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More than catching babies: the role of NPs in obstetrics and gynecology

More than catching babies: the role of NPs in obstetrics and gynecology

Congratulations! You have a baby on the way. Soon, you’ll be a mama. Since you want to give the baby a good start, you head to the OB/GYN office. There, you meet with a nurse practitioner (NP). The two of you chat as you learn about birth and maternity services and what to expect moving forward. That gets you thinking: What is the role of NPs in obstetrics and gynecology?

“A nurse practitioner can play a vital role in a woman’s pregnancy,” said Kristin Russo, WHNP, at East Jefferson General Hospital.

Where NPs fit in women’s health care

Not sure what an NP is? NPs are medical specialists, and becoming one is no easy task. The first step is to become a registered nurse (RN), typically by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Once

past this accomplishment, there’s more schooling. Nurses work toward either a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Finally, the NP candidate must pass a national exam. Then and only then, someone can work as a nurse practitioner.

While working toward a master’s or doctoral degree, all NP hopefuls go through core classes. These cover disease processes, use of medication and more. However, some NPs decide to specialize in a particular area. It may be geriatrics, women’s health or another specialty. From that point, they focus their study and training on that area.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners offer many of the same services as an OB/GYN physician. Thanks to these medical professionals, the role of NPs in OB/GYN care is extensive.

Putting the WHNP in pregnancy

What are the duties of a nurse practitioner? As women’s health experts, WHNPs help you maintain your good health. During pregnancy, they do everything necessary to help you enjoy a safe, healthy pregnancy. Afterward, they help you recover and get back to life.

Common pregnancy-related services WHNPs offer include:

  • Family planning and contraceptive care
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Medical care before, during and after pregnancy alongside your physician

By visiting a NP, you have a caring professional on your side throughout pregnancy. They check your vitals, order blood and imaging tests and answer any questions you may have.

You have more health needs

The role of NPs in obstetrics and gynecology goes beyond pregnancy. They also care for women of all ages.

A few nonpregnancy services WHNPs offer include:

  • Annual gynecology exams
  • Diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cysts, incontinence and more
  • Education about sexually transmitted infections or diseases, cancer risk and other diseases
  • Prescription of contraception and other medication
  • Menopause management

Why women love WHNPs

Women appreciate their WHNP’s knowledge. They’re thankful for the quality care offered. But that’s not why they love their WHNPs. They love them because of the strong WHNP-patient relationship. That’s why many women turn to WHNPs month after month, year after year.

“Nurse practitioners thrive on personalized care,” Kristin said. “As a result, they take the time to answer patients’ questions and make sure women understand what’s going on with their bodies. This gives women comfort and confidence, whether going through pregnancy, menopause or any other stage of life.”

Want to find out what pregnancy will bring your way? Learn more about what to expect in the coming months.