20 Outstanding Professors of Women’s Health Nursing

Top WHNP professor

From the intricacies of the female reproductive cycle, to the physical stresses of pregnancy, childbirth and the menopausal process, women’s health nursing requires in-depth specified knowledge of a large scope, across the patient lifespan.

The women’s health nursing professors on this list are not only teaching and helping to prepare a new generation of healthcare providers, they are conducting research and shaping policy to help increase birthrates and save lives. Here are 20 women’s health nursing professors influencing the WHNP specialization for the better.

Diane T. Pace PhD, FNP-BC, NCMP, CCD, FAANP University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis, TN

Dr. Pace is Associate Professor and Director of the DNP Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing. In 2012, she served as the first NP to be the President of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). She was co-editor of a women’s health publication through the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (2010), and in addition was awarded the 2013 AANP Nurse Practitioner State Excellence Award for Tennessee.

Marilyn S. Sommers PhD, RN, FAAN University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Sommers is the Distinguished Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing as well as the Director for the Center of Global Women’s Health at UPENN. She also acts as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science. She is an internationally recognized authority on women’s and family health, and her research earned her the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society Excellence in Research Award in 2013.

Mary K. Guidera CNM, MSN, FACNM University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Guidera is a professor, nurse, and certified nurse-midwife. As the Chairperson for the Professional Liability portion of the ACNM, she assists in litigation regarding adverse midwife outcomes. She has trained midwives around the world, including in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Her unique and creative teaching style has earned her the Excellence in Teaching Award from the ACNM twice (2009, 2014).

Dr. Ginger Breedlove

Ginger Breedlove PhD, CNM, APRN, FACNM Shenandoah University Winchester, VA

Dr. Breedlove is one of the foremost certified nurse-midwives teaching at the university level. She has been published in Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, the Journal of Perinatal Education, and the Western Journal of Nursing Research. She co-authored The Community Based Doula: Supporting Families Before, During and After Birth and has been interviewed by Oprah and Prevention magazines. She is currently serving as the President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

Ivy M. Alexander PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAAN University of Connecticut Storrs, CO

Dr. Alexander is a professor of Women’s Health Nursing at UConn, specializing in Menopause and Osteoporosis. Her experience in these areas have made her a vital member of the Pfizer Menopause Care Collaborative, the Physician Advisory Group, and the Women’s Health Advisory Council for the National Women’s Health Resource Center. She currently serves as the Chair of Research for the NPWH.

Jamille K. Nagtalon-Ramos MSN, CRNP, WHNP-BC, IBCLC University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Professor Nagtalon-Ramos currently serves as the Associate Director of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Well Women Health Care and Fetal Evaluation, amongst other courses. A native of Manila, Phillipines, her observations and experiences with cultural impacts on childbearing women have made her a sought after speaker, and she lectures, nationally and internationally, on Cultural Practices in Obstetrics, Postpartum Contraceptive Counseling, Postpartum Complications, and Advance Practice Nursing Professional Issues. She was on the task force for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and the AWHONN/NPWH task force to revise the Women’s Health Guidelines for Practice and Education. Professor Nagtalon-Ramos also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the NPWH, and as the Secretary of the Executive Board.

Dr. Beth Kelsey

Beth Kelsey EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC Ball State University Muncie, IN

Dr. Kelsey is Director of the DNP Program at BSU. She teaches Advanced Practice Role in the NP Program and Leadership and Health Policy in the DNP Program. In addition she guides DNP students in their capstone projects. She has presented and published on a variety of women’s health topics and is Co-Editor of the WHNP Certification Review Guide. Dr. Kelsey serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) and is Editor-in-Chief of the official journal of NPWH, Women’s Healthcare: A Clinical Journal for NPs.

Susan E. Hoffstetter PhD, WHNP-BC, FAANP St. Louis University St. Louis, MO

Dr. Hoffstetter is a professor of Urogynecology and Vaginal Disordes at SLU. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Hoffstetter is a reviewer for the Journal of Urology and the Chair of Board of Directors for the NPWH. In 2010, she won the St. Louis Magazine Excellence in Nursing Award with a perfect score from the evaluation team and earned the NPWH Women’s Health Research Award in 2009.

