The experience of fertility nursing within the New Zealand context
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Personal experience of working as a fertility nurse has brought an awareness that the complexity of this work brings challenges that are significantly different from those experienced by nurses in other clinical settings. While much has been documented in the literature on the advances in reproductive technologies, little has been published internationally on the nature of nursing in the fertility field. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate nurses’ experiences of working in fertility clinics in New Zealand. Phenomenology, a descriptive research methodology which focuses on people’s experiences, was selected. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit four nurses working in fertility clinics in the North Island of New Zealand. Data comprised taped in-depth conversational interviews. The data analysis, which was undertaken following van Manen’s (1990) methodological steps, revealed that the experience of being a fertility nurse is one of: realizing that fertility nursing is a different kind of nursing, living care as worry and living with one’s own emotions. There are a number of individuals or groups who may benefit from the study findings. Registered nurses who aspire to be fertility nurses will benefit from the insights shared by nurses currently working in fertility clinics. Fertility nurses themselves may also gain new understandings of practices they take-for-granted.