View Full Version : Labor and Delivery Nurses - Question

11-29-2007, 11:47 PM
Hi there,
I have a question I hope someone can answer. Is there a special name for a nurse who works on labor and delivery? Or is it just that "L&D".

I have been wanting to enroll in Nursing School for a long time, and as a former CNA I miss the enviroment. I recently had a baby and I was *AMAZED* at the nurses!! They practically did everything and it seemed like the doctor just came in to make sure everything was going ok LOL They practically delivered my baby!

It really opened my eyes to the extent of knowledge Nurses know. I would love to work on the L&D floor someday.

Aside from a 2 or 4 year degree, do those Nurses have to do any extra schooling?


11-30-2007, 12:17 AM
I'm not an L&D nurse, but I would assume that one would need on-the-unit training after school. Maybe some certifications outside of school (Pediatric Advanced Life Support?) but otherwise I doubt one would require more actual school.

Good luck!! I agree - my L&D nurse was awesome. My doc did a bit more than just show up to catch the kid, but the nurse was fantastic.

11-30-2007, 12:27 AM
My doc did a bit more than just show up to catch the kid, but the nurse was fantastic.

While I love my Doctor I have to wonder how much she got paid for catching the baby and stitching me up, (sorry TMI) I owe those Nurses everything for the most amazing day of my life!

Mr Ian
11-30-2007, 08:29 AM
In UK nurses who work L&D are called midwives. I didn't realise USA nursing didn't use this terminology.
Midwives are a fantastic body of nurses and wholly deserving of the unique recognition of their role. I don't say this just because they work in one of the most important roles in the world - keeping the human (re)production line going - but because of the way I have seen them develop their professional status.
I'm not sure if it's because of the female dominance of the profession and the exclusivity of childbirth to females that has assisted this to happen but I do know I am both proud and jealous of the way midwifery has propelled itself as the lead profession in ante-natal, delivery room and post-natal practices.
I have seen and heard of many a midwife who would, whilst bathing a baby in one hand, tending a mother with the other, still be able to give the house doctor a tongue lashing that sent them running off to do her bidding!
Midwives in the UK have a different training structure to generic nurses and by qualification I think all of them now qualify as "Sister". Midwifery is the vanguard of Advanced Practice Nursing

12-13-2007, 11:49 AM
While every hospital is different, most in the northeast require a bachelor of science in nursing for L&D or experience. Our unit takes both ADN and BSN grads, but with a year minimum of medical/surgical experience and it's easier to get into our unit if you do have some labor and delivery or postpartum experience. Mandatory certifications include NRP (neonatal resuscitation protocol), CPR, and Intermediate or Advanced Fetal Monitoring course.

In the US Midwives have to have an advanced degree to be considered Nurse Midwives, and lay midwives are not permitted to deliver in hospitals (at least in our area).

I'm so glad you had a great experience...we strive to make it the best it can be! Please consider's such a great career!

12-14-2007, 05:13 PM
There are some lay midwives who get hospital privileges, (as you point out, it depends on locale). I know one midwife, who is also a ND (doctor of naturopathic medicine, been a midwife for 20 years who went back and got her nurse-midwifery degree so that she could take insurance.

The sad thing in the US is that so many midwives do not want to work in the hospital setting (want to do home deliveries or a free-standing birthing center) but wind up in the hospital b/c the malpractice insurance is so high.

12-14-2007, 05:18 PM
one other thing to think about if you're interested in birthing work: if you haven't gotten into school yet, you might consider getting dula training as a way to work with pregnant women.

12-27-2007, 02:43 PM
even's nearly impossible to find a job as an RN midwife in the Northeast US that involves actually delivering babies...most are clinical/outpatient positions. Most RN midwives that I know avoid homebirths because of the litigious nature of our country, and a few bad eggs have turned our local medical community against lay midwives. However, the best RNs on our unit are the ones who used to be an RN midwife (and not one said they would return to it, sadly).