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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I graduated in December from the nursing program at a community college and I am a licensed nurse looking for a job. I haven't had much luck yet especially not in starting in labor and delivery.<br><br>
My long term plan was to go to nursing school, then work in labor and delivery while finishing my BSN and then go on to be a CNM.<br><br>
I had an interview for a labor and delivery position and the recruiter asked me two questions that I am still thinking about. 1) Why do you want to be a nurse? 2) What my career goals were. Question 1 was difficult because I don't really want to be a nurse, I want to be a labor and delivery nurse or a midwife. Question 2- I told her my goals and plan and she just said that being a CNM requires a lot of school. I felt like she didn't believe me. I decided on this path almost 3 years ago and have stuck with it and feel that finishing nursing school shows a commitment to reaching those goals. (I wasn't hired for the position, there were 7 applicants and one was already an employee of the hospital)<br><br>
I feel stumped now. I don't really want to work med-surg but will if I have to (because I do need to work) but I need to be doing something to move forward with the long term goals. I am getting frustrated because I just finished nursing school, of which only 4 weeks was OB and I didn't see a birth or even a pregnant woman during clinical. I thought once I finished I would be able to work in labor and delivery. I am willing to move for a job in labor and delivery.<br><br>
How did you get started? What would you recommend?
 

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An L&D nurse *is* a nurse. I never worked med-surg in my life, but you'll run across a lot of nurse managers who have attitude about non-med-surg nurses. Oh well.<br><br>
Remember all that crap from nursing school about what a nurse is? Go back, look at it, and develop a spiel. You'll be asked this again. And again.
 

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L&D is often considered a "speciality" area, and it can be tough for new grads with no experience to get hired.<br><br>
As a new BSN I was hired onto a postpartum/antepartum floor and I loved it. I have been doing ob/gyn for almost 20 years. Do you have an option for that kind of OB work around you? Any birth centers?<br><br>
A little advise: don't tell a nurse manager you want to go to grad school in your job interview. Grad school is great (and it is a TON of work, the manager is right), but saying this in an interview makes the manager think the job you are applying for will just be a stepping stone. It might be, and that is OK, but don't let on. It costs a hospital so much time and money to get a new nurse oriented and trained. They are not going to pick someone who they don't think is committed. And as maxmama said, you do need to have a coherent answer for why you were drawn to nursing. Other stock interview questions are what is your philosophy of nursing, how do your personal/professional values fit with the mission of the institution, give an example of a situation where you really made a difference in the life of a patient, what are you looking for in a nurse manager, etc. Sometimes you are even given a senario and asked how you might respond.<br><br>
Bottom line, you need to really make it seem like you are the best person for the job, and you really need to act like you want it.<br><br>
Good luck in your job search.
 

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Like the PP said, I think getting an L&D job as your first job can be tough. I know that in my area, none of the hospitals will hire someone from L&D or mother/baby without several years of experience. Don't let that discourage you!<br><br>
I currently work in critical care. I did med/surg for awhile, and believe me, it is GREAT experience. You will learn a lot. I am also a CNM student and have never worked L&D. It is a little steeper of a learning curve in some areas (but not all areas), but it's defnitely possible. I know several CNM's who are quite successful and respected by their peers, who never worked a day of L&D.<br><br>
Just jump thorugh the "hoops" as they come in pursuit of your goals. Good luck!
 

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Chiming in as someone who had very similar ideas to you when I graduated from nursing school. It took me a very long time to come to terms with being a "nurse", because like you, it was a stepping stone on my journey to being a CNM. I too, couldn't get a job in L and D right away and worked Med/Surg for three years and agree absolutely that it's extremely useful. Remember, as a CNM, you will be performing more thorough assessments, well woman care etc and having examined a wider variety of the public will only be an asset to you. I've been in L and D for two years now, and am applying to schools for 2010. I see that you have two options:<br>
1. relocate to be an L and D nurse. I believe that in Arizona and the SW they are hiring and giving relocation bonuses.<br>
2. Work in a different area and take the experience for what it is--more education giving you a more well rounded background for when you are a midwife. It also gives you a foot in the door for being a hospital employee next time a position opens up.<br><br>
Oh--and I strongly suggest you don't say you are going to grad school asap. It takes about 3-4 months to train you in and they want a return on their investment, so if it seems you're a temporary employee, you will not be a good candidate. Instead, wax on about your love of birth, your desire to work with moms and babies etc---which is all true. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Y'all are much smarter than me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your replies. It makes me feel better that other people had the same disappointment and continued on their path.<br><br>
I would be thrilled to be postpartum or mother/baby or anything related to L and D.<br><br>
I know a labor and delivery nurse is a nurse, I meant I don't want to be a nurse in the general sense, I want to be a specific type of nurse.<br><br>
I guess I won't mention grad school again, but even still I don't plan on going until I finish my BSN which looks like it might take 4-5 years going part time. I understand that graduate school is a lot work, it was just like she was trying to discourage me or didn't believe me.<br><br>
As far as I know there are not any birth centers in NJ.<br><br>
I am just frustrated because I am having a difficult time getting an interview for ANY nursing position close to where I live. I thought I already jumped through a bunch of hoops, but it looks like I am just in for a new set of them.<br><br>
I also am looking into moving west. I've received some recruitment emails from Arizona and California and I left messages for the nurse recruiters. If I get an offer I will move.<br><br>
Really I am just frustrated at looking for a job, any job at this point and tired of sitting at home stressing over not having a job. I expected to have a little bit of trouble getting a labor and delivery position. I didn't think I would have trouble finding a job within an hour of me for nights on med-surg.
 

