Labor and Delivery Nurse Career Facts

A labor and delivery nurse assists the doctor in performing medical procedures during delivery of a child. A labor and delivery nurse makes sure that a woman in her labor gets all the necessary support and medical aid. When pregnant women stay at the hospital due to complications, a labor and delivery nurse takes complete care of the mother. After the delivery, the nurse cares for mother and child until both are healthy enough to be discharged. At times, a labor and delivery nurse helps a new mother in coping with postpartum depression. Neonatal and other related skills are vital for a labor and delivery nurse to perform well in emergency situations.

Required Qualifications

Qualifications for the job include the following:

  • Be a registered nurse through a bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • Complete specialized training in the field of labor and delivery nursing
  • Knowledge of current developments in the field (achieved by attending seminars and reading online or print medical journals).  

Essential qualities also include:

  • Ability to cope with immense pressure
  • Ability to work well within a team
  • Confidence to perform well in emergencies
  • Willingness to work long or irregular hours.

Basic Tasks for Nursing Positions

A labor and delivery nurse works in close association with doctors as well as patients. Work hours can differ depending on the shifts and needs of the patient. However, long and irregular working hours are common in this job. Everyday tasks of a labor and delivery nurse include these:

  • Communicating with the patients admitted in the labor ward
  • Observing the condition of the patients
  • Communicating the results of observation to the doctor
  • Providing necessary care to the patient
  • Assisting the doctor in delivering the baby
  • Providing care to mother and child
  • Training new mother on baby care.


The labor and delivery nurse’s salary can be quite competitive because it is one of the top 10 growing professions in America. However, the salary can differ based on many factors like experience, city and place of employment. The average salary varies from $40,000 to $90,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

After serving for a considerable number of years, a labor and delivery nurse could be promoted to become a head or chief nurse. It is also possible to get promoted in the administrative sector and become a vice president, assistant director or director of the specific department. Some nurses also shift to the business sector of health care. They utilize their experience in managing home-based, chronic and ambulatory care. People interested in the academic aspect of the profession can join the faculty in colleges or engage in research.