OB Nurse – What is OB Nursing in 2022?

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    Hey everyone, Welcome to yet another comprehensive Nursing guide!

    In this guide on Obstetrics (OB) Nurses, we’ll discuss what an OB Nurse is and what their work entails.

    Furthermore, we’ll look into what it takes to become an OB Nurse and explore the aspects of the career that make it worthy of pursuing and that may align with your interests and goals.

    After reading this guide, you’ll be able to consider if this is the Nursing specialty for you.

    What does an OB Nurse do?
    What is the OB Nurse job description?
    Where do OB Nurses work?
    How long does it take to become an OB Nurse?

    In addition, you’ll learn more about the profession, which is especially helpful when you or someone you may know will encounter an OB Nurse and need to know what to expect from them.

    Let’s get started immediately!

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      What does an OB Nurse do?

      An Obstetrics Nurse is a Registered Nurse specializing in providing care to pregnant female patients.

      They offer medical assistance to pregnant patients from pregnancy until a patient gives birth and even during their early stages of motherhood.

      Hence, OB Nurses are critical to a woman’s care needs during pregnancy.

      Although an OB Nurse’s typical role is to provide integral support to female patients during pregnancy, they may also provide assistance concerning reproductive health for females in their puberty stage and to females experiencing menopause.

      OB Nurse - What is OB Nursing

      Hence, OB Nurses are commonly referred to as Obstetric and Gynecology Nurses (OB-GYN Nurses).

      With that said, let’s explore their job responsibilities in detail in the next section.

      What is the OB Nurse job description?

      Typically the work setting where OB Nurses work influences an OB Nurses duties.

      Additionally, their duties will depend on whether the facility prefers its OB Nurses to perform more Obstetric duties, Gynecology duties, or both.

      Due to this, we’ve decided to split the OB Nurse roles below into gynecology-related responsibilities and Obstetric related responsibilities.

      Obstetric duties  

      • Ensure pregnant women are healthy
      • Administer prenatal screenings and other primary examinations, such as checking vital signs
      • Provide females with postpartum education
      • Assist obstetricians in preparing expectant mothers with their pregnancy journeys and childbirth
      • Help new mothers with knowledge surrounding infant nutrition and breastfeeding
      • Perform abdominal ultrasounds and pelvic exams
      • Participate in the delivery process alongside other members of the medical team
      • Care for females during labor and monitoring the fetal
      • Diagnose and treat any abnormalities in the fetus

      Gynecology duties

      • Helping patients become informed about their birth control options and other prevention procedures
      • Administering Gynecology exams on patients
      • Provide education on fertility treatments and sexual health
      • Administer care to patients infected with sexually transmitted diseases
      • Administer mammograms to identify breast cancer early
      • Obtain the medical histories of patients to help in creating a care plan

      In essence, an OB Nurse’s role encompasses assisting, preparing, examining, educating, and treating women from before they conceive to when they are well into the early stages of motherhood.

      What is the OB Nurse job description?

      For many OB Nurses, part of their role involves dealing with females’ sexual health and hormonal issues.

      With the OB Nurse responsibilities covered, let’s explore where OB Nurses work next.

      Where do OB Nurses work?

      There are several healthcare settings in which OB Nurses can work:

      • Birthing Centers
      • Community Clinics
      • Midwife practices
      • Physician’s office
      • Maternity wards in hospitals
      • Family planning centers
      • Obstetrics and Gynecology offices
      • The US Army
      • Labor and delivery departments in Medical centers
      • Urgent care clinics

      These are the general environments where you will find OB Nurses.

      However, OB Nurses can be found anywhere that women may need obstetric care.

      How long does it take to become an OB Nurse?

      Trying to pursue a career is not always easy – and we sometimes don’t end up completing it in the timeframe we expect.

      Despite this, you should have an estimated timeframe for getting into a career to help you stay focused and on track.

      Concerning OB Nurses, it typically takes 3 to 6 years to become an RN and then specialize in Obstetrics.

      The factors that add up to the years include a Nursing education, which typically takes 2 – 4 years.

      Concerning Nursing programs, should you choose to obtain an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), it typically takes 1-2 years to complete.

      However, if you decide to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), it could take two and four years to complete.

