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Providing Quality Women’s Health Care with a DNP Degree

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares advanced nurses with intense study in informatics, health information technology, population health, and multidisciplinary collaboration. [1] In the early 2000s, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) issued a position statement that encouraged a discipline-wide transition from Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) accreditation as entry level training for the nurse practitioner (NP) role by the year 2015.

In 2015, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) reasserted the need for NPs to pursue DNP accreditation. The group also advised nurse training facilities to support a smooth transition from bachelor to doctoral nurse education tracks. Then, the growth of medical knowledge, informatics, and health care technology foreshadowed the need for advanced nurse practitioners to raise their skill sets to a level comparable to physicians. This circumstance still prevails.

Delivering Better Care with a DNP Skill Set

In league with the assertions put forth by the AACN and NONPF, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) avows that medicine is growing increasingly complex. A female patient might seek treatment after seeing several other care providers who have ordered multiple tests and issued diagnoses for several conditions.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNPs) gather these records and use their expertise to find the root cause of symptoms. WHNPs also educate women about health issues significant to their gender, work with patients to develop care plans, and follow up with patients to monitor their wellness and treatment progress. [2] In academia, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners work with institutional leaders to develop a curriculum that serves the needs of the female patient population. As patient advocates, WHNPs work with community members and leaders to deliver services such as prenatal screening and family planning.

Unique Skills for a Unique Discipline

Women’s health DNPs possess proficiency in critical thinking and communication. Additionally, they’re specialists in the intricacies that influence health care treatments for female patients. They understand how physical, social, and emotional variables fit into health care assessments and treatments for women. Some of this expertise may stem from previous experience as a nurse in maternal or women’s health medical units. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners specialize in treating issues relative to the female population such as disease risks and chronic condition management. Overall, WHNPs work to promote optimal treatment outcomes while keeping medical costs as low as possible.

Women’s health practitioners use their advanced education to serve the distinct needs of the female patient population. The practitioners deliver comprehensive health care throughout female patients’ life spans. WHNPs are well qualified to deliver health services to women and to some men with reproductive medical conditions.

Work Environment for Advanced Practice Women’s Health Practitioners

Essentially, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners deliver services at three-quarters of medical sites that treat female patients. Some women’s health nurse practitioners opt to operate their own primary care facilities. Many nurses work in outpatient, long-term care, or community settings, such as primary care clinics, physicians’ offices, community health centers, and hospitals. Other nurses may secure employment in academic facilities, public health agencies, extended-care homes, mid- to large-sized businesses, or corporations.

There are many entrepreneurial opportunities for WHNPs. Practitioners may find unmet demand for treatment in disciplines such as preconception health care, prenatal care, postpartum care, or family planning services. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners might also help female patients mitigate or manage sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), keep up with well-woman care, or maintain health during perimenopause. WHNPs also treat serious, chronic conditions that emerge among the female population. Finally, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners who have earned specialized Doctor of Nursing Practice accreditation might work in one of several subspecialties such as infertility, geriatrics, oncology, or osteoporosis treatment.

The United States woman’s population needs accredited Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners who use their education and expertise to deliver positive treatment outcomes. [3] Newly minted WHNPs use a holistic approach to deliver treatments that serve the specific and distinct needs of the female population. In the women’s health field, the bright, fledgling practitioners will make a positive difference in the lives of women for nearly their entire life spans.

The baby boomer generation is placing a strain on the resources of the nurse disciplines that serve their health needs. This is in part due to the retirement of many of the skilled professionals who will retire along with this generation. The United States health care system needs more talented DNPs who specialize in women’s health and will replace these dedicated individuals, continuing the tradition of providing top-notch health care services to the female population.

Learn More

Health care is seeing an industry-wide demand for advanced practice nurses trained at the doctoral level due to the changing landscape, drive for improved patient outcomes, and a shortage of qualified nurses. If you’re an RN with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and ready to take your career to a higher level, the Regis College’s BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice online program can prepare you for advanced nursing practice.

Sources:

[1] https://www.npwh.org/lms/filebrowser/file?fileName=DNP_NPWH%20Position%20Statement.pdf
[2] https://www.nursesource.org/womens.html
[3] https://www.npwh.org/pages/about/NPfacts