Reproductive Nurses (also known as Fertility Nurses) care for individuals, couples, and families who seek treatment options related to reproductive health.
These nurses work with women experiencing infertility, couples having difficulty with conception, or women going through menopause. If practicing in Ontario, Reproductive Nurses are registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario and usually active members of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.
The College of Nurses of Ontario is the governing body for Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in Ontario, Canada.
The nursing profession has been self-regulating in Ontario since 1963. Self-regulation is a privilege granted to professions that have shown they can put the interests of the public ahead of their own professional interests. It recognizes that Ontario’s nurses have the knowledge and expertise to regulate themselves as individual practitioners and to regulate their profession through the College.
The role of a Reproductive Nurse is exciting! Reproductive medicine is a constantly developing field and requires nurses to stay abreast of, and trained in, the latest industry advances and techniques. The constant and rapid advances make this a stimulating field to work in.
Requirements performed by a Reproductive Nurse, include but are not limited to,
• Educating a patient about their reproductive cycle, treatment protocol and outcomes
• Teaching a patient or her partner how to take their injectable medications
• Assisting a physician during egg retrieval or embryo transfer procedures
• Counselling a patient as she or he copes with a negative pregnancy test, miscarriage or poor treatment outcome
• Provide ongoing emotional support
• Learning about the latest evidence-based best practice in reproductive technology.
• Participating in team meetings about ethical issues
• Helping patients navigate their options for third-party reproduction, including sperm donors, egg donors, and surrogates.
Triumphs and Challenges
Being able to share news that a patient is pregnant is incredibly fulfilling. It is an amazing feeling to know they played a part in their patients’ journey in welcoming their miracle baby. Reproductive Nurses are overjoyed to see their patients become parents. They create a close bond with their patients and often receive newborn photos and updates on the families.
On the other hand, there are many challenging aspects of becoming a Reproductive Nurse. Patients are often emotionally exhausted by the time they reach a fertility clinic, and the nurses play an important role in providing compassionate care to their patients and empathize with their unique situations.
Delivering news that a pregnancy test was negative or the cycle has to be cancelled is difficult to convey because so much time, emotions, and finances are invested in hope of a positive outcome. They recognize how incredibly tough the journey can be for our patients and they are here for them every step of the way.
“At any given time, an estimated of over 250,000 Canadian couples are affected by infertility – defined as an inability to conceive after 12 months.”
Tripod Fertility Reproductive Nurses
For our nurses at Tripod Fertility, and for many other nurses, we love what we do. One of the best parts of the job is the day patients bring their babies to the clinic. Since nurses aren’t involved in deliveries, this visit is usually the first time they see the results of their clinic’s collaborative efforts taken to help create these lives.
Become a Reproductive Nurse can be summed up in one word “SUPPORTIVE”.