How to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse: Salary, Jobs, Requirements

Nurse in front of couple holding babyA labor and delivery nurse, also known as an L&D nurse, cares for women and babies during childbirth. A labor and delivery nurse prepares women and their families for the various stages of giving birth. This nurse also helps patients with breastfeeding after delivery. A labor and delivery nurse provides care for mothers, coaches family members and assists physicians.

Table of Contents
How to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse
Education Requirements
Labor and Delivery Nurse Job Description
Personality Traits
Career Options
Labor and Delivery Nurse Salary
Labor and Delivery Nurse Certification
Professional Organizations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer information about job outlook specific to labor and delivery nurses but the website does offer an overview of registered nurses.

Nurse Salary and Employment Data

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Source: BLS Wage Data by Area and Occupation. * or ** indicate insignificant or unavailable data.

Level of Education Required Associate degree or Bachelor Degree in Nursing
Board Examinations needed NCLEX-RN, RN-BC
Average Salary $60,000
# of Jobs (2012) 2,712,000
Job Outlook (2012 to 2022) 19% growth

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov
Salary information courtesy of PayScale http://www.payscale.com

How to become a labor and delivery nurse

To become a labor and delivery nurse, the candidate:

  • Must have an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
  • May pursue additional education in obstetrics
  • May pursue voluntary Inpatient Obstetrics Nursing (RNC-OB) certification through the National Certification Corporation

Labor and Delivery Nurse Education requirements

To become a labor and delivery nurse, an individual must earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The student must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

A student interested in working as labor and delivery nurse should take elective courses in labor and delivery.

Wilkes RN to MS

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Labor and Delivery Nurse Job description

A labor and delivery nurse works with mothers and babies during labor and delivery. The labor and delivery nurse monitors mother’s blood pressure and baby’s heart rate, times contractions and identifies and assists with any complications that may arise. A labor and delivery nurse aids in inducting labor and help to administer medications and epidurals. A nurse working in labor and delivery prepares new mothers for the changes they may experience before, during and after pregnancy.

Personality traits:

  • Able to work in fast-paced environments
  • Multifaceted
  • Structured
  • Comfortable with patient interaction

Labor and delivery nurses report to the institution’s nursing supervisor or attending physician.

Career options

A labor and delivery nurse might expect to work in:

  • Hospital delivery rooms
  • Doctor offices
  • Community clinics

Labor delivery nurse jobs will likely rise steadily as birth rates, which had been slow, continue to rise. Qualified labor delivery nurses will be in great demand as advancing technologies help older women and those with fertility problems, who are at greater risk for complications during delivery, to become pregnant.

Labor and delivery nurse salary

The average labor and delivery nurse salary is $60,000 anually, according to Payscale.com. Labor delivery nurse jobs will likely rise steadily as birth rates, which had been slow, continue to rise. Qualified labor delivery nurses will be in great demand as advancing technologies help older women and those with fertility problems, who are at greater risk for complications during delivery, to become pregnant.

Labor and Delivery Nurse Certification

A labor and delivery nurse may pursue voluntary Inpatient Obstetrics Nursing certification through the National Certification Corporation. The candidate must have 24 months of specialty experience as a U.S. or Canadian RN comprised of a minimum of 2,000 hours. Candidates must have worked in obstetrics sometime within 24 months of applying for certification.

Professional organizations

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses: https://www.awhonn.org/awhonn/