traditional college or university. When one of these requirements have been meet it is required that the student pass the National Licensure Examination in order to practice as a Registered Nurse.
Additional Certification Labor and delivery nurses may be credentialed in several specialties including Inpatient Obstetric Nursing, Maternal Newborn Nursing, Low-risk Neonatal Nursing and Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. Advanced practice nurses may be credentialed as a Women's Healthcare Nurse Practitioner or a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. The National Credentialing Corporation or NCC, requires candidates to hold a current registered nurse license, to have two years experience working in the appropriate field, to have been employed in the field within the past two years and to have accumulated a minimum of 2000 hours of practice in the field in order to be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination. The NCC notes the time and experience levels are both required
Physically Fit For the Job! Continuous standing, walking and sitting is required. Stooping and crouching for short periods of time is occasionally required. Reaching below, at and above shoulder level is required frequently and regularly. Continuous handling, pushing, pulling, feeling, twisting and grasping are required. Work requires good eye-hand coordination and concentration. Talking and hearing are required occasionally for conversation, telephone calls, intercom calls, and monitoring patients and equipment. Vision requiring near and far acuity, and depth perception is required continuously in patient assessment and observation and treatment. The ability to adjust focus and a good field of vision is required continuously in patient observation and documentation. Although this job may seem as though it may not require as much, it does. Stress may also be a factor in the job due in part to the fast paced environment that you may be in. You must be a strong willed person for this position, and one that can take criticism and verbal abuse at times. I know this very well. I have had 4 children and some of the things that come out of my mouth are not meant to hurt someone but I am in pain and things get said that may or may not hurt ones feelings.
Job Conditions Fetal monitoring: The L&D nurse will be able to operate and interpret fetal monitoring equipment. Patient Assessment: The nurse will monitor the patient by periodically assessing the mother through the stages of labor and report any changes to the charge nurse or doctor in charge. Phlebotomy: If blood is not you thing than this may not be the job for you. With the overall delivery the nurse will be required to start and stop any necessary IV and central lines. The nurse is required to have extensile phlebotomy skills. Critical Thinking: A nurse must be able to think on their toes and assess any life threatening situations immediately for the safety of the mother and child. Hemodynamics’: L&D Nurses must have a through knowledge of hemodynamics’ and must be able to monitor the blood flow and circulation of the mother and child throughout the birthing process.
Salary Because of the demands of nursing, as well as the need for professional nurses in the United States, labor and delivery nurses can earn a highly competitive salary. A labor and delivery nurse’s salary may range from $40,000 to $90,000 annually. Salary is dependent on several factors. Labor and delivery nurses who have extensive experience in the field can command a larger paycheck than those in entry-level positions. Salaries also vary depending on city, state, and the resources of the employing institution
Promotional/Advancement Opportunities There are several different career paths you can take once you have mastered the job description of a labor and delivery nurse. The most obvious would be becoming an obstetrician yourself, since you will already have plenty of delivery room experience. You may also decide to further develop your skills so you can work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or become a Certified Nurse Midwife. You may even decide to train to become a Pediatrician and care for older children. Additionally, if you decide to stay in the field, a labor and delivery room nurse’s responsibilities and salary will likely increase over time Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting; some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs. Most RNs begin as staff nurses in hospitals and, with experience and good performance, often move to other settings or are promoted to positions with more responsibility. In management, nurses can advance from assistant unit manager or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles of assistant director, director, vice president, or chief of nursing. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions require a graduate or an advanced degree in nursing or health services administration. Administrative positions require leadership, communication and negotiation skills, and good judgment. Some RNs choose to become advanced practice nurses, who work independently or in collaboration with physicians, and may focus on providing primary care services. There are four types of advanced practice nurses: clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners. Clinical nurse specialists provide direct patient care and expert consultations in one of many nursing specialties, such as psychiatric-mental health. Nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia and related care before and after surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures. They also provide pain management and emergency services, such as airway management. Nurse-midwives provide primary care to women, including gynecological exams, family planning advice, prenatal care, assistance in labor and delivery, and neonatal care. Nurse practitioners serve as primary and specialty care providers, providing a blend of nursing and healthcare services to patients and families. All four types of advanced practice nurses require at least a master's degree. In addition, all States specifically define requirements for registered nurses in advanced practice roles. Advanced practice nurses may prescribe medicine, but the authority to prescribe varies by State. Contact your State’s board of nursing for specific regulations regarding advanced practice nurses. Some nurses move into the business side of healthcare. Their nursing expertise and experience on a healthcare team equip them to manage ambulatory, acute, home-based, and chronic care businesses. Employers—including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and managed care organizations, among others—need RNs for health planning and development, marketing, consulting, policy development, and quality assurance. Other nurses work as college and university faculty or conduct research.
