This article has information about how to select a women’s health nurse practitioner (NP) program degree. We will give you useful nursing education information about how to choose a good women’s health Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree online. We also will talk about why you may want to become an NP, and also critical accreditation information.
What is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Degree?
A women’s health nurse practitioner degree is a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on the women’s health nurse practitioner specialty. A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has a bachelor’s degree in nursing already and several years of clinical experience prior to his or her master’s work.
The majority of MSN programs for women’s health nurse practitioners are made for experienced Registered Nurses, but there also a limited number of ‘direct entry’ MSN programs for professionals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
The MSN degree for women’s health nurse practitioners is a very well respected and rigorous healthcare degree. As a women’s health nurse practitioner, you will be the primary caregiver for your female patients with focus on reproductive health matters, and will emphasize the promotion and maintenance of health and wellness.
A typical women’s health NP degree focuses on topics such as:
- Breast health
- Pregnancy options counseling
- Hormone therapy
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Substance abuse
- Interpersonal violence
Generally, you will be taking on leadership roles as a primary care provider throughout their lives. You will hone your specialized skills to treat and prevent many illnesses unique to women, and you also will provide care for them in these areas:
- Primary care
- Prenatal and postpartum care
- Lifespan care through menopause
- General health and wellness and preventive care
- Reproductive health
Many women’s health NPs also provide care for women for conditions such as osteoarthritis, migraines and depression, which happen in women more often.
After you have earned your women’s health NP degree, you have to be certified by your state nursing board to practice in your state. You also must earn a national certification to practice as an NP from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
When you graduate from your MSN program and are licensed, you can work in many women-focused practice settings, such as family planning clinics, Planned Parenthood, prenatal clinics, private women’s health practices, infertility clinics, women’s health clinics, prisons, Indian reservations and regular adult and internal medicine offices.
Why Earn a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Degree?
The best reason to become a nurse practitioner in any speciality today is that you will always be in demand, and you always will get a great salary.
National statistics tell us that the demand for NPs and other advanced nursing practice roles – such as nurse midwives and clinical nurse leaders – is soaring and will continue for many years.
Data from the Department of Labor shows that demand for nurse practitioners in the United States will grow by an amazing 35% by 2024. The data also shows that there were 127,000 NPs in 2014. By 2024, there will be approximately 172,000.
This 35% increase in jobs shows that the nurse practitioner field is one of the hottest in the United States. A licensed women’s health nurse practitioner will have her pick of great-paying jobs in many health care facilities across the US. Some nurse practitioners are even getting healthy signing bonuses for thousands of dollars. That is the kind of perks you can get when you are working in this very hot field.
Why Demand Is Growing
Demand for NPs is happening because people in the US are living until 80 and beyond, on average. And technology is much better than 30 years ago, so there are more high tech procedures and life-saving pharmaceuticals available. More people today want to live a good, active life and want to access more health care to make it happen.
Health care costs also are rising, and having doctors handle the load of patients is too expensive. Research shows that NPs can do most of the same work as doctors at a lower cost. Therefore, more health care centers are hiring NPs.
Excellent Median Salaries
When it comes to salary, you will make very good money, especially when you consider that you only need to attend school for approximately two years to 2.5 years to earn your master’s degree.
The median salary for all NPs according to US News and World Report is $98,190. That publication also states that the top cities to work in today for salary are Columbus, Indiana; Vallejo, California; and San Jose, California.
Many states need so many nurse practitioners that state legislators are allowing them to work mostly independently of doctors. These states as of 2014 allow NPs to work on their own:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
Obtaining your women’s health nurse practitioner degree makes a lot of sense. You will make a great salary and have as much work as you want.nurse practitioner degree makes a lot of sense: You will make a great salary and have as much work as you want.
Online Degree Options
Nurses who want to become a women’s health nurse practitioner may want to consider earning their Master of Science in Nursing from Kent State University online. This is a CCNE-accredited, 100% online program that will provide you with the skills you need to provide comprehensive care to women across the entire life span. You will learn how to practice with women patients directly, or as a team with other health care professionals. The goal is to provide continuity of healthcare and to provide optimal community and health care services to women.
Nurses in this program will learn the best clinical judgment and primary care skills. This occurs via faculty mentorship and clinical preceptors in various specialty clinics and ambulatory care settings.
This NP program is fully accredited and offers the following advantages:
- Flexible curriculum with both live and recorded courses; 100% online
- Mentorship and advising comes from highly experienced faculty with extensive research experience
- Start dates are in both fall and spring
- Kent State program is well known for high intellectual rigor and top clinical quality
This program consists of 42 hours and may be completed full time in two years. Or, complete it part time in approximately three to 3.5 years.
Courses will include the following:
- Advanced Nursing Informatics
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Health Policy and Advanced Nursing Practice
- Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
- Theoretical Basis for Nursing Practice
- Methods of Inquiry
- Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses
- Pharmacology for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners
- Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner I
- Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner II
- Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner III
- Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner IV
- Clinical Diagnostics for Advanced Practice Nurses
- Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner I Practicum (105 hours)
It is very important to ensure that your women’s health NP program is properly accredited. Accreditation ensures you that your nursing education is highly rigorous and that your degree will be respected by potential employers. You also must be certain that you are learning the skills necessary to be successful as a women’s health NP.
You should check that your program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE. The program at Kent State University is so accredited.
The women’s health nurse practitioner field is extremely promising, with strong job demand and great salaries. It is a good choice for nurses who want to work with women to promote health and wellness.
- Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
- Kent State University. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.kent.edu/nursing/programs/masters/womens-health-nurse-practitioner
- Nurse Practitioner Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/nurse-practitioner/salary