Choosing a career in nursing means you have options. From oncology and military to forensic and pediatric nursing, there’s an opportunity to explore the field of nursing from many different perspectives. If you’re a travel nurse who’s ready to stroll down the next path in your career, gaining experience in labor and delivery is an optimal choice.
By definition, a labor and delivery nurse is responsible for assisting the doctor in delivering newborns and ensuring that mothers get through the process as safely and efficiently as possible. It’s a deeply rewarding path if you enjoy connecting with mothers and families during a critically important time in their lives. But, Labor and Delivery is not without its challenges. While bringing new life into the world can be exhilarating and beautiful, challenging family dynamics or critical care situations can deeply affect the emotional health of nurses in this specialty, especially if they’re not ready for the harsh realities this field can present.
Even so, here are a few reasons to consider adding labor and delivery nurse to your resume.
1. Growing families = growing demand
There’s an undeniable difference in the number of children women are having today – as well as the age they are conceiving – when compared to decades ago. Long gone are the days of women having babies in their teens and completing their families in their early 20s. However, there’s been a recent increase in women having babies, according to the Pew Research Center. Recent data shows that women in the U.S. are more likely to have children today than they were a decade ago – they’re just waiting until their late 20s, 30s and 40s to have their families.
That said, job demand for labor and delivery nurses is also on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the job outlook for registered nurses is anticipated to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, a rate that’s much faster than the average for all other occupations. With more women interested in bearing children, there’s an increased need for nurses who can help deliver their babies.
2. Higher pay on average
According to BLS, the average median salary of a registered nurse is $73,300, while labor and delivery nurses can anticipate earning an additional $1k – $4k a year on average, even more in locations with an L&D shortage. Travel nursing can increase your average pay another 20%, but depends on which months you decide to work every year, the location, and the demand for your specialty in that area. You can anticipate higher pay as an L&D nurse regardless of location or demand.
3. Making a difference
The job satisfaction in this field is simply incomparable to others. Sarah Cruzan, BSN, RN had this to say about working on the L&D unit: “Every time you go to work, you get to witness the amazing miracle of new life coming into the world. It doesn’t matter how tired you are or what your day was like, there is truly nothing as rewarding as seeing the joy on a parent’s faces as they meet their child for the first time. It never gets old..” (DailyNurse)
If you’re looking for a specialty that fills your heart while allowing you to exercise your passion to help others, this is the field for you.