Obstetrics and Gynecology Nurse (OB GYN)

A career in obstetrics and gynecology nursing can be exciting and rewarding. Obstetrics and gynecology nurses are also known as OB nurses, OB GYNs, and perinatal nurses. These professionals work with women during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, and provide postpartum care. The role of the OB nurse is critically important during the volatile months of pregnancy; OB GYNs provide support to women as they transition to motherhood and experience a wide array of physical and emotional changes.

Working as an OB GYN provides opportunities for career growth and personally enriching experiences. The field of nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations, with a projected growth rate of 15% between 2016 and 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . OB nurses can expect to make approximately $33.65 per hour, and the average OB GYN salary is $70,000 a year. A career in obstetrics and gynecology nursing is not only financially rewarding, but it also provides OB nurses with the opportunity to work closely with women as they experience the life-changing moment of childbirth.

What Does an OB Nurse Do?

One of the most important presences in the delivery process is a skillful and compassionate OB nurse.

OB GYNs provide medical expertise throughout the entire process of labor and delivery, and they carry out a number of job responsibilities that vary depending on employment location.

An OB GYN employed at a private obstetrics and gynecology practice assists the physician in routine wellness procedures, provides patients with birth control information, and cares for patients during pregnancy.

OB GYNs working in hospital maternity wards assist in labor and delivery and provide patients with postpartum care. This includes monitoring both the mother and fetus’ vitals prior to delivery and assisting in the delivery process. These nurses serve as coaches for the mother as she enters the delivery stage of labor. A labor and delivery OB nurse is also prepared to quickly assist doctors during medical emergencies. Once the baby is delivered, the OB GYN provides initial care for the newborn, cleansing it, weighing it, and most importantly, ensuring that it is able to breathe on its own.

Potential Work Settings:

  • Hospital Maternity Ward
  • Obstetric and Gynecology Physician’s Office
  • Private Birthing Center
  • Midwife Practice
  • Family Planning Center
  • Urgent Care Clinic
  • Community Clinic
  • U.S. Army

What Does It Take to Become an OB GYN?


Detailed and Organized

OB GYNs must possess strong organizational skills, as they care for many patients during a single shift and must ensure that each patient receives appropriate treatment and medications. Attention to detail is critically important when attending to patients in labor. An OB nurse monitors mother and fetal heartbeat, contractions, and related medical interventions, such as epidural analgesia.


One of the most important qualities of an obstetrics and gynecology nurse is compassion. Many OB nurses work with patients who are undergoing one of the most life-changing events of their lives: childbirth. An OB GYN’s bedside manner is critically important during labor and delivery. These professionals not only rely on knowledge and skills, but also compassion and empathy in order to better assist patients.

Mental and Physical Strength

An obstetrics and gynecology nurse works long hours and is usually standing, so physical and mental strength are necessary to provide quality care to patients. An OB GYN must possess the mental strength to perform tasks expertly while also maintaining enough physical strength to reposition patients if necessary and act quickly in emergency situations.

Emotional Stability

A routine part of an obstetric and gynecology nurse’s job is to cope with emergencies and human loss. Therefore, emotional stability is a must for someone in this career. OB nurses must be able to cope with traumatic experiences on the job in order to prevent burnout and fatigue.

Critical Thinking Skills

OB GYNs are required to think critically about the care of their patients and often must assess patient needs quickly and accurately. Critical thinking skills help the OB GYN work through challenging circumstances to implement the best solutions for the patient.

Communication Skills

The OB nurse is part of a medical team and is required to share important information regarding patient treatment with physicians and other nursing staff. The OB GYN must also be able to effectively communicate with the patient to ensure that he/she fully understands implications of medical procedures.

OB GYN Salary Information and Job Outlook

How much do OB nurses make?

