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MSN Women's Health Care Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer a post master’s certificate program?

No. Through CSUF’s program, you will earn a Master of Science, Nursing degree. If you have previously completed an MSN at another institution, you can petition to be waived out of any equivalent MSN courses in this program once admitted.

Do I need work experience to be eligible for admission?

If you are applying for the Women's Health NP emphasis, you must have at least 1 year of clinical RN work experience preferably in an OB/GYN setting. If you are applying for the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP emphasis, you must have at least 6 months of RN work experience in a Labor and Delivery setting. Since this program is impacted, no exceptions to the work experience requirement are made.

Is this program accredited?

Yes! California State University, Fullerton, is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition, each degree program within the School of Nursing at CSUF is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The Women’s Health Care Concentration is accredited by the American Commission of Midwifery Education (ACME) and is approved by the National Certification Corporation (NCC). Graduates are eligible for certification by the State of California as a Nurse Midwife/NP or Nurse Practitioner. Graduates are also eligible to take the national certifying examination in Women's Health through the National Certification Corporation.

The midwifery program at California State University, Fullerton is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374; For information about accreditation please contact ACME directly. Tel: 240-485-1802, acme@acnm.org; www.midwife.org/acme.

What are the National Certifying Exam Pass Rates for CSUF graduates?

The overall pass rate for Nurse-Midwifery graduates on the AMCB exam in 2019-2021 was 100%. The first-time pass rate for Nurse-Midwifery graduates on the AMCB exam in 2021 was 91%. The overall pass rate for the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner graduates on the NCC exam in 2019-2021 is also 100%. The first-time pass rate for graduates on the NCC exam was 90% in 2021.

How many days per week will I attend class and clinical?

In general, you’ll be on campus 1-2 days per week for class. Usually Women's Health Care courses are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The specific day of the week classes are held may change each semester. Students register 2-3 months prior to each semester starting which allows students time to make any needed schedule changes to accommodate classes each semester.

In the first semester of clinical courses (the 2nd semester on the 2 year study plan or the 4th semester on the 3 year study plan), students will be in clinical 1 day per week. Subsequent semesters require 2-3 days of clinical with the final semester requiring an intensive 5 day per week clinical experience for 6 weeks.

Do I need to secure my own preceptor?

No. The School of Nursing has established placements for our Women's Health Care students and the Concentration Lead places students each semester. If you know a WHNP or CNM who would be willing to precept CSUF Women's Health Care students, please let us know. We are always exploring new placement opportunities for our students!

Do I have any options to take online classes?

Some of the core MSN courses are offered online. At times, students in our campus based concentrations may have the option to take one or more of the MSN core courses online.

How many students graduate from the Women's Health Care program?

  • In 2024, 14 students are expected to graduate; 12 in the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP emphasis (8 attended part-time, 4 attended full-time) and 2 in the WHNP emphasis (both attended full-time).
  • In 2023, 11 students graduated; 8 in the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP emphasis (7 attended part-time, 1 attended full-time) and 3 in the WHNP emphasis (all attended part-time).
  • In 2022, 13 students graduated; 8 in the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP emphasis (6 attended part-time, 2 attended full-time) and 5 in the WHNP emphasis (all attended part-time).
  • In 2021, 13 students graduated; 11 in the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP emphasis (7 attended part-time, 4 attended full-time) and 2 in the WHNP emphasis (both attended part-time).

What is the Women’s Health Care Program Philosophy?

The Nurse Practitioner focus in the Women’s Health Care Concentration supports the mission and philosophy of the School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Development, and the University. The focus of the specialty is to provide quality education that will be accessible to a diverse student population. The specialty emphasizes development of safe primary care providers for a diverse population of women through acquisition of knowledge and skills that are commensurate with current evidence.

