Online Post-Master’s Women’s Health NP Programs – What’s the Best Program for You?
For registered nurses who have already completed their MSN, earning a post-master’s certificate (sometimes called a post-graduate certificate) allows for education in a specific area of nursing. A women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) post-master’s certificate program is a popular option for advanced practice registered nurses who have decided that they’d like to focus their career on women’s health.
A graduate degree in nursing is required, as well as one to two years of experience in women’s health. Nurses applying to a post-master’s certificate program will also need a current, unencumbered registered nursing license, and may be required to submit a resume and/or statement of purpose as a part of their application package.
Earning a post-graduate certificate allows advanced practice nurses to gain experience in leadership, learn about healthcare administration, and prepare to act as supervisors in their field. This pathway is popular for nurses who wish to switch to the WHNP specialty from another concentration, or for those who wish to deepen their practice with an additional certification.
Many women’s health nurse practitioners who have earned their post-graduate certificates work in large public and private health care organizations, either as practitioners or as managers/supervisors of other staff members. Some nurses at this level go into private practice, while others go on to become nurse educators.
Take a look at some of the reasons that a women’s health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program may or may not be right for you:
- Focus on leadership and administration skills
- May be able to seamlessly transition to a DNP program following the certificate completion
- Faster and cheaper than completing an additional degree program (such as another MSN or a DNP)
- Easy way for APRNs to switch or add a niche area of care to their repertoire
- Lack of an additional degree
- May not hold the same weight as a doctorate of nursing practice with employers
- Not available to nurses with a BSN or ADN degree
You’ll have many options when searching for the right online women’s health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program. There are many factors you’ll want to consider as you find the right program for you. Most post-grad certificate programs take between one and a half to two years to complete, and requires approximately 36 credits. You may want to discuss whether you’re able to complete any of your coursework on the job, or if your employer is willing to give you some time to study while at work as a part of your continuing education.
While choosing a fully online option can be a great way to get the information you need on your own time, a hybrid option can also offer a great way to interact with faculty face to face. Many hybrid programs provide courses at night or on the weekend, allowing you to work at a time that’s convenient for you.
Through the course of your women’s health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program, you can expect to take courses including:
- Advanced pharmacology
- Care and management of OB-GYN patients
- Advanced midwifery care of childbearing women and newborns
- Comprehensive antepartum and postpartum care
- Primary care of women
Regardless of whether you choose fully online or hybrid education, you’ll need to complete approximately 540 clinical hours, depending on the specific requirements in your state. You may be able to complete these requirements at the job you have now. If you aren’t currently working in a women’s healthcare nursing position, you may want to talk with your academic advisor about how you can get your clinical hours in the most convenient way possible.
To see what kind of online/hybrid WHNP post-master’s certificate programs are available near you, check the listings below.
University of Colorado
Frontier Nursing University
University of Missouri – St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY
Case Western Reserve University
Kent State University