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I am a labor and delivery nurse who is being forced to cross-train to the post-partum unit. Is there any evidence-based research on this subject?

Monday February 11, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am a civilian working in a military institution where we are forced to cross-train. I always have been a labor and delivery nurse and love my job. We are being forced to cross-train to the mother-baby unit post partum. There are nurses that enjoy working post partum, psychiatric and pediatrics — I happen to be one that enjoys labor and delivery. I have no desire to cross-train, and I haven't come across an LDR RN that does. The morale on the unit is at an all time low, because of this mandate. Is there any evidence-based research that I can present to support my opinion?

Doesn't Want to Cross-Train

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Doesn't Want to Cross-Train,

Although I am not aware of any research on this (that doesn't mean it doesn't exist), I do know there are a number of facilities across the country where OB nurses cross-train in these areas and must rotate through them. In fact it is fairly common.

Your best source of information on this subject is the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (www.awhonn.org). Contact your state chapter as well as the national office, whether or not you are a member. Speak to the person responsible for clinical practice for the organization and see what he or she has to say. Also attend local chapter meetings of AWHONN (as a guest if you are not a member) and do some informal research by talking to others in attendance about the trends, issues and challenges related to this issue.

Also ask your facility or base health science librarian to help you research the subject. Many nurses think of the health library as the domain of the physician, but the resources and services also are available to the nursing staff.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.