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Best Online DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs For 2021


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Have you wondered what it would be like to broaden your scope of nursing practice? Do you enjoy learning about women’s health and feel you could contribute to improving health outcomes for women? Maybe you considered going back to school but aren’t sure if you have the time. DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online can help you achieve a terminal degree in nursing focused on the health and wellness of women of varying ages and from diverse backgrounds. The best online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs for 2021 featured in this article offer the best curriculum and clinical experiences to help students succeed and can help you get started on the path to becoming a DNP-Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.


What Is the Purpose of A DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program?


The purpose of a DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program is to equip nurses with the knowledge and skills needed to provide advanced practice nursing care to women. Graduates of these programs are capable of leading teams of nurses, teaching nursing students, and educating patients and their families on preventing illness and diseases, and promoting overall well-being related to women's health.


7 Benefits of Pursuing Online DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs


Any time you put forth the effort to increase your knowledge or learn new skills, you add value to your life personally and professionally. Earning a DNP as a women’s health nurse practitioner is no exception. Here are a few benefits of choosing DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner online programs.

1. Become a leader in women’s health: DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNP) have an essential role in the leadership, education, and mentorship of healthcare teams caring for women. With a broad range of opportunities, you will easily find a place to become a leader in your specialty.
2. Make more money: If you ever wanted to give yourself a raise, now you can! Women's Health Nurse Practitioners who have achieved a doctorate earn approximately $10,000 more each year than those who have a master’s degree.
3. Become a women’s health advocate: As a DNP-Women's Health NP program graduate, you will understand women's health and nursing overall at the highest level. Using your knowledge and clinical experience, you can advocate for healthcare policies that improve healthcare services for women.
4. Job Security: Earning a doctorate as a WHNP means having the clinical skills and experience necessary to lead teams of healthcare providers who promote positive patient outcomes and improve healthcare delivery altogether. These skills make you an asset to employers, which results in increased job security.
5. Earn the respect of your peers: Pursuing a DNP-Women's Health NP degree takes determination and hard work. Other healthcare professionals realize the commitment earning this degree requires and will respect the effort you put into achieving that goal.
6. Work Independently: Earning your DNP with a women's health NP specialty will give you the freedom to work with more autonomy. Many DNP-WHNPs work in their own clinics or a partnership with other providers.
7. Flexible Work Schedule: While some DNP-WHNPs may work in hospitals or other settings with alternating schedules, many find employment opportunities in clinics or learning institutions that have regular “office hours.” This benefit is especially appealing to individuals who have children or other family members for whom they are responsible.


How Long Are Online DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs?


The amount of time it takes to complete the best online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs is determined by a student’s current degree when accepted into the program and whether they enroll on a part-time or full-time basis. The programs may take from two years to seven years to complete.

The following paragraphs include information about program length at some of the DNP-WHNP programs discussed in this article.

Both baccalaureate - and master’s-prepared nurses can pursue an online Doctor of Nursing Practice with Women’s Health NP specialization at the University of South Alabama. The BSN to DNP pathway involves sixty-nine to eighty-seven credit hours. Students engaged in full-time study can complete the program in ten semesters, while part-time students may take twelve semesters. Students enrolled in the MSN to DNP pathway complete thirty-six credit hours and can complete the program in five or six semesters of full-time study.
The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner specialization at Georgetown University prepares RNs with a current BSN to work in various settings within the healthcare system and specializing in the development of care for women across the lifespan. The program equips students with the practical expertise necessary to manage healthcare teams providing primary and specialty care for women, including preventative, reproductive, prenatal, and postpartum care. The BSN to DNP program is offered in part-time and full-time formats, including sixty-nine credits, 400 DNP clinical hours, and six hundred WHNP clinical hours. The program can be completed in eight 15-week terms (FT) or eleven 15-week terms (PT).
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is dedicated to preparing DNP-Women's Health NP students to become clinicians, leaders, and administrators in diverse women's health settings. The program is designed to accommodate Bachelor's- prepared nurses who wish to pursue the DNP role. Students complete seventy-nine credit hours throughout three and a half years.
Founded by the sisters of St. Joseph, Regis University is a top-rated Catholic university that strives to give students a values-based education combined with technology and diverse learning opportunities. The DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program offers BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP entry options. The BSN to DNP path includes seventy-three to seventy-six credit hours of coursework and can be completed in as few as forty months. The MSN to DNP option requires students to complete between twenty-seven and sixty-four credit hours. Students typically complete the master’s entry DNP program in twenty-four to thirty-six months.


