Question from a NICU nurse about WHNP

Specialties CNM


Hi everyone,

I'm a NICU RN that is going to school for my Neonatal NP degree. Over the past semester, I've absolutely loved the shadowing that I've gotten to do with midwives and WHNPs in an Antepartum clinic. Don't get me wrong, NICU is my first love, but I've been starting to ponder down the road in a few years getting a post-masters in WHNP to work in a clinic when I don't want to work holidays and nights anymore...

So my question is if there is any advantage to just doing WHNP vs CNM in regards to length of program or insurance liabilities? I wouldn't ever want to attend deliveries as a CNM, because that would defeat the purpose of me not wanting to work holidays/nights since I'll be doing that as a NNP. I would want to just work in an Antepartum clinic and see that population.

Thoughts? Is there less of a liability hiring a WHNP? Do Antepartum clinics routinely hire them or do they prefer CNMs?


288 Posts

Specializes in OB.

My advice would be to do a little searching in your geographical area to see if there is a demand for WHNPs. They definitely have less liability than CNMs, since they don't deliver. I am a CNM, but would prefer at this point to practice more as a WHNP, due to the hours, as you mentioned, but in my area, there just are no jobs. :( Good Luck!

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife.

I work with WHNPs and CNMs. The CNMs see far more ob patients in clinic and the WHNPs see more gyn patients - though there is some crossover. Depending on the state where you live, there may be a difference in your scope of practice and prescriptive authority depending on whether you are licensed as an NP or CNM.

Our clinic would love to have more WHNPs doing OB care - we have a lot of OB patients! Also, there are a few CNMs who've gone to clinic only schedules. I think you'd need to talk to others in your area to see what the demand is.

babyNP., APRN

1,921 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Thanks for your insight, everyone : )


91 Posts

Specializes in OR.

Mommy2boysaz: Where in Ohio are you practicing?

I agree that it really depends on where you are located. But I have noticed a lot more "office only" CNM positions lately (nationally). There are practices that are following patient demand for midwifery care. So, they are hiring CNMs. This also make doctors more available to do surgeries ($$$) and see high risk ($$) patients while the midwives take care of the low-risk patients.

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