Nurse Types / IVF Nurse
Becoming an IVF (in vitro fertilization) nurse can be exciting and rewarding. These nurses are also known as reproductive fertility nurses because they work in the field of reproductive medicine or reproductive endocrinology.
Reproductive health is a fascinating field because treatments are cutting edge. It uses the most up-to-date research and technologies for patients receiving fertility counseling or treatment.
- What is an IVF nurse?
- What do IVF nurses do?
- Where do IVF nurses work?
- How do you become an IVF nurse in 3 steps?
- What are additional requirements of IVF nurses?
- What are the salary and career outlooks for IVF nurses?
What is an IVF nurse?
An IVF nurse is a registered nurse. They typically collaborate with reproductive endocrinologists to support patients through fertility treatments, as well as patients experiencing menopause. An IVF nurse advises and treats patients on matters such as:
Qualities of a successful IVF nurse
An IVF nurse is well versed in reproductive technologies. They can perform a variety of outpatient procedures, and are typically skilled at phlebotomy.
IVF nurses are known for:
- Strong communication
- Listening skills
- Customer service skills
What do IVF nurses do?
IVF nurses educate and treat patients on matters such as fertility, conception, and reproduction. They also collaborate with fertility specialists to ensure the treatment plan best matches the patient. New technologies mean more options for patients.
An IVF nurse can support patients by educating them on certain aspects of reproductive health. They explain in detail what treatment options are available to couples.
Nurses can also perform or assist in a variety of procedures in a reproductive health office. Some of those procedures include intrauterine insemination (IUI), and fresh or frozen embryo transfer.
A day in the life of an IVF nurse
Nurses provide direct patient care in an outpatient, clinic setting. A day as an IVF nurse includes performing a thorough history and intake on new patients. The nurse will answer patient questions and triage patients who need further guidance.
Nurses will also offer education and counseling to patients on fertility treatments. At most fertility clinics, IVF nurses also assist with patient visits, perform phlebotomy, and assist or perform procedures.
Most IVF nurses work traditional outpatient clinic hours. This is much like a Monday through Friday, 9-5 schedule. Yet many IVF nurse positions offer the flexibility to work four 10-hour shifts per week. Sometimes there is a need to work weekends as patients may need to have a blood draw or procedure on a specific day of their menstrual cycle.
Common conditions treated by IVF nurses
The most common conditions an IVF nurse treats are related to infertility and conception. Some of those conditions include male infertility and require a semen analysis. This testing is done at a qualified lab to assess the semen for causes of infertility such as low sperm concentrations, poor sperm motility, morphology or vitality.
There can be other causes of male infertility that require endocrine testing. This requires a blood sample to assess hormone levels and possibly genetic testing. There may be a need for the patient to get a scrotal ultrasound to view the male reproductive organs in more detail.
Type 2 diabetes, genetic conditions, being overweight, and infection are some of the known causes of male infertility.
The female infertility conditions may include problems with ovulation and the menstrual cycle, or conditions affecting the cervix, uterus or fallopian tubes. An endocrine evaluation with blood work may be necessary to assess hormone levels at various stages of the menstrual cycle.
Some specific causes of female infertility include a tubal occlusion, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), primary ovarian failure or low egg count, and scarring from infection.
Where do IVF nurses work?
There are a number of places where IVF nurses work. You can find an IVF nurse working in:
- Outpatient fertility clinics
- OB/GYN offices
- Egg donor centers
- Research labs
How do you become an IVF nurse in 3 steps?
Step 1 – Become a registered nurse
The first step in becoming an IVF Nurse is to complete your nursing education. There are several paths you can take to do this. See which nursing career path is right for you.
Once you’ve identified the right educational path, you’ll need to complete any prerequisites and then apply. There are many schools, and each may have their unique set of qualities and requirements.
Nursing education programs can take anywhere from 11 months to 4 years. When you’ve completed your education, you’ll sit for the national registered nurse exam called the NCLEX.
Earn a BSN degree
Although some IVF nurses complete their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), it is more common to see Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)-prepared nurses working in IVF clinics. If you have your ADN and wish to obtain your BSN there are bridge programs available such as the ADN to BSN.
