Best Online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Programs

Last Updated/Verified: Feb 20, 2024

Compare the 2024 Top Ranked Online WHNP Programs

Women's health is an increasingly important field that requires skilled and knowledgeable healthcare providers. Nurses who wish to specialize in this pathway often opt to complete a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) program - and many of them also opt to enroll in online programs. The right educational route is paramount to success, so finding a great online WHNP program is critical. That's why we have ranked the country's best online Women's Health Nurse Practitioner programs. Browse the top programs below, and check out our methodology to learn more.

Frontier Nursing University

Hyden, KY


Kentucky's Frontier Nursing University offers several online routes to the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner specialty, including an MSN (which integrates into an optional DNP) or a post-graduate certificate. Each program features didactic learning and clinical experience to fully prepare nurses for advanced practice.

  • Some on-campus visits may be required
  • Private university
  • Full and part-time schedules available
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
Kent State University

Kent, OH


Ohio's Kent State University has committed to providing for women's health through several online Women's Health Nurse Practitioner educational pathways, including an MSN, graduate certificate, and a DNP. All programs are affordable and feature experienced faculty and instructors.

  • Approximately 600 clinical hours included in the curriculum
  • Start in the Fall or Spring semester
  • Full-time and part-time schedules available
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY


The University at Buffalo offers an online DNP program that prepares current advanced practice nurses to elevate their careers as Women's Health Nurse Practitioners. The 36-hour, part-time program is intended to allow nurses to continue to work.

  • The post-master’s program is delivered completely online
  • A State University of New York (SUNY) public school
  • Applicants must already have national certification

What Is an Online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program Like?

For busy nurses who are interested in going through an online women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) program, it’s important to choose an accredited, high-quality program that is willing to work with your busy schedule. In order to qualify as an online program, a course of study must require fewer than ten visits to campus per year. When you choose an online women’s health nurse practitioner program, you’ll get to complete your coursework on your own time, allowing you to continue providing patient care at work. Unlike a classroom-based program, you’ll get to interact with other students through online message boards, communicate with professors virtually, and learn on your own time. When you choose an online women’s health nurse practitioner program, your faculty members understand that you’re working hard to provide patient care while also earning your education. They appreciate your need for flexibility, and are often willing to work with you to make accommodations to ensure that you get the education you need.

Choosing an Appropriate Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program

The first step in choosing a women's health nurse practitioner degree program is to see what your options are based on your current education level. The table below displays degree pathways for the most common starting points.

If I Currently Have… Option 1 Option 2
BSN BSN to MSN Programs BSN to DNP Programs
MSN Post-Master’s Certificate MSN to DNP Programs

To see programs at each degree level, click the buttons below:

Ultimately, your long-term career goals will also be a big factor in deciding which women's health nurse practitioner degree program is the right fit for you. The type of employer you wish to work for, the level and role you wish to hold, and even how much money you hope to earn will all be influenced by the type of degree you choose, and can the right choice can make reaching your professional goals much easier.

If you are still undecided on the women’s health nurse practitioner degree route you should take, our table below will help you narrow down your choices based on your interests.

MSN Post-Master's Certificate DNP
I enjoy working directly with patients seeking women's healthcare X X X
I already hold a graduate degree, but I wish to move into specialized women's health practice X X
I feel called to teach at the university level X X
I want to advocate for women's health issues and be a leader in my facility X X X
I have ideas for clinically relevant research projects to improve women's healthcare X
My passion is to create and improve national health policies X
I wish to understand population-based women's health issues in order to improve healthcare outcomes across the nation X
I want to guide healthcare law and ethics related to women's health X
With any degree, it’s important to choose an accredited program so that your hard work will be recognized by health care organizations. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Education in Nursing (CCNE) are a few to look for. Throughout the course of your online women’s health nurse practitioner program, you’ll learn about current research in women’s health, psychosocial issues that affect women’s health, how to develop treatment plans for women’s health needs, how to perform complex in-office procedures, and more. You’ll also learn how to provide top quality pre- and post-natal care. Check out our Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program guide below.
  1. Online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program Admissions & Requirements by Degree Type
  2. Online WHNP Program Classes and Curriculum
  3. Clinical Requirements and Certification

Online Women’s Health NP Program Admissions

As you’re working to further your education, it’s important to consider what type of online WHNP program makes the most sense for you. When choosing the programs you’re going to apply to, you’ll need to consider your prior GPA and education, as well as your future career goals. If you believe you’re well-qualified for a program but fall short of the admissions criteria, you may want to send a letter with your application explaining your reasons for the areas in which you fall short, and how your professional and/or academic experience make up for these areas. Many online women’s health NP programs are willing to make accommodations for nurses in special circumstances. Use the table below to learn more about some of the different admissions requirements for online women’s health NP programs.

MSN-Level Women’s Health NPPost-Master’s Certificate Women’s Health NPDNP-Level Women’s Health NP
Prior Education/GPABSN from an accredited program, GPA of at least 3.0MSN from an accredited program, GPA of at least 3.0BSN or MSN from an accredited program, GPA of at least 3.0
RN LicensureCurrent, unencumbered RN licenseCurrent, unencumbered RN licenseCurrent, unencumbered RN license
Professional ExperienceAt least one year of nursing experienceAt least one year of nursing experienceAt least a year of nursing experience, preferably in the women’s health
Written RequirementsPersonal statement and letters of recommendation may be requiredPersonal statement and letters of recommendation may be requiredResume or CV, admissions essay, personal statement and letters of recommendation may be required

Online Women’s Health NP Curriculum & Classes

Your women’s health NP curriculum may vary based on your school, and your choice of electives. The time it will take you to complete the program may also vary, depending on whether you choose to go to school full or part-time, and whether you choose a standard or accelerated program. For most MSN programs, it takes about two years of full-time coursework to complete the program. For post-grad certificate programs, it typically takes one to two years to complete the program. DNP programs typically take three to four years. Students who work through a DNP program often have up to seven years to complete their studies. Women's health specialty MSN, post-master’s certificate, and DNP programs differ in both the number of course credits and the number of clinical hours required.

DegreeMSNPost-Master’s CertificateDNP
Average Credit Requirements453565

The curriculum for women's health MSN and post-master’s certificates have some overlap, though MSN programs will require more core coursework. At the MSN and DNP level, students will take courses focusing on leadership and policy as well. Those enrolled in the DNP degree program will also take general courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, research, and more. DNP students also complete a capstone course or project which lets them display the knowledge they’ve learned by addressing a clinical problem or question that relates to women’s health. As you go through your women’s health NP curriculum at any degree level, you’ll likely take courses including:

  • Pathophysiology of human disease
  • Diagnostic reasoning and decision making for the WHNP
  • Comprehensive assessment in health care decision making
  • Nursing informatics
  • The role of the women’s health advanced practice nurse

Women’s Health NP Clinical Requirements

Through clinical courses and internships, students are required to complete between 600-1,000 clinical hours. These hours are essential to the successful completion of clinical courses, as nurses discuss what they learn in real-time health care settings within clinical courses. Most schools are willing to work with students to help them find placements that make sense for them. This could mean being flexible with weekend hours, having more than one placement setting, or doing some work home health care settings. WHNP students may complete clinical requirements in hospitals, birthing centers, women’s clinics, family planning facilities, women’s prisons, and more. They are typically under the supervision of an experienced WHNP, physician/physician’s assistant, certified nurse-midwife, or another seasoned practitioner in the field of women’s health.