Did anyone go straight into PostPartum Care or a Mother Baby unit right out of school? Also, any advice for a somewhat new grad going into Mother Baby?
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.
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
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.😉
Yes… while many hospitals prefer experienced nurses in the one I used to work before becoming a Nurse Practitioner we used to hire new grads. Acuity of postpartum patients tends to be lower than those at med surge and I came into the unit being an experienced tele/med surge Nurse for which postpartum was literally heaven! Don’t take for granted your patients being stable because you WILL have patients at times that will hemorrhage hours to days after delivery… and infants that will turn blue, sharpen your acls and post partum hemorrhage skills… your hospital will have protocols in place that must be followed and if your unit offers cross training… take it! It will make you a better rounded nurse with stronger skills and your resume will look amazing… at the hospital I used to work… we were cross trained to the NICU and Labor and Delivery PACU… for this reason all mother baby nurses were sharpen and knew how to manage emergencies with both mothers and babies without requiring the bail out of nurses from the other two units…and even tho those nurses will respond to help during emergencies…. many times they were short staffed and tending to their own patients ….so we were always more than ready to handle it by ourselves
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.
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! 😍
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!!
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.
I did 🙋🏻♀️
Don’t let anyone bully you by saying you HAVE TO start in Med Surg etc.
I’ve been a Maternity/PP nurse for almost 10 years now and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. Go where you’re passionate :)
I love women’s health and babies are cute too lol
Our hospital takes new grads in all units. I am a Labor and Delivery nurse for 41 years. I would recommend starting in Med Surg to get your skills sharpened and also for time management skills. Then after you do that for a year you can be better qualified to learn a new specialty. Mother baby nurses on our unit rarely started IV’s, foleys or other basic skills. They do a lot of breast feeding, baby care teaching, discharge teaching.
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.
Yes I did but i worked on the unit as a LPN first then was hired on as an RN once i graduated. Most new nurses hired on have done other areas of the hospital first such as a Med/Surg, critical care or ED first. I would defiantly reach out to the nurse manager there and see what type of experience that would help you get a position on the unit. Hope that helps and good luck!
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.
Yes - mother/baby. While I liked the job, I lost a lot of nursing knowledge and skills there.
I went straight to Mother-Baby then to L&D. I felt confident that my nursing career would be in this area, and have not missed the typical Med-Surg skills. Someone suggested a teaching hospital... look to see if your places of employment have a nurse residency program. That would be ideal. As for losing skills, two thoughts... you're going to lose skills no matter which area of nursing you go into. And this is a "learn on the job" profession, so you will always have the opportunity to learn new skills or relearn old ones. Don't get hung up on that if your passion is in M/B. Also, if you work in a hospital that services a high-risk population, then you will have the opportunity for skill building and maintenance. As for pointers going into M/B... become proficient at your assessments and work on time management for starters. Find someone who is clearly organized and watch how they work. Focus on and listen to your patients. Good luck and have fun!
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!
I went straight into L&D out of school. I have now worked in 3 different hospitals as an L&D nurse or as a Women's float nurse (L&D, postpartum, antepartum/GYN). A lot of the nurses on postpartum started out working on the unit as a CNA during nursing school or were part of the nurse extern program over the summer. Large teaching hospitals tend to be more willing to hire new grads into specialty areas, so I would try looking there first.
I started out mother baby as a new grad. I’ve been doing it for close to three years since June 2020. Advice for new grad is to make sure you are organized cause it is very tasky, depending on the hospital you go into there’s different things that need to be done for mom and newborn. Also, don’t expect to know everything by the time you’re done with orientation. You will learn a lot when you’re on your own. For example I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding but now I feel so comfortable helping mamas with it. Good luck!
I worked as a CNA for about 8 years prior to nursing school, so I decided after a short stint in home health right out of school, that I really needed to work on the foundation of nursing, so I did med/surg for 3 yrs, then ICU, then on to many other specialty areas, PACU. My opinion only is my broad foundation of med surg which I floated to many areas, such as urology, rehab, oncology etc. really gave me the the in and out fo what I like and didn't like.
I see some who do specialize right out of school and a decade later are tired of that area and it is very hard for them to shift into med/ surg or another specialty as, often (may not be the case now) but often they didn't care to train a seasoned nurse into a new specialty.
I feel like Med/surg opened up many doors for me, gave me a good foundation for nursing in general, my good buddy who grad with me went directly into L and D and 10 years later was so burnt out and had a very hard time doing anything else. L and D is very physically taxing from what I understand. be good to your back! You only get one!
