The Best Wound Care Certification to Have — Comparing Options

Published on October 30, 2021 by Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN, CDCES

If you’re currently working in wound care or contemplating moving into it as your new specialty, you may want to consider becoming certified.

Why? The skills of certified wound care clinicians are in great demand.

The wound care industry in general lacks enough knowledgeable clinicians to handle the challenges of chronic wounds, said Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, a clinical wound care instructor for the Wound Care Education Institute.

“Comprehensive wound care training is rarely included during college training for all healthcare disciplines, and this includes programs for MDs, NPs, PAs, RNs, PTs, OTs, and LVNs.”

The lack of standardized, pervasive wound care training for clinicians sets the foundation for why clinicians working with wound patients on a routine basis may want to get certified in wound care, said Richlen, who also owns Infinitus LLC, in Santa Claus, Indiana, a wound care instruction and consulting company.

Who Should Consider Wound Care Certification?

Richlen advises that any clinician working on a day-to-day basis in wound care should strongly consider enrolling in formal wound care training.

“If you decide to get certified, you’ll experience comprehensive training in that process. You’ll also need to complete all the training to be eligible to sit for the certification exam,” he said.

What Are the Different Wound Care Certifications?

The first step to attaining wound care certification is having experience within the specialty as well as a solid foundation of wound care knowledge, said Richen.

Also, Richen added that when comparing the different certifications, “It’s important to know that each wound care certification has different prerequisites and requirements.”

Let’s discuss each one to help you decide which may be the best wound care certification course for you.

Wound Care Certified (WCC) Open to All Clinicians

“The wound care certified (WCC) certification is the most inclusive, as clinicians from all disciplines and from various educational levels can undergo this training and sit for this exam,” Richen said.

The WCC course is open to:

  • Nurses (at all levels)
  • Physicians
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Registered Dietitians

The course that prepares our students for this certification is the skin and wound management course.

Ostomy Management Specialist (OMS)

The ostomy management specialist (OMS) training we offer is also open to all clinicians just like the WCC.

“The OMS certification is helpful if you’re working with ostomy patients on a regular basis,” Richlen said.

If you’re considering the wound ostomy certified nurse (WOCN), this certification is specific only to nurses and requires at least a bachelor’s degree, Richlen said.

Diabetes Wound Certification (DWC)

For clinicians who routinely work with diabetes patients and provide care for their wounds, they’ll want to consider our diabetes wound management course.

Once completed, you’re eligible to sit for the diabetes wound certified certification (DWC) exam, Richlen said.

He added, “If you’re only working with these patients on a rare or occasional basis, the basic WCC would serve you well. If not, DWC is specific to diabetes so if diabetic patients are the majority of your patients, the DWC would be a good way to go.”

Nutrition and Wound Certification

If you’re a registered dietician (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), you can take WCEI’s skin and wound management course to prepare for your board exam.

“Completing this class and fulfilling the other requirements allows RDs and RDNs to sit for the Nutrition Wound Care Certified (NWCCTM) Examination.”

WCEI also offers a free 60-minute webinar for RDs and RDNs called, “Nutrition: Recipe for Success in Wound Healing.”

How Much Does It Cost to Get Wound Care Certified?

The cost to take our wound care certification courses ranges from $1697 to $2797. The total cost of your course depends on which certification program you choose, which delivery format you choose (live online, online self-paced, and onsite/in-person), and whether you are new to WCEI or a returning student earning your second certification.

The cost of each program is listed under the “tuition” section on our website under each certification course and is also listed on the “course format” page under each certification course.

We also offer recertification and refresher courses which range in price from $297 to $1297.

Don’t forget, once you complete your course and fulfill the other necessary eligibility requirements, examination boards also charge a fee for registering and sitting for their exam. You’ll want to review the examination board’s website regarding wound care certification exam costs.

Final Thoughts on Becoming Certified and Gaining Expertise

Richlen said that it’s important to keep in mind that just because a clinician becomes certified, it does not make them an expert. He added, “Having an alphabet soup after one’s name does not necessarily provide you with expertise.”

Getting certified provides the potential for a clinician to become an expert, and becoming certified is a big step toward that goal, he said.

Some clinicians base their practice on personal opinions and not facts, Richlen said. “We need to treat patients using facts and evidence-based care, not feelings and opinions,” he said.

If you want to become an expert, you’ll want to engage in continuous learning. Richlen suggests, “Attending conferences, reading wound care journals, staying up to date on evidence-based treatments and products for patients with wounds, and practice using solid evidence — this is a true expert.”

 

Take our engaging, evidence-based Wound Care Certification Courses for nurse, registered dietitians, physical therapists, and more professionals. Choose the format that suits you and get access to tools to help you ace your exam.

 

Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN, CDCES
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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