Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse – Focus on Women’s Reproductive Health
The gynecology/obstetrics (OB/GYN, OBG, O&G, or Obs & Gynae) nurse can work in many settings and usually with women of reproductive age. The obstetrics nurse is normally found in private practice offices, labor rooms, clinics and community health agencies. The gynecology nurse may work with a specific population educating women about birth control. Others may work with pregnant women or a combination of both. However, the focus for this nurse is on reproductive health, birth control and healthy pregnancies.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse Job Description
The OB/GYN nurse will take patient histories, prepare the patient for examinations, in obstetrics the nurse may administer medications, monitor mother and fetal vital signs and assist in delivery.
The gynecology/obstetrics nurse will normally take a teaching role with patients. Depending upon the patient’s needs the nurse may instruct a patient on the proper use of birth control, how to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, or in vitamins, diet and exercise for the pregnant mother.
In a hospital delivery situation the nurse may accompany their patient to the delivery room and assist as necessary.
How to Become a Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse
A nursing degree is required for a gynecology/obstetrics nurse. The degree can be a 2 year Associate degree or a four year Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree. The second step is that the RN must acquire 2000 hours of nursing experience in gynecology or obstetrics within a 3 year period. This allows the nurse to sit for the certification examination for the OB/GYN specialty.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Required first step is successful completion of a 2 or 4 year nursing school program resulting in either an Associate or Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Many nurses opt for an advanced nursing degree. Before a nurse can apply for the advanced course they are required to work for at least 1000 – 2000 hours as an RN. The advanced program requires an additional 2 to 3 years to earn a Master Science in nursing degree and can improve advancement opportunities for the nurse.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN Examination in order to receive an RN license
- The National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Specialties (NCC) certifies nurses working in gynecologic and obstetric capacities. To qualify, nurses must have 24 months or 2,000 hours experience working in the field. Applicants must also have earned their post-graduate degree after the year 2005. Exams are given at any one of the AMP Assessment Centers located throughout the country. Exams last anywhere from two to three hours and are specifically written for nurses practicing in different areas. Exams available include Core Registered Nurse Certified (RNC), Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (NP-BC), Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) and Neonatal Pediatric Transport (NPT). Those successfully completing an exam earn the designation associated with that particular exam. Certification is not required, but highly recommended.
There are numerous certifications which can be obtained by the gynecology/obstetrics nurse. The correct one depends upon the employment setting for the nurse. Hospital labor room OB nurses may require certification in inpatient labor and delivery while general gynaecological nurses may sit for a general OB/GYN certification.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for the gynecology/Obstetrics nurse is excellent. Babies continue to be born every day and the demand for nurses is predicted to be greater than the supply of skilled professionals through the year 2018.
The salary for an OBGYN nurse depends upon the employer and the nurse’s level of education. However, on average the OB/GYN nurse earns around $60,000 per year. A gynecology/obstetrics nurse with an advanced degree such as an MSN or an OBGYN nurse practitioner earns around $80,000 per year.