Gynecology and Obstetrics Nursing – OBGYN Nursing
Gynecology and obstetrics (OBGYN) nursing covers women’s reproductive health, from when menstruation begins, through pregnancy, childbirth, and through menopause. Gynecology nurses can also treat women who suffer from disorders or illnesses affecting their reproductive system, such as cancer, endometriosis, or sexually transmitted diseases. There are subspecialties under this title as well, including perinatal nursing, and labor and delivery nursing. Obstetrics nursing specifically focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and a woman’s postpartum health. Gynecology nursing focuses on a woman’s reproductive health, and the two types of nurses often overlap within a hospital, private practice, or health clinic.
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Working along with supervising physicians and midwives, OBGYN nurses will have a varied list of duties, ranging from preparing exam rooms, taking medical histories, assisting the physician with procedures, prepping a patient for a screening or procedure, assisting during birth, or educating patients. Regardless of where they work or what their focus is, OB or Gyn, education is an important part of this job as these nurses make sure their patients are informed about birth control options, sexually transmitted diseases, or important prenatal care.
In order to become a gynecology or obstetrics nurse, you will have to become a registered nurse by earning a degree from an accredited institution, and become licensed in your state. Earning your nursing degree can be done by earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ASN or ADN) from a community college, or by earning a four-year Bachelors Degree of Nursing (BSN) from a college or university. Eventually completing a Masters Degree in Nursing is also an excellent option for an advanced career in this field. Once you have your degree, you must take and pass your state’s board of nursing NCLEX exam (National Council Licensure Examination). Becoming certified is also an important part of your preparation for this specialty. In order to sit for the National Certification Corporation’s exam for Inpatient Obstetric Nursing, you will need to be a registered nurse with 2,000 hours of experience in the obstetrics field, within the two years prior to taking the exam. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is one professional organization you could join to network and find out more about this career and advancement opportunities.
According to salary.com, the average salary for an obstetrics/gynecology nurse (OBGYN Nurse) is $60,996. This tends to be higher in bigger cities, and can vary greatly based on your education level, experience, employer and geographic region. The salary is on the higher side for registered nurses, however, and will continue to be in great demand. Nursing in general is facing shortages, and specialty nurses requiring additional training are in demand even more. This could be a very rewarding job for you regardless of which path you take in it. If working with women during such an important time of their life or helping them maintain their reproductive health is something you feel passionate about, get started now pursuing your education and you can have a very rewarding career as an obstetrics/gynecology nurse. You will benefit with not only a good salary and career outlook, but also likely with high personal and job satisfaction.
(SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Certification Corporation – Inpatient Obstetrics Nursing Certification, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses)