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Foot Care Nursing

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Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

Are you interested in Foot Care nursing?

Foot Care Nursing is an all-important integral part of patient care. The Nurse must be very cognizant of changes in skin integrity; changes that could result in tragic circumstances including amputation of digits, feet, and limbs. There are many who consider this specialty career one of the most important nursing areas. An area that, when properly recognized and treated, can halt further deterioration of the foot problem and lead to a full cure thus saving the patient life-long disability.

Foot Care Nursing

The Foot Care Nurse (LPN/LVN and RN)

Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN/LVN) as well as Registered Nurses (RN) work in this specialty area.

The "diabetic foot" seems to be the most common cause of foot issues that can, if left ignored/untreated, lead to full amputation of the foot itself as well as the leg. Pain, numbness, and lack of sensation in the feet and legs will most often be symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. The Foot Care Nurse must be proficient in the anatomy of the foot and lower extremities as well as in the recognition of significant pathological changes that are suggestive of a disease process.

There are many individuals, non-nurses, who are interested in feet and who like to use their technical skills to relieve pain (through foot massage/pedicure). They truly take this seriously and seek formal education/certification as foot care specialists. Many individuals work as cosmetologists and utilize in their jobs, manicures and pedicures, foot massages, and foot soaks.

Often, these individuals decide they want to be a Nurse and combine their love of "beautification" (the feet/hands) and find out there actually is formal education/certification they can enter into to specialize as Foot Care Specialists.

What Does a Foot Care Nurse Do? (not all-inclusive)

  • Callous and/or corn removal
  • Toenail trimming
  • Assess lower extremities and the feet for:
    • Cuts
    • Suspicious moles
    • Fungal infections
    • Circulatory changes (color, temperature, pain, edema)
    • Other pathology
  • Foot massage
  • Patient education
  • Implement patient plan of care to include:
    • preventative care and treatment
    • foot hygiene
    • as needed physician referral

Assessment Tools

When dealing with the feet, the use of standardized assessment tools is very valuable to calculate the extent of loss of sensation. A full inspection of the foot is made for:

  • color
  • sensation
  • temperature differences
  • callouses
  • edema
  • opens wounds
  • necrotic areas
  • nail shape, color, texture
  • evidence of fungus

The sensation of the foot is checked with a variety of instruments. One of the most simple instruments utilized is the monofilament. There are a variety of sizes that can reveal instantaneous results offering insight regarding how advanced the loss of sensation is. The nurse can use the results to guide in the decision to advise physician referral and/or further diagnostic testing.

Education

Foot Care nurses can be LPN/LVNs, RNs, or Nurse Practitioners (NP) in mid-level provider roles.

  • Graduate from an accredited Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse nursing program
    • LPN/LVN: certificate, diploma, degree
    • RN: diploma, ADN, BSN, MSN, or higher degree
  • The NP must be a graduate from an accredited Advanced Practice nursing program. Degree: MSN and/or DNP
  • Successfully pass the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN
  • Current, unencumbered LPN/LVN, RN, or NP license (and NP specialty certification) in U.S. state of practice

Foot Care Nurse Certifications / Associations

Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) offers the Certified Foot Care Nurse (CFCN) certification.

Eligibility (not all-inclusive)

  • BSN, or higher
  • Successfully pass NCLEX-RN
  • Current, unencumbered RN license in U.S. state of practice
  • 24 CE/CME credits (contact hours) specific to foot care
  • 40 clinical hours (direct supervision of foot care expert)

American Foot Care Nurses Association (AFCNA)

The American Foot Care Nurses Association (AFCNA) offers the Certified Foot Care Specialist (CFCS) examination.*

Eligibility (not all-inclusive)

  • Complete at least 25 CEs in programs directly related to Foot Care completed within the 24 month period prior to application
  • Complete 20 hours of direct hands-on foot care with qualified Proctor within the 24-month period prior to application
  • Current, unencumbered LPN/LVN, RN or NP license in U.S. state of practice

*Nurses who have received the designation CFCN through the WOCNCB will be awarded reciprocal certification.

Canadian Association of Foot Care Nurses (CAFCN)

The Canadian Association of Foot Care Nurses (CAFCN) is a great source for those interested in this specialty area of nursing. Their mission is to "advance the practice of foot care through a collaborative and networking process for all individuals providing foot care".

Salary (2020)

According to indeed.com, the average RN salary is $36.40 per hour.

sirI is an OB-GYN NP-BC, (Emeritus), FNP-BC, and Legal Nurse Consultant. Specialty areas include OB-GYN, trauma, med-legal consulting, forensics, and education.

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