$46,390+ $59,370+ $72,350+ $85,320+
Obstetrics and Gynecology Nurse (OB GYN): Average Salary by State This map presents average annual salary for the occupation Obstetrics and Gynecology Nurse (OB GYN) in each state in the U.S. Average Annual Salary in HI: $96,990 HI Average Annual Salary in AK: $87,510 AK Average Annual Salary in FL: $64,890 FL Average Annual Salary in NH: $70,040 NH Average Annual Salary in MI: $69,120 MI Average Annual Salary in VT: $69,560 VT Average Annual Salary in ME: $65,890 ME Average Annual Salary in RI: $76,650 RI Average Annual Salary in NY: $83,450 NY Average Annual Salary in PA: $69,820 PA Average Annual Salary in NJ: $82,010 NJ Average Annual Salary in DE: $73,180 DE Average Annual Salary in MD: $75,250 MD Average Annual Salary in VA: $67,990 VA Average Annual Salary in WV: $60,380 WV Average Annual Salary in OH: $65,500 OH Average Annual Salary in IN: $62,450 IN Average Annual Salary in IL: $72,090 IL Average Annual Salary in CT: $80,200 CT Average Annual Salary in WI: $69,200 WI Average Annual Salary in NC: $62,560 NC Average Annual Salary in MA: $89,330 MA Average Annual Salary in TN: $60,050 TN Average Annual Salary in AR: $58,810 AR Average Annual Salary in MO: $63,300 MO Average Annual Salary in GA: $66,750 GA Average Annual Salary in SC: $63,630 SC Average Annual Salary in KY: $61,530 KY Average Annual Salary in AL: $57,890 AL Average Annual Salary in LA: $63,560 LA Average Annual Salary in MS: $57,700 MS Average Annual Salary in IA: $57,930 IA Average Annual Salary in MN: $77,540 MN Average Annual Salary in OK: $61,640 OK Average Annual Salary in TX: $72,070 TX Average Annual Salary in NM: $69,840 NM Average Annual Salary in KS: $59,940 KS Average Annual Salary in NE: $62,210 NE Average Annual Salary in SD: $57,010 SD Average Annual Salary in ND: $63,140 ND Average Annual Salary in WY: $64,900 WY Average Annual Salary in MT: $66,280 MT Average Annual Salary in CO: $72,570 CO Average Annual Salary in ID: $64,520 ID Average Annual Salary in UT: $63,050 UT Average Annual Salary in AZ: $75,110 AZ Average Annual Salary in NV: $84,980 NV Average Annual Salary in OR: $88,770 OR Average Annual Salary in WA: $79,810 WA Average Annual Salary in CA: $102,700 CA

  • Median Hourly Wage: $35.36
  • Salary: $73,550

Source: Data taken from The Bureau of Labor Statistics . Accessed: July 2018.

Employment of RNs (Including OB GYN Nurses)

Industries With the Highest Levels of Employment for RNs (Including OB GYN Nurses)

Industry Employment Percent of Industry Employment Annual Mean Wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,685,820 30.64 $75,820
Offices of Physicians 196,040 7.69 $66,890
Home Health Care Services 179,310 12.84 $70,230
Nursing Care Facilities 155,450 9.59 $65,710
Outpatient Care Centers 132,070 15.00 $75,680
Source: BLS , 2017

Industries With the Highest Concentration of Employment for RNs (Including OB GYN Nurses)

Industry Employment Percent of Industry Employment Annual Mean Wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,685,820 30.64 $75,820
Specialty (Except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals) 62,310 23.98 $77,290
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 39,100 16.33 $71,290
Outpatient Care Centers 132,070 15.00 $75,680
Home Health Care Services 179,310 12.84 $70,230
Source: BLS , 2017

Meet an OB Nurse

Additional Resources

Online OB GYN Programs

The best route to becoming an obstetrics and gynecology nurse is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Nursing programs provide the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a variety of medical settings. Choosing an obstetrics and gynecology practicum will further advance nursing students’ skills and familiarity with this specialization. Most online nursing programs allow students to participate in practicum and internship hours without relocating. After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing online and passing the nursing licensure exam, nurses gain work experience in medical settings that include obstetrics and gynecology. This allows them to earn certification in areas such as inpatient obstetric nursing or neonatal intensive care nurse. Online degree programs in nursing allow students to pursue their career aspirations without sacrificing time for prior obligations.

Below is a list of several accredited, non-profit universities that offer online degrees in nursing. This list is designed to provide direction to those interested in pursuing a career in nursing with a focus on obstetrics and gynecology. Please note that online programs have specific state residence and license restrictions. It is best for prospective students to double-check with the university they are interested in attending to ensure that the online degree program is the best fit for them.

Nursing Programs

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