Online women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) programs prepare highly trained nurses for advanced practice roles to care for women throughout their lifespan. WHNPs specialize in the unique healthcare needs of female patients, including mammograms, pregnancy care, and menopausal issues. Most WHNPs work in private group practices or physicians’ offices. The top focus areas consist of obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) and primary care.
According to PayScale, the average annual base salary for WHNPs is $92,300. The addition of bonus pay increases salaries for OB/GYN WHNPs to nearly $100,000 and primary care WHNPs to almost $104,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for nurse practitioners (NPs) to grow by 45% from 2019-29 — a much faster rate than the average for all occupations.
Women’s health NP programs take 2-4 years to complete. Distance learners engage with asynchronous coursework that they can access anytime or synchronous online classes at set times, along with in-person clinical training.
Applying to an Online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program
Women’s health nurse practitioner programs culminate with a master of science in nursing or a doctor of nursing practice. Coursework covers advanced clinical assessment, breast health, pathophysiology and pharmacology, and sexual health. Graduates qualify for state licensure as advanced practice registered nurses and national certification.
WHNP programs typically admit applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. Some schools offer admission to individuals with an associate degree in nursing or a more advanced degree in another field. Many schools require candidates to hold an RN license and may also require or prefer clinical nursing experience.
Other common requirements include a 3.0 minimum GPA, goal statements, reference letters, resumes, and interviews. Candidates may also need to complete prerequisite coursework in statistics and the sciences.
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What Is the Difference Between a WHNP and a Certified Nurse Midwife?
WHNPs and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) provide services in gynecology, preventative care, and reproductive health. However, CNMs focus on pregnancy, labor and childbirth, and postnatal care. CNMs also receive specific training and hold the legal authority to deliver babies, which WHNPs cannot do without obtaining a CNM certificate.
What Is Accreditation and Why Is it Important?
Online WHNP programs often require a degree from a regionally accredited college or university, indicating high academic quality. The two primary organizations that accredit NP programs are the Comission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Comission for Education in Nursing.
Where Do Women's Health Nurse Practitioners Work?
Most WHNPs find employment in private practice, either in a group of healthcare practitioners or in physicians’ offices. They also work in hospitals, OB/GYN clinics, and prenatal clinics. Other potential workplaces include community clinics, reproductive healthcare agencies, student healthcare centers, and women’s prisons. WHNPs with doctorates may become administrators, educators, or researchers.
What Can I Do as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner?
Depending on the state, WHNPs practice independently or under the supervision of a physician. Typical services include gynecological care, prenatal and postpartum care, sexual health advice, administering mammograms and pap smears, and prescribing medication and contraception. WHNPs also collaborate with teams of practitioners and assist physicians with surgeries and procedures.
Best Online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Programs (WHNP)
Georgetown's women's health nurse practitioner MS program comprises asynchronous coursework, synchronous class sessions, and in-person objective clinical intensives. Students must complete 44 credits in total, including 783 hours of clinical experience and two in-person objective clinical intensives. Learners can typically complete required coursework in 23 months.
Prospective students must hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, active RN licensure, a bachelor of science in nursing, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Application documents include a professional resume, sealed official academic transcripts, a personal statement, a live recorded interview, and three letters of recommendation.
The online women's health nurse practitioner program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduates of the program boast a 100% WHNP-BC exam pass rate over the previous two years.
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The hybrid master of science in women's health and gender-related nurse practitioner program consists of 55 credits. Coursework entails core courses, support courses, and clinical concentration courses. The program utilizes four 10-week quarters per year and emphasizes reproductive and gynecologic health needs.
On-campus requirements include three-day simulation experiences in the summer, fall, and spring. Students use the College of Nursing and Health Professions' state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary patient simulation lab while fulfilling in-person requirements. Students can find their own clinical site and preceptor to satisfy clinical requirements.
The master's degree in nursing at Drexel University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Admission requirements include an active RN license, a bachelor of science in nursing degree with minimum 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, two professional letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume.
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Frontier Nursing University
The remote master of science in women's healthcare nurse practitioner program at FNU combines online coursework with in-person clinicals and two brief campus visits. Learners complete their clinicals in their home communities.
The curriculum comprises 58 total credits broken into 21 core credits, 22 WHCNP credits, and 15 clinical credits (675 clinical hours over a minimum of 16 weeks). The program concludes with a women's health comprehensive exam and certification exam review.
Coursework highlights include gynecologic health, primary care of women, the role of the nurse practitioner, and antepartum complications and comprehensive postpartum care. Students can participate in the companion doctor in nurse practitioner program in conjunction with master of science studies. To do this, learners must follow a four- or five-term program of study.
Admission criteria include an active RN license, a bachelor's degree or higher, one year of registered nursing experience, official transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA in the most recent earned degree, and completion of a physical assessment course prerequisite.
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