Advancing Your Career | Specialties

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners

  • Have you heard of women’s health nurse practitioners? 
  • Women’s health nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings, focusing on sexual and reproductive health. 
  • Lets break it down and cover everything you should know about women’s health nurse practitioners! 

Sadia Arshad


June 03, 2022
Simmons University

You’re here because you’re wondering what a women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) is!  

A women’s health nurse practitioner is a type of nurse practitioner who specializes in the comprehensive care of women throughout their lifespan.  

Nurse practitioners are also known as advanced practice registered nurses 

When I first started to read about nursing and learned about what is a WHNP, I was also confused.  

Navigating health care as a patient and navigating health care paths are both complicated. 

Whether you are curious about entering the nursing profession or wondering who took care of you at your last visit, this post is for you!  


 women's health nurse practitioners educating

What Sort of Education Do Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Have?

WHNPs are a type of nurse practitioner with training and education in women’s health. WHNPs have a graduate-level degree in women’s health nursing.  

Some WHNPs worked as registered nurses before going back to school. Other WHNPs might have entered the WHNP profession via an accelerated or direct entry nursing program.

What Is the Salary for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners

Salary varies by state and place of employment, such as a hospital or private practice. Typically, hospitals pay more than private practices, and those with more experience have a higher salary than new grads.  

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a WHNP is $118,000. Now, this average varies depending on experience, location, and place of work.  


women's health nurse practitioners education

 Where Do Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Work?

WHNPs can work in several places, such as: 

  • OB/GYN offices 
  • Public health departments  
  • Hospitals 
  • Fertility clinics 
  • Telehealth companies 
  • Schools 
  • Correctional facilities 
  • Student health centers 
  • Community health centers 
  • Primary care centers, and more. 

WHNPs can also do women’s health consulting, be sexual assault nurse examiners, and teach at nursing schools. 



women's health nurse practitioners work settings

What Kind of Can Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Do?

WHNPs can see women, adolescents, and gender expansive people for reproductive and sexual health concerns.  

It is important to note that WHNPs can also see male patients for reproductive and sexual health concerns as well. WHNPs can: 

  • Perform well-women or annual exams 
  • Provide prenatal care 
  • Counsel on pregnancy options 
  • Assess patients postpartum 
  • Educate on contraception options 
  • Conduct STI testing 
  • and of course, provide patient education.  

This is just a sample of what WHNPs can do! The scope of a WHNPs work depends on their training, local boards of nursing, workplace, and local legislation. 

Difference Between Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwifes (CNMs)?

CNMs are trained in antepartum and birthing care and can do deliveries.  

WHNPs are not trained to do deliveries.  

CNMs and WHNPs can work together to care for a patient during their pregnancy and postpartum, but WHNPs do not do deliveries.  

If doing deliveries is something important to you, then you might be more interested in being a CNM than a WHNP! 



women's health nurse practitioners vs CNM

What’s The Difference Between Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners and Other Specialties?

There are several nurse practitioner specialties, such as pediatrics, midwifery, and psychiatry.  

WHNPs focus specifically with people’s reproductive and sexual health concerns.  

WHNPs often see patients who are adolescents and elderly and can discuss their specific needs, such as adolescent sexual health education or menopause management.  

If you are considering being a WHNP, I would recommend that you ask yourself if you truly are passionate about women’s health and gender-related health. 

Why Did I Become a WHNP?

I never even knew WHNPs existed until I was in my mid-20s. On a whim, I saw a WHNP for my IUD insertion. She was so sweet and kind, and I wondered if I could ever be like her.  

After so much research and time, I took the plunge to become a WHNP since it resonated with me. I always loved women’s health. I knew I wanted to do something in women’s health. Ultimately, I knew direct patient care was something close to my heart and a career I wanted. 

Visit this website for more on becoming a WHNP or learning more about the profession.

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