My opinion. ONLY, is every nurse should have some CNA experience before nursing school and every new nurse should do at least 6 months of med/surg. Again my opinion.
Good luck and congratulations!!
Yes, I did. I thought it was my dream job, but realized a year later I was bored and ended up moving to med-surg to learn more skills. It felt like the same patient and baby on repeat. If my patients became sick they would go to antepartum or NICU. For me, I think it would have felt more confident in mother baby if I had some basic skills coming into it.
Me!! I did mother baby as a new grad for 2 years before settling into NICU. I found it to be wonderful place to start off especially if you’re someone who knows you want to stay in the women’s and children’s world of nursing. Depending on your hospital you will have lots of opportunities for skills (lab draws, managing hemorrhages/pre-eclampsia/GDM etc). Second what others have said about getting comfortable identifying murmurs. Also really lean into mastering the time management portion of mother baby- it is a crucial skill for all types of nursing that will serve you well no matter where you wind up. Congratulations on getting started in the best specialty!
I did. But I started on night shift and worked several years before day shift came available. I let them know during my clinical rotations that’s where I wanted to be. Never worked anywhere but there.
You can go straight to MB, but, you have to be prepared as it can be a bit more stressful than medsurg. But you can do it!
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.
I did not go straight into mom/baby but some of my students did. If you can find a mentor or training program at a local hospital I suggest you try to get a position. If you are still in school ask if they can help you find an opportunity.
Call the manager of the unit and see if you can get a shift or two to shadow one of their nurses to see what it is really like.
New graduates need to listen. Do not go in thinking you will be rocking babies or nothing ever goes wrong.
Sharpen your knowledge of shock, hemorrhage, m/b drugs, Edinburgh depression scales.
Good luck, it is a very rewarding place to work.
I don’t know if I agree with one of the simple answers. We’ve had post partum hemorrhages, blood transfusions, teaching mothers to breastfeed can be a challenge, babies transferred to NICU for unstable blood sugars, etc. You do need great assessment skills. Some hospitals will train new grads. Back in the day, I definitely thought at least a year of med surg. gave you the skills and time management you need to learn. Our hospital is training new grads. You need a great orientation and preceptor; so look around if that is your desire. Best of luck.
I went to mother baby straight from Nursing School.
I learned a lot, gained skills at a slower pace. Mother Baby at the facility I worked had post op GYN.
You learn incision care, pass meds, vital sign monitoring, etc. It also gives you a chance to better your charting on a less demanding floor. Highly recommend.
I did! Brand new 22 year old nurse and I stayed for 10 years. Go to your passion. I learned EVERYTHING on the job. I was so unsure for the first 2-3 years of my skills but then it clicked. Use your NICU and labor friends as mentors they taught me so much.
Yes, I did. It’s been 17 years ago, but JACHO had just completed an evaluation. They told the hospital that they had too many LVN’s working on the floor and they wanted more RN’s. It was exactly where I wanted to work. I was lucky! Straight out of nursing school.
I did in 2019, right before the pandemic. I graduated with my BSN in May 2019, passed my boards in August, and then started a job on a maternity floor at a small community hospital. I was being trained as both a mother-baby nurse and a special care nursery nurse. I actually had an internship at a Med-Ortho floor at a bigger hospital in the area. They were willing to offer me a job, but I hated working in that discipline. The only positive to that job would have been day shift. My job that I got at the small hospital on a maternity floor was night shift.
What had helped me was the fact that they were understaffed and needed a couple of night positions. They also had a new grad they had hired before me that they had a positive view of. I think it also helped that I had the internship and came from a school that was known for its nursing program. They were taking a chance on me, and I don’t doubt that. But I would advise to ask a lot of questions and do your homework.
It is not easier than Med-Surg. It is different.
Yes I did, but I was already a lactation consultant prior to becoming an RN. I would recommend taking a lactation course in addition to soaking up all the wisdom you can from your co workers. Use your enthusiasm to support and encourage folks without being judgy. Every new parent wants a healthy baby!
Yes, I did with a new grad residency program.
Yes! I got to be in a Nurse Extern program in my last year of nursing school and got paid to care for up to 4 moms/4 babies. I had a preceptor each shift to sign orders, etc. I was very happy with the arrangement and got hired right after graduation. I’ve never done Med surg and although it’s recommended you do, I was glad to jump in to area of interest right away!
Yea. Plenty of people do through new grad residencies. You can get in any unit that way
I did in the 1980’s. I suggest to get a year of Med/surg since our pts are a lot sicker medically wise in labor and delivery. Our mother/baby nurses have lost their clinical skills working mother/baby.
