Is fertility nursing the right career choice for you?November 11, 2014
Fertility nursing is a complex, yet exciting field for nurses interested in helping individuals and couples who are facing infertility issues. Also called reproductive nursing, this is a growing nursing specialty and with the rapidly evolving ability to control reproductive life, the demand for nurses in this specialty is set to grow even more.
So what exactly does a fertility nurse do?
Detailed job description
As a fertility nurse you would be responsible for managing the entire fertility treatment for couples seeking to become parents or women seeking to become mothers. In this specialty, the most important need is to be able to walk patients through each step of the treatment with empathy and qualified guidance.
Some of the tasks you would undertake in this role include:
- Helping patients understand the procedures and the medical terminology
- Educating patients about the possible treatments available and the pros and cons of each
- Helping patients make the right choice depending on their individual situation
- Offering patients non-judgmental emotional support
- Scheduling and coordinating procedures, tests and follow ups
- Drawing blood for tests, monitoring fertility cycles and helping with ultrasounds
- Administering In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments or teaching patients how to administer IVF themselves
- Counselling the couple and donor throughout the process
In addition to assisting the physician and being patient educator and advocate, fertility nurses are also an important link between the physician and the patient. They also help with finding egg donors as well as infertility support groups.
Education and training requirements
To be able to practice as a fertility nurse, you will first need to become a licensed registered nurse or RN. There are several different paths toward earning your nursing degree. Most employers recommend earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a four-year college or university course in order to be more competitive. After finishing your degree, you will need to pass the licensing exam before being able to apply for a job as a Registered Nurse. If at some point you think you’d like to pursue your master’s degree in the specialty, you have the option of becoming a fertility nurse practitioner.
Training in this specialty is mostly on the job.
Job settings and outlook
Most fertility nurses are employed by fertility clinics and by hospitals offering fertility services. There is growing demand for fertility health specialists at all levels, with registered nursing being one of the fastest growing professions. This is a great career choice for anyone who is interested in nursing and wants to be involved in helping people bring new life into the world. While this can be a very draining job requiring a lot of support and empathy, it can also be immensely rewarding.