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OB/GYN Nurse Careers and Salary Outlook

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A career in OB/GYN nursing may be ideal for individuals interested in working with women and infants. This page explores many aspects of the profession, including common duties for an OB/GYN nurse, where these nurses work, and what skills they possess. We also look at how to become an OB/GYN nurse, including education and certification requirements, salary potential, and job growth.

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What is an OB/GYN Nurse?

OB/GYN nurses work with expectant mothers and female patients throughout all stages of life and pregnancy. They are often the main point of contact for obstetrical patients, serving as a liaison between patients and physicians. OB nurses help obstetricians and gynecologists perform a variety of tasks, providing women with support during labor and delivery and regular patient care. They work in private practices and hospitals, midwife facilities, and private delivery centers.


  • What Do OB/GYN Nurses Do?

    While most OB/GYN nurses help and support female patients before, during, and after pregnancy, their specific duties often vary by workplace. OB nurses typically serve women between puberty and menopause. They may work with patients to explore their birth control and fertility treatment options, or select preventative measures like breast cancer screening or HPV vaccinations against cervical cancer. These nurses work closely with obstetricians and gynecologists to coach mothers through labor and delivery and ensure all patients receive quality, compassionate care.

    OB/GYN nurses also administer prenatal and obstetrical exams, including prenatal screenings, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, weight monitoring, and urine and blood sample collection. They help expectant mothers manage pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy as they prepare for childbirth. Additionally, OB nurses clean, vaccinate, weigh, measure, and monitor newborns, helping mothers recover after both labor and delivery. During abnormal pregnancy situations, OB/GYN nurses support patients who may be required to make difficult decisions directly affecting their child’s health.

  • Where Do OB/GYN Nurses Work?

    While the majority of OB/GYN nurses work alongside physicians in private practices, they enjoy a variety of career opportunities in many other settings. Some OB/GYN nurses work in hospital maternity wards or alongside midwives and doulas. Others pursue roles in family planning centers, private birthing centers, urgent care clinics, community clinics, and U.S. Army facilities. OB/GYN nurses apply their knowledge to many different healthcare environments, in any setting in which female patients require specialized care.

  • Skills That Could Affect OB/GYN Nurse Salaries

    OB/GYN nurses must demonstrate strong communication skills for interacting with other medical professionals while providing healthcare services. Nurses must also communicate effectively with patients, explaining treatments, care plans, and complex medical concepts in a way patients can understand.

    In addition, OB/GYN nurses should be compassionate and understanding. Many patients in OB/GYN settings are experiencing hormonal changes and are often physically uncomfortable. Effective nurses excel at understanding their patients’ needs and providing them with gentle, compassionate care.

    Like other medical professionals, OB/GYN nurses must also be detail-oriented, observant individuals and dedicated problem solvers. They need to understand every aspect of their patients’ situations to provide them with the highest level of care and attention.


How to Become an OB/GYN Nurse

The first step to becoming an OB/GYN nurse is earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Once they have earned an ADN or BSN, candidates may then apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam. All prospective nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN exam before pursuing RN licensure in their state of residence. Licensed nurses often gain clinical practice by working in women’s health-related settings, allowing them to cultivate valuable in-the-field experience before seeking OB/GYN nursing credentials.

Education

OB/GYN nurses typically begin their careers by enrolling in a nursing program at an accredited college or university. While candidates may pursue either an associate degree or a bachelor of science in nursing, graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree in the field might have an easier time finding a job. Graduates who hold a BSN may also choose to pursue an advanced degree, which may lead to increased career opportunities and earning potential. However, both associate and bachelor’s degree-holders are qualified to sit for the RN licensure exam after graduation.

Training and Certification

Many OB/GYN nurses hold specialized certifications in perinatal nursing, labor and delivery, obstetrics, and gynecology, such as the National Certification Corporation’s inpatient obstetric nursing certification. To apply for the credential, applicants must hold a current RN license and complete at least two years of obstetrics-related work experience before completing an examination. After passing the exam, RNs may then go into practice as certified obstetric nurses.

Some prospective OB/GYN nurses take advantage of specialization opportunities during their undergraduate studies. Many colleges and universities offer career-specific concentrations within bachelor’s-level nursing programs, allowing students to gain specialized knowledge and skills. Learners can also focus their elective coursework on topics relevant to their career goals. Other professionals prepare themselves for OB/GYN nursing certification by gaining entry-level work experience in the field.

OB/GYN Nurse Salaries and Job Growth

The national median salary for OB/GYN nurses approaches $60,000. However, there are many factors that can influence earning potential, including location, education level, and professional experience. Nurses in some regions out-earn their counterparts in other areas, with OB/GYN nurses is Seattle, Washington, earning an average annual salary of $73,800. Professionals in Austin, Texas, also enjoy lucrative job opportunities, where OB/GYN nurses draw an average salary of $71,400 a year.

Many prospective OB/GYN nurses begin their careers as registered nurses (RNs). Registered nurses enjoy the highest concentration of employment and top employment levels in the general medical and surgical hospitals field, with the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry paying the highest salaries. California hires more RNs than any other state, and RNs in California enjoy the nation’s highest wages.

Highest Salary Locations for OB/GYN Nurses

National Median: $60,000
Seattle, Washington: $73,800
Austin, Texas: $71,400

Source: PayScale

Related Job Salaries

  • Registered Nurse (RN): $63,263 yearly
  • Certified Nurse Assistant: $27,818 yearly
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): $43,491 yearly
  • Operations Manager: $64,230 yearly
  • Medical Assistant: $32,848 yearly
  • Source: PayScale

    OB/GYN Nurse Resources

    • Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses: A nonprofit membership organization, AWHONN supports and empowers nurses who care for newborns, women, and their families through education, research, and advocacy. The association’s core values include a commitment to social and professional responsibility, excellence in nursing, respect for diversity, and accountability.
    • Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health: NPWH is a national professional membership and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that women receive quality lifelong specialty and primary healthcare. The organization promotes and protects womens’ right to make personal healthcare choices that align with their religious, cultural, personal, and family beliefs.
    • National Association of Neonatal Nurses: NANN is a community of registered neonatal nursing professionals who strive to promote collaboration between healthcare providers and improve nursing practices. NANN aims to develop the connections and tools nurses need to advance their careers and evolve neonatal nursing as a profession.
    • Nurse.com Job Search: This website allows users to search for nursing jobs by selecting various criteria. Individuals can search for specific job titles or explore job postings by specialty. Users can also apply search filters by location and set distance parameters, restricting their employment search to job postings within a particular region or range.
    • American Nurses Association: This professional organization is committed to advancing the nursing profession, preventing injuries and illnesses, optimizing patient health and abilities, and diagnosing and treating individuals across communities and populations nationwide.
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