What Is the Average Salary for a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner?

A women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP) is a registered nurse (RN) trained to provide primary health care to women of all ages. These professionals generally make high wages. Read on to find out how your salary as a WHNP might vary according to your experience level, geographical location and work setting. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to a compensation survey by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the average base salary of nurse practitioners (NPs) who specialized in women's health was $83,480 in May 2011 (www.aanp.org). For comparison, PayScale.com reported that most WHNPs earned an annual salary ranging between $66,519 and $103,881 in September 2015, with the median salary being $79,952. Factors that affected earnings included work experience, work setting and geographical location.

Important Facts About Women's Health Nurse Practitioners

Job Outlook (2014-2024) 35% growth ('for all nurse practitioners')
Key Skills Keen observation, organization, leadership, attention to detail, innovation, social awareness, critical thinking, problem solving, clear spoken and written communication
Work Environment Primarily during traditional work hours, but nights, weekends and holidays may be required
Similar Occupations Physical therapists, physician assistants, physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, audiologists, occupational therapists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Experience

Your salary may increase as you gain work experience. According to Payscale.com, most entry-level WHNPs earned between $64,172 and $95,838 annually in September 2015. That salary range increased to $68,037-$104,532 for those at the mid-career level and to $70,093-$106,719 for experienced WHNPs. Late-career professionals made between $66,365 and $114,005 as of September 2015.

Work Setting

Your salary may also be affected by the setting in which you are employed. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not report earnings specifically for the women's health specialty, it did report average wages for NPs in general by industry. NPs employed by personal care services earned an average wage of $118,080 in May 2014, making this the best paying out of the top five NP employers. Physicians' offices offered an average wage of $96,570, while outpatient care centers offered an average wage of $99,760. In contrast, home health care services and higher education institutions paid lower average wages of $94,610 and $90,990, respectively.

Geographical Location

The BLS reported that California and New York had high NP employment levels in May 2014 and offered average wages of $115,460 and $104,510, respectively. Some states offering the highest average pay in the country included Hawaii ($115,870), Alaska ($115,670), California ($115,460), Oregon ($111,160) and Massachusetts ($107,230). NPs working in Illinois, Wyoming, Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma had average earnings in the lowest salary range of $22,880-$90,490.

Education Requirements

To become a WHNP, you must first earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You'll then need to complete an advanced practice nursing program. These are usually available as master's degrees with a specialization or focus area in women's health. Programs include coursework and clinical practicums in women's primary care, gynecology, obstetrics and differential diagnoses.

Licensing and Certification

Many states grant licenses to nurse practitioners who hold a current RN license and have completed a master's degree program in their specialty area. Other states may license nurses who have completed a national certification program, such as those offered by the National Certification Corporation. To qualify for its WHNP certification, you must be a licensed RN who has completed a graduate program for women's health nurse practitioners. You'll also need to pass a written exam.

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:

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