You need a WHAT?

Specialties Wound


Hi there. I am an experienced registered nurse with tons of wound care success stories. I would like to know why one needs a BSN in order to work with WOCN"partners" to get certification. The partners don't require it, WOCN does. I am a highly skilled, experienced Registered Nurse, with identical licensure as a BSN and with a considerable amount of additional time in the field than a fresh faced BSN graduate. I was perfectly willing to pay my ten grand and would have been thrilled to have the certification, but I don't have my bull **** nursing degree. Why not? As an older new nurse, I saw no sense in spending another 20,000(at least) to be yet another BSN with nothing to differentiate myself professionally. What do statistics, research and paper writing have to do with the ability to perform this function? Frankly, I think it discriminating. There is no evidence that a BSN does a better job at wound healing than an ADN...and again I underscore the licensure is identical! I would have rocked and rolled the certification and made the organization proud...but why bother doing something with a group that supports discrimination? Shame on WOCN for cowtowing to the powers that be in those Ivory Towers and by taking advantage of a bad economy. Funny thing, I just had here nurses shadow me who are getting their BSN. One is unemployed and the other works in a nursing home. Oh, but that BSN sure will make a difference when they are done....NOT. Meanwhile, I will have ANOTHER two years of wound care experience that they do not. But you would take them. Discrimination is what it is.


130 Posts

Specializes in CWON - Certified Wound and Ostomy Nurse.

Wow. Did something happen with work to make you so upset? This sounds like something that's been heavy on your mind. The WOCN program does have a WCA certification for people who don't have their BSN if you didn't know that already. I went into nursing school as a non-traditional student. I do feel fortunate an instructor at a junior college advised me to not get a two year degree and to pursue the BSN instead because it has opened doors. Only after becoming a nurse did I see the animosity regarding nursing education/programs. I have never thought I was a better nurse than another RN because of the BSN. However, this is what I will say in defense of the WOCN is excellent. I started out in wound care without any training. What I learned was on the job from other nurses who weren't certified either. I thought I knew a lot until I decided I wanted to obtain their certification and began the studies. It was a rude awakening. I didn't know much at all and I had a lot to learn. Now I'm not implying you know less than I do but I will say the program prepared me enough to see how much substandard wound care is out there. I'm sorry you feel you are discriminated against. Are you able to get assistance from your workplace to get your BSN if you want it? There are facilities that will pay for all of your certification fees, too.


389 Posts

I hear your frustration and for experienced RN's such as yourself I can understand it. Lord knows, I am green behind the ears. I just wanted to ask, if you had looked into an online RN-BSN program? You shouldn't need a lot of the classes you mentioned because these programs are geared toward licensed RN's. They can be completed in a year if you can handle the class load, and they are significantly less expensive while maintaining good quality. Of course, you just may not want to be in school again, which I get. But, I just wanted to put that option out there.


5 Posts

I think the point Janerivers is making is that you shouldn't have to have a BSN to become a WOCN, which I couldn't agree more. I am an experienced wound care nurse with an ADN. I have been doing this for over 15 years and I'm very good at what I do. I have a good reputation out in the community. MD's request me when they need a second opinion. I too don't want to spend the money nor the time to get my BSN, so I can become a WOCN. Again, it's not about getting the BSN, it's about needing the BSN to get the WOCN. Something needs to change.


35 Posts

I disagree, somewhat. I don't think having a BSN necessarily makes you a better nurse. But part of what makes the WOC nursing so highly sought after (and a higher pay grade, unless you work where I work) is that these nurses are more highly educated than your average bear. It means WOCN certification is obtainable only after completing post-graduate work. This increases the value of WOC nurses as a whole. WOC nurses don't function as the vast majority of other nurses do - they function more as clinicians. They have a higher level of assessment skills (within their specialty) than other nurses. But most importantly, they make decisions that directly impact a patient's entire clinical course. Recognizing that, they need to be more highly prepared than the average nurse, which would require a BSN at the least. Many WOC nurses are actually nurse practitioners as well.

If you want to be wound care certified but don't want to get a BSN, there are other certifications out there. But if you want the most intensive program with the most preparation, you'll have to meet the requirements. I'm sure the WOCNCB can give you a better explanation of why a bachelor's degree is required. But for myself, I'd rather be identified with a group of nurses who are MORE educated, as opposed to less, when I'm marketing myself.

So no, IMO, nothing "needs to change." You just need to make the decision as to whether or not an actual WOCN certification is worth you personally going back to school and getting a bachelor's degree or not. If not, get a substitute wound certification. But your personal inconvenience is not worth decrying the system that affects so many of us who have decided to make that full commitment.

I'm honestly not trying to be antagonistic, but it's important to me that my chosen specialty remain something that only people who are committed and dedicated to will obtain. A WOC nurse isn't someone who just decided last month that they wanted to "try it out and see how they liked it." A WOC nurse is someone who has already worked their buns off, and the specialty as a whole is high-quality because of it.

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