Labor and delivery nurses are with women during a very joyous and yet stressful time of their life, the birth of child. This means they must be prepared for many different situations and emergencies that could arise. There are different ways to work in labor and delivery if you choose to do this, from simply adding some specialty classes to your RN program to advancing your career and becoming a nurse midwife.
Choose Your Area
Before you can begin labor and delivery nurse schooling you have to decide how far you want to take your nursing in this field. Many nurses in the labor room have a typical registered nursing education with some added classes that focus on labor and delivery. The schooling for this type of work is simply an Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s degree in nursing with the added classes and passing the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered. However, if you have an Associate’s Degree you will have to bridge that to a BS degree before you move into the nurse midwifery program.
If you decide that you want to become a more advanced nurse in labor and delivery, you can go on to study to become a nurse midwife. The certified nurse midwife program is a nurse practitioner degree (Master’s of Science in Nursing with a midwife specialty); however, many states are requiring a Doctor of Nursing Practice and the future outlook is that this will be the standard requirement.
Because the education for simply working in labor and delivery is no more than the traditional registered nurse education, the schools looked at below will be focused on certified nurse midwife programs.
Labor and Delivery School Options
The schools listed below are all noted for offering certified nurse midwife programs that prepare nurses to take the state examination and become certified in that area.
Frontier University: This is an online schooling option that provides distance base classes and assists students in setting up their clinical work in their hometown. Students are required to attend two or three campus based sessions in Hyden, Kentucky. The program takes two years to complete and with over 1000 preceptor sites across the U.S. graduates students from practically any location. Frontier University has been offering education to nurse midwives for more than 70 years and has a tradition steeped in quality education.
Georgetown University-Washington: This campus-based or online program in Washington is a nationally ranked program that requires 49 credit hours. The program is accredited by the Commission for Midwifery Education and is a full-time program. Clinical studies can be in local or even out-of-state hospitals or clinical sites and may include freestanding birthing facilities. The classes that are online are similar to the live classes in that they are provided in a seminar style and allow you to review them at your convenience as you study. Online students have access to student services and resources at the University.
Philadelphia University: Philadelphia University offers a Master’s of Science – Nurse Midwife degree as well as a Post Master’s Nurse Midwife Certificate. The MS degree is a two-year degree that is full time at the graduate level. Classes are web-based with some on-campus sessions required as well as clinical work that is arranged in the local community medical facilities. The Post Masters Nurse Midwife Certificate is available for nurses who have already earned their Master’s or Doctoral degree in another healthcare specialty and wants to add midwifery to their education. Graduates and certificate holders are eligible to take the certification exam to become certified nurse midwives.
University of Cincinnati: The University of Cincinnati offers an online, distance based nurse-midwifery program for nurses who wish to move into this specialized field of nursing. The classes last approximately two and one-half years and are offered through the online Blackboard program.
Labor and delivery nurse schooling is highly dependent on how far into the labor and delivery process you want to go as a nurse. You can use your traditional RN degree and work in labor and delivery or specialize in midwifery and become a nurse practitioner. Once you have made this decision you can choose the schools that offer you the best options.