wound care nurse

Wound Care Nurse

wound care nurseA wound care nurse, often referred to as a wound, ostomy and continence nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) who specializes in caring for, as well as helping prevent, wounds. This is a specialty field and to be eligible to work in wound management nurses must have a Certified Wound Care Nurse certification, or CWCN.

They must also receive a bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an accredited nursing program. The nurse must already have a valid RN license to apply for certification. In addition, the nurse completes a wound care education program from either the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society or a graduate school.

There are many duties a wound care nurse takes on. Caring for wounds is a very vague job description. The job duties of a wound care nurse include, but are not limited to:

*Skin evaluation, (for pressure sore prevention).

*Medication application, (to treat existing wounds).

*Educating patients (to be able care for their own wounds).

*Assess and evaluate patients with wounds and injuries.

*Obtain cultures to assess wounds and injuries.

*Evaluate wounds and injuries for infections or other illness factors that causes wounds.

*Initiate nursing care procedures in managing acute and traumatic wounds.

*Coordinate with rehab, traumatic and nutritional nurses in nursing patients with wounds.

*Ensure optimum patient care delivery in wound care nursing procedures.

*Educate and counsel patients and their families on wound care processes and issues.

*Demonstrate wound care procedures to other care givers.

*Sanitize and maintain the premises of wound care neat, clean and hygienic.

 

wound careA wound care nurse will be the one who cares for patient’s surgical incisions, any pressure sores, or any wounds caused from disease or injury. They treat and care for skin infections and skin conditions too.

There are other options to becoming wound care certified without being a full Registered Nurse. There are prep courses available to help get certified in wound care. CNAs with a minimum of three years wound care experience can enroll in various schools that will allow them to take the National Exam.

The Basic Wound Care Certification Course provides CNAs, Nursing Assistants and Medical Assistants with the fundamental knowledge they need to prepare for national board certification in wound care management. The course curriculum is designed by certified, highly experienced wound care specialists, offering access to the most current, accurate information, technologies, and best practices.

The Basic LVN and LPN Wound Care Certification Course provides Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses with the fundamental knowledge they need to prepare for national board certification in wound care management.

There are three basic wound care certifications:

(WCC) Wound Care Certification

(DWC) Diabetic Wound Care

(OMS Ostomy Management Specialist

 

There are many schools that offer the required training curriculum. Listed below are the top ones found online:

1: Wound Care Education Institute — http://www.wcei.net/

2: WoundEducators.com — http://woundeducators.com/wound-care-certification-courses/

3: Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Medicine Nursing Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Education Center — http://www.nursing.emory.edu/wocnec/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

*Traditional 10-week program and Split-option program.

*Minimum class size is 18; if unable to achieve 18, we will offer the Accelerated ONLINE Course. Accelerated ONLINE Course (AOC):  Study in the comforts of your home, much like the Distance Learning Program, but work through the modules at a swifter speed. This works best for a group of 6 or more, but can be arranged anytime throughout the year. The AOC is supplemented with weekly online meetings. Participants must complete the Bridge Week in Atlanta following completion of the theoretical component and preceding clinical preceptorship.

Distance Learning Program: Students begin studies as a Cohort on 1st or 15th of each month, but progress at own pace through the modules of study. All Distance Learning students complete a Bridge Week in Atlanta following completion of the theoretical component and preceding clinical preceptorship; Bridge Weeks are typically held every 4 – 6 weeks.

4-day Wound Course

1-day Ostomy Program

4: Cleveland Clinic – R. B. Turnbull, Jr. MD WOC Nursing Education Program — http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/digestive_diseases/professionals/wound-ostomy-continence-school

The Cleveland Clinic is a Magnet Hospital and was recognized among the top hospitals in the nation, and ranked #2 for Digestive Disease by US News and World Report. Our WOC Nursing Hall of Fame was established in 2013.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The R.B. Turnbull, Jr., MD WOC established in 1961, and offers candidates full scope online and on-site courses.

On-site Education Option: Offered twice a year, the on-site classes are completed in a traditional classroom on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Learning activities include lecture presentations by Cleveland Clinic faculty, skill development, interactive lessons, individual assignments, & a comprehensive final exam. Clinical experiences are scheduled with our own preceptors, and include extensive inpatient, ambulatory care, and home care patient populations. With one of the highest patient activities in the nation, you will participate in the management of a wide variety of complex care problems that will both challenge and prepare you for your own WOC nursing practice.

Online Education Option: Offered twice a year, online course work is accomplished within the learning management system, and includes active learning methods through the following courses: Concepts in WOC Nursing, Acute and Chronic Wounds, Fecal & Urinary Diversions, and Urinary & Fecal Incontinence. Each of the courses are four weeks in length and include asynchronous discussion threads, self directed learning modules, individual & group projects, and a comprehensive final exam. Once the didactic courses are completed, each learner will participate in a clinical experience with an approved preceptor. Approved preceptors will receive our own “Preceptor’s Manual” to guide the clinical experience.

5: Harrisburg Area Wound Care Specialty Program and WOC Nursing Education Program – Sponsored by Wicks Educational Associates, Inc. — http://www.wickseducational.com/

Programs Offered:

*Wound Care Specialty Program

*Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Education Program

*Transition WOC Nursing Education Program

  1. Wound Care Specialty Program

Wound Care Specialty Program: The Harrisburg Area programs are accredited by the WOCN Society. The Wound Care Specialty curriculum advances the knowledge of the Baccalaureate prepared nurse in the nursing management of individuals with wounds and role implementation strategies.

A self-paced online program. A two week on-site program presented in Central Pennsylvania several times a year. Both options require a 60 hour clinical practicum following course theory.