Yes I hired onto MBU as a new grad in 1991 and retired from same unit 32 years later. I rehired as a casual Level 7 and only have to work minimal of 2 12hour shifts /month More if I want up to your state social security max. WV is $18,900. My casual position rate of pay is what it was at retirement >45/ hr. Our mbu still hires new grads and LDR. Only during the last few years have they hired new grads for LDR.
I went straight to mother baby to got out of RN school! My home was mother baby but I also did pediatrics/transition float (baby catcher nurse) we cross trained. My advice is don’t be afraid to ask for help!! If you’re overwhelmed, your charge needs to know. It can get overwhelming because you’re probably gonna take about 3 moms and 3 babies. Even though you’re only in 3 rooms, it’s still 6 patients. Sometimes we would take 4 couplets so that’s 8 patients. Try your best to plan out your assessments and meds! Even if you’re organized thought things still get overwhelming and crazy usually. Just try to breathe, ask for help, and do the best you can! Your patients will appreciate you being there in the best or hardest times in their lives!
I did. Graduated in 2012. Straight to labor and delivery. Been there for ten years. Best decision. If I had done med surg I would’ve left nursing a long time ago.
Hi! I agree with a lot of the other replies. Know your obstetric emergencies… postpartum hemorrhage, hypertensive crisis, infections s/s and protocols. Feeling confident in these situations can make all of the difference. Also, I think another thing that really helped is breastfeeding knowledge. Get your CLC, or IBCLC certification. This is such great knowledge to help families.
I found a lot of great resources on CMQCC website for obstetric emergencies.
Also, another area to make you a well rounded nurse that I would advise, is to look at the more holistic side of nursing. Even though my RN degree is much higher than that of a postpartum doula, I took this course as well. I think it just helped me to expand my understanding of other ways care can be given to my patients. ❤️
I went straight to the mother-baby unit directly after nursing school. I was told that you should do at least 1 year of Med Surge, but I disagree. I worked on the mother baby unit for 6 years then graduated from NP school. After graduation I taught in the BSN program as a professor for 9 months and now I'm working as a Nurse practitioner for a geriatric clinic. Choose your path, you do anything!
Yes, I was a recent graduate and went straight into to all three areas of mother baby unit. I started in Post-partum and nursery. I then went to L&D and eventually moved on to pediatrics. Hopefully, you will have an experienced mentor that will guide you and assist you in perfecting the skills needed for nursing diagnosis and assessment. Try to be open minded and look for any chance to gain experience. If that is where your interests are take every day as an opportunity to learn.
Join AWHONN and buy their books on postpartum care. Bone up on the pathophysiology of the common complications mom and babies experience. Don't just know the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia, etc., but know why those s/s manifest. Most of the time the work is pretty routine and there isn't too much "excitement." However, things can go to heck fast so you have to stay well practiced for emergencies. Don't get complacent. I went to mother-baby right out to school too and stayed there 25 years. Eventually became their clinical nurse educator. It's a great department if you have the right hospital and management.
I went straight into L&D out of my ADN program and worked on that unit for 17 years. They had a new grad program and I had done my externahip there.
I did! Heading to postpartum unit right away taught me organizational skills and how to prioritize my care. You have enough knowledge from nursing school to pick up on major issues and will be educated on preeclampsia and hypertensive emergencies as well as others. It gets you comfortable in the roll of engaging with your patients because there is a lot of teaching. Gets you comfortable in your own skin. It wasn’t enough to hold me though, after 18 mos I transferred to L&D! I enjoy the fast pace and unknown! Good luck! #neveramedsurgnurse #excellentwomanscarenurse
I was very lucky and fortunate to have worked in L&D as a scrub tech while I was going to nursing school, so when I graduated, I was hired as an L&D nurse right away. I had amazing nurses who would have me in their deliveries to help, so I learned a lot before I became a nurse. I try and pass on that way of teach every opportunity I have because I don’t believe in “nurses eat their young”, we all need to work together! I would like to retire one day! See one, do one and teach one has pretty much been my line of training, so situational awareness is a must.
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.
AS a new graduate, it is not advisable to you to start your nursing career on this particular specialty, because you will not acquired enough skilled when's you want change the specialty, postpartum is only focusing on care of women after birth with their baby .Nothing skilled, just to follow the protocol,.
I recommend a least a year of Med Surg before going into Mother Baby. Our Manager, ONLY hires with Experience lately, especially with the Night Shift. If not it would just require a few more months on Orientation. It is a great area of Medicine to land in!
I did. Started in a large city hospital which was awful - they had no interest in teaching a new nurse. Went to a smaller one, same roll, they were awesome. Was there for years before coming off of nights.