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I bet the nurse manager's discouraging words were more about her than you. I bet she wanted to be a CNM and didn't have a chance, for whatever reason. I've met several people along the way who were like that, and there always seemed to be some underlying reason they were discouraging. Don't let her get to you!<br><br>
Also, there are several CNM programs that don't require a BSN for admission. You can apply with an ADN and some nursing experience. Frontier (<a href="http://www.midwives.org" target="_blank">www.midwives.org</a>) offers that choice and I think there are some others (Maxmama, didn't you say once that UW is looking into a program like that?--forgive me if I remember that wrong.)<br><br>
Like the PP said, being a CNM is a lot more than catching babies. So, med/surg will help you along the way--any kind of nursing experience is going to give you the frame of reference from which to draw from as a CNM. Critical care has taught me how to stay calm during a crisis (I may melt when it's over, but I can stay cool in the moment). So look at all of it as something that will help you when you get to school and beyond...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CNM2B</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13277691"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I bet the nurse manager's discouraging words were more about her than you. I bet she wanted to be a CNM and didn't have a chance, for whatever reason. I've met several people along the way who were like that, and there always seemed to be some underlying reason they were discouraging. Don't let her get to you!<br><br>
Also, there are several CNM programs that don't require a BSN for admission. You can apply with an ADN and some nursing experience. Frontier (<a href="http://www.midwives.org" target="_blank">www.midwives.org</a>) offers that choice and I think there are some others (Maxmama, didn't you say once that UW is looking into a program like that?--forgive me if I remember that wrong.)<br><br>
Like the PP said, being a CNM is a lot more than catching babies. So, med/surg will help you along the way--any kind of nursing experience is going to give you the frame of reference from which to draw from as a CNM. Critical care has taught me how to stay calm during a crisis (I may melt when it's over, but I can stay cool in the moment). So look at all of it as something that will help you when you get to school and beyond...</div>
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There are about 20 direct-entry CNM programs, but they're intended for people with a BA who are not nurses. The UW, among others, does not require labor experience for the CNM program.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>maxmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13277940"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There are about 20 direct-entry CNM programs, but they're intended for people with a BA who are not nurses. The UW, among others, does not require labor experience for the CNM program.</div>
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I was thinking of those bridge programs...where you can "bridge" from an ADN RN to an MSN. Frontier has a bridge program and I think there are a few others out there--that would just save the step of going back for the BSN...just a thought!<br><br>
Here is a link to CNM programs with a bridge option. There are 15 listed:<br><br><a href="http://www.midwife.org/eduprog_options.cfm?id=1" target="_blank">http://www.midwife.org/eduprog_options.cfm?id=1</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the link.<br><br>
I was looking at Frontier this week. I could do the bridge program and then do the CNM program but I wouldn't earn a BSN.<br><br>
Do I need a BSN? It seems weird to not have one and but to have a MSN. Like somehow I will need the actual BSN degree at some point?<br><br>
Even if I did decide to do the bridge into a CNM program I wouldn't do it right now, probably in a few years. I need to work and save some money. What program I decide to do will probably depend on where we end up living.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MisaGoat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13279282"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for the link.<br><br>
I was looking at Frontier this week. I could do the bridge program and then do the CNM program but I wouldn't earn a BSN.<br><br>
Do I need a BSN? It seems weird to not have one and but to have a MSN. Like somehow I will need the actual BSN degree at some point?<br><br>
Even if I did decide to do the bridge into a CNM program I wouldn't do it right now, probably in a few years. I need to work and save some money. What program I decide to do will probably depend on where we end up living.</div>
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If you have a bachelor's in something, you don't need the BSN.
 

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I would work on your interviewing skills. Why you want to be a nurse should not stump you, ever. Also, do any of the hospitals near you have a nurse residency program? I have heard great things about those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You are completely right AmieV. It really should not stump me but I didn't have an answer at the time and don't really have a good answer now. I am thinking about it. It seems like a lot of people have a 'story' about why they went into nursing so I need to figure mine out.<br><br>
I've applied for a couple nurse residency programs around here and they do seem like excellent programs but I have been turned down for two so far.<br><br>
I'll rehearse interviewing with my husband. Hopefully I won't be as nervous next time and will have strong answers.<br><br>
The only degree I have is my ADN. I haven't finished a bachelors.
 