How Much Do Online DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs Cost?


Pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice requires not only time commitment but financial commitment as well. The average accredited DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online range from $12,000 to well over $100,000. Below are examples of estimated costs of online DNP-WHNP programs. Some estimates are for tuition only, and prospective students should speak with a financial advisor to determine any other expenses or fees associated with the program.

The BSN to DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is one of the best DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online. Students complete seventy-four credit hours at a rate of $720.24 each, with an estimated program cost of $53,297.80.
At the University of South Alabama, students complete sixty-nine to eighty-seven credit hours at a rate of $597 each, making tuition costs range from $41,193 to $51,939.
East Tennessee State University, students can complete the DNP-WHNP program in as few as eight semesters. In-state tuition is $1,492.50 per semester and out-of-state tuition is $12,839.50 per semester. Therefore, Tennessee residents pay an average of $11,940, and non-resident students pay up to $102,716 for the program.
At Ohio State University, state residents pay an estimated $44,175.40 for the MSN to DNP-Women's Health NP program and $98,209.10 for the BSN to DNP-Women's Health NP program. Non-residents pay $45,175.40 for the MSN to DNP and $100,409.10 options.


Coursework


The coursework required in accredited online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs typically includes core classes and specialty classes. Core coursework involves studying subjects needed to help a student advance to the following nursing degree level.

Their degree level at enrollment determines the number of core classes a student takes. Examples include Advanced Physiology, Advanced Pathophysiology, Physical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning in Advanced Practice Nursing, Clinical Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing, or Science Development, Study Design & Statistics.

Specialty Courses are specific to the student's chosen concentration, in this case, Women's Health. Examples of specialty classes include Advanced Practice Nursing in Women's Health Across the Lifespan, Dimensions of Midwifery & Women's Health Practice, and Biological Basis for Women's Health.

Some of the coursework required in the best DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online mentioned in this article is listed below.

Duke University is home to a diverse group of scholars, researchers, and clinicians who work together to prepare nurses with advanced practice skills capable of advancing nursing practice and improving patient outcomes. The Women’s Health NP program combines foundational and specialty coursework to develop the knowledge and skills essential to meeting the healthcare needs of women. The program prepares students to work as part of an interprofessional team providing primary and specialty health care to women of diverse cultural and health backgrounds.

◦ Population Health in a Global Society
◦ Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care Adolescents and Adult Patients
◦ Gender and Women’s Health
◦ Advanced Practice Nursing in Perinatal Care Patients
◦ Advanced Practice Nursing in Women’s Health Across the Lifespan

The Women's Health/Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Minnesota educates students to understand the unique challenges, needs, and health-related transitions that occur in women's life. Students are prepared to diagnose, manage, and treat common and complex prenatal, reproductive, and general women's health conditions and to educate women on measures to promote health.

◦ Advanced Concepts in Women’s Health for the WHNP
◦ Reproductive Healthcare for Women at Risk
◦ Moral and Ethical Positions and Actions in Nursing
◦ Advanced Concepts in Women’s Health I & II
◦ Holistic Health Assessment and therapeutics for APRNs

The University of Illinois at Chicago, offering one of our featured online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs, prepares students in their WHNP program to provide care for women across the lifespan. Coursework for the program covers content including well-woman care, gynecological and reproductive care, prenatal and postpartum care, health promotion and education, and disease prevention.

◦ Pharmacotherapeutics
◦ Health Promotion Theories and Population-Focused Interventions
◦ Biological Basis for Women’s Health I & II
◦ Issues for Research and Practice in Women’s Health
◦ Dimensions of Midwifery and women’s Health Practice

Providing quality care to women and their families requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills based on theories, principles, and clinical nursing skills. The faculty of the DNP with Women’s Health NP program at Arizona State University help students cultivate these skills, preparing them to be well-qualified women’s healthcare providers.

◦ Management of Common Problems in Women’s Health
◦ Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Practice Nursing
◦ Women’s Health Promotion
◦ Systems Thinking in a Complex Healthcare Environment
◦ Biostatistics: Principals of Statistical Inference

The University of Utah Health integrates nursing science with the knowledge of biophysical, organizational, and psychosocial sciences and ethics to form the foundation of advanced nursing practice in its DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program. After completing the program’s curriculum plan, students can demonstrate advanced clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability related to providing evidence-based care to women across the lifespan.

