Wound and Ostomy Nursing

Wound and ostomy nursing is specialized nursing that focuses on treating a patient’s wounds caused by acute injury, ulcers, or arterial diseases. Wound and Ostomy nurses also provide post-surgery treatment and care for patients with ostomies, which are surgical openings that allow for bodily waste elimination. These nurses often work with a healthcare team, assessing a patient, managing the wounds and monitoring the healing. They may be the patient’s advocate, and help educate them about their healing. Wound and Ostomy nurses usually work in hospitals or clinics, but may also travel to patients’ homes. This nursing specialty is simialr to the Enterostomal nurse career path.

Becoming a wound and ostomy nurse begins with becoming a licensed registered nurse. Earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) from a four-year college or university, or a two-year associate degree of nursing (ASN or ADN), or a hospital diploma are all educational paths toward becoming a registered nurse. Find entry to nursing programs by state. Once you earn your degree, to become a licensed nurse in your state it is required to pass your state’s board of nursing licensure exam, called the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). A special degree or focus of study is not required for the wound and ostomy nurse specialty, but certification is a very good idea for optimal career advancement.

Wound and ostomy nursing Certification is offered by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board. Certification in any nursing specialty is optimal because it demonstrates your knowledge, expertise, and commitment to the field. It potentially will increase your employability and make you more highly valued and respected on the job. Eligibility requirements for the certification exam include having a bachelor’s degree in nursing, being a licensed nurse, and completing an accredited wound, ostomy nursing education program. Recertification is required every five years. The American Academy of Wound Management and the National Alliance of Wound Care also offer certification. There are also professional organizations you may want to consider joining once you begin work as a wound and ostomy nurse, such as Ostomy Wound Management, or the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society. These organizations can aid you in your educational choices and job search.

The average salary for a wound & ostomy nurse is $55,986 to $74,685, and over $100,000 as a wound & ostomy nurse practitioner in this specialty. Nursing is one of the fastest growing job markets driven by the fact that the healthcare sector in the United States is growing at such a rapid pace to meet the needs of the growing aging population. With an RN license and certification in a specialty, you will most likely have a secure career in nursing ahead of you. As a wound and ostomy nurse, you could be a valuable counsel and source of information and support as these patients learn to integrate their self-care into their life. Get started now on your nursing education and work toward your certification in this specialty. Start researching the nursing programs on this site to find the one that fits your needs and goals.

(Sources: Ostomy Wound Management, Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Wound Management, Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB)

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