What Are the Requirements to Be a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner?

Registered nurses wishing to advance their career or specialize in the treatment of women may consider a career as a women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP). Read on to learn about the training required to enter this career field. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Formal Education

Women's health nurse practitioners are first trained as registered nurses (RNs). Graduates of nursing programs wishing to pursue this career path typically enroll in advanced degree programs. These programs equip students with expertise in areas of general health, gynecology, obstetrics, clinical therapeutics, and disease prevention. Graduate programs for aspiring WHNPs are at least two years long and most often culminate in a Master of Science degree in nursing. Post-master's coursework is also available at a number of institutions for WHNPs who wish to pursue a specialty. Although certificate programs in women's health are available, they do not allow graduates to practice as a WHNP; instead, these nurses must continue on to pursue a master's degree.

Important Facts About This Career

Training Students must complete clinical training as part of the degree curriculum
Licensing Licensure as a registered nurse is required; some states require certification to practice as nurse practitioner
Key Skills Critical thinking, compassion, detail oriented, resourcefulness, interpersonal skills
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree and clinical experience required

Certification

Following completion of a graduate program, nurses must become board-certified by the National Certification Corporation, which results in the WHNP-BC credential. Attaining certification involves passing an exam that covers topics such as gynecology, nursing professional issues, pharmacology and obstetrics.

Other Requirements

This career often requires more than clinical knowledge. Many programs leading to practice as a women's health nurse practitioner emphasize the combination of clinical, social, and emotional aspects of treatment. This is particularly important because the job may require education and intervention in addition to physical treatment. The WHNP also develops a strong grasp of ethical and legal principles. Experts note that a major part of education is also experience, which WHNPs often first gain by working as RNs.

Career Overview

Nurse practitioners can serve as both primary and specialty care givers to patients and families, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), and advanced nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe medications. Most WHNPs specialize in areas such as pre-conception care, prenatal care, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in women, and postpartum care. Other specialties include gynecology and menopause. WHNPs often work in hospitals, physician offices, college health centers, and triage units.

PayScale.com indicated that as recently as June 2019 the majority of women's health nurse practitioners earned a salary between $70,000 and $109,000. According to the BLS, the job outlook (2016-2026) for all nurse practitioners is 36%.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northern Illinois University

    Northern Illinois University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northern Illinois University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Vanderbilt University

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Nashville
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »