When wound care professionals decide on a school and course that leads to certification in a clinical specialty, it’s typically the result of a lot of thought.
Alumni of our Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) are no different.

Most clinicians will tell you they weigh the cost of additional education and certification, against the benefits of undertaking such an endeavor.

Upon completion of a course and taking the certification exam, students of the WCEI have shown they are willing to make an investment in their education, said Diana Ramirez-Ripp, CWCMS, manager of live events for WCEI.

“Our alumni made a commitment not only to their careers — but also to their patients by furthering their knowledge in wound care,” she said.

Although no one can predict the future of a person’s professional path and achievements, the benefits of being an alumnus of the WCEI are many, Ramirez-Ripp said.

“Some of our alumni go on to serve on boards of various organizations or open wound care centers,” Ramirez-Ripp said. “Once you become certified, you’re considered an expert in the field, which can increase the likelihood of more professional opportunities.”

Tangible benefits of WCEI alumni abound

In addition to WCEI’s ongoing offerings of certification and recertification courses and the annual Wild on Wounds (WOW) Conference, alumni of the WCEI have access to additional education — many of which are free-of-charge — from a wide variety of resources, said Ramirez-Ripp.

Alumni benefits include:

  1. Free live webinars created by WCEI instructors or vendors.
  2. Free seminars sponsored by industry partners or vendors.
  3. On-demand webinars for only $10 each.
  4. Digital engagement with access to our WCEI Alumni closed Facebook group — a private space to share professional tips and information.
  5. Access to Wound Central, which is  a wound care journal published quarterly. You must request a subscription on the website and an email will be sent to alert you when each issue is published.
  6. Opportunities to become subject matter experts for special projects.
  7. Volunteer opportunities for focus groups and some WCEI special events.

Regenia Butler, RN, WCC, DWC, a telemetry nurse and member of the hospital-wide skin prevalence team at Methodist Health System in Dallas believes strongly in nurses becoming wound care certified.

“When I was a supervisor in home health, one of my staff members came to me with the idea of getting our nurses certified in wound care,” Butler said. “I thought it was a great idea and jumped at the chance. Five of us went to Chicago in 2010 for our training. It has truly been a rewarding experience to become wound care certified. Not only did our team learn a lot about wound care, which greatly benefited our patients, we saw our business increase as a result. We received more referrals from physicians due to our staff being wound care certified.”

Educate yourself and others about wound care

Additional benefits for WCEI alumni include access to ongoing educational resources, Butler said.

“I’m asked to consult on many wound patients. I sometimes get resistance from other staff members regarding my advice,” Butler said. “When this occurs, the WCEI website and the Wound Central Journal are some of my go-to resources to help educate fellow nurses and others, as to the latest evidence-based treatments for the types of wounds we’re discussing. This helps to convince reluctant providers who are practicing in outdated ways, that I know what I’m talking about and recommending the best care for our patients.”

For Stephanie Mansfield, LVN, WCC, DWC, an added benefit has been the increase in her marketability as a nurse.

“I took two courses and have two certifications from the WCEI and since then, I’ve had more opportunities in nursing,” said Mansfield, a wound care coordinator at Willow Bend Nursing and Rehabilitation in Mesquite, Texas, and a home health wound care nurse for Bridgeway Health Services in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mansfield was working for Butler when she spearheaded wound care certification for her staff back in 2010.

“We saw so many patients with wounds,” Mansfield said. “I knew becoming certified would help us as nurses and help our patients.”

Attending our WCEI annual WOW conference each year since 2011 has been a great experience for both Mansfield and Butler.

“WCEI cares about the nurses, PTs and physicians who attend these conferences,” Mansfield said. “They want us to learn, and if they don’t have an answer to a question, they’ll get the answer for you.”

Butler said attending WOW each year has been a great teaching tool.

“I use the information gained at WOW to teach others about wound care and also in my work assessing patients and providing wound care,” Butler said.

Providing ongoing education for clinicians who are our alumni is very important to us, said Janene Brubaker , senior product manager with the WCEI powered by Relias.

“From our seminars, webinars and Wound Central Journal, to our closed Facebook group, we believe in staying connected with our alumni to support their ongoing quest for knowledge and good outcomes for their patients,” Brubaker said.

Learn more about wound care today with one of our courses.

Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN, CDCES

Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN, CDCES, is a freelance writer and diabetes educator. Her background in nursing includes tenures in healthcare management and as a care provider. She has worked in med/surg/telemetry, a pediatric emergency department and college health.

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