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Women's Health NP for me?

Specializes in ICU.


I am an RN with 15 years of ICU experience. I am ready to make a change from critical care. I am considering becoming a Women's Health NP. Does one need to have experience in women's health before starting this type of program? I live in Ohio, and I am considering University of Cincinnati's online program, but the cost will be about $27,000. I am also considering an ANP program at Otterbein College in Columbus, which will cost about $18,000. Does anyone have any advice? I need help! I can't decide what path to take, I just know I need a change.

Thank you!

If it were me, I think I'd go with ANP since you can practice Women's Health with that specialty, too, and ANP gives you a broader training (more job opportunities?) Just my :twocents: :)

Best of luck!


Specializes in Psych/Rehab/Family practice/Oncology.

I think I agree with ILoveIceCream. ANP may give you more options, and quite a bit cheaper by your figures you gave. This is a special interest of mine too. I am not currently practicing as FNP, but did for a short while in women's health. Didn't feel I got enough support, and was pushed too hard. Felt ultimately that I wasn't able to do safe exams, due to time constraints, and number of patients. Very disappointed, and disheartened about it at first, and haven't practiced since, but I'm not totally closing the door. Hopefully you'll get some posts from some some women's health NPs too, and get their side. Either way, good luck to you!


Specializes in ICU.

Thank you for your responses. Nurseaboveboard, could you elaborate one why your not currently practicing as a FNP? I'm just so unsure of what I want to do, I'm looking for any advice from NPs.


Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

I am combo OB-GYN NP (WHCNP) and FNP. I find this is the best of both worlds. Gives me opportunity to provide care across the age spectrum. And, the former allows an emphasis in women's health care.

ANP would be a fine choice. Just remember you can always go back and add a post-grad certificate if the ANP is too narrow and/or you want an added specialty area.

Also, be sure you scope out what the market will bear in your area.

Good luck with your decisions.


Specializes in Med-Surg.

I'm beginning a Women's NP track this fall part-time. I'm graduating this May and beginning to work shortly after, which will only give me about 3 months of experience before starting the program, however by the time I begin clinical I will have a year of experience. I had the same issues when considering what program to apply to. I agree with the others regarding how ANP will give you a more broader practice with more opportunities, but for me I wasn't really interested in the ANP. I know I haven't had RN experience yet in a speciality, but as a student during my maternity and women's health rotation, I just felt like it was a fit for me. After going through each speciality and having clinical in all different areas, I really feel that women's health is what I want to focus on. The way I look at it, if I get done school and can't find a job or I find that women's health really wasn't for me, I can always go back for a post msn certificate in another area. I think the bottom line comes down to what you really want to do, and I think that's the case with any job. I know it's logical to choose a profession based on job availability and opportunity, but I think it's also important to really be interested in the subject. If you really want to do strictly women's health, I'd say go for it. If you really aren't sure, I'd say try the ANP since it will give you the opportunity to work in various areas..

Just my two cents about about a similar situation.. Best wishes on your grad school journey :nuke:

santhony44, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

ANP definitely gives you more flexibility, but it really does boil down to what you want to do. If you can't see doing anything but women's health, then do that.

I've known more than one NP who has training and certification in more than one area (such as women's health and family practice).

You might try job shadowing, if possible, to get an even better idea of what the various roles can entail in various types of settings and practices.


Specializes in ICU.

Thanks to everyone that has responded to my question, I really appreciate it! Does anyone know of a program that offers a post-master's certificate in women's health?


Specializes in Psych/Rehab/Family practice/Oncology.

Well sargentrn, to answer your question (though some people have trouble understanding this), I wasn't all that excited about becoming an NP anyhow. I was looking to get my Masters, then saw this dual program, and thought it would be quite a challenge, which it was. Those of us that were signed up for the Adult NP program were pressured somewhat to switch to FNP, and told "it will make you more marketable." And actually I think that is true. Now, they did not force us to switch, you understand, and one person for sure didn't, and graduated with their Adult NP. I cannot imagine a situation that I would want to do pediatrics, but knew I could do women's health with the FNP. I had decided going in to the program that unless I could find just the right job, a niche so to speak, I had no interest in practicing, and that's where I am now. Also, the older I get, the less willing I am to take on risk/liability, which I feel I was being pushed to do more and more. Of course, I can still practice as RN, and don't have to use the advanced degree as FNP. Some people have asked me why in the world I would "do all that work for nothing," but I don't think education/knowledge is for nothing, or wasted, and I'm the one paying the loans! Don't know if this helps.


Specializes in FNP.

I have a good friend that is a fabulous women's health NP. She is limited to seeing women (teens on up). Although she dearly loves women's health, she is investigating becoming a FNP. She feels she needs the greater flexibility and marketability.


Specializes in ICU.

Thank you everyone and nurseaboveboard. Yes, it does make sense to me. I feel that I'm in the same mindset that you are. I don't know what I want to do. My 3 co-workers that I'm in the RN-BSN program are all leaning toward ANP. Then we started talking about doing the FNP program so it could make us more marketable. I do not want to provide care for babies or children either. I don't really want the responsibility/liability, but I figured maybe when I did my clinical portion I might have more of a desire to practice. I also figured if I do the NP I will have my master's degree and I could always teach if I wanted. I just feel like there is something else out there for me after 16 years as an ICU nurse in the same hospital!

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