Welcome to the WOCN Society Member Spotlight blog, featuring the inspiring stories behind our members. This month, we’re spotlighting Anne Walsh, ANP-BC, CWOCN, ACHPN. With a passion for providing home care, Anne’s story serves as an example of the learning opportunities and rewarding feelings of assisting patients in their own homes.
Embarking on a Journey
Anne became a registered nurse in 1995 and entered the WOC healthcare profession in 2000 after taking the WOC Nursing Education Program (WOCNEP) at Emory University, setting the stage for her WOC career. Inspired by a WOC CNS mentor during her early years in home care, Anne earned her WOC certification and the rest is history!
Anne’s decision to join the WOCN Society was a deliberate choice. