Need Opinion on becoming a Wound Care Nurse...



i am still a nursing student but i'm very interested in becoming a wound care nurse.

i have been dealing with a good share of different types decubitus in my clinicals and find it extremely rewarding when i see my patients (clients) healing...

i am intrigued and fascinated at the wonderful way our body was created to basically heal itself (with a little help of course).

would anyone please tell me if this a good field to get it possible to start while i am in nursing school? or am i just dreaming and these specialty nurses need like a 20-year-experience requirement.

thank you beforehand for your kind responses.

sandy :)


30 Posts

Hi Sandy,

I would absolutely encourage you to learn more about advanced wound management. While I think most would agree you should spend at least a year in med-surg or some form of traditional nursing care, once you have your "sea legs" I think those who get involved in this specialty, really enjoy it.

Are you in Las Vegas? If so, you just missed the WOCN annual conference. but don't fret, the SAWC conference is being held in LV next year. You should definately meet some of the reps that detail wound care products in your part of town. Most of the larger companies put on local educational seminars to educate clinicians on the community standard of wound care.

Again, I'd advise you to spend at least a year or two doing general nursing, just so you reinforce and don't waste your academic training. Then you'll have more of a nursing background to help you specialize.

Best wishes,



38 Posts

Thank you very much for sooo much info...

I'll keep my eyes open for next year's seminar...

Specializes in MDS Coordinator, CWS.

Sandy: I received my board certification in wound care and management from the American Academy of Wound Management




279 Posts


What is involved in becoming board certified? Gilda

Specializes in MDS Coordinator, CWS.


The National Board Certification Exam is held every April and October at over 30 different sites nationwide. You have to contact AAWM for a candidate Handbook. I was grandfathered in so I had to submit a ton of stuff. 5 letters of recommendation from HC professionals I worked with, a 2 page essay on why I want this certification, Assorted CEU's on wound care and management that I attended and so on. This was in 1998. I believe now, you take the exam after you have completed their seminars. I know the next exam is 10/19/02. The materials from the candidate handbook have to be returned by September 6th to sit for the exam. My certification is good for 10 years with 16 hours of CEU's r/t wound care due every year. It has really made a difference in my career. Hope this helps!:)


279 Posts

Thanks Bandaidexpert!


298 Posts

Specializes in surgical, neuro, education. Has 22 years experience.

bandaidexpert: Do you have a BS degree or MS degree. I have been looking into some of the online classes for WOCN certification is this different than the test you took??

Do you feel (or anyother Cert. nurses) that this is a good route to go, or should I just go for my Masters? I plan on entering a Master's degree program next year and thought this would be a good addition to my BS degree. I work on a vascular floor and would like more info on taking care of this patient population.



30 Posts

Hi Zuma,

Here's more info on WOCN education leading to a national certification as a wound ostomy and incontinence nurse. You might check with each program to see if they offer the ability to study for each of the three specialties separately.

Certification as a Wound Specialist (CWS, trademarked by the AAWM) is available for several classifications of practitioners, nurses, physicians, podiatrists, PT's, etc. Here's more info from the American Acadamy of Wound Management.

Something to think about as you proceed with your academic work. You'll never be sorry for completing a masters of doctoral program. In fact as a nurse, CMS (formerly Medicare) allows clinical nurse specialists (CNS) to bill for services. There was discussion this year at the WOCN conference on pursuing a CNS track for WOCNB certified nurses. However, a masters would be required to bill CMS for your work. My advice is to complete whatever training you need to begin doing the work you enjoy. If you are determined to complete the highest level of academic work, a good job shouldn't stop you... might even make it easier, (financially anyway :) )




27 Posts

I have been practicing as a CWOCN for a few years now and it is one of the best things I have ever done. I work in home health and have lots of independence. I did get my BSN then took 2 months of classes at M.D. Anderson in Texas... I am now in a masters program, mostly for help with education practices.



279 Posts

Hey Cory,

Check out


30 Posts


Uh, better yet, check back in a few months. Things should get a whole lot better.



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