As a new grad pay attention to the detail of the unit. Try to find a great nurse mentor who will support you and take you under their wing. Also if there are CNA's or LVN's working the floor that have been there years, you can learn soooo much from them. Go in with an attitude of willingness to learn and remember to be respectful to every patient you encounter. While this may be your job, this may be their first and last experience in a hospital. Also having a child is an exciting time, so honor that for your patient. If you have a patient who is on the floor that has mis carried, be sensitive to their needs also. Good luck, I loved Mother Baby care.
I think it’s very important to learn critical thinking skills before going to Postpartum. People think that it’s a easy nursing route but what will you do when a baby goes bad or when a mom is having a hypertensive crisis? I did Med Surg for almost a year before I transferred to Womens Health and it was the best decision I could have made.
So I started out at our hospital as a new grad of 2 months. I had wanted to go to ICU, but at the time there was no training program. So I started on the Women's Health floor which had Mother /Baby, New Born Nursery and the Women's health floor. It was great because I got experience on the floor, being a new born nursery nurse and taking care of all the new borns . We rotated each shift so everyone became proficient with the total care on the floor. It was great because we all worked together ( night shift).If one of us finished first, that person helped the team, so we all pitched in , so we were all off at the same time.
I loved that part of my nursing journey. I worked in Women's Health for three years in the hospital, then I went to Public Health as a clinic nurse. Then I went to Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program, and eventually got my BSN, and MSN and a special certificate as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. I really miss the Mother/Baby nursing stage of my career, its the best.
It's so sweet to spend your shift taking care of precious new life
Yep! Look for new grad programs but apply even to those without them. My first Mother/Baby hospital didn't have a new grad program. I had my nursing preceptorship in Mother/Baby and put that experience on my resume. I also obtained my ACLS (not needed for most Mother/Baby units), NRP, and STABLE certifications.
Yes you can. Alot of hospitals offer residency programs for new grads. You do not need to do medsurg to get into mother baby or post partum. Please do your research on hospitals in the desired area. Magnet hospitals are good and read reviews on indeed, glassdoor or mother baby/l&d Facebook groups. Hope this helps,all the best. Be humble and go with an open mind.😉
I agree with all the respondent. Unfortunately, COVID-19 truly changed the trajectory of everything including healthcare. Given that fact, I believe you can still get into the specialty of your choosing. You can incorporate pointers from all the responses that best fit the unit you wish to work on. good Luck.
Hi yes I did go straight into mother baby out of school. Our hospital has nurse residency programs where you can go straight into really any floor even ICU, float pool, ER, etc.
my best advice for mother baby- it’s very tasky and lots of busy work. Lots of education giving the families. Best advice is every shift trying to figure out your time management, when things are due (meds, 24 hour testing, etc) that way you don’t forget something important like checking the baby’s 24 hour Bili. Things will still get crazy most of the time I know it’s been that way for me most shifts and I’ve been there 7.5 years on postpartum. Try to chart as you go instead of getting too overwhelmed at end of
Shift. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It gets so busy! Good luck and blessings as you start your postpartum career!!
I came into nursing the "old school" way. Back in '78-80, we pretty much didn't have a choice unless you "knew" someone or there was a particular 'need' on a unit you might be interested in. I started, like most new nurses then, on Med-surg. Great experience and would serve you well in any unit, however, not necessary to go to a specialty area. I then went on the critical care for a few years, float pool .. never knew where you would end up🤷🏻♀️, a year on the burn unit ... enough for me! Then "filled in" on maternity and stayed the remainder of my career, even though I changed hospitals after about 10 years at my first one. You will get plenty of 'med-surg' things going on with the new moms since many are coming in with pre-existing conditions that may or may not be complicated by pregnancy and delivery, so don't think you "need" med-surg to be in maternal-child .. you don't. We have had several new grads on my unit; many have stayed and are still there (I retired in October)! 😍 They've done very well. Sometimes the med-surg experience will come in 'handy', but truthfully, not enough for it to be any deterrent! I say go for it. Used to be on the unit I retired from, people stayed a LONG time! It was sort of known in our facility that "nobody leaves maternity/ L&D here .. they retire or move." People were on waiting lists, sometimes for years. I was lucky when I applied as there were 3 open positions, only on nights though, but it was foot in the door. I stayed 32 years. LOVED taking care of my patients and getting their new families off to the best possible start! I even loved having the students and new grads on the units too and showing them the 'tricks of the trade". I just retired early due to "Covid-administrative burn-out". I was just 'done'! We NEED new nurses with fresh ideas and eagerness! Get involved in the unit. Be a 'voice'. Be part of changing it to more patient-focused and less micro-managing that seems to run rampant. Be YOU! I hope you find your Happy place! 😍
i agree with those who said get some med surg experience first. emergencies happen in mother baby and pre existing conditions of all types of disease which you need some basic medical knowledge of. i had 1 year of med surg and was glad when learning delivery, post partum, antepartum care. i felt more well rounded. its not just babysitting!
Yes! I graduated with my BSN 3 years ago. I did a nurse residency program and started on MB as a fresh new grad. I take care of high risk antepartum patients as well as couplets on my floor. I almost took a medsurg job because of the pressure to do so as a new grad but I am SO glad I didn’t. I really couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I love OB nursing.
I graduated with BSN in 1991. I started on a mother baby unit and newborn nursery and loved it. We cross trained and occ floated to peds NICU and L&D. I finished my MSN in womens health and have practiced as NP for 28 years. Always loved taking care of women of all ages. I don’t feel like med surg is needed if that isn’t what you enjoy. Skills of many types are used in various floors. Make the most of where ever you work and learn all you can. Assessment of newborns and picking up on abnormal findings enhance your critical thinking skills which are essential for nurses in any field. Having choices about where we prefer to work is what makes nursing such a great career choice.
I graduated in 2014, on one of my preceptor days in L&D, I was offered a job by the nurse manager. I was 53 years old at that time. I worked very hard on my clinical days and preceptor days. Staff at the hospital recommended me. I am now a NICU nurse, same hospital. I work hard, stay busy working while I’m on the clock. I help as I can on L&D, and postpartum as my time allows. I started on postpartum.
Study neonatal heart sounds. I’ve caught tetralogy of fallot by listening to the sounds and my gut. Also testicular torsion on infant baby boys. You will do a head to toe assessment on neonates every shift. The signs can be subtle. I remember one infant boy had somewhat darker looking shading on his testes. You may not be able to palpate the gonads because they may not have fully descended yet but do try and feel and they’re just so tiny if it looks dark ask the pediatrician and chart your findings. This one baby in particular had one of his nads that had turned and gotten necrotic the other was starting to turn but the surgeon was able to save it. That little boy will be able to have children where he might not have been. It would have been an easy miss. Look for blue lips, Simeon, creases, eye width, fontenals, tounge frenulum,cap refill, blue extremities that don’t pink up. Also weak cries and whimpers. Better to cry stronger. For mommies follow her bleeding and check the fundus of her uterus give it a good massage if soft, chart it and notify ob. Also of course make sure all vitals are within parameters. Always ask, chart and develop a trusting relationship with your fellow nurses, ca, and doctors. Enjoy best job in the world.
Trish morrison, RN, BSN.
I did.....would I recommend it? Possibly, depends on your ultimate career goals. I am currently finishing up my MSN-Nursing Informatics and trying to move away from the bedside. I feel like only having mother-baby and NICU experience is hurting me in that regards.