  1. Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Education Program

WOC Nursing Education PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
The Harrisburg Area programs are accredited by the WOCN Society. The full scope curriculum advances the knowledge of the Baccalaureate prepared nurse in the nursing management of individuals with wounds, abdominal stomas, urinary and fecal incontinence, and role implementation strategies.

Three formats are available for the learner:

Home Study – Four Learning modules (rolling admission)

On-Site/Split Option – Four weeks on-site instruction

A combined Home Study/On-Site option

Each option requires a 120 hour clinical practicum following course theory.

6: University of Virginia Graduate Program in WOC Nursing at the University of Virginia School of Nursing — http://www.nursing.virginia.edu/programs/wocpost/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Wound Management Specialty Program is a continuing nursing education program, offered by the VA Eastern Kansas Wound Management Academy.

The program is fully accredited as a traditional three week on-site educational program by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. The program consists of approximately 96 hours didactic, and 40 hours of clinical experience with WOC preceptors in the VA and greater Kansas City Area.

The Academy is located in Leavenworth, Kansas at the Eastern Kansas Health Care System’s VA Medical Center. The course prepares the nurse to practice preventive, rehabilitative, health maintenance, and therapeutic interventions in the management of acute and chronic wounds, fistulae, management of percutaneous drains and tubes, and lower extremity diseases. Our goal is to prepare nurses with a high quality wound specialty program that optimizes patient outcomes across their lifespan.

Graduates of the course will be eligible to take the national board certification examination offered by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board to become a certified wound care nurse.

7: University of Washington Wound Management Education Program (UW WMEP) — http://www.uwcne.org/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This program is offered for registered nurses who seek advanced knowledge and skills in the management of chronic and complex wounds. The online portion of the program is six weeks and provides content using multiple teaching and learning strategies, with 24 hour per day availability and universal access to the classroom and content. This prepares the student for the intensive on-site portion of the class which consists of 14 days of didactic and clinical experience. The course addresses a broad range of wounds, healing problems, and components of specialized nursing practice using a variety of expert faculty. Concepts guiding the didactic content and practicum are prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation of the healing process. A unique aspect of the program is the selection and matching of students with preceptors certified in wound care and practicing in various health care settings. Students will earn 6 graduate quarter credits.

8: VA Eastern Kansas Wound Management Academy — http://www.leavenworth.va.gov/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Wound Management Specialty Program is a continuing nursing education program, offered by the VA Eastern Kansas Wound Management Academy.

The program is fully accredited as a traditional three week on-site educational program by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. The program consists of approximately 96 hours didactic, and 40 hours of clinical experience with WOC preceptors in the VA and greater Kansas City Area.

The Academy is located in Leavenworth, Kansas at the Eastern Kansas Health Care System’s VA Medical Center. The course prepares the nurse to practice preventive, rehabilitative, health maintenance, and therapeutic interventions in the management of acute and chronic wounds, fistulae, management of percutaneous drains and tubes, and lower extremity diseases. Our goal is to prepare nurses with a high quality wound specialty program that optimizes patient outcomes across their lifespan.

Graduates of the course will be eligible to take the national board certification examination offered by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board to become a certified wound care nurse.

9: webWOC Nursing Education Program — http://www.webwocnurse.com/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Founded in 2001, webWOC was the first ONLINE program accredited by the WOCN Society. Strengths of this Program are a robust faculty and support staff with rigorous curriculum. The Program is taught by experts in WOC nursing (most Faculty have a minimum of 20 yrs WOC nursing experience) and in online education (most Faculty have a minimum of 10 years teaching online) via online discussions, exams and weekly LIVE online classes. Courses are 100% ONLINE designed for baccalaureate-prepared nurses with computer experience at all levels who wish to pursue education in the wound, ostomy, and/or continence nursing specialty without traveling or putting their home and/or work life on hold. The clinical practicum offered is a split option where the student completes a clinical experience locally. However, the clinical experience is dependent upon the student’s geographic location. There are unique situations where traveling to complete the clinical practicum may be necessary. webWOC exclusively offers another option for practicum completion: a Portfolio Evaluation. Details for this option are found on the webWOC website.

The curriculum offered is rigorous in order to promote high quality specialty care to patients and prepare nurses for national certification examinations. Class sizes and learner demographics bring potential learners into a vibrant learning environment with national and international classmates. Attention is paid to promoting collaboration amongst learners in order to enhance professional networks that may be sustained throughout the graduate’s specialty practice career. webWOC offers an experienced team of faculty members with a minimum preparation of master’s degree. The design and implementation of this robust Program leads to its high graduation rate of 98.2%. Upon completion of the Full Scope (Foundations of WOC Nursing Practice, Skin and Wound Management, Ostomies and Continent Diversions and Bowel and Bladder Continence) or Partial Scope (Foundations of WOC Nursing Practice and any combination of Wounds, Ostomies or Continence coursework), webWOC Learners receive graduate credits and/or contact hours.

Program Affiliation/s: webWOC is offered in partnership with the School of Nursing, College of Health, Community and Professional Studies, Metropolitan State University in St Paul, Minnesota. Curriculum and standards in education are consistent in quality and approach with the College.

 

Are you a wound care nurse? Are you interested in becoming one? We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Please leave a comment below.

 

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George Tall

Author at Hug Your Nurse
George Tall works in the legal field, is a father of three, and a husband of a RN for 25 years. He enjoys writing about everything, especially nursing! He has been writing for a living, at least partially, since around 2000. As an author on dozens of websites, he enjoys being factual, while spinning a bit of humor where possible.
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