Susan Groth

Susan W. Groth PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAANP University of Rochester Rochester, NY

Dr. Groth’s research is some of the most ground-breaking in the Women’s Health Nursing field. Her study entitled, “The Dietary Choices of Low-Income, Pregnant African-American Women,” serves as a litmus for understanding dietary issues among this population. The paper earned her the AWHONN “Saving Babies” research award (2013). In addition, she is a sought-after presenter at conventions such as the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

Audrey Lyndon PhD, RN, FAAN University of California – San Francisco San Francisco, CA

Dr. Lyndon teaches graduate level courses on research and nursing science philosophy at UCSF. Her research focuses on safety during and after childbirth, especially as it is enhanced by better communication between providers and mothers. This research has brought her national fame, earning her the AWHONN Award for Distinguished Professional Service (2013) and the Award of Excellence in Research (2011).

Sandra K. Cesario PhD, RNC, FAAN Texas Woman’s University

Dr. Cesario is the Coordinator for PhD and DNP programs students in addition to teaching courses such as Multicultural Nursing and Global Women’s Health at TWU. She has received the AWHONN Distinguished Professional Service Award (2012), Excellence in Writing Awards (2011), and the Award of Excellence in Education (2004). Cesario has also served on the Supreme Council of Universities for Egypt (2004-2007). Cesario’s reserach focuses on gynecologic cancer, violence against women, nursing education, and cultural impacts on childbearing and birth.

Dianne Morrison-Beedy PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN University of South Florida Tampa, FL

Dr. Morrison-Beedy is a professor of Women’s Health in addition to being the Dean of the College of Nursing at USF. Her research, which focuses on HIV prevention for young women, is highly lauded and has earned her the Nursing Research Award from the Florida Nurses Association (2011). She also won the national Excellence in Research Award from AWHONN in 2010.

Aimee Holland DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC, NP-C, RD University of Alabama – Birmingham Birmingham, AL

Dr. Holland is the Director of Graduate Clinical Program Progression as well as the Chair of the Faculty Organization for the UAB School of Nursing for the 2015-2016 academic year. She is on the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) Board of Directors, where she also serves as both Chair of the Research Committee and LACE representative. Dr. Holland received the Award of Excellence in Community Service from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN) in 2014, and has a faculty practice as a nurse practitioner at the UAB Student Health & Wellness Clinic.

Emily Drake PhD, RN, CNL, FAAN University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

Dr. Drake research focuses on postpartum depression, high-risk pregnancy, and maternal responsiveness, earned her the Susan Hickman Research Award from Postpartum Support International (2009). She has also been published numerous times in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN) and is the Perinatal Editorial Board for the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing (JPNN). In 2013, she received the AWHONN’s Award of Excellence in Education for her “creative teaching and mentorship.”

Kathryn Lee RN, PhD, FAAN University of California – San Francisco San Francisco, CA

Dr. Lee teaches in the areas of sleep, fatigue, and circadian rhythms and is the Associate Dean of Research in the School of Nursing at UCSF. Her research, which explores the connection between women’s sleep habits and reproductive issues, earned her the AWHONN Award of Excellence in Research Award (2014). Lee was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau Researcher Hall of Fame in 2013. She currently acts as the Associate Editor for Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

Genae Strong

Genae Strong PhD, CNM, RNC-OB, IBCLC University of Memphis Memphis, TN

Dr. Strong is an associate professor at the University of Memphis, Loewenberg School of Nursing with 24+ years of experience supporting breastfeeding women through teaching, research, and service. Dr. Strong is an international speaker as well as author in the field of lactation. Dr. Strong maintains a program of funded (ILCA 2012 Research Grant, & University of Memphis 2012 Faculty Research Grant) research focused on barriers that health care providers face assisting new breastfeeding moms. Focusing on breastfeeding education for pre-licensure nursing students, Dr. Strong is creating an innovative curriculum to address well-known inadequacies among pre-licensure nursing students known to hinder development and delivery of competent nursing care. Serving both the Memphis Area Lactation Consultant Association (MALCA) as president and the Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition (SCBC) as Academic Chair, Dr. Strong exhibits a “strong” passion for improving maternal and infant health outcomes. Dr. Strong received the 2015 Award of Excellence in Education from AWHONN and was recently elected to the USLCA Board of Directors for Professional Development.

