OB/GYN Nurse Career Profile

An OB/GYN nurse specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics and gynecology is a field of medical science that includes women’s reproductive health, pre-natal care, labor and delivery. OB/GYN nurses primarily handle reproductive care, including disorders of the reproductive system, and pregnancy care, including labor and delivery. They can also manage the treatment of women for simple urinary tract infections or chronic illnesses like breast or uterine cancers.

Academic Information

An OB/GYN nurse must obtain a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. To obtain the RN license, he or she must pass the national licensing exam for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). The license has to be earned through an individual's state healthcare regulation authorities.

Having a master’s degree in obstetrics and gynecology or women’s health is an advantage in this field. Once you finish the master’s degree, apply for a nurse practitioner license.

Apart from this, an OB/GYN nurse can also finish certification courses offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or from the National Certification for the Obstetric, Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing Specialties.

There are also many programs related to women’s health issues conducted by the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NANPWH).

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist physicians by gathering patients' medical histories.
  • Support obstetricians during the delivery of babies in the labor room and/or during obstetric examinations.
  • In a case of emergency when an obstetrician is unavailable, manage a delivery independently. Know all the procedures for and language relevant to delivery.
  • Help gynecologists in birth control-related procedures.
  • Educate patients about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or venereal diseases (VDs), birth control methods and pre-natal care.
  • Attend to women with miscarriages or stillbirths; this requires excellent communication skills and compassion.
  • Work with the doctor when dealing with patients who show signs of uterine or breast cancer.
  • Help physicians do pelvic examinations.
  • Perform ultrasound scanning if trained in the use of this machine and practice.

Work Environment

OB/GYN nurses are normally employed in medical clinics. Their job is quite challenging and rewarding, as they often have to help women giving birth.

Earnings

The average salary of the OB/GYN nurse is $53,000. He or she is also paid on an hourly basis. For those with one to four years of experience, the average pay is $23 per hour; for those with five to nine years, it is $27; and for people with more than ten years of experience, it is $30 an hour. The pay rates vary depending upon geographical area.

Salary mainly depends on experience and also a nurse's association with and involvement in professional organizations and networks. There are a few groups and associations for OB/GYN nurses like the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics; the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; The American Association of Birth Centers; the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses; and the Society of Pediatric Nurses.

Career Advancement

After gathering considerable experience, OB/GYN nurses can be promoted to management positions if they wish. Some of them continue their education and enter medical school.