Changing specialties

  1. Hello,
    I have been an RN for 24 years, most of which I have been certified in hospice and palliative care. I also finished an MSN last year.

    I have currently been working as a nationwide consultant (sole proprieter) which is 100% travel and honestly, I'm a bit disgusted with the fraud and abuse going on in the industry.

    Having just finished my MSN I took advanced assessment, pharmo, and physiology. However, I cannot get a job in an acute care setting anywhere (and I live in Dallas!)

    My goal is to become a CWOCN, hopefully in private practice at some point in the future as I do love being self employed. I did home health wound care in the 90s which was quite intensive and comprehensive (a lot has changed in that industry too)

    I've read in other posts that you must have 5 years experience to sit for CWOCN boards, but Emery and Cleveland Clinic state that you can sit for boards after completing the CWOCN programs.

    I was hoping the CWOCN certification could help get me back into an acute care setting, gain the experience I need then join a partner or private practice contracting with home health, nursing homes, hospices, etc.

    Is this possible? I feel like I'm in a catch-22. I need RECENT acute care experience to be CWOCN but I can't seem to find acute care positions without RECENT acute care experience.

    There is a nurse refresher course at one of the lcoal hospitals here (16 weeks) it seems to be for people who have let license lapse. I'm not sure I need to go that far, I've never stopped being a nurse. I just don't have recent acute care experience.

    Any ideas?
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    About Carol RN

    Joined: Oct '10; Posts: 10; Likes: 7


  3. by   Kittypower123
    I work in hospice too and am going to pursue wound certification. If you go the WOCNCB website and look at the eligibility for the exam, it explains that there are two different pathways. Taking a course and successfully completing it make you eligible to sit for the exam (you must apply to take the exam within 5 years of completing the program). The other option is to qualify through experience. This pathway requires 50 CEs for each specialty (wound care, ostomy, and continence) you wish to test for and 1500 direct patient clinical hours within the last five years (at least 375 within the last year). I am opting to take the course. I am only pursing certification in wound care at this time, not ostomy or continence. You can look at the requirements at Eligibility | Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board. Hope this helps.