In a Master of Science in Nursing program for women's health nurse practitioners, students develop their abilities to offer obstetrical, gynecological and primary care to women throughout the adult life span. They also develop leadership skills. Programs include a combination of classroom learning and clinical experience.
MSN nurse practitioner programs can be completed in 2-3 years and prepare graduates to pursue certification. Students entering nurse practitioner degree programs are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree, and most programs require their students to be registered nurses (RNs). Additionally, students may be required to provide letters of recommendation and GRE scores.
MSN Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Degree
Students in these programs are trained to provide primary and preventative care to their female patients. They learn to obtain health histories, assess women's health, treat illnesses and manage pregnancies. Courses increase and develop basic nursing skills related specifically to women's health concerns. Common courses include:
- Physiologic nursing concepts
- Nurse practitioner pharmacology
- Clinical evidence assessment
- Women and childbirth
- Advanced nursing practice
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for nurse practitioners in general are expected to grow much faster than average, by 28% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). This growth will be fueled by a growing aging population and an increase in the number of insured patients because of healthcare reform. The BLS noted that nurse practitioners who are willing to work in medically underserved areas, such as inner cities or rural areas, should have excellent job opportunities. The median annual wage for nurse practitioners in May 2018 was $107,030.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Nurse practitioners often need professional certification based on state requirements and employer wishes. The National Certification Corporation provides a certification examination for women's healthcare nurse practitioners (www.nccwebsite.org). Other professional nurse practitioner certifying bodies include the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. These certifications provide verification of knowledge and ethical practices for both patients and employers. Continuing education in the nursing field is required in order to maintain certification.
Experienced nurses who want to direct their careers specifically toward women's healthcare can gain the advanced medical knowledge they need by pursuing an MSN with a concentration in the field. These programs prepare them for certification and advanced practice roles.