V.S. asks from Lima, OH on June 15, 2010
Labor & Delivery Nurse.....Need Advice
I have posted several questions on here regarding getting a nursing degree. I currently have 2 kids (2 year old daughter & 5 week old daughter). I am looking at taking as many online courses as possible and then only attending class right now 1-2 days per week. I have not enrolled yet and before I even enroll, I need some advice.
Has anybody here worked the labor and delivery area as a nurse? I would like to either work labor & delivery or pediatrics. I understand that nursing school is hard, but that is why I am only planning to take 1-2 classes per quarter. I don't want to over due myself. I have been told several times to wait until the kids get older and to wait until we have the 3rd child (which won't be happening for at least 3 years). The more I keep putting it off, I'm afraid the more I will never go. I understand that once clinicals start, it will be very hard to work a job and take care of 2 kids. I am going back to work here in a few weeks part time and planning to take care of my kids 1-2 days per week. Now as if I can afford the schooling, probably not, but that is why they give grants and loans. Even though I probably won't qualify for the grants.
If anybody here has ever worked the labor and delivery floor, can you please give me some insight as to how you liked it? DId you attend an actual birth? I have wanted to do this since my first daughter was born, but never actually went into it because I didn't want to spend time away from her, but I know that this will be worth it in the end.
Any advice at this point in time will do. Please help!!!
A.M. answers from Seattle on June 16, 2010
I would suggest before you invest the time and money in becoming a L and D nurse that you first find a Bradley Natural childbirth instructor and sit through a 12 week series with them and that you attend a couple of births that are overseen by a midwife....I think that might be helpful in you deciding if L and D nurse is what you would like to do.
2 moms found this helpful
K.C. answers from Los Angeles on June 16, 2010
One of my best friends has been a labor and delivery nurse since 1997. She loves it! She used to work in a large teaching hospital and now works in a small maternity center. Both were great for very different reasons and she was really happy at both jobs.
She is present for births pretty much every single day. She does both natural and c-sections. She has also done postpartum care, so she truly experiences the full spectrum from the time a patient checks in until they check out.
She has two small children (5 and 8 months) and has worked their whole lives. She finds a great balance because her shift time is not traditional. she works 3 p.m. - 11 p.m., so she takes them to classes and plays with them all morning, then works in the afternoon/evening. She works four days a week.
She is not burned out after 13 years on the job and has no plans or thoughts of switching careers or specialties.
1 mom found this helpful
K.S. answers from Kansas City on June 15, 2010
I would try working in a hospital and you will get a feel for what it is like. I too, am going through the same thing as you, right now. I have two kids, one is a baby and I really want a third one soon, so it's a tough decision to make. Here, our community college, has an LPN program you can get through in 10 months, that may be what you might consider. Also, if you work in a hospital, many of them offer tuition reimbursement, even for part time workers. That's what I'm planning on doing when I start school. Good luck to you, I think if we stick it out, we'll be really happy in the end, it's just a matter of doing it and finishing it. Feel free to message me, if you need extra encouragement!! :)
1 mom found this helpful
R.J. answers from Seattle on June 15, 2010
Haven't worked in L&D (ER & Surgical)... but if I may make a suggestion... if you have any admin skills... that you might look into working as a Unit Secretary. That way you can get a feel for different units, get paid for it, and be able to log all of your hours into your application.
1 mom found this helpful
R.D. answers from Indianapolis on June 17, 2010
I will caution you about getting your LPN license. I work in Indianapolis, and our hospital is phasing out LPN's. You may only find a job in a nursing home, so it would give you some experience with sick people, but no where near an L&D. I work in a NICU, and love it, but realize nursing school will include all areas of nursing, from newborns to the sick and dying. Working in a hospital in some capacity would probably give you really good experience.
I.G. answers from Seattle on June 16, 2010
I would recommend that you get a nursing assistant certification or license (whatever you state requires) and work in a hospital setting for a few months.
Though the scope of the work is different from that of a nurse, you will find out whether you like working with patients and in the hospital setting in general.
I would say most if not all nursing schools have competitive admissions and having worked or volunteered in a hospital setting will add points to your application.
I wish I had done the above, that way I wouldn't have wasted a year and a half in med school, just to find out that working with sick people is NOT for me.
A.F. answers from Indianapolis on June 16, 2010
Request to shadow a nurse on a L&D unit at a nearby hospital! They will have you sign a waiver to protect patient privacy but will more than likely love showing you around. You, of course, can't touch anything but the observation would be valuable making your decision. I chose nursing as my 2nd career and would ultimately like to do L&D--I quit the ER after my 2nd was born--couldn't keep up with all the education that was required to keep current. Not knowing where you live, day nursing shifts are difficult to come by, especially as a new grad, so expect to work evenings, weekends or nights until the job you want comes open! Good luck with your decision...getting my RN was the best choice I ever made, I know there's a job waiting for me when I want to go back =-)
S.A. answers from Cleveland on June 20, 2010
I am the 47 yr old daughter of a retired (3 yrs) RN. My mother went to school at night so that she could be home during the day for school activities, etc. She and my dad were still married when she started. I remember accompanying her to a couple of night classes. She did not have an easy time of it, but she did it. She worked the night shift, after she graduated for the same reason she took all the classes possible at night. And for the shift differential. She worked 4 nights a week. She worked mostly the surgical, post-op floors except as a float. By the way, I have two siblings. Our ages were 7, 5 and 3 when she started night school at the community college. I don't know if you have a spouse or boyfriend or other family to help you, regardless of which I wish you good luck, prosperity, wisdom and the courage to do what you need to do. :-)