OB nurses work in a variety of settings and provide specialized care to individuals. However, many people are confused about OB nursing. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of OB nursing, some common areas in which they work, OB nurse salary information, and some of the like and dislikes of the profession.
What does “OB” nursing mean? The term “OB” is an abbreviation for the term obstetrics. Obstetrics simply refers to the period of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. That’s essentially what an OB nurse is–they are nurses who provide specialized care to individuals during any of those life events. In fact, some OB/GYN nurses will work with individuals from puberty all the way through menopause. The term “GYN” is an abbreviation for the term “gynaecology,” which refers to the female reproductive system.
OB/GYN Nursing Job Overview
OB Nurses can work in a variety of areas. For example, if a nurse works in the labor and delivery area, they are considered an “OB” nurse. Here are some areas in which OB nurses commonly work:
- Labor and Delivery
- OB/GYN Private Practices
- Post Partum
- Mother/Baby Units
- and more
OB/GYN Nurses often work alongside doctors, nurse practitioners, and midwives, and they assist them as they perform tests and other vital healthcare services. The services that an OB nurse will provide depends on the area of nursing in which they choose to work. Here are some common job duties of an OB Nurse:
- Assist with routine checkups
- Administer or offer advice on birth control
- Administer vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine
- Assist with blood, urine, or other samples
- Assist with pelvic exams or pap smears
- Assist with the entire labor and delivery process
- Assist new mothers with breastfeeding
- and much more
OB Nurse Education Requirements
You may be wondering, “How can I become an OB nurse? What are the education requirements?” That’s a great question! First, you’ll want to become a licensed nurse. LPNs or RNs can work in OB areas, but RNs will have a great scope of practice and may have more job opportunities.
It takes approximately 12-18 months to become an LPN, and you must complete a diploma program with clinical work. You’ll then have to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Once you do that, you’ll be licensed to work as an LPN.
To become an RN, you must complete either an ADN degree program (about two years), or a BSN program (about four years). You’ll also have to complete clinicals during school, and you’ll have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Regardless of whether you are an RN or LPN, you will be provided with on-the-job training when you are hired onto an OB specialty. You may be able to work in an OB area straight out of nursing school, but some employers may prefer that you have prior nursing experience. You can also become certified through the National Certification Corporation, but you generally need about 2,000 hours of experience before becoming certified.
OB/GYN Nurse Salary
How much money does an OB nurse make? OB nurses earn competitive salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), the average salary for all registered nurses was $69,790 per year. The average hourly wage was $33.55.
Salary statistics are not provided based on specialty; however, in an article Payscale.com titled, “OB/GYN Clinical Nurses,” OB nurses earned an estimated median salary of 52,500, and a median hourly wage of $26.29 per hour.
OB Nurse Likes and Dislikes
Do most OB nurses like their jobs? Oh, yes! In fact, OB nursing is one of the most popular areas of nursing. Nurses often love working with women throughout the pregnancy and labor process. However, just like any job, there are some “likes and dislikes” in this specialty.
OB Nurse Pros (Likes):
- OB nurses love working with babies and women, sharing that miracle of the birthing process
- OB nurses who work in clinics get to enjoy a more “laid back” approach to nursing
- OB nursing is one of the most popular areas of nursing
OB Nurse Cons (Dislikes):
- OB nursing can be emotional when a woman loses a child or a child has a deformity
- OB nurses sometimes witness parental neglect, and some babies are even born addicted to drugs
- Sometimes women can be very emotional or angry due to pregnancy hormones
In conclusion, OB/GYN nursing is a very popular area of nursing that encompasses care in many different areas. Nurses in this area enjoy working with women or babies throughout the birthing process, and they also provide care or counseling to women in OB/GYN clinics.