How to Become a Fertility Nurse
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Reviewer & Writer
Editor & Writer
Reviewer & Writer
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- Fertility nurses work with patients who are having difficulty conceiving.
- To become a fertility nurse, you must first become a licensed registered nurse.
- Fertility nurses usually hold associate or bachelor's degrees in nursing.
- By earning a master's degree, fertility nurses can expand their career options.
Fertility nurses work in fertility clinics and other healthcare settings to assist physicians in the care of patients. Typically, these patients are having difficulty conceiving or dealing with infertility issues. Fertility nurses can offer patients education about their options and help administer care.
To become a fertility nurse, you must first become a registered nurse. This process requires completing a college education, passing an examination, and obtaining licensure from your state. People who are interested in healthcare, helping others, and science may opt for a career in fertility nursing.
What Does a Fertility Nurse Do?
Fertility nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in the fertility field. They are sometimes called reproductive nurses or in vitro fertilization (IVF) nurses. They usually work at fertility clinics or OB-GYN offices.
Fertility nurses typically work with women and couples who are having problems conceiving or dealing with infertility, or women who are going through menopause.
Fertility nurses usually begin their careers as registered nurses and then specialize in fertility. Nurses can earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) before taking the NCLEX-RN exam.
Earning a bachelor's degree may lead to higher pay. Fertility nurses interested in a career change may become nurse practitioners or nurse midwives, which requires further education.
Fertility Nurse Responsibilities
- Fertility nurses educate patients dealing with infertility about available treatment options. They help them weigh the pros and cons and offer nonjudgmental emotional support to patients and their loved ones.
- Fertility nurses work with physicians to perform physical examinations, embryo transfers, ultrasounds, and scans. They also collect and send blood for testing and inform patients of their test results.
- Fertility nurses are often the main communicators with patients, helping them set up appointments, conducting interviews, and gathering medical histories.
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What Are the Steps to Become a Fertility Nurse?
Fertility nurse jobs require proper licensing. To obtain a fertility nurse license, you must go through the standard licensing process for registered nurses. This process includes education, taking an examination, and applying to your state's health board.
The steps below outline the process of how to become a fertility nurse.
Step 1: Earn ADN or BSN
To become a fertility nurse, you must first earn an ADN or a BSN. Most full-time students can complete an ADN in two years, whereas full-time students usually complete BSNs in four years. An ADN or BSN requires students to major in nursing. Students learn the necessary healthcare skills required for employment, such as taking vitals, patient care, and working with physicians.
In 2020-2021, the total average cost for one year at a two-year public institution was $9,700, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Meanwhile, the average cost for a year at a four-year public institution was $14,900, compared to $43,200 at four-year private, nonprofit schools.
As of July 2022, registered nurses with BSNs earn an average yearly salary of $89,000, compared to RNs with ADNs who earn an average annual wage of $73,000, according to Payscale. Some employers may also prefer the BSN. Some programs allow students to obtain a BSN after earning an ADN in just a few years instead of the typical four years.
Step 2: Pass the NCLEX Exam
To obtain a nursing license, students must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam tests learners on their knowledge of nursing skills and science. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing offers the exam continuously throughout the year. Candidates register with Pearson VUE and find a testing center near them.
The NCLEX has a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 145. Students must complete the exam within five hours, including breaks.
The exam covers four main areas: providing a safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Students can prepare by studying independently or completing an online prep course.
Step 3: Obtain RN Licensure
After you complete your education and pass the NCLEX, you must obtain RN licensure through your state in order to practice as a fertility nurse. Each state's RN licensure process is different. Usually, you will apply to the state's board of health with the necessary paperwork.
Most states require a fee to apply for RN licensure. For example, applications cost $300 in California and $91 in Illinois. Many states also require nurses to renew their licenses every few years for an additional fee.
Step 4: Get a Job in a Fertility Healthcare Setting
After graduating and obtaining licensure, you can pursue a job as a fertility nurse. You may have to work as a registered nurse in a different healthcare setting before finding a job as a fertility nurse, depending on job availability in your area.
Those interested in fertility nursing can benefit from working in the labor and delivery or postpartum units of hospitals to gain relevant experience in fertility. It may take several years to obtain a job in a fertility clinic as a fertility nurse.
