How to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse

Labor and delivery nurses are usually the ones who help patients through the life-changing moment of childbirth. Childbirth is a beautiful moment, but it is also a high-pressure process that is not always pleasant. Labor and delivery nurses are highly trained to handle the most stressful of situations. They multitask during the birthing process by coordinating with the obstetricians, supporting the patients, checking on both the mother and the infant’s health, and then educating the parents on what to expect after. 

While there are basic qualification requirements for a labor and delivery nurse, their education can continue for years after they get employed. The field of medicine changes often, and research and technology play a huge part in these changes. Medical professionals need to keep abreast of the changing requirements with certifications.

Required Qualifications

If you are planning on becoming a labor and delivery nurse, you should be aware that it requires years of study. There are a few basic required qualifications that every nurse needs to have become a labor and delivery nurse. All nurses need either an Associate Degree in Nursing, which takes two years or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which takes four years. The Bachelor’s degree will provide you with more in-depth knowledge, and with this degree, you will have better opportunities for career development. Before becoming a labor and delivery nurse, you will have to become a registered nurse, which involves applying for licensure through your state’s board of nursing, where you will either have to give a licensure examination.

Required Certifications

You need a couple of certifications on top of your degree and license. The first one is Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which covers CPR for adults, children and infants, use of an automated external defibrillator, and other similar skills. It takes a few hours to complete.

The second certification is Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), which builds upon the skills provided in the BLS program. This certification takes longer to complete.

Additional Certifications

After receiving the required qualifications and certifications, you can continue your medical education with additional certifications that can advance your career and increase your salary.

Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB) certification can be received by labor and delivery nurses who have completed a particular number of hours of clinical labor and delivery experience and have showcased competency in the field.

Electronic Fetal Monitoring (C-EFM) certification only requires you to hold current licensure as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, physician, physician assistant, or paramedic to be eligible. This certification is to demonstrate your skill at applying electronic fetal monitors and interpreting their data.  

Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification will train you in the basics of neonatal resuscitation, which can save a newborn infant’s life in an emergency. It consists of hands-on training, which you can get at centers like Newcastle Training.

If you are passionate about working in the field of women and infant healthcare, a labor and delivery nurse can be a good career option for you. It will be a gratifying career where you will also be able to focus on one specialty, such as pediatric nursing, that interests you the most.