◦ Gynecologic Management
◦ Childbearing Complications
◦ Management of Episodic Problems in Women’s Health
◦ Well Woman Health Management
◦ Postpartum/Newborn Management


Clinical Training


As per the Doctoral Essentials established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, DNP students, like those attending accredited DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online, must complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical practice hours. Clinical hours may be earned by direct patient care, clinical immersions, simulations, and some assignments. Some nursing schools allow DNP-WHNP students entering their programs with an MSN to transfer up to five hundred clinical hours toward the DNP requirement. Admission faculty at each school will validate previous clinical experiences and determine how many may be used.

The following is a list of some of this article’s featured online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs and the number of clinical hours each currently requires.

The DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program at East Tennessee State University is formatted as a BSN to DNP program. The full-time program includes eighty-seven credit hours of coursework and 1,100 clock hours of clinical practice. Students have their first clinical experience during the first semester while enrolled in Health Assessment Through the Lifespan and earn sixty clock hours toward the clinical requirement.
Students enrolled in the DNP-Women's Health NP program at Ohio State University study curriculum designed to help them achieve the competencies outlined in The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Guidelines for Practice and Education. The program meets curriculum guidelines set forth by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and is considered one of the best DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online available. Students complete eighty-three credit hours of coursework and a minimum of 1,000 clinical practicum hours, including five hundred DNP hours and at least five hundred hours completed through specialty coursework.
Faculty of the DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program at Stony Brook University strive to “prepare clinical leaders who influence healthcare outcomes, critically appraise evidence, and facilitate best evidence to best practice.” The BSN to DNP program is designed for RNs who possess a baccalaureate degree in nursing and includes eighty-seven credit hours of coursework and a minimum of 1,000 hours of scholarly clinical practicum. Nurses who have earned a master's degree in nursing may be considered eligible for advanced standing in the DNP program. Admission faculty conduct a gap analysis to confirm an applicant’s previous coursework and validate the number of master’s-level clinical hours. Students who enroll at the post-master's level complete a minimum of forty-two credits and at least five hundred scholarly practice hours.
With DNP graduates known for positively influencing healthcare delivery and general nursing practices, the DNP-WHNP at the University of Minnesota is one of the best DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online. The program, formatted for completion in three or four years, requires students to complete seventy-seven credits of didactic instruction and 1,000 clinical practice hours. Clinical hours include eight hundred forty direct care practice hours and one hundred sixty hours for the DNP scholarly project.


Admission Requirements


Colleges and universities that offer online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs establish the admission criteria prospective students must meet to be eligible for an offer of placement in their programs. As you research different program options, you will likely see some variation in the criteria each has designated for admission. General admission requirements, however, typically include the following.

◦ Minimum Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program
◦ Current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse
◦ Professional Letters of Reference: Schools typically require at least two references and prefer them to come from individuals such as supervisors or previous instructors who can speak to an applicant’s potential for success in the program.
◦ Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended

The following are examples of admission criteria for some of the DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online featured in this article. Please note, these are examples only, and not all admission requirements are listed for each school.

With 100% National Certification Corporation pass rates, the DNP-Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is one of the best DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online. Admission faculty review applications upon receipt of all necessary documentation.

◦ Cumulative 3.0 grade-point-average on all post-secondary education; Applicants whose undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0 official GRE scores and/or twelve credits of graduate-level coursework are required.
◦ Must have a bachelor's degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program and a Regionally Accredited Institution
◦ Undergraduate nursing research and statistic courses with a grade of “C” or higher are required before admission to the program
◦ Applicant Interview: Some applicants must attend an interview with admissions faculty if they wish to proceed with the admissions process.

The University of Missouri at St. Louis offers a post-baccalaureate entry point to its DNP-Women's Health NP program. The program's goal is to prepare nurse practitioners with the highest level of in-depth nursing knowledge, skills, and expertise capable of caring for women's health needs.

◦ BSN cumulative grade-point average of 3.3 (GPA is calculated using the most recent 60 hours of BSN coursework)
◦ Completion of an undergraduate general statistics course or Graduate level general statistics course
◦ Completion of an undergraduate health assessment course
◦ BSN from a nationally-accredited nursing program

The DNP-Women's Health NP program at Tennessee Technological University is a joint program between East Tennessee State University and Tennessee Technical Colleges of Nursing. Students in the program learn to integrate knowledge, theories, and research from nursing science and related disciplines to apply effective nursing practices. The program, which is formatted for BSN to DNP applicants, includes eighty-seven credit hours and 1,100 clinical practice hours.