Catherine H. Ivory PhD, RNC-OB, MSN Vanderbilt University Nashville , TN

Dr. Ivory is a leader in the women’s health nursing community, both on-campus and off-campus. She served as the President of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) in 2014 and is active in the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), and the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Ivory is also the Past President for AWHONN (2014) and currently acts on the Development and Board Selection Committees.

Ashley Hodges PhD, CRNP, WHNP-BC University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL

Dr. Hodges is a teacher of maternal child nursing, administration and education at the UAB in addition to myriad leadership roles in the women’s health community. She is on the Board of Directors for the Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) specializing in Nursing Education and Curriculum Development. She also serves on the Advisory Panel for Workplace Violence and Incivility for the American Nurses Association (ANA).

Nancy K. Lowe PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN University of Colorado Denver, CO

Dr. Lowe is a certified nurse-midwife, which gives her students a unique perspective on childbearing and gynecological issues. She is a Fellow of the AAN and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), as well as the Editor-in-Chief of JOGNN. Lowe is also a noted researcher, earning the Outstanding Research Presentation from the ACNM twice (2005, 2007) and the Irwin Chabon Award for Research and Education from Lamaze International (2002).

Marilyn Stringer PhD, CRNP, RDMS, FAAN University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Stringer is a professor of Women’s Nursing Health at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and clinical practice have earned her national recognition as well as the AWHONN’s Award of Excellence in Education, the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year Award, and the Global Partner Award from Mahidol University in Thailand. In addition to her accolades, she is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN).


When considering which professors of women’s health nursing to include in this list, we sought out and ultimately included professors who:

  • Are actively teaching: All of these professors are actively teaching or mentoring students at an accredited college of nursing.
  • Are published: Many of these professors have had research published in online or print professional journals.
  • Provide thought leadership: Professors on this list are active or past leaders in the women’s health nursing community.
  • Are actively involved: Although not detailed in every professor description, most professors on this list are active members of women’s health nursing organizations, and many attend conferences, deliver presentations, and contribute to industry publications.

Barry Franklin

Barry Franklin


Barry is the Editor in Chief of NPS, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures, which he co-owns. When not managing content, Barry sits on the board of a K-8 school, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, children, and dogs.

Related Programs

Related Posts

Josephine Ensign

NPs to Admire: 10 Role Models Improving the Lives of Vulnerable Populations

26 September 2018

Nurse practitioners play an important role in healthcare. These licensed clinicians have furthered their education and skills to provide specialized care to their patients. Some nurse practitioners have a particular interest in working with vulnerable populations and have gone above and beyond to serve these groups.

Christopher Hemmer

Missouri Nurse Practitioners: The Fight for Full Practice Authority

22 August 2018

Nurse practitioners such as Dr. Hemmer are justifiably frustrated with the practice conditions within Missouri. It’s no surprise that many NPs finishing their studies choose to practice in other states where it’s easier (and more lucrative) to go into business as a relatively independent healthcare provider.

medical-students-listening-sitting-at-desk-picture-id532548555 (1)

50 Top Nurse Practitioner Professors

14 May 2018

In the coming years, a greater number of experienced and educated NPs will be necessary to meet rising demand for healthcare services. These future NPs have the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest minds in the industry to help them succeed in their future careers.

Latest Posts

Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs 2021

Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs 2021

August 3, 2021   |   NursePractitionerSchools.com Staff

Ever thought of becoming a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner? Here's a list of online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs for nurses considering this career.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

September 7, 2021   |   NursePractitionerSchools.com Staff

Interested in a nurse practitioner career? Explore this guide to discover the steps to become an NP, including required education and credentials.

Take care of your future.

Find the right program for you and advance your education with an online degree.