Thought you'd like to read this: Wound, Ostomy And Continence Nursing Recognized As Subspecialty

Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nursing is one of the newest specialties recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA). The Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) was recently notified of the ANA's decision. The Association, which represents the interests of more than 3.1 million nurses in the United States, advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice. ANA's recognition of WOC nursing as a specialty signifies that WOC nursing adheres to the high-standards of practice cultivated by the ANA.

To earn ANA recognition as a specialty, thorough research and documentation of the specialty is required. For two-and-a-half-years the WOCN Society ANA Specialty Practice Task Force compiled, reviewed and revised information for the application. The completed application materials were compiled into three documents, which focused on the: Scope of Nursing Practice, Standards of Nursing Practice and the formal criteria for designation for Specialty Practice. The documentation contains a comprehensive examination of the history, practice and standards of WOC nursing.

Although the documentation is required as part of the ANA application process, its utility is very broad. WOC nurses, as well as educators, administrators and attorneys can apply this information to their specializations. Some of the information available in the documents includes, but is not limited to:

-- A standard definition of WOC nursing.

-- A discussion of the art of WOC nursing.

-- An inventory of the responsibilities of the WOC nurse as an advocate.

-- An overview of the role played by the WOC nurse in disease management.

-- A review of the ethics and values expected of those who practice in this area.

-- A review of the requirements related to WOC nursing and professional accountability.

-- An identification of the specific steps involved in the WOC nursing process, which include: assessing trends within populations, defining issues, identifying outcomes, planning and implementing improvement strategies, and evaluating the results.

-- A framework for providing patient care that is based on the assessed needs of the individual, current best practices, and ongoing evaluation of patient outcomes.

-- An overview of the diverse practice environments in which WOC nurses contribute their specialized care.

Most importantly, the WOCN Society believes the information contained in these documents is essential to anyone practicing in the field. The information can be used to familiarize WOC nurses with where the profession came from, its current expectations and where it is evolving. Knowledge is power and that is precisely what these volumes provide -- knowledge to begin dialogue with administrators, professors, politicians, patients and others to ensure that all decisions regarding WOC nurses come from a well-informed place.

Source: Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society