Faculty are dedicated to preparing advanced practice nurses with a strong foundation in primary care, research, theory and practice. Faculty create an environment to foster adult learning, student self-motivation, transition to independent practice, and the concept that learning is a life-long activity. The faculty believe that emphasis on normal processes of health for women is paramount to understanding disease, illness and dysfunction. There is recognition that care involves recognition of bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual components of individuals, families and communities. Teaching is accomplished within the framework of independent and collaborative practice between the nurse practitioner and client as well as with other health professionals.

Provision of care is on a continuous and comprehensive basis as the framework for education and practice. Students will accept responsibility to identify strategies that will allow them an opportunity to learn and acquire the necessary skills for professional advanced practice as a nurse practitioner.

What is the purpose of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty?

The purpose of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner focus is to educate students and prepare them to provide optimal, quality primary health care to women using a bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual framework. The graduate of the WHNP specialty focus assumes responsibility for the primary health care needs of women, in collaboration with physicians and other health care professionals, in a wide variety of settings such as outpatient offices, hospital, and community agencies. Program emphasis is placed on the attainment of knowledge and experience in the care of women, primarily in the outpatient setting, throughout the life span. Combining theory, practice and research provides the foundation to advance knowledge and provide competency in clinical practice. A theory, practice and research paradigm promotes the foundation for life-long learning.

Students will be prepared to function independently and in interdisciplinary collaboration with clients and other members of the health care team in order to improve health care for women and their families across community and inpatient settings. Using a shared decision making model, students will provide care to diverse and vulnerable populations. Students will incorporate effective communication skills through speaking and writing in both clinical and professional settings.

The program provides teaching and supervision by faculty so that the student performs in an advanced practice role that meets professional competency standards. Graduates will be eligible to complete the women’s health care national certification examination through the National Certification Corporation.

What is the Nurse-Midwifery Program Philosophy?

The Nurse-Midwifery specialization in the Women’s Health Care Concentration supports the mission and philosophy of the School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Development, and the University. The focus of the nurse-midwifery specialty is to provide quality education that will be accessible to a diverse student population. The specialty emphasizes development of safe primary care providers for a diverse population of women and newborns through acquisition of knowledge and skills that are commensurate with current evidence. In addition, the specialty emphasizes development of culturally competent health care providers.

Faculty are dedicated to preparing advanced practice nurses as midwives with a strong foundation in primary care, research, theory and practice. Faculty create an environment to foster adult learning, student self-motivation, transition to independent practice, and the concept that learning is a life-long activity. The faculty believes that emphasis on normal processes of health for women and newborns is paramount to understanding disease, illness and dysfunction. There is recognition that care involves recognition of bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual components of individuals, families and communities.

Teaching is accomplished within the framework of independent and collaborative practice between the midwife and client as well as with other health professionals. Provision of care is on a continuous and comprehensive basis utilizing the hallmarks of midwifery as the framework for education and practice. Students will accept responsibility to identify strategies that allow them an opportunity to learn and acquire the necessary skills for professional advanced practice as a nurse midwife.

What is the purpose of the Nurse-Midwifery Specialty?

The purpose of the nurse-midwifery specialization is to educate students for practice as advanced practice midwives. The CSUF program prepares students to be midwives through a master’s degree curriculum. The curriculum prepares students to provide optimal, quality primary care to women throughout their life using a bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual framework. Combining theory, practice and research provides the foundation to advance knowledge and provide competency in clinical midwifery. A theory, practice and research paradigm promotes the foundation for life-long learning.

Students will be prepared to function independently and in collaboration with clients and other members of the health care disciplines towards improving health care for women and their families across community and inpatient settings. The curriculum promotes cultural competence as a framework for provision of clinical care. Using a shared decision making model, students will provide care to diverse and vulnerable populations. Students will incorporate effective communication skills through speaking and writing in both clinical and professional settings.

The program provides teaching and supervision by faculty so that the student performs in an advanced practice role that meets the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice established by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Graduates will be eligible to complete the national certification examination through the American College of Nurse Midwives Certification Council.