There is an urgent need to develop new drugs against parasitic nematodes, which are a significant burden on human health and agriculture. Information about the function of essential nematode-specific genes provides insight to key nematode-specific processes that could be targeted with drugs. We have characterized the function of a novel, nematode-specific Caenorhabditis elegans protein, VHA-19, and show that VHA-19 is essential in the germline and, specifically, the oocytes, for the completion of embryogenesis. VHA-19 is also involved in trafficking the oocyte receptor RME-2 to the oocyte plasma membrane and is essential for osmoregulation in the embryo, probably because VHA-19 is required for proper eggshell formation via exocytosis of cortical granules or other essential components of the eggshell. VHA-19 may also have a role in cytokinesis, either directly or as an indirect effect of its role in osmoregulation. Critically, VHA-19 is expressed in the excretory cell in both larvae and adults, suggesting that it may have a role in osmoregulation in C. elegans more generally, probably in trafficking or secretion pathways. This is the first time a role for VHA-19 has been described.