A women’s health nurse practitioner diagnosis and treats a variety of health problems that are either specific to women or more common.
Depending on employer and state regulations, these nurses may have the following duties:
- Diagnosing, treating, and helping patients manage both acute and chronic illnesses
- Conducting physical exams
- Performing minor procedures and surgeries
- Providing family planning services and prenatal care
- Ordering or performing diagnostic tests
- Prescribing physical and occupational therapy
- Prescribing medication
Clinical specialties for women’s health nurse practitioners include primary care, OB/GYN, fertility care, and urogynecology.
These nurses work in several medical settings, including community health clinics, nursing homes, primary care clinics, school and college health clinics, physicians’ offices, and hospitals.
It takes several years to become a women’s health nurse practitioner, and the first step is earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. After graduation, it’s necessary to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and gain clinical experience before applying to a master’s degree program.
Students in a women’s health nurse practitioner program may take courses such as:
- Maternal, Fetal, and Newborn Physiology
- Comprehensive Women’s Health
- Assessing Clinical Evidence
- Pharmacology for Nurse Practitioners
- Policy and Practice of Advanced Nursing
- Pelvic Assessment of Women
- Primary Care of Women
- Pregnancy and Prenatal Care
- Fertility and Family Planning
- Breast Health and Cancer Screening
- Nutrition and Mental Health
All one needs is a master’s to enter the nurse practitioner field, however, there is a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree option. Students in these programs usually complete a clinical residency and take courses such as Healthcare Leadership, Nursing Research, Pharmacotherapeutics, Practical Health Policy, Advanced Women’s Health Practice, Epidemiology, Legal and Ethical Studies in Healthcare, Medical Informatics and Technology, Human Resources and Staffing, and Financial Management.
Schools that Offer Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Programs
Some of the schools that offer women’s health nurse practitioner programs are:
- Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
- Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
- Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- San Diego State University, San Diego, California
- Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee
- Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey
- University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
- Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, Connecticut
- University of Texas at Austin, Austin Texas
- California State University, Fullerton, California
- Columbia University, New York, New York
- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
- Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Shreveport, Louisiana
- MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston Massachusetts
- University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
- University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
Nurse Practitioner License
Nurse practitioners are required to become licensed by the State Board of Nursing in the state they wish to practice.
The National Certification Corporation (NCC) administers the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Certification exam. Eligibility requirements include a current RN license and completion of a master’s or doctorate program. Upon passing nurses can add the credential WHNP-BC after their name.
Job Outlook and Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners in general are likely to see a thirty-four percent job growth until 2022. As for salary, PayScale.com reports that in June 2015, most women’s health nurse practitioners earned a salary ranging from $65,422 to $103,407.
- What were your responsibilities in your last position?
- Why do you want to be a women’s health nurse practitioner?
- Who has impacted you most in your career?
- What major challenges did you face working as a registered nurse?
- What kind of personality do you work best with?
- What are your strong points?
- What five words describe your character?
To learn more about becoming a women’s health nurse practitioner, please don’t hesitate to contact us.