◦ BSN from an accredited program with a minimum 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale (Students with a GPA less than 3.2 are required to take the GRE)
◦ Three online letters of reference
◦ Cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study
◦ At least two full years of full-time work experience as a registered nurse

Duke University’s DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program is flexible to accommodate students who have earned a BSN and now wish to pursue a DNP and nurses currently working in advanced practice roles. Program graduates are prepared for leadership in interdisciplinary healthcare teams and work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to improve systems of care, quality, safety, and patient outcomes.

◦ General Statistics or Introductory Statistics with a minimum grade of “C”
◦ Personal Statement
◦ Preferential admissions consideration is given to applicants with a minimum 3.0-grade point average on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate coursework.
◦ Minimum BSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited school of nursing

The University of Illinois at Chicago is home to one of our featured online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs. The university’s DNP program, which is completed in two to six years, was ranked #6 in the nation by US News and World Report.

◦ Cumulative grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale from undergraduate coursework. Applicants with a GPA less than 3.2 must take the GRE.
◦ Baccalaureate degree with an upper-division major in nursing from an NLN or CCNE accredited program OR a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in a field other than nursing plus an active RN license
◦ Possess an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in at least one jurisdiction



FOLLOWING ARE THE 16 BEST ONLINE DNP-WOMEN'S HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS IN THE NATION FOR 2021


1. Duke University - Durham, NC

Programs Offered: DNP


2. University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


3. University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

Programs Offered: MSN to DNP


4. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP & MSN to DNP


5. Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


6. University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


7. Arizona State University - Phoenix, AZ

Programs Offered: DNP


8. University of Utah - Salt Lake City, UT

Programs Offered: DNP


9. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Aurora, CO

Programs Offered: BSN-DNP


10. University of Missouri - St. Louis, MO

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


11. East Tennessee State University - Johnson City, TN

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


12. The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

Programs Offered: DNP


13. Regis College - Weston, NC

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP & MSN to DNP


14. University of Missouri - Kansas City, MO

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


15. Stony Brook University - Stony Brook, NY

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP


16. Tennessee Technological University - Cookeville, TN

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP

View Ranking Methodology



Career Opportunities After Graduating with This Degree


After graduating from the best online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs, DNP-Women's Health NPs work in diverse settings. Some examples of career opportunities include the following.

◦ OB/GYN Clinic
◦ Family Planning Clinics
◦ Women’s Health Clinics
◦ Private Practices
◦ Women’s Correctional Facilities
◦ Academia


Earning Potential for Graduates of This Degree


Graduates of DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs online earn approximately $101,000 annually. In areas where there is a shortage of DNP-WHNPs and with experience, earnings can be higher. Further, some employers offer benefits packages that can add significant value to employment offers.

Hourly $48.98
Monthly $8,490
Annual $101,885
(Source: ziprecruiter.com)


Job Outlook for Graduates of This Degree


As the need for improved health outcomes for all patients and care for women with complex, often chronic, health conditions increase, there is demand for qualified women's health providers. Increased awareness of the importance of preventive medicine and self-care also lends credence to the idea that graduates of accredited online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs will experience a positive outlook for jobs.


Bottomline


The specialty of women’s healthcare is as diverse as the women who require care. Opportunities for WHNPs cover a broad range of services and clinical settings. If you have been waiting to make a career move and love the idea of being a part of women’s health, reach out today! The best online DNP-women's health nurse practitioner programs for 2021 are excellent sources of information to help you begin your journey to becoming a DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


Do I need to join a nursing organization while in a DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner online program?

Nursing organizations are excellent sources for student nurses and practicing nurses. They link clinical nursing practice with factors that influence nursing. Joining a nursing organization can benefit you by improving your professional network, impacting future job prospects, and being a source of continuing education opportunities.

Can students enrolled in online DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner programs get financial aid?

Absolutely! Financial aid comes in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. Some financial support is merit-based, and others are need-based. The federal government, colleges and universities, nurse associations, and private lenders are great resources for financial assistance to help you pursue your doctorate.

What is the most important thing to look for in an online DNP-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program?

Accreditation is hands-down the most important thing to look for when choosing a program. Accreditation improves the quality of education nursing schools provide. It ensures courses have relevant quality content and that instructors are qualified, experienced, and using appropriate teaching methods.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.