Okay, so I'm not technically a nursing student...I'm a Junior in High School! However, I'm very passionate about becoming a nurse, specifically a labor and delivery nurse. Can I get advice on how to start? Pros and Cons? Thank you all so much :)!
Well, congratulations on discovering your passion! I have been a Labor & Delivery nurse 37 years and I still love it. First, do well in school, especially in math and sciences. Next, look into volunteering at your local hospital while in school to see if that is a place you can see yourself working. Maybe they have volunteers on their Maternity unit. Plan to get into a college offering a Bachelor's degree in Nursing - many places will only hire with a BS, or will require it after you are hired - just get it over with. Also, many places require you to get a year of Medical-Surgical experience before they will hire you into a specialty.
It's a great profession with many possibilities and decent money. Once you get experience under your belt, Traveling Nurses get to see the country, meet all kinds of people and see how other people do things. Working with women can be hard sometimes... remember to take cate of you.
Do your best every day and always treat your patients like you would want your family members cared for. Help out your co-workers, but don't let yourself get used. Good luck!
Girl, you can take the extremely long route and waste your money and time with unnecessary courses and licensing, or you can commit to an actual BSN degree from the beginning. If money is an issue take you prerequisites at a Community College. There is literally no benefit to taking all those extra steps. A BSN opens all the doors.
I do agree that becoming an aid/tech/assistant while your in high school or pre nursing is a great idea. But I do not recommend grinding your way through several non-nursing positions. You will learn patient care, communication, and everything else in your nursing program.
Hi! Become a hospital volunteer. That will give you the opportunity to see what working in a hospital is like. You can become a CNA in college. You will get hands on experience which can help you in school. It also will help you land a nursing job. Good luck!
If you can, become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Start working as soon as possible. This exposes you to the basics of nursing and will really start to set the foundation for you. You’ll learn how to converse with patients, provide cares (bathing, toileting, etc), and get really good at vital signs. Even if you want to do L/D, don’t write off the experience you can get while working in long term care as a CNA. This was how I got started.
I became a CNA in high school, became a Certified Med Aide (could pass meds only) shortly thereafter. LPN three years out of high school, then RN some time later. I’ve been a Director in various settings, including both long term care and acute care (at a critical access hospital).
Just jump in and take as many nursing related classes as you can in high school and go get that CNA!
Hey girl I'm a new grad L&D nurse and I just wanna say, it is the most rewarding and fulfilling career. That is not to say it does not come with its challenges, there is not a day that goes by at work where I do not feel some sense of anxiety, but it's getting better! I just hit my 6-month mark and I hear by the 1-year mark things start to turn up!! My best advice to you would be:
1. Pick a college based on a killer BSN program that works for you. The first 2 years you are in school, you will be taking gen-ed classes mostly and you will be able to have fun getting involved with stuff around your school like greek life or whatever. When your junior year begins and you start nursing school, hunker down on your studies. I mean, by all means, take breaks but for the near future, get used to saying no to social events, and make studying your social time. Your nursing buddies will be your besties in the end anyways, so finding a program that fits your needs will give you the best possible outcomes for being a great nurse and passing the NCLEX! ALSO-- in nursing school, C's are the new A's! As long as you pass, no one cares! Speaking from my experience, I was never a straight-A student in nursing school and I landed a sweet job as a new grad on L&D at my dream hospital. Most of the time, unit managers aren't looking for someone with amazing grades and a perfect resume, they want someone who is passionate about their unit and has a fire for helping these baby mamas!
2. Volunteer/shadow/get women's health experience. Whatever you can get your hands on, whether it be a CNA on a postpartum floor or hours at a clinic, the more you learn the more it will help you as a nurse! Really try to sponge up as much information as you can now, it may help you in the future on resumes for jobs or experience in general.
3. Enjoy the time you have the rest of high school and college! When you start working, you don't realize how fast it went until you turn around and look back. Value the relationships you build, cherish the opportunities you have, and live your life to the fullest! Once you graduate college, everything changes, real-life bills, responsibilities, working on holidays, nights, and weekends. Life is just different. Great, but different. Just enjoy the time you have right now!
I hope this helps! I am sorry this was so long but I truly wish you the best. Being a labor and delivery nurse is not for the faint of heart. Taking care of both mom and unborn baby is stressful, and just when you think you can predict something about your patient, it goes completely sideways. Just remember to keep your head up, study hard, and don't let go of your dream! I know wherever you end up, you will be great!
--Anna, BSN, RN
Best advice anyone will give you other than to try and take AP Biology your senior year would be to either become a CNA or volunteer at a local hospital. I've been a nurse for five years and can tell you that the best nurses I've been around were also CNA's. You learn the value of a healthcare team and what it means to actually take care of people. Most importantly it gets your foot into the door into various hospitals around you (this is especially important if you work in a major metropolitan area). Volunteer at a hospital, meet people and build connections - that will always be your best way to get your foot in the door once you pursue that L&D job.
Also, don't get too attached to one area of nursing - we see it all the time. The great thing about nursing is all of the various paths you can take. In nursing school, you will see many areas of nursing you may end up enjoying more - happened to me. Good luck!
Hello future nurse,
To me, there are many more pros than cons.
Cons: School is tough and it needs to be, you will be responsible for the lives of others. The work is hard with long hours, and sometimes the patients and even coworkers don't seem to appreciate all you do. But there are many whose life will forever be changed because you were there for them. Being able to make a difference and sharing some of life's most vulnerable moments with a patient and their family will humble you, give you moments of gratitude, an appreciation for so many of the smaller things in life, and simply make you a better person.
Labor and delivery is one of my favorite areas. It is difficult to go home grumpy and tired when you just assisted with the birth of a baby. It will not always to happy moments, there are tragedies that cut into your soul, like telling a momma there isn't a heartbeat.
I am excited for your passion and desire to be a nurse. To some, it is a job, to others it is a calling. Start small and when you are certain, dive deeper.
Some high schools offer a heath care course that leads to a CNA or you can find a local CNA program through the community college. Many nursing programs prefer candidates who have some exposure to heath care and being a CNA gets your foot in the door and help you develop a rapport with nurse and physicians that will write a letter of reference for you. Experience in the field will also help you decide if this is the best career choice for you before you have committed a significant amount of time and money. Starting at a community college is financially friendlier. Get all you prerequisites and non-nursing courses done before entering the nursing program, it will take some of the load off when you are in the nursing program. Just make sure all the classes you take are transferable and that the courses will meet the criteria for the college you plan to attend for nursing school.
Nursing is so versatile, you can grow in so many directions and change specialties fairly easily.
You have the opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the well-being of others in a career that is financially dependable and personally fulfilling.
Through ongoing education, you could go on to contribute to research and enhance nursing practice.
It all starts with the first step, and you just keep going.
If I can give you any encouragement, just reach back to me. I am cheering you on!
Wishing you the best,
Definitely take a full spectrum Doula Training and get certified as a Lactation Consultant as well. This will help you be much more marketable once you complete nursing school and are looking for your first job. Some hospitals are actually hiring DONA certified Doulas to support patients so you could find a part time/ per diem job like this to do while you are in school or you can have a private practice. Follow some birth/doula/midwifery pages on IG and learn as much as you can about the physiology of birth.
Talk to a local BSN program about the prerequisites, grants, scholarships etc. This will clear up a lot of the misinformation being spread like its a progression from CNA to LVN to RN . This is not true and nursing hours do not transfer.
You can start off on volunteering in some local hospital and get some exposure to how healthcare setting are looking like while you are in high school or in college. Next you can try to find some part time positions as a tech, PCA, or medical assistant. Don’t stress on it if you don’t find it, it’s ok! BSN is more competitive compare to ADN or LVN, so I would suggest going straight to BSN. BSN consist of about 2 years of prerequisites and 2 years of core nursing curriculum in most programs, and you can do the 2 year prerequisite in local community colleges, way cheaper and it’s the same credit. Be sure to try to maintain your GPA while you are taking those in community college cuz admission to nursing can be competitive depends on GPA and other factors. Labor and Delivery is only a small portion of what you’ll learn in nursing school, and by the time you graduated, you probably only know a small portions of what L&D entails.
After you got your RN license, you can start looking at some local hospital new nurse graduate programs. In the old times, you’ll probably be told in order to get into a specialty, you have to get some med-surg experience, but not anymore! Depends on the area where you live, you may be able to start right off to L&D as a new nurse. You’ll really learn what L&D look like once you get into the field. I started off in L&D as a new grad nurse, and till today I am still learning new stuffs about laboring. Laboring is fun and it is very exhausting sometimes, but I love it cuz I get to witness some great moments in life, I hope you’ll like it too and best of luck!
Do volunteer work in hosp setting to see for yourself the hosp environment and what nurses do
To get ahead of the game it would be a good idea for you to take the science classes that are required in college while you’re still in high school if you can handle the load. If not, you need to do all your prerequisites at most places before you can get into a program. There are some private colleges that I know you to go straight in but they are very expensive. Once you graduate from nursing school they always have labor and delivery training programs.
I had been an LPN about 3 years before transferring to the Labor and delivery/obstetrics department. They wanted experience nursing before transfer. I did that for 15 years until I left for personal reasons. Then nursing took a turn toward hiring only RNs for specialty areas. I’m not sure if it’s gone back to being able to get into obstetrics department with Lpn license. Check out where you want to work and the supervisor can tell you. Might even be able to give you more advice. Good luck!!! Tamara