As a nurse practitioner, training to provide more services and procedures gives your career a major boost. Not only do these abilities serve your patients well, they also make you a more marketable provider and provide value in the workplace. In my own nurse practitioner career, I have enjoyed furthering my clinical and procedural skills as this also keeps me relevant, challenged and up to date with the latest in evidence-based practice. 

One service many nurse practitioners are well positioned to provide is long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). These methods of birth control include injections, IUDs and subdermal contraceptive implants. For the purposes of our post today, we’ll focus on subdermal contraceptive implants. 

Nexplanon is the subdermal contraceptive implant on the market in the U.S. The implant is placed in the upper arm and is relatively simple for nurse practitioners to learn to insert. Essentially, the process involves marking the appropriate insertion site, locally anesthetizing the area with lidocaine, puncturing the skin with the Nexplanon applicator needle and inserting the rod-like device using the applicator. 

Although the process of Nexplanon insertion is simple, nurse practitioners should receive training before offering this form of contraception. There are two paths to training to administer subdermal contraceptive implants: 

  1. In-person training: Merck, the manufacturer of Nexplanon, offers a 3-hour hands-on workshop for providers looking to administer subdermal contraception. You can visit the Nexplanon training website to get more information about in-person courses near you. 
  2. Web-based training: Merck also offers a web-based training program. If in-person sessions are not an option in your area, you can take advantage of this remote course. It is advisable to have in-person exposure to LARC insertion before attempting the procedure on your own as an NP. This ensures that you’re in compliance with scope of practice regulations in your state.  

LARC insertion is within nurse practitioners’ scope of practice and can be a valuable addition to your NP career helping you provide a wider array of services for your patients. 

Are you a nurse practitioner trained in subdermal contraceptive insertion? How did you train?


You Might Also Like: 5 Fantastic Resources for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners 


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