This article was updated for accuracy and relevance on September 17th, 2020.

Becoming a labor and delivery travel nurse is one of the most recognized nursing specialties in the healthcare field. It’s a nursing career specialty known for a employing professionals with a calm demeanor to ensure mother and baby are safe before, during, and immediately after labor. Are you starting out your nursing career and trying to determine if Labor and Delivery or neonatal nursing is for you? What are the specific nursing education requirements needed to become a Labor and Delivery Nurse? What is the average salary for a Labor and Delivery Nurse? These questions and more will be answered below.

Labor and Delivery Nurses Responsibilities

Due to the high level of patient care responsibilities, labor and delivery nurses work with very few patients per day allowing them to provide better care for the mothers in labor. As a Labor and Delivery nurse, it is important to have a calm demeanor. Remember, you are one of the people a laboring mother is looking to. Therefore, building a trusting relationship with your patients as well as the ability to maintain stress levels are two important qualities in a nurse working in a birthing center. In addition, Labor and delivery nurses have several other important responsibilities:

  • Educate the mother and her family on what to expect during the different stages of giving birth.
  • During the labor, coach the women on breathing and when to push.
  • Consistently check the vital signs of both the baby and the mother.
  • After childbirth, educate the mother on postpartum care such as breastfeeding techniques.

How to Become A Labor and Delivery Nurse

Labor and delivery nurses have specific requirements.

  • The first step to becoming a labor and delivery nurse is to complete an approved nursing program. During your nursing education, it is important to take elective courses in labor and delivery. It is required that you obtain at least your BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing) before becoming a registered nurse. 
  • After graduating with a nursing bachelor’s degree, your next step is to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
  • It may be a good idea to spend around a year working as a bedside nurse in order to gain experience as a newly registered nurse. You can add this direct patient care to your resume as well as gain valuable nursing practice.
  • Once you have successfully completed these two requirements, review any requirements set forth by the license board in the specific state you wish to work.

How Much Do Labor and Delivery Nurses Make?

The labor and delivery nursing career job outlook is strong. With so many nurses retiring and the population aging, there is a shortage of registered nursing professionals for Labor and Delivery. The median nurse salary continues to grow. The U.S. Department of Labor  gives general nursing salary statistics, and reports an average salary of $42,000. For nurses who are specialized in a particular specialty, such as Labor and Delivery, they are highly sought after. Labor and Delivery as well as neonatal nursing are careers in high demand because of the many skills necessary. This type of nurse practitioner must engage in fetal monitoring, help the expectant mother through birth, and postpartum care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average labor and delivery nurse salary is $66,000.

Working in Labor and Delivery 

In addition to nursing in Labor and Delivery for expectant mothers, there are other subunits found in the same realm. This includes neonatal care, a nurse anesthetist, a postpartum travel nurse, or pediatrics. Identify which nursing specialty suits your interests to determine what the nurse’s salary might be for that specific unit.

Host Healthcare Travel Nurse

Being a labor and delivery travel nurse is a very rewarding career. You play a large role in bringing new life to this world. You make sure mothers and their babies are safe and healthy in the hospital. If this sounds like a great job for you, check out all labor and delivery travel nursing jobs.

At Host Healthcare, our mission is to provide you and every healthcare professional we encounter with the highest level of service. We believe in honesty, respect, and a commitment to quality with our clients, our healthcare professionals, and our corporate employees. Call one of our friendly recruiters at (800) 585-1299 to find your ideal travel nursing job.