FNP vs. WHNP. How Does One Decide?

  1. I'm in the process of applying to Frontier (among other) to become a nurse practitioner. I need to start the application process but I am completely stuck....I cannot decide on FNP or WHNP.

    My heart is in womens health. I work in it now, it interests me, and I want to work in it as my first choice. However, I have been told until I'm blue in the face, that FNP is a better choice due to the fact that I'm more desirable to hire/more flexible/easier to find a job. The thought of managing an old man's diabetes however, does not interest me in the least. I feel like FNP is just too much to cover and thus I won't master anything, and instead, I will just know a little about each subject.

    Aaaah! Any feedback from nurses who also struggled with WHNP vs. FNP?
  2. Visit beckm097 profile page

    About beckm097

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 9; Likes: 4
    from MN , US

    7 Comments

  3. by   Dodongo
    I think it's important to know your area as well. Where I live, we have a huge women's hospital. And there are multiple OB and Gyn groups associated with it. There are a TON of WHNPs that work for this huge system.

    Honestly, if I were interested in women's health at all, I would do one of the combined WHNP and CNM programs, like Georgetown and UCSF offer.
    Last edit by Dodongo on Jun 22
  4. by   terfernay
    I'm in the same boat as you. I was just accepted into Frontier's program and am trying to decide between WHNP and FNP. My heart is also in women's health but I think like the previous poster mentioned it depends on the job market in your area. If you live in an area that hires WHNPs or are willing to move to an area that does and you have no desire to ever work in a specialty other than women's health go for WHNP. However if you live in an area that doesn't have many opportunities for WHNPs and aren't able to move or if you are at all interested in working outside of women's health someday then do FNP. I applied to the WHNP program but am now having a change of heart since the area I'll be working in is a very rural area and FNPs are hired into about every specialty. Where I'll be living the nearest women's health clinic is 45 mins away and every other women's health clinic would be over an hour so I'd be severely limiting my job prospects if I continued with the WHNP program. I figured if I go the FNP route I could work in family medicine (which I wouldn't mind and there are more family medicine clinics in rural areas) or could also work in women's health if a job ever became available. My plan is to go back to become a CNM if I ever desire to have the full scope of practice from birth to death including deliveries but at this time I don't think I'd want the stress or schedule of catching babies so I'm like 90% sure I'll switch to the FNP track at Frontier. If you do decide to go FNP try to go to a school that has a curriculum that is heavy in women's health like Frontier and you'll feel more prepared to work in women's health. Good luck with your decision!!
  5. by   beckm097
    Thanks you guys. I appreciate the feedback. The area I live in has both WHNP and FNP opportunities but hearing that Frontier has substantial womens health coverage is very comforting. I have heard so many horror stories about FNP programs with a speck of womens health covered. I really hope Frontier does it well! I think I might go with FNP!
  6. by   terfernay
    This is the course description for Frontier's FNP women's health course. Definitely not the same as taking multiple women's health classes like in WHNP but a lot better than what is covered in many FNP programs.

    NP703 Women's Health and Childbearing (4-0)
    This course is designed to provide the knowledge base for beginning clinical nurse -practitioner management of gynecologic health, healthy pregnant and postpartum women. The content covers assessment, diagnosis, and management of common gynecologic conditions, prenatal care, pregnancy and postpartum care across the lifespan. Clinical considerations specific to the different physical and psychosocial life stages of women are presented. Genetics related to preconception and genetic markers are discussed. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of providing evidence-based care to women. Promotion of healthy pregnancy, and supportive care that enhances the normal process of pregnancy, birth management of the postpartum period and support of breastfeeding will be presented. The influence of the interrelationship of gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status, and socio-political power differentials upon women's health care is also discussed.
  7. by   terfernay
    This is the breakdown for the number of visits required by each specialty at Frontier. WHNP definitely gets a more thorough training in women's health but the FNP track also requires a minimum amount of women's health visits in clinicals.

    Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner Required Clinical Experiences
    Minimum number of clinical hours per week: 24 while in WH712-715 and 32 while in WH716 Maximum number of clinic/office hours per day: 10
    Maximum number of clinic/office hours per week: 40
    Please meet with your RCF to discuss any proposed exceptions.
    ● 30 new antepartum visits
    ● 120 return antepartum visits
    ● 25 postpartum visits (< 8 wks)
    ● 300 gynecologic care visits
    ● 25 post/perimenopausal visits
    ● 100 primary care visits

    Family Nurse Practitioner Required Clinical Experiences
    Maximum number of clinic/office hours per day: 10
    Maximum number of clinic/office hours per week: 40
    Minimum number of clinic/office hours per week: 24 while in NP712-715 and 32 while in NP716
    Please meet with your RCF to discuss any proposed exceptions.
    ● 5 Newborn exams
    ● 15 two weeks to 5 years well exams
    ● 15 two weeks to 5 years episodic exams
    ● 15 six to 12 years well exams
    ● 15 six to 12 years episodic exams
    ● 5 13 to 19 years well exams
    ● 5 13 to 19 years episodic exams
    ● 275 Adult episodic or wellness care
    ● 25 Geriatric episodic or wellness care (age >65)
    ● 30 Women's health visit (Speculum/bi-manual exams)
    ● 125 Client visits for chronic illness care
    ● 25 Geriatric chronic illness care (age >65)
    ● 10 New antepartum
    ● 30 Return antepartum
  8. by   beckm097
    TefernayRN,
    Thank you so much! This is really appreciated. I have looked on the Frontier website a lot lately, and I never found this information. This is really helpful and was pretty much the biggest thing I was trying to find. So helpful!!
  9. by   terfernay
    Quote from beckm097
    TefernayRN,
    Thank you so much! This is really appreciated. I have looked on the Frontier website a lot lately, and I never found this information. This is really helpful and was pretty much the biggest thing I was trying to find. So helpful!!
    You're welcome! It's all in their academic catalog which is also online but you have to dig for it.

    Catalog - FNU - Frontier Nursing University

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