Welcome! Thank you for taking time to explore the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner program at Frontier Nursing University. At Frontier, we are a “community” dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare for women, children and families. This commitment drove the work of our founder, Mary Breckinridge, when she started the university in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in 1939, and it remains at the heart of the work we do today. At Frontier, we are committed to significantly increasing the numbers of advanced practice nurses who can provide safe, sensitive, evidence-based care to women and families in all areas, with a particular focus on rural and underserved communities. If you are passionate about this work too, Frontier may be the right fit for you!
Anne Z. Cockerham, PhD, CNM, WHNP
Associate Dean for Midwifery and Women’s Health
What is a WHCNP?
A women's health care nurse practitioner (WHCNP) is an advanced practice nurse specializing in continuing and comprehensive healthcare for women across the lifespan. WHCNPs provide well-woman care, reproductive and gynecological care, and prenatal and postpartum care. Additionally, WHCNPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education, and helping patients make smart lifestyle choices.
FNU’s Community-Based Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program (CWHCNP)
In our Community-based Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program (WHCNP), you will complete your studies either full-time or part-time with your home community serving as your classroom. You’ll also complete a clinical practicum in your community, where you’ll work closely with a certified women’s health care nurse practitioner. FNU has agreements with preceptor sites across the country and continually adds sites.
Our curriculum has a strong academic and clinical basis. It is unique in that we teach you not only to be a women’s health care nurse practitioner, but also to be an entrepreneur and a leader in the healthcare system.
All students seeking to become a women’s health care nurse practitioner will be admitted to the MSN + Companion DNP program. When you receive the Master of Science in Nursing degree, you may choose to exit with your MSN at that time or continue seamlessly into our 17 credit hour Companion DNP program to complete your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Completing the DNP is highly recommended. Learn about the MSN + Companion DNP here.
For applicants seeking MSN with option of Companion DNP:P:
- Registered Nurse with BSN as highest degree – apply to the MSN + Companion DNP
- Registered Nurse with highest degree as bachelor's in non-nursing field – apply to the MSN + Companion DNP (will include portfolio with application)
- Registered Nurse with ADN as highest degree – apply through the ADN Bridge Entry Option
For applicants who already have MSN or master's in nursing seeking an additional specialty certification (with option of Companion DNP):
Early CNEP graduates who wish to complete the MSN degree:
- Apply to the MSN Completion program
Early CNEP graduates interested in the Women's Health Completion Program:
- Apply to the MSN Completion program
Rhonda Arthur, FNU’s Program Director for Family Nursing, has a wealth of clinical and classroom experience to share with aspiring nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. A Frontier graduate herself, Rhonda holds certifications as a nurse-midwife, family nurse practitioner and women’s healthcare nurse practitioner. She also earned her DNP from Case Western Reserve. Rhonda brings this diversity of clinical experience to the New River Health District in rural Southwest Virginia. Her community service includes volunteering for medical mission work in Haiti and locally for the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps. Rhonda enjoys providing primary patient-centered care and is especially passionate about empowering and educating women.
Frontier Nursing University's focus on family-centered care really prepared me to work with medically underserved and vulnerable populations. Frontier was a wonderful spring board as I continue to learn and grow with every single patient encounter. I love being a part of continuing the vision of Mrs. Breckinridge.
Frances Horton, who graduated from the nurse-midwifery and women’s health care nurse practitioner programs at Frontier in 2011. Frances is devoted to working with women of all ages, but has a particular affinity toward teens and reducing health disparities. Her goal is to provide excellent health care and to personalize it to each woman. She lives the FNU mission as she reaches out to underserved communities.
"Though some causes are better understood than others, real changes in the way we relate and inspire mothers need to occur in order to reach women. If we are able to develop effective approaches that improve outcomes for minority mothers and infants, we have the potential to create a trickle-down effect that will positively affect the whole family and in turn, communities. As a minority, I hope that my own cultural familiarity with life as an African American brings an added dimension fostered by understanding some of the cultural challenges faced by minorities I am prepared to provide care to."
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