Top Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Programs 2024

6 Min Read Published November 8, 2023
The Best Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs | Nurse.org

women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who specializes in women's comprehensive care throughout the lifespan. Although WHNP school lasts 1-2 years, becoming a WHNP can take 8 total years. However, the rewarding career, salary expectations, and growth opportunities make it well worth your time. 

In this article, we'll rank the top 10 women's health nurse practitioner programs by tuition costs, graduation and acceptance rates, accreditation, and more to curate your best options. We've included in-person, online, and hybrid options to accommodate all lifestyles.

Read on to find your WHNP program!

Fast Facts About Women's Health Nurse Practitioners

Salary

  • $121,610 per year or $58.47 per hour per BLS

Program Length

  • 2-3 years full time
  • Up to 5 years part-time

Requirements

  • At least two years of nursing experience
  • ADN or BSN
  • RN license 
  • GRE if applicable
  • TOEFL test, if applicable

Women's Health NP Program Ranking Methodology

Our ranking algorithm uses the latest and most robust U.S. government data sets, specifically the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and College Scorecard. We consider factors such as graduation rate, student-faculty ratio, program focus, and more to help you find the best WHNP program for you.

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Top Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Programs 

1. University of Pennsylvania

Earning an NP degree from an Ivy League school opens many doors for students. This program focuses on women's primary healthcare needs from adolescence through the advanced years but also includes gender-related studies. 

All students in the Women’s Health/Gender Related graduate programs can elect courses with experiences in Thailand or Honduras. 

Students also have the unique opportunity to participate in “Mountains of Hope” as part of a cancer prevention coalition, and students and faculty from Penn’s Women’s Health Care Studies Program provide education, care, and services in West Virginia. 

2. Duke University

Duke University offers the only women’s health NP program in North Carolina and also offers short-term clinical placement at various international clinical sites. 

With two possible start dates, one in the fall and the other in the spring, this program is almost entirely online. However, there are on-campus intensive group learning experiences each semester to complement online learning and clinical practicum experiences.

  • Semesterly Tuition: $14,525
  • Online Options: Yes
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 2.5 Years
  • Contact Information: (919) 684-3786

>> Show Me Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

3. Vanderbilt University

This highly competitive program only admits 15 students per year in order to provide top-notch education to students. This program is offered via a modified distance learning module so that students do not have to relocate to Nashville or give up employment. 

However, students in the Nashville area will have access to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is one of the nation’s top academic medical centers in the country. 

4. Emory University

Emory’s Women’s Health NP program is primarily online. However, students must attend campus once or twice a semester for simulations, skills labs, and competency validations. Online content delivery allows schedules to be tailored to meet students' individual needs.

  • Semesterly Tuition: $24,986
  • Online Options: Yes
  • Accreditation: CCNE and SACSCOC
  • Program Length: 4 semesters (approximately 16 months)
  • Contact Information:

5. Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University’s women’s health NP program is globally recognized for its leadership in nursing, education, and nursing research. Case Western Reserve is one of the best nursing schools in the country, and its WHNP program is ranked 10th among U.S. nursing schools in NIH-funded research. 

  • Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,263
  • Online Options: Hybrid options available
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 4 semesters (12 months)
  • Contact Information:

6. Loyola University Chicago

The women's health NP program at Loyola University Chicago is a hybrid learning format with both online and in-person instruction. Clinical placements for students in these programs are in the Chicago area, and students must have an RN license in the state of Illinois before they begin the clinical portion of the program.

  • Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,130
  • Online Options: Hybrid options available
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 4 semesters 
  • Program Contact: Sandi Tenfelde, Program Track Director

7. University of Cincinnati - Main Campus*

Unlike some Women’s Health NP programs, the University of Cincinnati’s WHNP program is entirely online. There are no on-campus requirements, and the only in-person requirements are clinical hours.

Unfortunately, the University of Cincinnati’s online graduate nursing program is not currently available to students located in Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

  • Semesterly Tuition: Resident - $8,922 | Nonresident - $9,072
  • Online Options: Yes
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Contact Information: (833) 556-7400

8. Carlow University*

Carlow University offers the only WHNP graduate program in Western Pennsylvania. Students have the ability to enroll part-time or full-time in this program, and it is offered at three different locations, including Oakland, Greensburg, and Cranberry. 

  • Tuition Per Credit: $918
  • Online Options: Yes
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 28 months
  • Contact Information:

>> Show Me Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

9. SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn and boasts that more than 70% of its nursing students are members of minority groups. 

Nursing students collaborate with other experts: physicians at University Hospital, practitioners from our School of Health Professions, and researchers seeking breakthroughs at our School of Graduate Studies as well as access to an eight-bed Simulation Center

  • Semesterly Tuition: Resident - $5,655 | Nonresident - $11,895
  • Online Options: No
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Contact Information: (718) 270-1000  

10. Frontier Nursing University

With a distance education model approach, the Women’s Health NP program at Frontier Nursing University allows students to study from anywhere in the country. Furthermore, the flexible program offers classes in 11-week semesters with multiple start dates throughout the year. 

  • Total Tuition: $32,585
  • Online Options: Yes
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Contact Information:

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner FAQs

  •  Are Women's Health Nurse Practitioners In Demand?

    • Yes, women's health NPs are in very high demand. The need for NPs across the board will grow by 45% in the next decade, according to the BLS. Since patients want specialized practitioners, individual specialties like WHNPs will grow accordingly.
  • Can a WHNP deliver babies?

    • WHNPs can deliver babies, though they rarely do. Some states allow them to deliver babies alone, while others require supervision from an MD or certified midwife. More often, NPs provide gynecologic care, pregnancy management, family planning, and primary care to women.
  • How do I become a women's health nurse practitioner?

    • You must become a BSN-RN before pursuing WHNP certification. This process includes earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and passing the NCLEX. After gaining at least two years of bedside experience, you can attend a women's health NP program and sit the national examination.
  • How many women's health nurse practitioners are there?

    • According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, there are more than 355,000 certified NPs in the country. Of this, only 2.2% are certified in women’s health, which is approximately 7,010 practitioners. 
  • What courses do you take in a WHNP program?

    • Women's health NP programs will have two main subsections of coursework. The first are basic NP classes required of all specialties. The rest cover women's health across the lifespan. These courses include Gynecologic Health, Midwifery Care During Pregnancy, and Primary Care of Women.

Find Nursing Programs

How to Become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner >> The Complete Guide to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner >> Highest Paying Nurse Practitioner Specialities >>

Where to Find Additional Information About Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

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Kathleen Gaines
MSN, RN, BA, CBC
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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