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I am a nurse (postpartum and L&D) and there is an unfortunate trend in the profession that new nurses need to "pay their dues" with one year on a med surg unit. It is an antiquated notion that many hiring nurse managers now ignore. However, some are stuck in the old world. My advice:<br><br>
1. Make sure you have subscribed to the Nursing Spectrum, a free trade magazine for nurses with tons of want ads. <a href="http://www.nurse.com/" target="_blank">http://www.nurse.com/</a>. Get the paper version as it is tailored to your region.<br><br>
2. Stick to your guns and fight for a position in a women's-health area. However, if you cannot find something and need a job keep this in mind...<br><br>
3. On any unit in a hospital you will learn things that will make you a better L&D nurse and a better midwife. If you can't get into L&D, try telemetry, where you will master reading a heart monitor, a skill L&D Nurse Managers look for, and teaching, a skill you will need for L&D and midwifery. Or, if you just can't do a medical unit, try psyc or an outpatient area. Planned Parenthood's are almost aways hiring, and as a clinic nurse you can spend your days teaching women about birth control, doing HIV counseling and collecting more vital signs than you imagines possible.<br><br>
4. Always keep your long term goal in mind, but if you have to compromise for a year or so, keep your soul fulfilled and goal in mind by taking a online class through one of the distance midwifery schools or a nursing school with a strong women's health program. (Check out Drexel University - they are great for the one-off class that will often get you credit elsewhere <a href="http://www.drexel.edu/cnhp/default.asp" target="_blank">http://www.drexel.edu/cnhp/default.asp</a> )<br><br>
5. Consider modifying your interview approach. If you are interviewing in an area that is not your first choice, talk about the skills you want to master in your first year, not that you don't want to stay in that specific area.<br><br>
And finally, the first year of staff nursing, if that is the road you go down, is very hard. Even in L&D you will find yourself overwhelmed, frustrated, elated, thrilled, disappointed, tired and often even confused! Take it easy and learn everything you can! Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
August09baby,<br><br>
I really appreciate your advice. I signed up for Nursing Spectrum.<br><br>
I have basically given up on the labor and delivery/postpartum or nursery job as my first job after school. I am still applying when they are listed but from everyone I've talked to it isn't so much a matter of 'paying dues' (although I have definitely gotten that lecture from instructors/nurses etc). It seems that most labor and delivery units have stable staffing and always have people who want those jobs, so they can be more selective and take nurses with more experience.<br><br>
It also seems to be a budget issue, some hospitals are hiring as absolutely little as possible, cutting new grad and extern programs and don't want to spend the money training a new grad.<br><br>
I looked at the Planned Parenthood jobs but there aren't job openings near me for a nurse.<br><br>
A nurse manager for a telemetry unit called me today and I have an interview scheduled for Thursday. I am excited about the interview. I feel more positive about the opportunity and gaining experience.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MisaGoat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13276892"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also am looking into moving west. I've received some recruitment emails from Arizona and California and I left messages for the nurse recruiters. If I get an offer I will move.</div>
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Who is trying to recruit you from az? I graduated last june, got my RN license in october and can not get a job. There is a hiring freeze city wide in phx. Apparently per capita there are more new grads here than anywhere else in the country. I applied to northern az and am waiting to hear back today.<br><br>
I too wanted to be a cnm, get out of school work and work l&d. I had no intention or desire to ever work the floor. Short of pediatric palliative I have applied for every position here. I have recently decided to apprentice and become a cpm. My midwife is going to be able to take me on in August.<br><br>
Its crazy out there right now for new grads here. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
lemonsforjamie I've called around to the recruiters and it sounds like the same situation in AZ and CA as here. I would only move if I had a job offer, I couldn't move and hope to get a job.<br><br>
What I don't understand is why they are sending out emails and advertising these great opportunities if they don't need people or have hiring freezes? Northern Arizona sent me an email which is the only reason I thought about moving to Arizona. Good luck getting a job! I hope you get a phone call offering you a job today.
 

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I am graduating from nursing school this summer and have a passion for working with pregnant women. I knew before my OB clinicals began that that was the specialty I wanted to go into, and going through OB clinicals confirmed my desire.<br><br>
I wanted to get a job in L&D or Mother/Baby straight out of graduation and applied for Mother/Baby and L&D jobs, even though they did not specify that they were graduate nurse positions. I understand the importance of the "1 year in med-surg," but that did not stop me from trying to enter directly into the OB specialty.<br><br>
The posts on this thread have been very helpful and much appreciated. I have now started to apply for other positions, since there are no GN L&D or Mother/Baby positions.<br><br>
What I would at least like to do is work in a hospital that has a very good OB and L&D unit. Hospitals that have lower c-section rates in the area than others, support natural birth, don't use interventions all the time, etc.. That way, later on down the road, I can transfer to that area.<br><br>
And I'm glad someone mentioned about not mentioning going on to CNM school in the future during the interview. I had forgotten about that. I read somewhere that for aspiring CRNAs, they should not mention wanting to go to CRNA school during their interview, but I forgot that it could apply to aspiring CNMs as well. So true.
 
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