Can you become a wound care specialist right out of school?

  1. 0
    I graduated in 2010 and had a few working experiences so far. I could never find employment. My first passion however was to become a wound care nurse. I wonder if I can still become one without having many years of being a bed side nurse...

    Thank you
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    You need 5 years of experience to become certified
  4. 0
    The above post is incorrect.

    To become a Certified Wound/Ostomy and/or Continence Nurse (CWOCN, CWON, CWCN)

    WOCN.org states:

    RN with a Baccalaureate Degree or higher degree with a major in nursing
    OR
    RN with a Bachelor's Degree in another field; and one year of RN clinical nursing experience following RN licensure.

    To become a Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)

    abwm.org states:

    A licensed healthcare professional with a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree with 3 or more years of clinical wound care experience.


    These are the two most recognized and respected wound care certifications in nursing, there are other 'certs' that are week long classes with a test at the end that confer a credential, but really are better as education than credentialing.

    Here is a link to the comparison of certs:

    http://www.wocncb.org/become-certifi..._to_choose.pdf


    Welcome to wound world!
  5. 0
    Actually my post is correct.. You see I used the word certify.. I am a certified wound nurse and I needed 5 years of nursing experience to become one. And by the way I am very well respected!!
  6. 0
    LTC facilities and nursing homes are frequently in need of wound care nurses, and many of these places do not require certification.

    My former coworker was an LVN with less than a year of bedside experience when she was promoted to the position of wound care nurse/wound clinician. During my six years of working in various nursing homes I have seen many LVNs and RNs with limited bedside experience and no certifications secure employment as LTC wound care nurses.
  7. 0
    Quote from tktjRN
    You need 5 years of experience to become certified
    Will you show me where a certifying body states that you need 5 years 'as a nurse' to be certified? I am a Certified Wound Specialist and I followed the 3 year requirement. I'm glad you're well respected by your peers, and said nothing in my post to negate that.
  8. 1
    Quote from TheCommuter
    LTC facilities and nursing homes are frequently in need of wound care nurses, and many of these places do not require certification.

    My former coworker was an LVN with less than a year of bedside experience when she was promoted to the position of wound care nurse/wound clinician. During my six years of working in various nursing homes I have seen many LVNs and RNs with limited bedside experience and no certifications secure employment as LTC wound care nurses.
    I've heard this from many sources and frankly it disappoints me .
    CWONgal likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from mommy.19

    I've heard this from many sources and frankly it disappoints me .
    How so? Just curious?
  10. 0
    Quote from jessieleleb

    How so? Just curious?
    I am disappointed that nurses with very little experience are placed in a leadership or supervisory position. It may just be my opinion alone but I would not have been knowledgeable enough to take on such a role with no experience. It doesn't seem safe.
  11. 0
    In my experience, i too have seen many nurses" promoted" to a treatment nurse/wound nurse status. This concerns me also, as I am a wound certified nurse (WCC wishing to someday advance to WOCN). However, most facilities now have "protocols" or "standards" they follow for their wounds. Having these in place allows the nurse to only use her assessment skills to stage a wound. The treatment is based soley on the nurses staging, and the protocol for that particular stage. For example (very generalized): pt admitted with 2 x 2 x 0.1 cm sacral wound, 100% granulation tissue to wound bed, minimal serous exudate, etc. The nurse stages as Stage II pressure ulcer, then refers to protocol which specifies to initiate a hydrocolloid dressing, skin prep, Q72h and PRN. The "trmt/wound nurse" would be responsible for monitoring/changing/assessing the wound/dressing. After two weeks, if there was no improvement, the nurse would move to step 2 for whatever continued or changed stage. Any waiver from the facility's protocol could be a red flag for state auditors, as the facility is expected to follow the protocol they initiated.

    I personally dont care for practicing in that manner. Deciding on a proper dressing should encompass all aspects of the wound.....including the ENTIRE person. You cant just pick a drsg based on its stage.

    I wish more facilities would invest in either hiring qualified wound nurses, or invest in educating the existing ones.

    I guess what I am saying is.......just because an inexperienced nurse was promoted to "trmt/wound nurse" doesn't necessarily mean she will have the true freedom to practice as one....especially if "protocols" are in place.


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