Labor and Delivery Nurses Among Top Travel RN Jobs
Recruiters and travel nurses agree: L&D nurses have a wealth of opportunities
By Debra Wood, RN, contributor
For the vast majority of the nearly 4 million babies born in the United States each year, labor and delivery nurses (L&D nurses) stand with the mothers: timing contractions, monitoring mom and baby, and assisting with the birth and breastfeeding. The demand for L&D nurses exceeds the supply, which results in an excellent selection of travel RN jobs.
“Labor and delivery nurses have always been ranked one of the top three highest needs for travel nursing,” said Jenna Scaduto, senior recruitment manager for American Mobile Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company.
L&D nurses are needed across the country, in rural and urban areas, and some states like California, New York, Texas and Washington seem to always have high demand, said Scaduto. She added that travel nurses are attracted to the top-ranked hospitals, and many seek to add experience with travel RN jobs at hospitals that have earned the UNICEF/WHO “Baby-friendly” designation. But the hospitals also benefit from nurse travelers.
“Travel nurses can better the unit overall,” she said. “It’s a mutual education experience.”
Scaduto explained that travelers have the privilege of learning from their peers at each assignment; in turn, they can share successful tips picked up at other locations with the core staff nurses. These learning opportunities benefit nurses and patients alike. L&D nurses must use their critical thinking skills to detect subtle problems and be ready to assist during the birth process, or prepare the mother for a cesarean delivery if not progressing.
Carolyn Williams, RN, BSN, is an L&D nurse who started traveling with American Mobile in California, when her husband was in the military. She is now assigned to a travel RN job at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, where her husband is attending school. She has loved her travel nurse experiences thus far, she said.
“I needed more flexibility with my job,” Williams said. “I learned more, more quickly, than if I was at the same place all of the time.”
Williams likes that she can call her recruiter and tell her where she wants to work and because of her experience before and during her travel nursing tenure, she is usually able to get the assignment of her choosing.
Scaduto points out that American Mobile aims to ensure the nurses they send on assignment have the skills needed to provide high-quality of care for patients. The company requires at least 18 months of acute care experience in L&D within the past two years. In addition, hospitals typically prefer nurses who have experience in a similar-sized unit, with similar populations. For instance, facilities caring for patients with high-risk pregnancies want to bring on nurses familiar with caring for that type of patient.
Travel nursing appeals to Williams for a number of reasons, including the fact that she enjoys meeting new people and immersing herself in new surroundings. Yet she acknowledges that it might not be for everyone.
“With traveling, everyone is a new face,” Williams said. “You have to continually prove yourself and that you know what you are doing.”
Williams said that travelers must go into an assignment with a team mindset, ready to do their job and help everyone on the unit.
“I think that’s why I have had positive experiences,” Williams said. “You don’t want to do a lot of things alone. I need these people around me, and I need to be there for them. I love working with people.”
Most travel RN jobs are 13-week assignments--but can vary from 4 to 26 weeks--and American Mobile travelers can take advantage of numerous benefits: company-paid housing, insurance benefits that start on the first day, competitive pay, bonus programs, free continuing education, licensing assistance and more. Recruiters work to ensure successful placements, backed by a comprehensive support team and clinical liaisons who are available 24/7 to address any potential issues during a traveler’s assignment.
“Jenna works really hard to make her travelers happy,” Williams said.
American Mobile has thousands of positions, Scaduto said, and the demand for L&D nurses and other specialties continues to grow.
“You can have a stable career as a traveler,” Scaduto said. “Throughout the year, we have L&D jobs, no matter the location.”
Looking to “birth” a new career in travel nursing? American Mobile has a large selection of L&D nurse jobs and other RN jobs available. Contact a recruiter today!