      Then, you need to consider the period it takes to study for, register, and then take the NCLEX-RN examination and obtain your RN licensure.

      Then, you will have to spend many years gaining experience for your desired role.

      You would have to get at least two years of work experience in an OB-GYN work setting.

      Once you’ve got experience, you can gain certification as an OB-GYN Nurse from the National Certification Corporation (NCC) and begin practicing full-time.

      Do OB Nurses need certification?

      Although obtaining a certification isn’t mandatory, it’s almost become the order of the day.

      This is because getting a certificate in Obstetrics validates your expertise to your employer.

      Furthermore, a certified OB Nurse can generally administer quality healthcare to females.

      And with the ability to help quality services, a certified OB Nurse will potentially earn higher.

      So, if the benefits of obtaining certification sound all good to you, here a some of the common OB Nurse certifications to look into getting:

      • Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing (NICU)
      • Maternal Newborn Nursing (RNC-MNN)
      • Inpatient Obstetric Nursing Certification (RNC-OB)
      • Obstetric and neonatal Quality and Safety (C-ONQS)
      Do OB Nurses need certification?

      After receiving your OB Nurse certification, most states require you to complete continuing education to keep your certificate valid.

      Obtaining continuing education also ensures that you keep updated with ever-evolving Nursing knowledge and practices.

      Is it worth it to become an OB Nurse?

      Sometimes deciding to pursue a career isn’t all that straightforward.

      While you may think the job aligns with your interests and personality, you need to go a step further into analyzing the benefits and challenges of the job before you plunge into the field.

      Considering this notion, we developed an advantages and disadvantages list regarding the OB Nurse career below:

      Advantages

      • Assisting vulnerable pregnant women throughout their pregnancy journey
      • Helping mothers in pain or experiencing abnormal fetal conditions reach better health outcomes
      • Assisting healthcare professionals during childbirth and watching parents embrace their newborn child
      • Obtaining a median annual income of $75 330, as stated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
      • Helping new mothers with their postpartum care

      Disadvantages  

      • When it comes to pediatric and neonatal Nursing, witnessing the death of a child or unborn child can be emotionally draining
      • Though rare, OB Nurses can sometimes encounter unruly patients
      • You can experience the emotional toll associated with seeing mothers in pain or babies born into unfavorable situations such as teenage pregnancy
      • OB Nurses may sometimes work long hours

      Helpful Organizations that support OB Nurses

      Several organizations provide Obstetric Nurses with resources that help them navigate their careers and that help them provide quality patient care.

      Furthermore, by looking at these organizations that support OB Nurses, which we’ll list below, you can obtain some helpful tips regarding your OB Nurse job search and career development tips.

      That being said, here are a few helpful organizations:

      Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)

      AWHONN provides resources and tools to people who want to obtain information about women’s health and professional development opportunities.

      American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) 

      Despite being focused on female Physicians, OB-GYN Nurses can use their support resources open to all female healthcare professionals.

      National Perinatal Association (NPA) 

      NPA provides tools and resources such as clinical guidelines to help promote women’s health and safer childbirth procedures.

      Prospects of the OB Nurse career

      While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide employment data specific to the obstetric specialization, their job growth figures for RNs represent the potential job opportunity for OB Nurses.

      For one, BLS projects a 9% growth in job opportunities for RNs between 2020 and 2030.

      Concerning the actual numeric figure of jobs, BLS predicts about 276 800 job openings for Registered Nurses, many of which we assume OB Nurses will occupy.

      Furthermore, with the growing national Nurse shortage, prospective OB Nurses stand a better opportunity to join the workforce quickly.

      Additionally, they may receive benefits such as improved compensation and rewards.

      Conclusion

      Pursuing an OB Nurse career takes time and dedication.

      Although the first bit of pursuing your job is relatively straightforward in that you are initially becoming an RN, working on your Obstetric specialization may be a new playing field for you.

      In addition to obtaining at least two years of experience in an OB-GYN working environment, it is recommended that future OB Nurses get OB-related certification.

      Once you’re sure you’ve gained enough experience and knowledge in the OB field, there should be nothing stopping you from getting introduced to your OB Nurse career.

      All the best!

      FAQs

      References 

      ZipRecruiter

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics

      Nurse Journal

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