I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. In 2020 we experienced the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of you were on the frontlines caring for patients who tested positive for COVID-19 while also facing the upheaval of school shutdowns and caring for family members. I’d like to thank all of you for your service to your patients during this trying time.
2020 brought many changes including the introduction of live remote proctoring (LOP) for certification exams, which allows test takers to take an exam on a computer at home while being observed by a proctor online. We offered LOP exams under a waiver from the accrediting bodies for our certifications, and we are planning to continue offering this testing option moving forward once those accrediting bodies provide final approvals.
As we begin the New Year, we have a new member of the Board of Directors. Linda McKenna is a CWOCN who is at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Health University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. She has been certified for 27 years and previously served on WOCNCB’s PGP Committee and as the PGP Committee Chair. She will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board of Directors. I would also like to thank our outgoing Immediate Past President, Jill Trelease, for her years of service on committees and the Board of Directors.
I would also like to thank the members of WOCNCB’s Board of Directors and committees for conducting their work virtually this year. Committee members spent up to 16 hours on virtual meetings in October and November, so exam writing could be completed, the Advanced Practice job task analysis could get underway, and plans for 2021 could be developed. We would like to thank them for their dedication to WOCNCB®.
Looking ahead to 2021, I hope I will have the opportunity to see many of you in person at conferences and meetings. I would like to thank each of you for maintaining your WOCNCB® certification, which sets the standard for wound, ostomy, continence and foot care nursing certification by validating nurses’ knowledge to provide safe, patient-centered care.
Michael Kingan, DNP, AGPNP-BC, CWOCN
Jessica Simmons MSN, APN, FNP-C, CWON, DNC
Jessica has served on the WOCNCB® Board since 2017 and has been a CWON for twelve years. Prior to serving on the board she was a member and later Chair of the WOCNCB Marketing Committee, served on the Awards and Nominations Committee and is the current WOCNCB JWOCN liaison. Jessica believes certification through the WOCNCB® not only validates the nurse's expertise in their specialty but also promotes patient safety through care given by WOCNCB® certified expert nurses. Click here for more information on the current Board of Directors.
Nominate Your Employer!
WOCNCB® 2021 Employer Recognition Award
Accepting applications through February 15, 2021
The WOCNCB® Employer Recognition Award is awarded annually to honor an organization that has demonstrated exemplary support of the certification process in WOC nursing.
To nominate your employer:
Nominate your employer for the 2021 WOCNCB® Employer Recognition Award! Visit http://www.WOCNCB.org/about-us/employer-recognition-awards
Accepting nominations through February 15, 2021.
Thank you WOCNCB® 2020 Volunteers!
WOCNCB® is thankful for all those who donate their time to board or committee service. There are so many that contribute to the success of this organization. We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to those volunteers whose service ended in 2020:
Jill Trelease, DNP(c), FNP-BC, CWON, CFCN, (Little Compton, RI), Board of Directors 2012 - 2020
As we reflect upon the past year and how we all dealt with the global pandemic by finding ways to adjust to a new working environment. WOCNCB® Certified nurses are making a difference each and every day by positively affecting society through their work, passion, and commitment to serving patients.
Public Policy and Advocacy Committee Takes Action
In September, the WOCNCB Public Policy and Advocacy Committee (PPAC) drafted a letter to CMS on disposable ostomy irrigation sleeves. At a PPAC monthly meeting, committee member Colette Allen raised the issue of ostomy patients only being allowed four reusable irrigation sleeves per month under the HCPCS code, which means the sleeves need to be cleaned and dried for daily reuse. Since that HCPCS code was created in 1996, disposable irrigation sleeves have become available which offer more flexibility to the user. Disposable irrigation sleeves can be used with almost any pouching system and are applied directly onto the skin, but the sleeves need to be disposed of after each bowel movement.
Working with WOCNCB’s Public Member, Jeanine Gleba, who is the Advocacy Manager with United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) and PPAC Chair Valerie Harris, a letter was drafted to support creation of a new HCPCS code for disposable irrigation sleeves. The WOCNCB Board of Directors approved sending the letter on September 22.
Since the letter was submitted to CMS, Colette and Jeanine have given testimony at a virtual public hearing on the topic. CMS should be making a decision by the end of January, and we will let you know when we know the outcome.
Thank you to Colette, Jeanine, Valerie, and the other members of the PPAC for their work on this issue that impacts the quality of life for many ostomy patients.
Live Remote Proctoring Available
Live remote proctoring allows you to take the exam anywhere you have a secure internet connection for a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam. A proctor will check you in and watch as you take the exam. Remote proctored exams are available 7 days a week. More details on remote proctoring can be found here.
Don't let your WOCNCB® credentials lapse!
Credential Extension Request
We know that conditions in health care facilities and practice locations vary widely across the country, and each nurse’s situation is unique. If you have been impacted by the pandemic, and it is preventing you from completing your recertification, please submit a credential extension request before your credentials lapse. An extension request can extend your certification for 3 to 6 months to allow you more time to prepare to take the exam. A form to request an extension can be found here. Reviews of extension applications are completed within 7-10 days.
In addition, if you are unable to renew your credentials due to a financial strain, you can also submit a Benevolence Fund application to cover the expense of recertification. You can find an application here.
As always, thanks for all you do to serve patients and for choosing WOCNCB® for your certification!
WOCNCB® has joined Instagram!
Follow us and be the first to hear about conferences and CE opportunities, tips and tools for treating your patients, research, public policy alerts, WOCNCB® news, and more. By joining Instagram, we’re adding to the ways we get information out to you to help care for yourself and your patients, earn PGP points for recertification, and learn about the latest volunteer opportunities and WOCNCB® news. Do you have something for us to share on our Instagram? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Instagram for subject line.
Exam Fee Rebates Offered
WOCNCB® offers a 30% rebate on first time exam fees to members of the US Public Health Service. The 30% rebate is also offered to employees of the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health Services and U.S. military veterans. More information can be found here. This is for first time exam takers, so share this information with colleagues.
Live Streaming CE opportunity March 18, 2021 Mayo Clinic Wound Symposium. Learn the latest diagnostic and treatment strategies for comprehensive wound management. Faculty present multidisciplinary, evidence-based therapies and techniques for wound care in a variety of educational formats, focusing on clinically relevant updates to improve patient outcomes. 8.75 CEs offered Learn more.
Look for WOCNCB® at these upcoming 2021 conferences:
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