Job Outlook for the Future According to the U.S. Department of Labor "Occupational Handbook," the career opportunities for all RNs, including those who go into labor and delivery, will be excellent and increase at a more rapid pace than most other jobs through 2016. In fact, it is estimated that there will be a need for 587,000 new registered nurses in addition to the ones replacing those presently working.However, since labor and delivery nurses normally work in hospitals or at homes, the number of open positions will not be as great as for other RNs. The places of work and corresponding percentages of growth are as following: physician offices and home health care services, 39 percent; outpatient care centers, not including mental health and substance abuse, 34 percent; employment services, 27 percent ; traditional public and private hospitals, 22 percent and nursing care facilities, 20 percent. Those who want to go into the field should obtain a bachelor's of science degree as soon as possible and then specialize in a field of interest.
Benefits of the Job Health InsurancePOSitive Choice, a BlueCross/BlueShield program, and Kaiser Permanente, HMO are both offered as insurance options. POSitive Choice offers the benefits of a managed care arrangement and the flexibility of an indemnity program - all in one package. Nurses can receive care through the managed care network and have access to a higher level of benefits and minimal out-of-pocket expenses. Or, nurses can elect to pay greater out-of-pocket expenses and choose a health care provider through the indemnity option. Nurses may make this choice each time they receive medical care. Full and part-time employees share the cost of the monthly premium with the Hospital. The plans provide comprehensive medical, dental, vision care, and prescription. Nurses pay health insurance coverage premiums with pre-tax dollars. This allows for an immediate tax saving (Federal, State and Social Security) on the money that is contributed toward the health care plan. Short Term Disability (Income Protection - Sickness and Accident)Full- and part-time eligible employees who are injured in an accident, not covered by Workers' Compensation or become ill, receive two thirds of their base pay. Full-time employees receive a maximum of 26 weeks and part time eligible employees receive up to 13 weeks. There is no cost to the employee for this coverage. Long Term DisabilityFull-time employees with 3 years of continuous employment are eligible for long term disability insurance. Employees receive 60% of their monthly salary up to age 65. There is no cost to the employee for this coverage. FlexFundNurses may set aside a portion of their annual income for out-of-pocket health and dependent care expenses. The set-aside amount in the FlexFund account is tax-free and may be used to pay certain expenses that are ordinarily paid with after-tax dollars. As qualifying expenses are incurred, the nurse may draw against the FlexFund account for reimbursement. Qualifying expenses for the health care account include: Deductibles Copayments Dental Check-Ups and Braces Cosmetic Surgery Vision Tests Eyeglasses Qualifying expenses for the dependent care account include: Day care fees for dependent children (day care center or babysitter) Day care fees for a spouse or legal dependent who is physically and/or mentally incapable of self-care
Benefits of the Job Cash Balance Retirement Plan All full- and part-time nurses who are employed as of September 30 of the current year, and who have reached age 20, will be eligible to join the Cash Balance Retirement Plan, an employer match program, the following January. Those employed by March 31 will be eligible to participate on July 1. Nurses are fully vested after 5 years of participation in the plan. Life InsuranceTerm life insurance is provided by the Hospital to both full- and part-time eligible nurses. Tax-Sheltered AnnuityIndividuals who are employed by non-profit organizations are eligible to participate in a tax-sheltered annuity plan. This is a method by which nurses may accumulate funds on a tax-deferred basis for long-term goals, including retirement. These funds are excluded from current taxable income. Various options are available for both fixed and variable accounts. The annual maximum deferral is determined by law. Tuition AssistanceThe Hospital Center provides tuition assistance to full and part-time eligible nurses. Coursework must be job-related or hospital career-oriented.