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Women’s health nurse practitioner: Comparison of roles

If you are a nursing student looking to specialize in women’s health, you may have heard of the WHNP (women’s health nurse) certification. But what is a WHNP? How is it different from similar roles?

What is a WHNP?

A WHNP, or women’s health nurse practitioner, is a registered nurse who has completed additional education and training in women’s health. They are qualified to provide care for women of all ages, from pre-adolescence to post-menopause.

We have dr. Meet Lawren Mundy to learn first hand about the reality of life as a WHNP. Dr. Mundy has been a women’s health nurse for 18 years and has spent the past six years teaching future WHNPs for Keizer University. Read on to learn more about this fulfilling career path and how it compares to other roles in the women’s healthcare field.

Compare WHNPs with similar roles

Women’s health is an important and growing field within the medical profession. There are a variety of roles for medical professionals working in this field, from primary care to specialized care for pregnant women and new mothers. In addition to traditional medical care, many women’s health providers also offer mental health support and counseling and guidance on healthy lifestyle choices. With the increasing focus on women’s health, there has never been a better time to enter this rewarding and demanding field. Those who are passionate about helping women live their best lives will find a wealth of opportunities in women’s health. Women’s health nurses are just one of the various roles available in the field. How does the work of a WHNP compare to other women’s health professionals?


Choosing between a career as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) or a women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) can be a difficult decision. Both types of nurses provide vital care to patients, but they have different areas of focus. FNPs typically provide primary care to patients of all ages and genders, while WHNPs specialize in providing care to women throughout their lifespan. Both types of nurses need a strong foundation in general and specialized nursing care, but WHNPs also need a deep understanding of reproductive health. WHNPs are often the primary care providers for women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, and they play an essential role in providing screenings and counseling services to women throughout the lifespan. FNPs usually provide more general care services and do not provide care to pregnant women.

WHNP against CNM

Both certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and WHNPs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who provide comprehensive care to women of all ages. While CNMs focus primarily on obstetrics and reproductive health care, WHNPs encompass a broader scope of care that includes primary care, gynecology, and obstetrics.

The main difference between CNMs and WHNPs is the type of patients they see. CNMs usually see healthy women who are planning to become pregnant or are already pregnant. In contrast, WHNPs see women of all ages, including those who may be experiencing problems with their reproductive health.

Both CNMs and WHNPs complete advanced training and obtain certification in their chosen specialty. CNMs must pass a national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). WHNPs must also be certified by the National Corporation Certification.

If you are interested in providing comprehensive care to women throughout their lifetime, then becoming a WHNP may be the best route for you. However, if you are specifically interested in reproductive health care, becoming a CNM may be a better fit.

Midwife vs. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Midwives and women’s health nurses provide comprehensive, high-quality care to women of all ages. However, there are some critical differences between the two. Midwives are specifically trained in pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care. They are experts in low-risk pregnancies and typically have a more holistic approach to care. In addition to pregnancy and delivery care, WHNPs offer well-woman exams, family planning services, and menopause management.


OB/GYN (obstetrics/gynecology) nurse practitioners and women’s health nurse practitioners both provide care for women of all ages. The role is the same, although the title may vary depending on the facility they work in. The difference in name comes from the fact that WHNPs work in the specialty area of ​​Obstetrics/Gynecology (OG). WHNPs often apply for OGNP positions, and those positions often require WHNP board certification.


OBGYNs and WHNPs are both qualified to provide a full range of care for women, including well-woman visits, contraceptive counseling, and the management of pregnancy and menopausal symptoms. However, WHNPs generally have more preventive care and counseling training, while OBGYNs are physicians who have completed medical school and residency training in women’s health. They can provide all aspects of care, from preventive care to complex surgeries. WHNPs, on the other hand, are registered nurses who have completed advanced education and training in women’s health. They provide primary and preventive care, as well as manage chronic conditions. In general, WHNPs take a more holistic approach to care than OBGYNs. They focus on educating and empowering patients to make healthy choices. Both providers are essential to ensure women receive the high-quality care they need.

WHNP Benefits and Benefits

A career as a women’s health nurse can be fulfilling. These nurses play a crucial role in supporting women’s health and well-being. WHNPs typically have a strong interest in women’s rights and reproductive justice. They are passionate about providing quality care to their patients. In addition to clinical work, WHNPs can also be involved in research, education, and advocacy, enabling them to affect change at a systems level and make a lasting difference in the lives of the women they serve. If you’re interested in making a positive difference in women’s lives, consider these five benefits of a career as a WHNP.

1. Personal connection

One of the many benefits of becoming a women’s health nurse practitioner is that they are able to build personal relationships with their patients. This allows them to get to know their patients more personally, understand their unique needs and provide more customized care to their patients. Your patients will get to know you too. Dr. Mundy shared a story about a patient who had given birth a year earlier and remembered that the doctor had a sister. Dr. Mundy eventually showed the patient pictures of her nephew and caught up.

Taking the time to build this rapport can often lead to better health outcomes for patients, as they are more likely to follow their care plan and take medications as prescribed. These personal connections can also make it easier for patients to discuss sensitive topics, such as sexual health or menopause, that may be challenging to discuss with a doctor or other health care provider. The ability of women’s health nurses to form personal relationships with their patients is an essential part of providing high quality care and a satisfying aspect of this profession.

2. Extended Care

WHNPs are trained to provide their patients with a wide range of health care services, from adolescence to menopause and beyond. Therefore, no two days will ever be the same, and you will never get bored in your work as a WHNP! You could be providing routine care for women one day and working with a patient to manage her menopausal symptoms the next. You will have the opportunity to provide primary care, conduct research, teach patient education classes, and more. WHNPs also care for women who have been victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Consequently, WHNPs play an essential role in ensuring that all women have access to quality health care.

3. Women’s health advocacy

WHNPs also play an important role in promoting women’s rights and access to reproductive health care. If you are passionate about these issues, a career as a WHNP could be a perfect fit for you. Organizations such as NPWH (Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health) are actively working to improve women’s lives through advocacy efforts focused on ensuring that women have access to quality health care. As a frontline professional, there are few professions better positioned to speak on behalf of the underserved in our communities, potentially magnifying the impact of WHNPs beyond the doctor’s office or hospital.

4. Flexibility

WHNPs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They also work in research or education, family planning and preconception counseling clinics, or serve as primary care providers for women with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Some WHNPs may choose to work as part of a team in an obstetrics or gynecology practice. Some other WHNPs even open their own practice. With so many options available, WHNPs can choose the institution that best matches their skills and interests.

5. Help communities in need

In many parts of the world, access to quality health care is limited, especially for women and girls. This can lead to a host of problems, including a lack of knowledge about staying healthy and taking care of yourself, an inability to get early treatment for illness or injury, and an increased risk of death or complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Women’s health nurses can help fill this critical need. WHNPs often work with community organizations to provide education and outreach on topics such as nutrition, hygiene, and sexual health. As a result, they play an important role in improving the health of communities in need.

Become a WHNP at Keizer University

If you’re ready to start your career as a women’s health nurse, Keizer University has a program that can give you the education and training you need. Our curriculum is designed to prepare you for the licensing exam, and our faculty has extensive experience in the field of women’s health. In addition, our clinical partners provide opportunities for you to gain hands-on experience in various settings. Keizer University is the right choice if you are looking for a program that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a women’s health nurse. Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you achieve your goals.

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