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What Is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner?

A women’s health nurse practitioner is one of the many nursing specialty fields. As the title suggests, this specialty deals exclusively with women’s health issues. While many women’s health specialists are employed exclusively for women’s health roles, others are employed as general adult nurses, with the women’s health specialty only being utilized when needed. Let’s explore what the role of a women’s health nurse practitioner is, where they work, and how much they earn.

What Is the Role of a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner?

Women’s health nurse practitioners provide health care services geared toward women. In this nursing specialty, you’ll focus on an array of conditions, including reproductive and gynecological issues. You’ll also perform disease prevention and health promotion duties, and manage acute and chronic conditions among female patients. Women’s health specialists are advanced practice nurses who are qualified to treat and diagnose a wide range of conditions. Here’s a roundup of some of the key treatment and service areas of the women’s health nurse practitioner:

  • Family planning
  • Disease prevention
  • Women’s health education
  • Well-woman services
  • Sexual health conditions
  • Prenatal care
  • Postpartum care
  • Perimenopause and menopause
  • Acute, chronic, life-limiting and terminal conditions in women, including
    • Cancer
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Diabetes
  • Physical disabilities
  • Substance abuse
  • Women suffering from abuse
  • Health assessments
  • Health counseling

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner?

Because this is such a diverse specialist field, and because you’ll often have to work independently and may, in some instances, be the primary care professional for your patient, women’s health nurse practitioners are required to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing or MSN degree. Remember, though, that if you’ve already got your BSN and are a qualified registered nurse, you can pursue your MSN while working as a general RN. You can find out more about the education you need to get into a career in nursing in our comprehensive “How to Become a Nurse” guide.

Whether or not you require specific certification in this field depends on the state where you practice. Some states require you to obtain certification via the National Certification Corporation.

How Much Do Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Earn?

Like any career, the salary you’ll earn varies by location, job description, your level of experience, sub-specialty, and other related factors. You also have to take into consideration cost of living in your practice area. However, according to Paysa data, the average nurse practitioner salary is $100k per year. You can maximize your employability and earning potential within this field by perfecting your nursing portfolio.

Where Do Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Work?

As a women’s health nurse practitioner, you could work anywhere that women are likely to seek medical aid. You’ll most commonly work in outpatient or primary care clinics, GP surgeries, and health centers. Some of these nursing professionals also work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and family planning clinics. You’ll also find community-based women’s health nurse practitioners. These professionals are also highly sought-after at an international level, and many choose to work overseas with refugee services and foreign aid services in locations where women cannot normally access adequate healthcare.

Career Outlook

Like most nursing specialties, the demand for women’s health nurse practitioners is expected to increase rapidly over the next ten years. This is, in part, due to so many experienced nurses retiring and leaving the profession and a lack of people studying to be nurses. Additionally, the increased recognition of the need for specialists in women’s health continues to result in the creation of more jobs in this field. The continued development of new medical technology allows more conditions to be diagnosed and treated at outpatient clinics, which creates more jobs within the women’s health nursing field.

Based on all this information, if you have a passion for nursing and, specifically, for providing women with appropriately women-focused health care, then women’s health nurse practitioner is a smart career choice. This advanced nursing specialty does require an MSN degree, but it carries a good average salary and has a promising career outlook. So what are you waiting for? Start your career as a nursing professional or explore your options by looking at these other nursing specialties.

Author: Katy Willis