Labor and Delivery Nurse Hours

Labor and delivery nurse hours will vary depending on the type of facility that you work in and many other variables. Industry standards for labor and delivery nurse hours are usually 12-hour shifts, but again, this can be different depending on your scope of practice. 

Key Facts About Labor and Delivery Nurses

1. You will build strong connections with your patients - If you choose a nursing career in labor and deliver, you will put in significant labor and delivery nurse hours, and you will also have the ability to build strong relationships with your laboring patients. This is because as a L&D nurse, you are usually assigned to one patient per shift. You will stay with that patient until she gives birth and/or your shift is over. This unique structure is unlike many other units where nurses float around to various patients. By being assigned to one labor and delivery nurse, it stops patients from asking the common question of how many labor and delivery nurses will I have?

2. You are there at the start of a life - Most labor and delivery nurses go into this specialty because of this very reason. You will have the ability to be there at the creation of a new family and help usher a new life into this world. That alone, is why many nurses do not care about the long labor and delivery nurse hours. 

3. You will need resilience, flexibility and adaptability - Of course there is the magic of a birth, but sometimes things don't go according to plan. As a labor and delivery nurse, you will be faced with complications related to both the mother and the baby. 

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Labor and Delivery Nurse Hours

With the 12-hour shift model, one can work 3 days and have 4 days off. Some nurses will choose to work 3 12-hour shifts in a row so they can block their time off together in chunks. Some common L&D 12-hour shifts are as follows:

  • 12 p.m. - 12 a.m. 
  • Midnight to noon
  • Any other combination of 12-hour shifts