Online certified nurse midwifery/women’s health nurse practitioner programs

Aspiring nurses may choose to enroll in an online dual Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with the goal of broadening their career options. One such program is the CNM/WHNP, which combines certified nurse midwife (CNM) and women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) courses.

The dual program highlights the shared responsibilities of nurse midwives and women’s health nurse practitioners, unveiling a more holistic approach to women’s health and primary care. In all 50 U.S. states, nurse midwives and women’s health nurse practitioners are recognized as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). But there are several distinctions between the two roles. This page highlights some of those differences and lists some factors to consider when searching for the WHNP/CNM program that’s right for you.

CNM/WHNP dual degree programs are not are not limited to traditional institutions. You may consider an online degree program if you prefer the flexibility of setting your own schedule and the convenience of learning from the comfort of your home.

The sponsored program card featured on this page was last updated in January 2022. For the most current program information, please refer to the official website of the respective school.

Georgetown University

School of Nursing


Master of Science in Nursing

With Georgetown University’s online WHNP program, you can become a primary care provider for women’s health in as few as 27 months. RN/BSN required.

  • CCNE Accredited
  • Complete the 44 credit program in as few as 23 months
  • Clinical Placement Support 


Should I pursue a CNM/WHNP dual degree?

The CNM/WHNP dual degree offers students the opportunity to complete all of the courses and requirements needed to receive national certification in both APRN specialties — which for many students is a huge incentive.

As a nurse midwife or a women’s health nurse practitioner, you can pursue lucrative positions while having a positive impact on women’s health. In the 2019 National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, full-time WHNPs were reported to have earned on average a total annual income of $110,000.

Whichever route you decide to take, you can expect to complete the same or similar lessons as students with a sole focus enrolled in either a women’s health nurse practitioner program or a certified nurse midwifery program.

What to expect from a CNM/WHNP program

Because the curriculum of CNM and WHNP programs are closely related, the dual master’s program encompasses many core areas typically addressed in both, including clinical pharmacology, physiology and pathophysiology, the ethics of healthcare, health assessment, medical research guidelines, and more. The program goes even further, offering specialized instruction in women’s reproductive health, primary care, intrapartum and postpartum care, newborn care, and more. 

Education requirements

Individuals interested in enrolling in a dual CNM/WHNP master’s degree program must meet specific academic and experiential requirements. While admission requirements vary across different programs, many typically expect students to have, at a minimum: 

  • A current registered nurse (RN) license
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited institution

In addition, many programs seek candidates who demonstrate a keen interest in women’s health and other related aspects of the dual degree. Many schools make it a point to enroll students who exhibit a consistent record of academic and professional achievement. As such, these programs may require the following:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA 
  • Minimum GRE score
  • Professional nursing experience
  • Letters of recommendation

It’s best to check with the admissions office of your desired university and program to confirm admissions requirements.


Focusing on expectant and new mothers along with their newborns, CNM/WHNP dual degrees equip students with comprehensive knowledge of reproductive health and primary care for women. Nurses with this degree are able to provide care to women across various life stages and to newborns.

The core curriculum of a dual CNM/WHNP master’s degree program includes coursework in the following areas:

  • Advanced patient health assessment
  • Medical ethics
  • Clinical trials and research
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Physiology and pathophysiology
  • Women’s health and prenatal care 

With an emphasis not only on expectant and new mothers but also their newborns, those who complete their CNM/WHNP dual degrees may expect to gain comprehensive, in-depth knowledge on primary care for women and reproductive health. The curriculum prepares nurses to provide care to women throughout the different stages of their lives and to newborns.

Program accreditation

Nurse-midwifery programs in the United States are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Students hoping to receive a credential in this discipline need to graduate from an ACME-accredited program and sit for the CNM exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Nurses enrolled in a CNM/WHNP dual degree program accredited by ACME may also sit for the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner exam administered by the National Certification Corporation.


Here are some questions and well-researched answers to help guide you through your search for a dual degree program that aligns with your career ambitions.

What is a dual degree program?

Dual degree programs in nursing, like the CNM/WHNP Master of Science in Nursing, offer nurses the opportunity to learn and specialize in two related healthcare subfields. Dual degree programs are generally considered more rigorous and competitive than traditional degree programs because they require students to complete coursework in two different focus areas as opposed to one.

Is a CNM/WHNP degree worth it?

Because dual degree programs require a broader range of coursework than programs with a singular focus, they are often recognized for their rigor and depth, which may give degree holders an advantage in the job market. If you’re hoping to support women’s health and wellbeing as an RN, this dual degree can help you achieve that goal as it offers relevant knowledge, skills, and a pathway to nationally-recognized credentials.

How long is a CNM/WHNP program?  

Dual degrees like the CNM/WHNP program require students to complete a greater amount of coursework and invest more time than is required by a standard Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Typically, a combined CNM/WHNP program takes a little over a year to two years for nurses to complete. However, students who choose to attend a part-time program or a program with flexible hours may take up to three years or more to earn their dual degree. While coursework for an online program can be completed online, students must satisfy the in-person clinical requirements as well.  

What is the cost of a CNM/WHNP program?

The cost differs from program to program based on various factors like the school, location, delivery method, and length of the program. Because programs have varying credit requirements, the best way to assess cost is on a program-by-program basis. Nurses may also be eligible for financial assistance, depending on their financial circumstances and other factors such as demographic and academic performance.

What is the difference between WHNP and CNM?

A women’s health nurse practitioner provides women with primary care services throughout the course of their lives, from adolescence through adulthood. Whether they’re treating women with chronic illness, providing gynecological services, or tending to the primary care needs of their patients, WHNPs can provide personalized care for women. Certified nurse midwives also work with women but focus on prenatal care, childbirth, and the care of newborn babies. While WHNPs often treat women with and without chronic and acute illnesses, CNMs generally treat women in various stages of maternity.

Last updated January 2024