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Press Releases : 2014 Press Releases

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Thursday, December 4, 2014  
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National Nursing Organizations Release New Guidelines for the Care of Women

and for the Educational Preparation for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners


The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Guidelines for Education and Practice, 7th ed. Released Today December 4, 2014 –The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) today released the 7th Edition of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Guidelines. The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Guidelines for Practice and Education, 7th edition was prepared by a joint task force consisting of members of AWHONN and NPWH. The task force members were selected for their knowledge and experience in women’s health, nursing education, and/or clinical practice.


The Guidelines define the role of the WHNP, identify practice competencies, and guide educators in the development of nurse practitioner (NP) educational programs in women’s health, consistent with the recommendations set forth in the 2010 Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

According to NPWH CEO, Gay Johnson, “The 7th edition of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) : Guidelines for Education and Practice represents a comprehensive clarification of the WHNP role and promotes the transformation of education, practice and leadership for WHNP’s as full partners within a complex and evolving health care environment. The new WHNP Guidelines differ from prior editions in a number of ways – it elaborates on the role of the WHNP as a primary care provider for women, as well as a provider of specialty care services such as infertility, sexual health, reproductive cancers, menopause, and other conditions affecting women, and further explains their role in addressing men's sexual and reproductive health issues. The new WHNP Guidelines underscore the WHNP's gender-focused approach to health concerns affecting women in order to improve women’s health outcomes, reduce health disparities, and enhance the quality and efficiency of women’s healthcare service delivery.”


“We are pleased to have worked with the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health to develop the revised guidelines,” said AWHONN CEO Lynn Erdman, MN, RN, FAAN. “WHNPs play an integral role in the creation a health care system that focuses on improved patient outcomes, increased access, and decreased costs.”


The Guidelines were developed in alignment with educational, certification and licensure criteria guiding nurse practitioner education and practice, and reflect a broad range of input from individuals within women’s health care communities of interest, including AWHONN and NPWH members external to the  task force; directors, faculty, and students of WHNP programs; expert clinical practitioners; and employers of WHNPs.


The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Guidelines for Practice and Education, 7th edition is available for download on the NPWH and AWHONN websites. They are free of charge to members of NPWH and AWHONN.


For media interviews, contact:

Kelly Mack for AWHONN






About NPWH

The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health was founded in 1980. Its mission is to ensure the provision of quality primary and specialty health care to women of all ages by women’s health nurse practitioners and other women’s health-focused advance practice registered nurses. NPWH advances its mission by providing leadership to ensure high quality comprehensive, collaborative health care to women throughout their lifespan. NPWH seeks to improve women’s access to primary and  specialty health care, increase women’s wellness and health outcomes, decrease health disparities  effecting women, enhance women’s access to and knowledge of health resources, and protect and promote women’s rights to make choices regarding their health within the context of their personal belief systems. NPWH serves advanced practice registered nurses nationally and internationally by providing education and resources to increase clinical competencies, advocating healthcare policies that support women and APRNs, collaborating with interprofessional strategic partners, mentoring the next generation of women’s health NPs and other women’s health-focused APRN leaders, and fostering evidence-based practice in women’s health through research. Online at



The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is the foremost nursing authority that advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care. AWHONN represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric and neonatal nursing nationwide.


AWHONN's 24,000 members worldwide are clinicians, educators and executives who serve as patient care advocates focusing on the needs of women and infants. A leader in professional development, AWHONN holds the distinction of receiving the Premier Program award by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for innovation and excellence in Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) three times.


Founded in 1969 as the Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the association became a separate nonprofit organization called the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses in 1993.


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Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AWHONN is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP580. Accredited status does not imply endorsement by AWHONN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with educational activities.

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