How to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse: Education & Licensure
What Does a Labor and Delivery Nurse Do?
Steps to Become a Labor and Delivery Nurse
1. Obtain an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN)
2. Pass the NCLEX Exam and Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
4. Bolster Credentials With an (RNC-OB) Certification
5. Consider an Advanced Degree
Labor and Delivery Nurse vs. Midwife
Labor and Delivery Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
FAQs About a Labor and Delivery Nurse
The steps include becoming a registered nurse, passing the NCLEX exam and obtaining state licensure. From there, you may consider advancing your career by pursuing an Inpatient obstetric nursing (RNC-OB) certification.
The time it takes to become a labor and delivery nurse can vary among individuals, but is typically four to five years. You will need to graduate from an accredited registered nursing program, which generally takes four years. You will also want to consider the additional time it may take to pass the National Counseling Licensing Exam (NCLEX) and obtain state licensure.
Salaries specific to labor and delivery nurses exclusive from RNs are not currently available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS lists the 2020 median annual salary for all registered nursing professions at $75,330. Labor and delivery nurse salaries can vary widely based on many factors, including the medical institution type, regional salary trends, professional experience level and the skills and qualifications the candidate brings with them.
A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) must train and be certified with that credential. This certification is not required to become a labor and delivery nurse. Certified nurse-midwife programs are usually pursued through master’s in nursing programs. CNMs may provide a wide range of healthcare related to women before and after childbirth. Labor and delivery nurses are typically limited to providing care during labor and delivery and immediately following birth.
With an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you may be able to find work as a labor and delivery nurse. However, many potential employers may prefer that you are an RN, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you’re just starting out, look for jobs that don’t require prior experience in labor and delivery. Alternatively, consider completing a labor and delivery internship to gain some experience in that field before you apply for jobs.