Are WHNP's in demand, or would FNP be better?

  1. I have been considering applying to do a WHNP program in the future, however, ASU-my local university, just eliminated the program. They are harder to find now and was wondering if they are in demand or if it is not worth pursuing? This is where my interest lies, however, others in my department are going for FNP instead and specializing in women's health. The FNP that I see regularly recommended I do the same. I have only worked OB and was not sure if this would be looked down on, even though there are programs that require no experience whatsoever. Just wanted opinions from other WHNP's and/or FNP's as to their thoughts. I am almost finished with my BSN and probably will not do anything more for at least a year or two. Thank you!!
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Brylyn
    I would check the want ads in your area to see if there are many WHNP jobs. I have an 18 year background in Women's Health, but chose the FNP program because I wanted flexibilty. There are WHNP jobs in my area, but very few. FNP offers you many more options. current faculty has her WHNP certification and is in school completing her FNP because of the increased flexibility of the FNP. Good luck with your decision!
  4. by   Jory
    I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would chime in.

    I asked this same question to a WHNP and here is the advice she gave me: Job postings are all about internet tags and if an employer wants a job filled, they use a title/description that will get as many hits as possible, as this is how most people look for jobs now.

    She said that anything that is women's health related...OB/GYN clinic, or would primarily serve mostly women...if you are a WHNP, go ahead and apply even though it's an FNP job that is advertised.

    She said that most places that are in women's health will still always hire the WHNP over the FNP, but will often advertise for an FNP due to the fact WHNP's are difficult to find.

    Something to ponder.
  5. by   serenity1
    Thanks Jory

    I have decided to go for WHNP. I also spoke with several fnp's in my area and they told me to go with my passion which is women's health. My own fnp was in women's health and did the fnp. Now she is going for midwifery since she missed women's health. Thank you for your insight.
  6. by   fromtheseaRN
    Quote from serenity1
    Thanks Jory

    I have decided to go for WHNP. I also spoke with several fnp's in my area and they told me to go with my passion which is women's health. My own fnp was in women's health and did the fnp. Now she is going for midwifery since she missed women's health. Thank you for your insight.
    were you able to find a local program? i was sad to see ASU dropped theirs, and was unable to find out online if NAU or UofA offer the specialty.
  7. by   serenity1
    I am applying to University of Cincinnati 100% online. I would apply to Vanderbilt or Frontier, but I cannot make the trips to campus they require. A few NP's in the area have gone through UofC. There are no WHNP programs in Arizona right now. Boo.
  8. by   MystyqueOne
    I've been following this thread recently as I have the same question. I've always highly enjoyed women's health and recently applied to a FNP program, but wondering if I should do just WHNP... On the other hand, I don't want to limit myself since I would like to maybe do pediatrics at some point. But I truly see myself in women's health, especially in a fertility clinic. I just love the miracle of conception and the growing belly. So, with that said, what do you all advise? If I go for FNP, can I still get into women's health or would they prefer a WHNP over FNP?

    Thanks so much.

    P.S. I applied at Frontier, which I'm hoping that they have a bit more emphasis on women's health in their FNP program than other programs.
  9. by   FNPMeg
    MystyqueOne- I agree with the other poster that it depends on your area. I also live in an area where it is really, really hard to get a job as an WHNP. I am a fertility NP and I have my FNP. My background was L/D and IVF when I was an RN. I struggled with the decision to get my WHNP or FNP. I have NEVER regretted getting my FNP. In my fertility clinic, my FNP is valuable because I can see and treat the male patients when our reproductive urologist is in clinic.

    With my FNP, I have also been able to work PRN in a walk-in clinic (where an FNP is required). I got my PRN job to supplement my family's budget. We had some unexpected bills that I wanted to pay off. I make a lot of money in that position. The variety is very nice and l enjoy working with different ages and genders. It is my personal experience that GYN offices are more than willing to hire FNP's especially if you have a Women's Health background as an RN. If you see yourself wanting to do only women's health and your area has jobs, then maybe the WHNP is the way to go, but if you think you want to do anything other than women, I would consider the FNP. You will not be able to do peds with a WHNP. I have 3 friends who have their WHNP and returned for their FNP because there were more opportunities in our area. You have to follow your heart and passion though!!

    Good luck.
  10. by   MystyqueOne
    Thank you so much. It looks like FNP shall be the better route. So then my next question is how would I get into fertility care as an RN so to gain appropriate experience? Every place I've looked requires years of experience. I just graduated a year ago and am working in medical/oncology (definitely not womens health). I'm in Arizona and would absolutely love to work in a clinic, assisting women with their conception and fertility needs. Any ideas how to get my experience now? I currently work at the VA and enjoy it, but unfortunately their womens clinic is not up and running yet. Plus, would that even give me the experience I need?

    Thanks again.
  11. by   firerooster
    MystyqueOne did you get in Frontier Nursing University? And if so did you go for the FNP route instead of WHNP? I got into Frontier university recently with WHNP track. I am already thinking about switching to FNP since it's more versatile. Let me know how it panned out for you!