Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse – Career and Education Profile

Nurses who work in the field of wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nursing deal with patients who have wounds, which are often chronic.

Job Responsibilities

The type of tasks you’ll do on a daily basis depend on the specific patients you’re seeing and their medical conditions. In general, you’ll treat and assess wounds, which could include skin conditions, bedsores, abscesses, wounds from feeding tubes, surgical incisions, and more. as the name implies, this field of nursing also deals with patients who have bowl and bladder problems. Along with providing care, some of the tasks you could do include recording vital signs, tracking patient progress, educating the patient on home care, and speaking with family members about treatment options. Pain management is also an important part of WOC nursing, and you’ll have to continuously look for infection so it can be treated as quickly as possible.

Salary and Career Options

As a WOC nurse, your salary will depend on your level of education, location, employer, and experience. In general, RNs in this field make about $60,000, but you can earn more if you become an advance practice nurse. You can also consider becoming a legal nurse consultant after you’ve gained experience in this field, as many cases deal with allegations of nursing home abuse evident by bedsores, wounds that are the result of assault, and more.

Educational Requirements

WOC nurses can get started as LPNs, though many employers are more interested in hiring RNs for this job, as you’ll have more advanced education in the field. After earning your RN certification and either going through a dedication WOC nursing program or working in the field for several months, you can apply for certification as a WOC nurses from the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board; the National Alliance of Wound Care; or the American Academy of Wound Management.

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