Also called fertility nursing, this is a growing nursing specialty in an already expanding profession. A fertility or reproductive nurse works with patients who face infertility, and basically manages a woman or couple’s fertility treatment. Reproductive nurses support patients emotionally as well as educate them about the possible treatments available. A fertility nurse can help patients understand the procedures, the choices they have, and the medical terminology. From the initial consultation through treatments and the ultimate goal of having a baby, a fertility/reproductive nurse will walk patients through each step with empathy and qualified guidance. They usually work at fertility clinics, but can also work at hospitals offering fertility services.
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Some duties of a fertility nurse job include coordinating scheduling for tests, procedures, and the follow ups. They draw blood, monitor cycles, help with ultrasounds, and help administer IVF (In Vetro Fertilization) treatments or teach patients how to administer IVF themselves. Reproductive nurses are patient educators and advocates, assistants to the physician, and an important link between the physician and the patient. They may also consult with counselors and help find infertility support groups. Reproductive nurses can also assist with finding egg donors, and counsel the couple and donor throughout that process.
If you’d like to become a reproductive nurse, you’ll need to first become a licensed registered nurse. There are various paths toward earning your nursing degree. You can earn an Associate Degree of Science in Nursing (ASN) or ADN in two to three years, and even apply this degree toward a bachelor’s degree later by way of an RN to BSN program. Ideally, to be competitive it is recommended by employers that you aim to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a four-year college or university. When you finish your degree, passing the NCLEX exam (National Council Licensure Examination) is the final step toward earning your nursing license, which you need in order to apply for jobs as a registered nurse in your state. Becoming a fertility nurse practitioner is also an option down the line if you’d like to pursue your master’s degree in the specialty.
According to simplyhired.com, the average salary for a fertility nurse is $55,000.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of women ages 15-44 with impaired fertility is 7.3 million, or 11.8%, and the number of women in that age group who have used infertility services is 7.3 million. Clearly there is great demand for fertility health specialists at all levels, and this is within an already booming healthcare sector, with registered nursing being one of the fastest growing professions. This is a great career choice if you are interested in nursing and want to be involved in helping people bring new lives into the world. Whether you have experienced this yourself or would like to help couples work through it, this could be a very demanding job requiring a lot of support and empathy, but also a very rewarding one. Get started now by finding the right nursing program for you. Work experience in reproductive nursing, such as an internship during nursing school, may prove to be worthwhile to learn more about the profession and see if it is the right fit for you. It may also be a good way to make some job contacts for after graduation.