The average annual base salary for a registered nurse with IVF skills is $68,670, as of July 2022, according to Payscale.
Step 5: Apply for Certification
Fertility nurses only need a license from their state to practice. However, they may wish to apply for additional certifications from independent healthcare organizations.
For example, nurses may seek certification in inpatient obstetric nursing, maternal newborn nursing, or neonatal intensive care nursing to help expand their job opportunities. These certifications require examinations and proven experience as an RN.
Fertility nurses can also further their careers with certificates, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's course in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Completing certificate programs such as this can help fertility nurses advance in their careers.
What to Know Before Becoming a Fertility Nurse
To obtain registered nurse licensure from your state, you will have to complete an accredited ADN or BSN program. Accrediting agencies ensure programs and schools are up to standards and compare to other accredited programs and schools.
It is also vital to ensure your program is accredited to receive federal financial aid. Additionally, accredited institutions only accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. Online schools should also be accredited by an approved accrediting agency.
The cost of a bachelor's degree in nursing depends on what kind of school you attend, how long you are in school, and where you live.
As of 2020-2021, for example, one year of tuition and other costs is about $14,900 at a four-year public institution when the student lives off campus with family or $25,700 when the student lives on campus, according to NCES. Costs are higher at private, nonprofit four-year institutions, at $43,200 and $54,500 respectively.
The fee is $200 to take the NCLEX-RN.
The base salary for a registered nurse with IVF skills is $68,670, as of July 2022, according to Payscale. Registered nurses in general earn a median annual salary of $77,600, as of May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with RNs in California earning the highest annual mean salary of $124,000.
Continued education may also lead to higher salaries. Nurses with BSNs earn more on average than nurses with ADNs. Additionally, RNs can earn a master's degree to pursue a career as a nurse midwife or nurse practitioner, who earn a median wage of $123,780 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Fertility Nurse
What qualifications do you need to become a fertility nurse?
To become a fertility nurse, you must earn an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing. Nursing majors study topics such as anatomy, biology, and chemistry. Then, you must take the NCLEX, an exam that tests your nursing knowledge and skills.
After passing the exam, you must apply for licensure from your state. Each state's licensing requirements are different. You will have to provide your college transcripts, proof of graduation, and exam results, among other paperwork. Most states also require an application fee.
What is the fastest way to become a fertility nurse?
The fastest way to become a fertility nurse is to complete an associate degree in nursing. Most ADN programs take two years to complete full time. After earning an ADN, you must pass the NCLEX and apply for licensure from your state.
After becoming a licensed registered nurse, you can apply for a job as a fertility nurse. You may have to gain general nursing experience first before you can get a job at a fertility clinic.
How do I become a fertility nurse without a degree?
It is not possible to become a fertility nurse without earning some type of degree. Most states require RN applicants to complete an associate or bachelor's degree. However, you do not have to take the traditional education route to become a nurse.
You can earn a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) degree, which takes less time than completing an associate degree program. After earning your LPN/LVN, you can start pursuing work in healthcare settings.
To become a registered nurse, you will still have to earn an ADN or BSN. However, many bridge programs can help students who already hold a LPN/LVN obtain these degrees in less time.
Can I become a fertility nurse with an online degree?
Yes, you can become a fertility nurse with an online degree. Many online schools offer associate and bachelor's degrees in nursing. However, online programs may still require an in-person component, such as working at a healthcare facility.
After graduating from your online program, you can continue the road to RN licensure by taking the NCLEX. Once you have passed the exam, you can apply for licensure from your state and apply for fertility nurse jobs.
How much money can I make as a fertility nurse?
The average annual base salary for a registered nurse with IVF skills is $68,670, as of July 2022, according to Payscale. Registered nurses earn a median wage of $77,600 per year, according to the BLS.
Nurses are likely to earn more money if they hold a bachelor's degree in nursing rather than an associate degree. They also typically earn higher wages as they gain more experience in their profession.
Fertility nurses may decide to continue their education to become nurse midwives or nurse practitioners, who earn a median salary of $123,780 per year, according to the BLS.