Why Being Wound Care Certified Matters and How to Become One

Why Being Wound Care Certified Matters and How to Become One

It is a striking truth that chronic wounds are on the rise in the United States with 8.2 million people suffering from a non-healing wound, and climbing.¹ A chronic wound is a wound that cannot move through the healing process, generally taking longer than 4 weeks to heal.² With the rising rate of patients developing these non-healing wounds, chronic wounds have been named the “Silent Epidemic”. And with the healthcare industry as a whole lacking experienced professionals, nothing could be more true about the demand in wound care. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce survey, there are 4.1 million registered nurses in the United States, with less than 1% being certified in wound care.

A wound care nurse is responsible for many different aspects in the treatment of chronic wounds, including complete wound and patient assessment, understanding when to use specific products or advanced modalities, and how to apply those products. As well as educating patients and caregivers on the importance of wound care, and how they can support their healing process.⁴ 

However, the main responsibilities of a wound care nurse will differ depending on the facility of care they are employed in, and their level of certification. It is noteworthy, that even though certification isn’t always required to work in wound care, the training and knowledge each certificate program provides will give you the opportunity to treat more wounds, save more lives, and even make more money on average than a registered nurse without wound care certification.⁵

Becoming Wound Care Certified begins first with understanding that not all Wound Care certifications are the same. Each program can differ when it comes to the length certifications, requirements, and experiences needed. Many of the top certification programs require a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree, along with clinical wound care experience. For those who have not yet obtained a BSN or the years of experience needed, there are still certifications programs to choose from. 

For RN’s that have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree, the following Wound Care certifications are available:

Clinicians who have not yet obtained BSN, or the years of experience needed, have an opportunity to become certified while completing the rest of the requirements for the above WCC programs through the WCC Preceptor Program, provided by the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy:

Since this program is unlike any of the other certification pathways, please find more information about this opportunity on the WCC Preceptor Website https://www.nawccb.org/wound-care-preceptor-program

There are other programs in field-specific wound care that are available that also do not require a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. They include Ostomy Management Specialist certificate, Certified Hyperbaric RN, and even a Certified Wound Care Associate program for non-clinical workers: 

With the various types of certifications, this dive into the main programs is only skimming the surface of what is available to clinical and non-clinical workers in wound care. We encourage those who are interested to look at all options available before enrolling into a program. The most important factors when determining which certification program to enroll in are the requirements and eligibility, the cost of the program, and the recertification process. With the silent epidemic of chronic wounds upon us, the wound care industry is looking for professionals to help patients. Successful wound treatment can help patients gain back their quality of life, and in many cases a chance at a life. 

Click here to download a list of the above certifications

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