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Wound Care Nurse: Resources and Facts

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Wound Care Nurses

The demand for healthcare staff in both acute care and long-term care settings is at an all-time high. And with an increasing elderly population, specialized nurses are no exception. One example of a specialized nurse is a wound care nurse, or WOC nurse (wound, ostomy and continence).

What Is A Wound Care Nurse?

A wound care nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in treating wounds, ostomy and continence care. They ensure care for patients dealing with a variety of chronic and acute wounds, as well as more complex issues.

How To Become A Wound Care Nurse

Wound Care NurseMost wound care nurses have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or a BSN. This is because the requirements for Certified Wound Care Nurse (CWCN) certification include a BSN stipulation. Nurses must also hold an active RN license and complete some additional training in order to become certified.

Most wound care certification programs take between two and three months to complete. Once the program itself is complete, the next step is to obtain certification, which requires 50 related CEs (continued education) and 1500 hours of clinical exposure over the last five years.

Nurses considering a career in wound care must obtain a WOC Nursing Certification. Certifications are offered through various accredited programs, such as:

Finally, after completing the program and obtaining certification via direct care experience, nurses are required to pass an in-depth exam to measure academic and technical competence. Upon passing the wound care certification exam, nurses may then use the initials “WCC” to inform current or future employers of their new specialty.

Wound Care Nurse Job Description

Wound care nursing is practiced across the spectrum of health care, including emergency departments, urgent care clinics, inpatient care, outpatient care, long-term care, and home health. There is a growing need for wound care nurses in long-term care settings, specifically to help with complications from diabetes.

Wound Care Nurse Credentials

Depending on the specific credentials, wound care nurses may be categorized as any of the following: Wound Care Certified (WCC), Advanced Wound Care Certified (AWCC), Diabetic Wound Certified (DWC), Ostomy Management Specialist (OMS), Nutrition Wound Care Certified (NWCC) or Lymphedema Lower Extremity (LLE).

Wound Care Nurse Responsibilities

Wound Care Nurse (1)Wound care nurses specialize in assessing and treating patients with complex wounds, ostomies, or continence conditions. They work closely with members of patient care teams to ensure that personalized treatment plans are followed correctly in order to prevent future infection or injury. Common types of complex patient wounds include ulcers, burns, pressure injuries, diabetic foot wounds and skin tears.

Typical duties of a wound care nurse include:

  • Assessing and monitoring wounds
  • Cleaning and bandaging wounds
  • Working collaboratively with other members of the patient care team to determine if additional treatments or changes in care are required
  • Educating patients and caretakers on wound care, infection and injury prevention, and pressure ulcer (bed sore) care
  • Writing orders to expedite wound healing and avoid skin breakdown
In addition to these duties, wound care nurses often serve as advocates, wellness educators, and cheerleaders for their patients, especially for those who frequently require relatively painful procedures or surgeries. This specialty requires a combination of patience, empathy and ambition in order to stay up-to-date on best practices and to help patients overcome physical and mental hurdles.

Salary For A Wound Care Nurse

Many employers offer a salary differential for this role because certified wound care is considered a specialty, which requires education and clinical practice beyond a traditional RN.

The salary for a wound care nurse varies by state and experience. Typically, salaries range between $58,000 - $80,000. To see a breakdown of wound care nurse salaries by state, please click here.

Wound Care Nurse-Salary-1

Job Hunter Resources

LeaderStat helps the nation’s top long-term care and acute care facilities fill various types of nursing roles, including wound care nurse positions. The educational and credentialing process to obtaining a wound care certification might feel intimidating at first. Luckily, there are resources that help to break down the steps and outline what’s needed.

RegisteredNursing.org provides education, schools, credentialing, and resources for wound care nurses looking to take the first step toward their new specialized career path.

For information on wound care certification eligibility requirements, visit
National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy (NAWCO).

How Do I Apply?

It’s easy. Interested candidates can apply for a travel assignment through our website, https://www.leaderstat.com/apply-now/. Once we receive your online application, we’ll create a candidate profile for you, and then have someone reach out to you via call or text to discuss your preferences, availability and next steps.

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