If you are already a registered nurse and wish to complete your BSN there is an RN to BSN program. For those with a BSN in an unrelated field, you can complete the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) in under 2 years.
Pass the NCLEX-RN exam
After completing your degree, you will need to sit for the national exam called the NCLEX-RN. Your school will likely prepare you to pass the exam by offering a review course, practice tests, and study materials.
Step 2 – Accumulate experience
Helpful skills and experience
Most IVF nurse job positions require a minimum of one year of experience as a registered nurse. Experience with electronic health records is also a must- especially as you will be coordinating care for the patient. You will need to be fluent in how to navigate their chart.
In order to become an IVF nurse, it is helpful to have experience in labor and delivery, mom baby/postpartum, or in the NICU. Although IVF nurses do not help deliver babies, the knowledge and experience from working in these fields will make you a stronger IVF nurse.
You can also gain experience by working in an OB/GYN practice as well. Although experience as a nurse in these areas is not required, it can help set you apart from the competition.
Changing specialty to an IVF nurse
It can feel like a leap of faith to jump into a new nursing specialty! But with increased rates of nurse burnout, and the intrigue of the IVF nurse role, it’s absolutely worth considering changing your nursing specialty.
In order to change specialties, consider gaining experience in fertility or reproductive science. You can also talk with IVF staff to gain insight into what this specialty is all about. See if you can shadow an IVF nurse for a day.
When transitioning to a new field, you’ll want to make sure you have obtained all the necessary certifications and licensures required for the role.
Closely related fields
IVF nurses are a type of fertility nurse. There are many closely related fields if you are looking to change specialties. Some include:
- Reproductive fertility nurse
- OB/GYN nursing
- Reproductive endocrinology nurse
Step 3 – Obtain certifications
Although there is no specific certification needed to be an IVF nurse, there are ways to increase your hireability. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) offers a certificate course in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. The following certifications are also helpful:
- Inpatient obstetric nursing (RNC-OB)
- Maternal newborn nursing (RNC-MNN)
- Neonatal intensive care nursing (RNC-NIC)- depending on your in-patient nursing experience
What are the additional requirements of IVF nurses?
Patients seeking support for fertility and conception can experience a lot of stress during this process. Like nurses in all fields of healthcare, an IVF nurse must be kind and compassionate, and a great listener.
With the fast-paced technological innovations in fertility care, IVF nurses must stay on top of new research and treatments.
What are the salary and career outlooks for IVF nurses?
It is an exciting time to be a nurse as nursing is a rapidly growing profession. Nurses help support the management of chronic medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension, so nurses are in high demand! The expected growth is 6% between 2021 and 2031.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses make an average of $39.78 per hour, which comes out to an annual salary of $82,750. This rate can go up or down based on years of experience, certifications, and if the nurse is working in a specialty.
The average salary for a fertility nurse is $77,186. The top 5 cities are:
|Santa Rosa, CA||$94,271|
|New York City, NY||$88,659|
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Job satisfaction varies based on the IVF nurse and where they work. IVF nurses may work more independently than nurses in other outpatient clinics.
The opportunity to help a couple achieve their family planning dreams feels amazing. IVF nurses support, educate, and consult with patients who have high emotional needs. Managing those emotions can lead to increased stress, along with the unpredictability of the fertility treatment outcomes.
Overall, working in reproductive health is a high demand job that can be very rewarding.
Once you become an IVF nurse, there are many ways you can advance your career. Consider getting your Master of Science in Nursing degree. You can also complete free continuing education courses through Incredible Health.
The transition to an IVF nurse can be a wonderful career advancement as you will gain new knowledge and experience in healthcare. Let Incredible Health help you land your dream job!
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- ASRM Nurse Certificate Course in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. ASRM.org. Accessed May 26, 2022.
- Average Registered Nurse with IVF Skills Salary. Payscale.com. Accessed May 31, 2022.
- Fertility Nurse Salary. Ziprecruiter.com. Accessed June 3, 2022.
- IVF nurse salary. ziprecruiter.com. Accessed June 1, 2022.
- Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. BLS.gov. Accessed May 31, 2022.
- Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash