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Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society Focuses On Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders

During Awareness Week. April 12-18, WOCN Society Emphasizes A Special Calling: Knowledge ... Leadership ... A Commitment to Caring

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- With a majority of its nurses nearing retirement age, the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society is urging its members to respond to a new calling this April - training the next generation of WOC nurses.

During National Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Week, April 12 - 18, the Society will recognize WOC nurses for the services they provide to millions of patients who suffer from non-healing wounds, have ostomies, and endure urinary and fecal incontinence. But with nearly 60 percent of WOCN members nearing retirement age, the Society is asking: "How can the WOCN Society ensure that future generations of nurses are trained adequately to respond to the specific needs of WOC patients?"

To answer this question, the WOCN Society will begin promoting mentoring opportunities and encouraging professionals to share skills and expertise to equip a new generation to carry on the WOCN commitment to caring.

The Pivotal Role of the WOC Nurse

WOC nurses enhance the quality of life for individuals who are debilitated by chronic and acute wounds, ostomy conditions or continence disorders. The profession traces its roots to 1968. The field eventually evolved from ostomy care to include patients afflicted with chronic and acute wounds caused by pressure ulcers, diabetes and venous insufficiency, as well as individuals suffering from fecal and urinary incontinence. To ensure that quality patient care continues seamlessly, it is imperative that the field recruit new specialists and equip them to carry on the work of their predecessors.

WOC Nurses Called Upon to Create a Professional Legacy

Experienced WOC nurses have the opportunity to pass along knowledge, skills and behaviors and values and become mentors to nurses who are less experienced. The mentor/mentee relationship can create a legacy and ultimately strengthen the profession of WOC nursing. Talented nursing professionals who are willing to share expertise and organizational insights can inspire their mentees to improve performance, productivity and achievement.

Becoming a WOCN Mentor

At a time when the field is expected to experience a serious shortage of WOC nurses, it is imperative that WOC Nurses help a younger generation prepare for the future. To do this, WOCN recommends the following:

  • Establish a work environment where collaboration and mentoring are an expectation is an essential first step.
  • Encourage nurses who plan to specialize in WOC.
  • Connect with the WOCN Society, which provides skills, techniques and connection to others in the field, can be a vast resource.

The WOCN Society can help nurses enhance their clinical knowledge and learn the latest advances in wound, ostomy and continence issues while networking with the largest meeting of wound, ostomy and continence practitioners and researchers in the world. The Society offers the following benefits to members:

  • Continuing education sessions - Offered at WOCN meetings, these sessions provide participants with opportunities to learn from top clinical experts and address health care problems relating to all patient populations and practice settings.
  • Annual conferences - The 2009 Annual Conference, Gateway to Knowledge (June 6-10 in St. Louis) will offer many fine learning and networking opportunities available through the WOCN.
  • Educational programs - Sponsored throughout the year, these give members opportunities to acquire and fine-tune professional skills.
  • Certification opportunities - Certifying in wound, ostomy, continence and foot-care nursing provides validation of specialized knowledge, skills and expertise of an experienced nurse. The WOCN Certification Board adheres to strict standards of quality and is a nationally certified organization. The WOCNCB meets the accreditation standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS). The WOCNCB certification protects the public from unsafe and incompetent providers, provides consumers more options when choosing health care providers, and distinguishes the facility by providing expertise in wound, ostomy, continence and foot care.

The WOCN Society is a valued resource for all who practice in the field, from newcomer to seasoned professional. The WOCN Society is committed to strengthening the commitment to caring.

WOC Nurses Week, April 12-18

The WOC Nurse plays an important role in the medical field. National Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Week is an ideal time for nurses to learn about WOC nursing as a career option and for nurses already in the field to explore the possibility of entering into a mentor/mentee relationship.

For more information on the WOC Nursing profession, visit

    Beth Drost
    (215) 884-6499

SOURCE Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society
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