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Wound Care Nurse

Wound care nurses provide specialty care to patients who are suffering from wounds, ostomies or incontinence. They implement acute and rehabilitative care to patients with specific disorders of the gastronintestinal, genitourinary and integumentary system. According to the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, wound care nurses handle common and rare conditions, such as abdominal stomas, wounds, fistulas, drains, ulcers and continence disorders. They focus greatly on patient care and support when patients seek medical treatments, surgeries or during regular health checkups and screenings. In addition, wound care nurses spread awareness and information to adults and children on how to prevent certain WOC disorders and how to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Wound care nurses are currently licensed registered nurses (RNs) who have obtained an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as passed the NCLEX-RN licensing examination. Once these steps have been completed, registered nurses can consider certification procedures. In order to qualify to sit for the WOCNCB certification exam, nurses must complete one of the following training routes: a Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nursing program, a graduate level nursing program or have an adequate amount of clinical experience within the field. In addition, all exam applications must be submitted within five years of graduation from one of these nursing programs or experiential pathways.

Wound care nurses can expect a reasonable salary and job outlook as many patients continue to seek their specialized services. According to PayScale, wound care nurses made a median salary of $57,259 in 2009. Like other nursing specialties, wound care nurses’ salaries can vary depending on their location, employer, sub-specialty, education level and experience within the field.