What is a labor and delivery nurse?

Labor and delivery nurses, also known as L&D nurses, are an integral part of the healthcare industry who guide, provide support, and care to mothers and their newborn infants.

They serve as a source of information, guidance, and reassurance to mothers, right from the process of birthing a child to their postpartum care.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for registered nurses is expected to grow by 9% in the next decade with an estimated 194,500 job openings every year.

Proving that the demand and job opportunities for labor and delivery nurses are high in the US.

Intrigued much?

Read on to learn more about labor and delivery nurse job description and the following FAQs:

Also read: How to write a compelling registered nurse resume?

Labor and Delivery Nurse Job Duties

Not only do L&D nurses work under the guidance of obstetricians and gynecologists to deliver newborn babies, but they also focus on creating a calm and trusting environment for mothers and their babies throughout the entire process.

Labor and delivery nurses can work in hospitals, birthing centers, clinics, and they can choose to specialize in specific fields like:

  • Cesarean section (C-section) birth
  • High-risk pregnancies
  • Anesthetics & pharmacology
  • Fetal development issues
  • Advanced maternal age pregnancies

And depending on their area of expertise, their duties can change. However, here are some of the general labor and delivery nurse responsibilities:

  • Providing information and guidance to new mothers about the different stages of birth
  • Tracking the mothers’ contractions and administering medications and epidurals during labor
  • Keeping an eye out for unexpected complications in mothers before and after the delivery
  • Providing care and monitoring the vital signs of newborn babies after birth
  • Assisting mothers during labor and guiding them to practice deep breathing and pushing
  • Offering support, comfort, and encouragement throughout labor and birth to mothers
  • Monitoring the mothers’ cervix to track progression or lack of dilation
  • Recording the time of birth and weight of the newborn baby
  • Maintaining hygiene by cleaning up sheets after deliveries and operations

Also read: What is an LPN job description?

Labor and Delivery Nurse Job Description Template

Now, while writing your labor and delivery or registered nurse resume and cover letter, it's a must to refer to the particular job description to tailor your application according to it.

The reason why you must consider following this approach is that when your resume is tailored according to the job description, the chances of you getting shortlisted increases.

Having a clear idea about the expected duties, requirements, and overall nature of the role, you can showcase your ability to meet the same through your resume and cover letter.

Take a look at the following sample of a labor and delivery nurse job description for resume:

Looking for dedicated and empathetic labor and delivery nurse to join our team of maternity healthcare professionals in providing utmost care, comfort, and guidance to mothers throughout the process of labor & delivery. The ideal candidate has to possess expertise in caring for C-section deliveries and high-risk pregnancies with an eye for detail and a compassionate persona.

L&D Nurse Duties

  • Meet expecting mothers and educate them on the general practices they need to follow before the delivery
  • Provide clinical care and support for normal and high-risk pregnancies
  • Monitor vital signs of the mother and the newborn child after the delivery
  • Track fetal heartbeat and the contractions during labor
  • Administer medications and pain killers as advised during childbirth to mothers
  • Perform tests on newborns and record their birth time and weight
  • Guide new mothers on postpartum do’s and don’ts and infant care

Labor and Delivery Nurse Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • A valid registered nurse license
  • 2+ years of working experience in the maternity ward
  • Knowledgeable on different pregnancy care especially c-section and problematic pregnancies
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work and stay calm under pressure and stress
  • Comfortable with working during odd hours and on-call emergency cases

Also read: What are some top nursing interview Q&As?

Labor and Delivery Nurse Skills for Resumes

Apart from the essential soft skills required to become a labor and delivery nurse, these professionals also need to possess specialized skills which they can showcase in their resumes to get shortlisted.

Given below are some of the must-have labor and delivery nurse skills that you can add to your resume:

Cervical Dilation Assessment Delivery Assistance
Patient Care IV Insertion
Postpartum Care Vital Signs Monitoring
Electronic Charting Pain Management
Rapport Building Cesarean Deliveries
Newborn Care Indwelling Catheters
Wound Care Medical Administration
Counseling Labor Status Assessment

Also read: What are some in-demand certified nursing assistant skills?

Labor and Delivery Nurse Salary

Since the job description of a labor and delivery nurse is a strenuous one, these professionals are paid well for their invaluable work and long hours.

The average labor and delivery nurse salary in the US is $76,000 per annum, which breaks down to an average wage of $32.29 per hour.

However, the salary figure can change based on the location, skills, experience level, education & certifications, and the employer.

Take a look at some of the highest paying US states for labor and delivery nursing jobs:

California $101,210
Hawaii $88,010
Massachusetts $80,800
Oregon $80,790
Alaska $79,980
Washington $76,660
New York $75,360
Nevada $75,350
New JerseY $71,960
Connecticut $71,230

Meanwhile, the following snapshot shows the different salaries based on the experience level of a labor and delivery nurse:


Source: NursingProcess

Also read: How and when to ask for raise at work?

Key Points from the Blog

  • Labor and delivery nurses provide pre and post-delivery care to mothers and their newborn infants under the guidance of obstetricians and gynecologists.
  • The demand for labor and delivery nurses is high in the US with an estimated 9% job growth in the next decade.
  • Labor and delivery nurses can work in hospitals, birthing centers, clinics, and can choose to specialize in a specific type of delivery cases.
  • L&Ds are responsible for monitoring the vital signs of the mother and the fetal heartbeat during and after the birthing process.
  • Candidates must refer to the labor and delivery nurse job descriptions to tailor their resumes and cover letters accordingly.
  • The basic requirements of a labor and delivery nurse include a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a valid registered nurse state license.
  • To become a great labor and delivery nurse, candidates must possess great communication skills, interpersonal skills, and caring nature.
  • The average labor and delivery nurse salary in the US is $76,000 per annum, which roughly equals to an average hourly wage of $32.29.

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