10 Best Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Programs in 2023

Are you interested in pursuing the rewarding career of a women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP)? Read more about the job description, salary expectations, and best programs available. Articles Programs

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Women's Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNPs) are crucial in providing comprehensive healthcare to women throughout their lifespans, focusing on reproductive and gynecological health. They are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who undergo specialized training to deliver patient-centered care, promote health and well-being, and address the unique needs of women.

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a WHNP, read more about the best programs available in 2023.

Best WHNP Programs

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools, with the addition of graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing – Philadelphia, PA

The Women's Health/Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing prepares students to deliver primary and preventive care to women across the lifespan. The program emphasizes reproductive health, family planning, health promotion, and disease prevention.

2. Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing - Atlanta, GA

Emory University offers a WHNP program that focuses on comprehensive care for women. Students gain expertise in reproductive health, primary care, disease prevention, and health promotion. The program combines didactic coursework with clinical experiences.

3. Columbia University School of Nursing – New York, NY

The WHNP program at Columbia University School of Nursing prepares students to provide holistic care to women across the lifespan. The program emphasizes reproductive health, gynecological care, family planning, and health maintenance.

4. University of Washington School of Nursing – Seattle, WA

The WHNP program at the University of Washington School of Nursing is a DNP focusing on providing care to families during the childbearing continuum: preconception through prenatal and birth processes and into the postpartum and early infancy periods. The program is offered as full-time study only.

5. Yale School of Nursing – New Haven, CT

The WHNP program at Yale School of Nursing offers clinical practice experiences across various outpatient systems, from community health centers to public and private offices. After graduation, students can sit for board certification as a WHNP, with the program boasting a 100% pass rate.

6. Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies – Washington, D.C.

Georgetown University offers a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program that prepares students to provide primary and specialized care to women by developing their skills in prenatal and postpartum care, general wellness, reproductive healthcare, and more.

7. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing – Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing offers a WHNP program that prepares students to provide comprehensive care to women across the lifespan. Their curriculum uses classroom settings, simulated experiences, and clinical training to develop deep primary care knowledge and clinical reasoning skills.

8. University of Colorado College of Nursing – Aurora, CO

The WHNP program at the UC prepares the next generation of nurses to lead and provide care to women as primary practitioners. Their goal is to provide teaching excellence in the classroom, clinical sites, and provide leadership, including inter-professional collaboration.

9. SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University - Brooklyn, NY

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, NY, offers student's a WHNP MSN program that requires 44 credits to complete. Students will gain the advanced theoretical knowledge, clinical judgment, and diagnostic skills needed to become specialists in the field.

10. Case Western Researve University - Cleveland, OH

The WHNP program at Case Western Reserve University requires 38 credit hours of coursework plus 600 hours of clinical. The School of Nursing is a globally recognized leader in nursing education and research and focuses on leadership and management.

WHNP Job Description

A WHNP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who specializes in providing healthcare to women across their lifespan, with a focus on reproductive and gynecological health. WHNPs are trained to deliver comprehensive care, including health promotion, disease prevention, and management of common health issues specific to women.

WHNPs play a vital role in promoting women's health and well-being by providing patient-centered care, empowering women to make informed decisions about their health, and advocating for comprehensive healthcare services that address the unique needs of women throughout their lives.

Related: Best Master of Science (MSN) Programs


Common responsibilities of WHNP include:

  • Conducting Assessments: WHNPs perform comprehensive health assessments for women of all ages, including physical examinations, obtaining medical histories, and assessing reproductive and gynecological health.
  • Providing Reproductive Health Care: WHNPs offer reproductive health services such as contraceptive counseling, prescribing and managing birth control options, family planning, preconception counseling, and fertility evaluations.
  • Managing Gynecological Conditions: WHNPs diagnose and manage various gynecological conditions, including menstrual disorders, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), vaginal infections, and common gynecological complaints.
  • Performing Gynecological Procedures: WHNPs may perform or assist in gynecological procedures such as Pap smears, colposcopies, endometrial biopsies, and insertion/removal of intrauterine devices (IUDs).
  • Providing Prenatal and Postpartum Care: WHNPs offer prenatal care, monitor fetal development, conduct routine prenatal tests, and provide guidance and support throughout pregnancy. They also provide postpartum care and assist with postpartum recovery and newborn care.
  • Managing Menopausal Health: WHNPs assist women during perimenopause and menopause by providing counseling, managing symptoms, discussing hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and addressing women's overall well-being during this transition.
  • Health Promotion and Education: WHNPs promote women's health by providing education on topics such as breast health, sexual health, preventive screenings, healthy lifestyle choices, and self-care practices.
  • Collaborating and Referring: WHNPs collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as obstetricians/gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, and primary care providers. They refer patients to specialists when necessary for further evaluation or treatment.
  • Advocacy and Counseling: WHNPs advocate for women's healthcare needs, empower patients to make informed decisions about their health, and provide counseling on sensitive topics such as reproductive choices, sexuality, and mental health.
  • Conducting Research and Promoting Evidence-Based Practice: WHNPs may engage in research activities, contribute to evidence-based practice, and participate in scholarly initiatives to advance the field of women's health.

It's important to note that the specific responsibilities of WHNPs may vary depending on the state's nurse practice act, the collaborating physician's scope of practice, and the healthcare setting in which they work.

WHNP Salary Expectations

The salary of a WHNP can vary widely depending on factors such as geographical location, years of experience, type of practice setting, and level of education and certification.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for NPs as of May 2022 was $124,680 or $59.94 hourly.

The top-paying states were:

  • California: $158.130
  • New Jersey: $143,250
  • Massachusetts: $138,700
  • Oregon: $136,250
  • Nevada: $136,230

Unfortunately, the BLS does not specify between different types of NP specialties. However, ZipRecruiter reports that the national average salary for WHNPs is $114,532.


What is the educational path to becoming a WHNP?

The educational path typically involves completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, obtaining a Registered Nurse (RN) license, gaining clinical experience as an RN, and then pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a specialization in Women's Health. Post-master's certificate programs are also available for advanced nursing students.

Is certification required to practice as a WHNP?

While certification is not mandatory in all states, obtaining national certification as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner is highly recommended and often required by employers. Certification is available through organizations such as the National Certification Corporation (NCC) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

What is the job outlook for WHNPs?

The job outlook for WHNPs is generally favorable, as there is a growing demand for healthcare providers specializing in women's health. Factors such as an aging population, increased emphasis on preventive care, and the need for comprehensive women's healthcare contribute to the demand for WHNPs.

Editorial Team / Admin

Julia Liou has 3 years experience as a RN and specializes in Postpartum/Public Health.

10 Articles   46 Posts

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