A perinatal nurse is a pregnancy and childbirth specialist. Perinatal nurses help guide women through the entire pregnancy process. They educate women about the things they will experience throughout the pregnancy and during and following labor.
A perinatal nurse works with women with normal pregnancies as well as high-risk pregnancies. Some women need to be monitored throughout their pregnancy because they have a series of health factors that may prevent the baby from developing normally. Other women who are pregnant for the first time may be nervous about giving birth, and a perinatal nurse can offer emotional support and reassurance. The perinatal nurse may offer tips to help patients and their fetuses remain healthy during pregnancy. Perinatal nurses explain the labor process to their patients and prepare them for childbirth. When labor begins, they assist their patients and address any complications. Following the birth, the perinatal nurse may help new mothers learn how to care for the newborn baby. They may give information about nursing or formula-feeding, infant care and hygiene, and mother-child bonding.
The perinatal nurse career is one of the RN jobs that requires an RN to obtain additional schooling and certification. It is considered an advanced nursing profession. In order to become a perinatal nurse, you must have earned at least a master’s degree, successfully taken the NCLEX-RN examination, and obtained a special perinatal nurse certification. In order to earn the certification, you will need to pass a rigorous examination that tests your knowledge of perinatal nursing as well as your actual practical skills in this area. Because of this, it is important to participate in internships and outside clinical tasks while you are earning your master’s degree. These programs will give you the experience you need and help you gain an edge in the competitive job market. In addition to these qualifications, many hospitals also require that perinatal nurses become nurse practitioners.
Perinatal nurses may work in a variety of settings including hospitals, birth centers, private doctor’s offices, or community health centers. They may be employed by the facility or practice independently. A perinatal nurse can earn between $54,000 and $68,000 per year, depending on location and experience.