4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (2023)


July 5, 2022

4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (1)

4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (2)

Von:Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (3)

4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (4)Clinically tested by: kathleen ganes News & Education Publishing, MSN, RN, BA, CBC

Laboratory and midwifery (L&D) nurses are unique among the different types of nurses because they have a very specific job: helping deliver healthy babies and helping mothers through the process in a safe way. Essentially, they are doing what some consider the most important nurturing task of all: bringing new life into this world. Read on to find out how to become a labor and delivery nurse, education requirements, averageSalary for labor and maternity nurses, and more.

L&D nurses start as Registered Nurses (RNs) and can become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) as OB/GYN Nurses, but eventually seek some level of specialized training to assist women with childbirth.

Unlike many generalsRN-JobsWhere the type of patient care they provide is diverse, obstetricians have a very unique role: working with women about to give birth.

Although most obstetricians work in hospitals, more and more birthing centers are opening across the country.

For anyone interested in becoming an obstetrician, the good news is that the position will always be in demand, whether it's in a hospital, birthing center or clinic. By gaining Registered Nurse experience and then specializing in L&D, you can choose this fulfilling and rewarding career path.

(Video) Labor and Delivery Nurse Salary | How to Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse

4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (5)

L&D nurses work with just a few patients on a daily basis, monitoring their progress and attending to any new developments that arise.

After the birth, they continue to care for the mothers until they are discharged from the hospital. This care is more complex for mothers who give birth by cesarean section or who have other medical complications.

The main duties of an L&D nurse include:

  1. Monitoring of baby and mother's vital signs, including heart rate and blood pressure
  2. time contractions
  3. Identify and assist in managing complications.
  4. Assistance with administering medication and epidural anesthesia.
  5. Help induce labor
  6. Educate new moms through labor and delivery.
  7. And of course there is also a lot of support, encouragement and comfort in the delivery room.
4 steps to becoming a labor and maternity nurse (6)

Why I Love Being an Occupational and Maternity Nurse

“As an obstetrician and obstetrician, I am part of a person's birth story three nights a week. Whether the moment is the happiest or filled with sadness and pain, it is my job to delve into their vulnerability and provide the best care. This specialty is full of ups and downs, but the connection I have with my patients will continue to be my why."

The average annual salary of all RNs is$77,600 per year or $37.31 per houraccordinglyDepartment of Labor Statistics, from May 2021, although conditions vary by region. Labor and delivery nurses typically make around this salary, with some earning more depending on location and type of facility. Those with more advanced skills and experience can also earn more.

The states that pay the most for labor and delivery nurses

New Jersey

$121,423/year or $58.38/hour


$116,890/year or $56.20/hour


$116,594/year or $56.05/hour


$115,911/year or $55.73/hour


$115,257/year or $55.41/hour


1. Become a Registered Nurse

Before you specialize or decide to stay as an L&D in a specific hospital unit, you must first become a registered nurse. To do this, you must complete a course of study recognized by the State Nursing Office, either aDiplomaÖassociated study program.

2. Do not pass an NCLEX

Upon completion, you must pass the NCLEX-RN. From there you can start practicing and look for opportunities to gain experience in L&D units.

3. Improve your education

Advancing in this career requires additional education beyond the RN degree program. Some choose to becomeNursein obstetrics and gynaecology. These highly qualified nurses are needed to deal with high risk patients and special circumstances and complications.

Another path L&D nurses can take is to becomeNurses certified midwives. This requires earning the Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Midwife designations from the American Board for the Certification of Midwifery.

(Video) Labor and Delivery Nurse | OB Nurse and Maternity Nurse

4. Get certified

Another way to strengthen your qualification as an RN is to get certified in your area of ​​interest. For L&D nurses, it's usually theInternal obstetrics(RNC-OB) by the National Certification Corporation. Becoming a certified midwife can give you an edge and make you more marketable.

>>Explore L&D Certification Verification Materials*

With so many nurses reaching retirement age in the next decade, the shortage of nurses is set to continue for a long time. And because L&D nursing is physically demanding and requires long shifts, it's particularly well-suited to new caregivers who need to work side-by-side with their patients in a way.

In other words, when it comes to job prospects, specializing in L&D will help further increase job security. To get an idea of ​​how many nurses are needed, consider that theDepartment of Labor Statisticspredicts the field will grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

Top 10 Labor and Maternity Care Programs


This list is based on several factors, including:

  • Ruf
  • NCLEX Success Rate
  • Registration
  • Acceptance rate, if available
  • Only schools accredited by ACEN or CCNE are eligible to participate

Occupational health nurses complete different levels of training, so this list covers all levels of training.

care panel

Our selection committee consists of 3 qualified nurses with many years of experience and several titles:

  • Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, SNC
  • Tyler Fausto, MSN, RN
  • Kathleen Gaines, MSN, BSN, RN, BA, CBC

There are several labor and delivery care programs that have been ranked by our panel of nurses based on the factors outlined in the methodology. Because individual care paths and careers take many forms, the top 10 care programs for labor and delivery are ranked in no particular order.

1.University of Pennsylvania

Annual registration:$56.212

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest and most respected universities in the country. With a low student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, Penn students receive a high level of personal contact with faculty. Prospective obstetricians should consider a BSN degree, a four-year degree with good NCLEX scores. Those wishing to pursue further education should consider Penn's leading women's health MSN programs or midwives.

2.Ann Arbor of the University of Michigan

Annual in-state tuition: $7,925 Annual out-of-state tuition: $26,452

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

Although the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is probably best known for its sports, it is also one of the top public universities. UM has one of the best undergraduate nursing programs, a four-year BSN that is particularly affordable for Michigan residents. The university also offers several midwifery MSN options to allow midwifery nurses to further specialize their education and career. U-M graduates also join an extensive alumni network that can make it easier for you to gain work and childbirth experience early in your career.

(Video) HOW TO BECOME A LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE | pre nursing student tips

3.University of Columbia

Annual Tuition: $89,858

online: sim

Program duration: 15 months

Columbia University in New York City is known for consistently producing high-caliber graduates who become experts in their fields. Those interested in becoming Columbia labor and maternity nurses are taking a non-traditional route. The university offers a pre-licensing MSN for those with non-nursing degrees. Getting an MSN can make work and delivery easier right from the start. Columbia also offers a DNP in midwifery for those who wish to attain the highest level of education possible.

4.University of Texas at Austin

Annual in-state tuition: $12,040 Annual out-of-state tuition: $43,460

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

With over 51,000 students, the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest schools for future obstetricians and midwives to attend. Like other schools on this list, the University of Texas at Austin has a strong BSN program, and the school's connection to the University of Texas' extensive system means students can gain clinical experience at some of the top hospitals in the area. Likewise, local Texas hospitals may prefer to hire a Texas graduate, making this a great choice for anyone interested in Texas occupational and maternity nursing.

5.University of North Carolina

In-state tuition: $32,255 Out-of-state tuition: $91,120

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

The University of North Carolina is among the best public schools. Ideal for research and healthcare, almost any type of nurse can be successful with a UNC degree. Available in a traditional four-year or an accelerated four-semester option, the BSN prepares students for success in any field. Those who can take advantage of UNC's low tuition fees should definitely consider this top-notch program.

6.Emory University

Annual fee: $53,070

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

Emory University is a private school best known for its incredible healthcare system. Like other great programs, a nursing degree in Emory essentially prepares you for any nursing career. In addition to the BSN, Emory also offers graduate degrees in midwifery and women's health, two excellent options for birth and delivery nurses. Although the cost is high, Emory points out that students don't pay the childcare costs. Instead, this high cost is used as a barrier before determining financial aid, with most students paying a lower rate than advertised.

7.Yale University

Annual fee: $67,119

online: sim

(Video) How To Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse

Program duration: 4 years

One Ivy School in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University regularly offers financial aid for students struggling with tuition, making it a surprisingly affordable option for many students as long as they make it through the highly competitive admissions process. Although Yale does not have an undergraduate nursing program, its midwifery and women's health nursing program ranks among the best graduate programs in childbirth and childbirth.

8.University of Washington

Quarterly Government Fee:$4,026 Quarterly Out-of-State Fees: $13,302

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

The University of Washington is the only West Coast school to make this list and is a regional leader in healthcare. Nursing students gain valuable clinical experience in the school's healthcare facilities. Prospective occupational and obstetric nurses without a nursing license must apply to BSN, one of the top programs in the region. Those wishing to continue their education must earn a DNP in Midwifery or a Specialist in Clinical Nursing in Women's Health. As a public school, Washington residents also receive a low state tuition fee.

9.New York University

Annual fee: $37,918

online: sim

Program duration: 4 years

Founded in 1831, New York University is one of the world's leading research universities and is a great place for any midwifery nurse looking to advance their career and earn a degree. Of course, occupational and maternity nurses must first obtain a university degree and gain experience. Through NYU BSN, students complete an excellent nursing program, gain clinical experience at some of New York's finest hospitals, and have ties to local health centers.

10University of Espen

Annual Tuition: $9,750

online: sim

Program duration: 1 year

Aspen University is primarily an online school, so only nurses with an associate's degree should consider this option. However, Aspen's online RN BSN is among the best and is perfect for RNs with an associate's degree looking to increase their earning potential. This flexible program also makes it easy for you to continue working while you study, and the cost of the program is incredibly low. Completing an RN-BSN program can mean a big long-term change for midwifery nurses.

To learn more about L&D nursing careers, take advantage of the resources available from professional organizations in the field. The leading group of L&D nurses are:

The Association for Women's Health, Midwifery and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)- This organization aims to improve and advance women's and newborn health and strengthen the nursing profession through advocacy, research and education.

You can also consult our article onHow to become a midwife, which is a specialty related to nursing!

  • What does an obstetrician normally do?

    • An obstetrician and midwife attends to pregnant women during labour, delivery and postpartum. They can also test pregnant women for signs of preterm labor or other pregnancy complications. Obstetrics and delivery nurses also provide newborn care and parent/guardian education which may include bathing, nursing, health and feeding.
  • How do I become an obstetrician and obstetrician?

    • To become an L&D nurse, get your RN and apply to work in a labor and maternity ward. Some hospitals allow L&D nurses to apply directly outside of school, while others may prefer nurses to have some experience on the general medicine/surgical ground.
  • Is childbirth and childbirth difficult?

    • Birth and childbirth care can have challenging situations such as: when there are pregnancy complications, but it is a very rewarding field.
  • Is an obstetrician the same as a midwife?

    • NO. A Certified Nursing Midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has completed a master's program to become an advanced practice registered nurse.
  • How long does it take to become an obstetrician and obstetrician?

    • It can take 2-4 years to become an RN and it is possible to apply directly to the L&D space straight out of school; However, some healthcare facilities may require one to two years of medical/surgical experience.
  • What personality traits are required to be an obstetrician and midwife?

    • Obstetrics and childbirth nurses must be able to turn quickly, manage time effectively, communicate, deal with high-stress situations, express empathy, and work well with physicians, patients, and families. A passion for pregnancy is also useful for L&D nurses.
(Video) Behind the Scenes: Being a Labor and Delivery Nurse

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