Abortion Care in Nursing: Happy Nurses Week 2022
So, I’ve decided to go with the cat theme long-term. 🙂 And with abortion care in nursing long-term, too. It’s the (almost) end of Nurses Week 2022 in America. Hospitals, insurance companies, and health care places everywhere are taking about it everywhere. I was going to write about diversity and inclusion in nursing, but then the Supreme Court happened. I kind of figured the ball would drop sooner rather than later, but it caught many people completely off guard.
Welcome to my blog! I’m Sadia, a women’s health nurse practitioner, women’s health content writer, and social commentator. I do many things, but mostly, I write and speak my mind. All views my own unless stated otherwise. Grab something to drink and scroll away with me. It’ll be good for both of us, promise.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Roe v. Wade is almost overturned. Abortion legalization, accessibility, and everything else is going to be up for grabs at each state’s discretion. And caught in the middle of all this is everyone who has been working non-stop this pandemic. But, especially health care workers.
Nurses. Doctors. Physician assistants. Medical assistants. Especially those who work in primary care, women’s health, trans health, and emergency medicine.
So, for this Nurses Week, I’m going to talk about abortion care in nursing since nurses have been a critical part of abortion care for decades. I’m going to talk about what abortion care in nursing looks like, some career paths to consider if you are looking to get into abortion work, and how to support nurses who care for people who have an abortion.
**Note, I have never worked directly as an abortion nurse. These are simply resources to help you out and my thoughts on this topic. I am a women’s health nurse practitioner who has supported abortion access and will continue to do so.
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What Is Abortion Care in Nursing?
Simply put, abortion care in nursing is when a nurse works in a clinic or facility that provides abortion services. Planned Parenthoods, OB/GYN offices, and independent abortion clinics provide abortions. You can find some of these locations over here on Abortion Clinic finder and Google Maps. Nurses who work in emergency services departments and labor/delivery units in hospitals also see patients who have an abortion and can care for them as well.
Nurses who provide abortion care often provide pregnancy options counseling, medication history and health history review, patient education, patient monitoring, and assist with IV medication administration during the abortion procedure. They can observe patients post-op (or post abortion procedure) to monitor for any signs of complications post abortion.
Depending on the state (and country for people outside of the United States), nurse practitioners can provide medication abortion either in person or via telehealth. Abortion care in nursing is also rapidly changing as a result of increased telehealth services, abortion legislation, and abortion facilities funding.
If you’re interested in providing abortion care in nursing as a nurse or nurse practitioner, I would recommend reaching out to any local abortion clinics or Planned Parenthoods to see if they are hiring (most are always hiring!). Likewise, you can also read about nurses who work in abortion care from the National Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health. They are a great organization and leader in abortion care in nursing with training opportunities, networking, and more.
The Reality of Being an Abortion Nurse
Truth, a lot of abortion nurses don’t make as much as those who work in a hospital. I have seen abortion RN jobs start at $25-27 an hour. Pay can be extremely low since a lot of independent abortion clinics are struggling to get by financially and are always swamped with patients, especially in the wake of a very real post Roe world. Being overworked and understaffed is sometimes the reality of this work. There are protesters that harass people who work in clinics and patients. There is the very real threat of violence on a daily basis because of anti-abortion extremists.
This is a very political job since abortion is very political.
It is not a job for someone who just wants fast, easy money since there is a lot of emotion and labor that goes into abortion care in nursing. You have to love it and be willing to love it. Or else, you are going to end up burnt out and stressed, and no one wants that. You have to truly be willing to discuss abortion and agree that abortion is something that you are comfortable with.
If you are considering working as an abortion nurse, consider your reasons for wanting to do so. Maybe you have wanted to explore abortion care in nursing. Maybe you just want to help people with uteri get their abortion. Or, maybe you are tired of working in a hospital.
Whatever your reasons, if you are considering doing anything with abortion care in nursing, I say go for it. There is always a need for abortion nurses, regardless of what happens in politics. Abortion has existed for centuries, and it will continue no matter what.
If you are looking for ways to support abortion care in nursing, consider donating to your local abortion clinic and supporting training initiatives for abortion care in nursing. Money is probably the best way to support abortion care in nursing since money runs the world. However, if you cannot donate, you can definitely offer to be a volunteer at a local abortion clinic or engage with them on social media.
Are you an abortion nurse? Are you interested in abortion care in nursing? What sorts of topics would you like to see me write about? What sorts of blogs are you following these days? Leave a comment below to get the conversation started!
See you next week! You stay safe and have a great day!
Carson A, Paynter M, Norman WV, et al. Optimizing the Nursing Role in Abortion Care: Considerations for Health Equity. Nurs Leadersh (Tor Ont). 2022;35(1):54-68. doi:10.12927/cjnl.2022.26750
Mainey, L, O’Mullan, C, Reid-Searl, K, Taylor, A, Baird, K. The role of nurses and midwives in the provision of abortion care: A scoping review. J Clin Nurs. 2020; 29: 1513– 1526. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15218
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