CNM vs. WHNP?

Posted

I am not sure if I am posting this in the best possible spot, so I am sorry if I am upsetting anyone by posting in this location. I am an accelerated BSN student and I am trying to make a decision for grad school. I am stuck between midwifery or Women's Health. Unfortunately, no school in my state offers a Women's Health specialty. When I look at schools that offer both midwifery and WH I see that pretty much 98% of the classes are the same. My question to you is... if you are a CNM are you pretty much able to perform everything a WHNP can? If not, what can a WHNP do that a CNM is not qualified to perform? Thanks!

NurseCCNY

Specializes in Peds. Has 3 years experience.

Seems as though you and I are in the same boat. I am currently seeking dual degree BSN/MS programs at the moment. I live in NY so there are alot of programs in the area that offer both CNM and WH programs. My current and simpliest understanding is that NM can deliver and assist laboring women; the NP does not. WHNP usually work in a variety of clinical settings. If you are unsure which to persue, do both. Some programs allow you to obtain a masters in one clinical specialty and after completion you can obtain a post grad certification in the the other specialty. Stony Brook University offers both programs (online) in where you can achieve both.

SwampCat, BSN

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 3 years experience.

Nice to see others on this path! I know that Frontier School of Midwifery you can graduate with both CNM & WHNP. I'm probably going to go more of the WHNP route because of the cost of insurance for CNMs but I'm concerned there isn't going to be much of a demand for it.

Here's a few threads:

https://allnurses.com/certified-nurse-midwives/cnm-vs-whnp-127984.html

https://allnurses.com/certified-nurse-midwives/differences-b-t-201069.html

https://allnurses.com/ob-gyn-nursing/certified-nurse-midwife-407054.html

ETA this blog post that has lots of info in the comments section:

http://the-midlife-midwife.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-become-nurse-midwife.html

Edited by SwampCat
found something else helpful

Thank you for the replies. Everything I have read has talked about how CNMs have the additional benefit of being able to assist in delivery. While I totally understand this I am hoping to find out specifically if there is anything that a WHNP can do that you cannot do with just a CNM.

The reason this is important to me is because at the University of Florida we have a midwifery program and so if as a CNM I am able to do everything a WHNP can do plus some then it does not benefit me to sell my house and pay out of state tuition just to have the WHNP if there is no added benefit. So I am trying to figure out what I would be missing out on as a CNM if I choose to stay in state.

I just think there has to be a reason why people go back to school for two extra semesters solely to add WHNP education to their CNM education, I just cannot figure out why!

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Yes, a CNM can do anything that a WHNP can do, but also manage labor/delivery.

Frontier is actually getting rid of their WHNP degree next year, because it's kind of redundant.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

probably going to go more of the WHNP route because of the cost of insurance for CNMs

If you work for a clinic or a practice, they generally pay your Liability Insurance for you as a group thing.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I am hoping to find out specifically if there is anything that a WHNP can do that you cannot do with just a CNM.

No, nothing. Everything a WHNP can do, a CNM can do as well. A CNM's scope is greater than a WHNP.

does a WHNP fall under the realm of being an FNP or something like that, i.e. they can treat more cases that aren't related specifically to GYN/well-woman care (i.e. you can see a WHNP for a cold or a pap smear)? it sounds kind of silly out loud but it just popped into my head - i had never thought of that until now. otherwise i'd always just thought WHNPs studied similar to CNMs but didn't deliver babies.

does a WHNP fall under the realm of being an FNP or something like that, i.e. they can treat more cases that aren't related specifically to GYN/well-woman care (i.e. you can see a WHNP for a cold or a pap smear)? it sounds kind of silly out loud but it just popped into my head - i had never thought of that until now. otherwise i'd always just thought WHNPs studied similar to CNMs but didn't deliver babies.

Technically CNMs can provide primary care to women per Medicare Regulations (which trickles down to private insurers as well). I assume it's the same for WHNP. Primary care is part of the curriculum and I am sure that my WHNP classmates were in those classes with me. If you look at the ACNM website it outlines the specifics of the scope of practice of CNMs. I would imagine that info is available on the NCC website for WHNPs.

Where I live (city of 500000 +) there are only two CNMs providing services, me and one other. I "get" to do births altough it is a courtesy to me and my patients and I don't get paid for it and it isn't part of my job description. It would have been a lot easier in this area to find a job as a WHNP (there are 10+ of them that I know of). I moved here after grad school for my husband's job and it was quite a disappointment. I was fortunate enough to get a job as an RN and they later created a CNM position for me. So that's one benefit of WHNP over CNM, the political climate where you live.

The insurance for doing deliveries is more expensive but you have to consider that a CNM in a job not doing deliveries will pay the same as a WHNP not doing deliveries...

Thank you for all of the information. I still feel a little confused, but it seems like I can pretty much practice as a WHNP but have a midwifery degree since that is what is available in florida. Thank you again, everyone!

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

If you have a CNM degree, you'd be practicing as a CNM, not a WHNP.

I worded that poorly. I meant that I could get my CNM and choose to practice in a similar capacity as a WHNP since they can do all the same things (with the added benefit of being able to assist in deliveries as a CNM) - as I am most interested in gynecological care and postpartum care but only have access to midwifery programs in florida.