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.
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.
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
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.
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.
CriticalThinking: 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
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
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
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
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.
POSitive 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
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
Long Term Disability
Full-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.
Nurses 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
As qualifying expenses are incurred, the nurse may draw against
the FlexFund account for reimbursement. Qualifying expenses
for the health care account include:
Dental Check-Ups and Braces
Qualifying expenses for the dependent care account include:
Day care fees for dependent children (day care center or
Day care fees for a spouse or legal dependent who is physically
and/or mentally incapable of self-care
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.
Term life insurance is provided by the Hospital to both full-
and part-time eligible nurses.
Individuals 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.
The Hospital Center provides tuition assistance to full and
part-time eligible nurses. Coursework must be job-related
or hospital career-oriented.