By: Laurie Burke, RN, W.H.N.P.-BC
A Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) is an advanced practice nurse with a graduate or doctorate level education. The core curriculum emphasizes disease prevention and health management as well as patient education. In addition to completing post-graduate studies, NPs must renew their licenses every two years and provide proof of continuing medical education credits. WHNPs also must renew certification every three years in their discipline and complete required continuing education credits to maintain board certification at the national level.
A WHNP works independently as well as in conjunction with other health care providers to provide quality healthcare through the following services-
- Assessing and examining patients
- Diagnosing and treating acute issues and chronic conditions
- Prescribing medications
- Initiating and managing care
- Ordering diagnostic test and lab work
- Referring as needed
- Educating patients on disease preventions and healthy lifestyle choices
A WHNP provides comprehensive health care throughout a woman’s life with an emphasis on gynecologic and reproductive health. Our WHNP, Laurie Burke, has a special interest in hereditary cancer screening. She counsels and offers testing to those patients who are candidates for genetic testing based on guidelines by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
She takes time to listen and discuss preventive health issues such as diet, smoking cessation, exercise, safe sex practices, hormonal changes with aging, and other female concerns.