Wounds are often an unfortunate fact of life for patients in skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and assisted living facilities. A 2020 study published in the International Wound Journal reported that 7.8% of all SNF residents were affected by chronic wounds; more than half of those were affected by a pressure ulcer.

Besides the all-too-common pressure wound, skilled nursing facility patients commonly present with:

  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Moisture-related wounds
  • Peripheral arterial wounds
  • Surgical infections

As a nurse, a wound care certification can provide you with the skills and resources you need to accurately assess and document these wounds in a timely manner, allowing for earlier intervention, more accurate diagnosis, and more effective early treatment, all leading to a reduction of pain and overall improved outcomes for your patients.

Why Should I Pursue a Wound Care Certification?

First and foremost, the knowledge and experience that you will gain from your wound care coursework will make you a better nurse. You will be better equipped to help patients, provide an exceptional standard of care, and improve their quality of life.

Beyond that, a wound care certification:

  • Gives you a skill set that is currently in demand and becoming ever more so as the American population ages and more individuals enter skilled nursing facilities
  • Makes you a more attractive hire for facilities and increases your promotion and compensation potential
  • Allows you to serve as a resource for your colleagues and employers, opening the door to supervisory and management positions as you progress in your career

Who Can Pursue a Wound Care Certification?

RNs and LPNs are the most common practitioners who pursue a wound care certification, but most programs are open to nurses, PAs, occupational therapists, physical therapists, medical assistants, and even physicians.

While some programs require that candidates have years of experience in nursing or wound care, others are open to nurses at any point in their career.

Typically, only nurses (RNs, LPNs, LVNs, and ARNPs) are eligible to receive continuing education credits for a wound care certification.

What Is Covered in a Wound Care Certification Program?

Depending on the program, the exact offerings could vary, but a program should at least address:

  • Assessment and Documentation of Wounds
  • Skin Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology of Wound Care
  • Physiology of Wound Healing
  • Pressure Injuries

A quality wound care certification course will give you not only a solid theoretical understanding of the causes, physiology, and biology of wound formation, progression, and treatment, but a solid basis of practical knowledge. Upon completion, you should be able to:

  • Properly identify and address simple and complex wounds of various types
  • Accurately document wound assessment and treatment
  • Recognize atypical, delayed, or other abnormal healing
  • Properly dress and manage wounds to reduce infection risk
  • Understand regulatory requirements for pressure ulcers
  • Utilize strategies and protocols to reduce or eliminate rehospitalization of wound patients

When you’re deciding between wound certification programs, look for a program offered by a physician or practice with a broad base of experience in wound care. Their depth of expertise will enable them to provide you with a more in-depth, well-rounded understanding of the issues surrounding wound care.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Wound Care Certification?

In-person wound care education programs can take anywhere from days to months to complete. Online education programs typically allow you to proceed at your own pace, allowing you to fit your study into your existing schedule.

Are There Board Certifications for Wound Care?

Yes, there are several certifications offered by a number of nursing and wound care boards. When deciding on a wound care education program, try to find one that will prepare you to sit a board certification exam; this will prepare you to receive board certification in wound care, which will enhance both your standard of care and your career.

Board certifications in wound care include:

  • Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB)
  • National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy (NAWCCB)
  • American Board of Wound Management (ABWM)
  • American Board of Wound Healing (ABWH)

Each certifying board has its own requirements for eligibility and may offer multiple types of wound care certification. Carefully review all of the options before deciding on a certification and education program.

What Can I Expect After Receiving a Wound Care Certification?

As a certified or board-certified wound care nurse, you may receive increased responsibility and autonomy in your healthcare role. Once you are able to accurately assess and identify wounds, you may be tasked with making rounds in your facility to perform routine wound assessments on patients to quickly identify wounds and document them for further treatment.

You may also be expected to perform on-demand assessments as other nurses or practitioners spot and report wounds on facility patients.

As patients receive treatments for their wounds, you will be responsible for documenting the progression of the treatment, performing dressing and other practices designed to minimize infection risk, and advising other health professionals on the proper performance of these tasks.

Regardless of your day-to-day responsibilities, you will become a resource for other members of your team as they look to you for guidance on the proper assessment, documentation, and management of wounds in your facility.

Why Choose a QSM Wound Certification?

When you’re ready to pursue your wound care certification, the QSM Wound Certification program is an excellent choice. Our team has been working in skilled nursing and other residential care facilities for more than 20 years, and enrollees in our certification program benefit from that experience.

QSM’s Wound Certification program is a collection of accredited courses, all offered fully online, allowing you to fit your studies into your schedule without having to shuffle your entire life around classes.

Our program consists of training covering every subject from anatomy and physiology of the skin to study of why non-healing wounds won’t heal.  Upon completion, your “Gold Dot” certification pin is a badge indicating to your colleagues, patients, and future employers that you’re a qualified wound nurse who is dedicated to providing cutting-edge wound care.

Interested in Pursuing a Certification to Grow Your Potential as a Healthcare Professional? Call QSM to Find Out About Our Wound Care Certification Program800-226-8874