Which WOCN program did you take?
I would definitely recommend stick to Cleveland Clinic or the Emory programs. I have worked for several hospitals where they will only hire from these two programs.
How much did the program cost?
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Education Center | Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing | University | Atlanta GA
How well did the program prepare you for the certification exam?
I think Emory does a fantastic job of preparing you for the certification tests. For the CFCN I would saw that it does not. The bigger problem is there really isn't any general review book for the CFCN.
How well did the program prepare you for actually taking care of patients who have complex wounds/ostomies? How confident in your skills did you feel right out of the program?
I can't really answer these questions ... I worked on teams before and after the program. However, I definitely understood wound healing and answering the "why" behind the plan of care. I don't think there's another replacement for learning tips and tricks other than being on the job. For ostomy care, it definitely does a good job of the anatomy, explaining the difference in surgeries. Just as with wound care, I don't think there's a good replacement for hands-on clinical care. However, I think going through a program really validates your work and definitely starts you on the path to becoming an expert.
What are the benefits of certification?
WOCN conference, CE library, database of WOCNs across the country (we use to find WOCNs close to our patients' houses-we have about a 6 state area for ostomy patients), journal for updates, local WOCN chapter (ours includes talking about new products, rep presentation w/dinner, planning local conference)
If I decide to leave home health someday, how easy is it to get a job at a wound clinic, hospital, SNF, or other facility?
This also just really depends on where you live. I think people on teams tend to stay on teams so there can be very little turnover. I've found some really interesting career paths with the WOCN certification. There are some independent WOCN who do online case reviews, online consulting etc.
What kinds of doors does this certification open as far as career advancement?
I think this just depends where you work. Most of the nurses I work with have not advanced past being part of the team, none have gone into management etc.