Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Scope of Practice

Overview

The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) is a Registered Nurse prepared at the master’s degree level as a nurse practitioner, whose focus is the care of women across the lifespan. The WHNP is a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology and provides gynecological services including well-woman care, health education, contraceptive counseling and prenatal care. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners practice under rules and regulations of state boards of nursing.

 

Credentials and Certification

Graduation from the MSN program prepares you for licensure and “approval to practice” as a Registered Nurse (RN) in every state. You also will be eligible to sit for examination for the applicable certification, and eligible for prescriptive authority in all 50 states, with restrictions as specified by each state. Visit Credentialing and Certification for specific information.

 

Functions Performed by the Women’s Health
Nurse Practitioner

In addition to general functions performed by the Advanced Practice Nurse, the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner may also provide these functions:

  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Contraceptive care
  • STD screening and follow up
  • Pregnancy testing and care before, during and after pregnancy
  • Evaluation and treatment of common infections
  • Care before and after menopause

Practice and Education Guidelines

Vanderbilt School of Nursing follows guidelines for WHNP education jointly published by the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) and Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Learn more about the profession from these organizations.