If you want to elevate your nursing career and focus on managing women’s healthcare needs, consider enrolling in an online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) program. These programs focus on developing the skills and knowledge needed to work as a primary care provider for women throughout the lifespan. WHNPs provide focused care in areas unique to women’s health needs from adolescence through child bearing and advanced years.
On this page you’ll find information about online WHNP programs offered through colleges and universities across the United States. We’ve also provided some general information below to help you evaluate different online nurse-midwifery programs.
To learn more about an online WHNP program—including program details, student eligibility and admission requirements—click on a school’s name below. Even after you find a degree program and request more information, be sure to bookmark our resource center and check back often for articles, interviews, infographics, videos and other great resources designed for career-driven nurses like you.
With so many schools offering online WHNP programs, how do you know which one is right for you? There are lots of factors you can consider when evaluating different online WHNP programs, including accreditation, cost and rankings. Other important factors include:
Program length/time to complete
Credit hours vary by program. Additionally, some online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner programs may only be offered full time or part time. For example, our partner Georgetown University’s online WHNP program consists of 44 credits and can be completed part-time in 27 months (seven total terms). The number of clinical hours required to graduate may also impact the time it takes to complete an online nurse-midwife program.
Keep these questions in mind regarding program length and completion time when evaluating online WHNP programs:
- Is the program available full time, part time, or both?
- As a full-time student, how many credits am I allowed to take?
- As a part-time student, is there a limit on how long I have to complete the program?
- Can I complete the courses out of sequence, or is there an academic calendar to follow?
- Is there a clinical component?
Most online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner programs require students to complete a clinical component under the supervision of nurse leaders and licensed healthcare professionals. These residencies are designed to provide students an opportunity to integrate their knowledge in real-world applications and learn additional skills under the supervision of licensed and board-certified women’s healthcare professionals. Clinical hours are also a requirement for WHNP certification.
A few important questions to ask when evaluating an online WHNP program includes:
- How many clinical hours are required to graduate?
- Does the program offer placement assistance?
- Where can you complete your residency?
Online WHNP programs may also include one or more on-campus immersion events. These academic visits are designed to help students develop and exercise clinical skills through concentrated, rigorous practice. On-campus immersions are also a great opportunity to network with teacher and fellow students.
- Does the program require on-campus immersions? How many?
- How long are the immersions?
- What will I do/learn during the immersion?
- Are accommodations provided?
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner admission requirements may vary by program. To be eligible to apply to most programs you must be a US citizen or permanent resident, hold a current RN license and have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. If you don’t have your BSN, you may be admitted into the program on a conditional basis and required to complete additional coursework. Other admission requirements/criteria may include:
- Official transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Resume or CV
- Interview (telephone, online, or in-person)
Do you need a master’s degree to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner?
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the minimum degree requirement for becoming a nurse practitioner. Upon completion of a graduate-level WHNP program you will be eligible to sit for a national WHNP certifying exam.
What are the other requirements to become a WHNP?
Licensed RNs who complete an accredited nurse practitioner program may sit for the WHNP certification exam offered by the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Other eligibility requirements include a current US nursing license and completion of a graduate nurse practitioner program within eight years of the exam date.
What’s the difference between a WHNP and CNM?
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners provide family-centered primary health care for women. The difference is that CNMs have the additional benefit of being able to assist in delivery. If you’re interested in assisting women in childbirth, consider enrolling in an online nurse-midwifery program.
Want to Get Your MSN?
Learn more about online RN to MSN bridge programs.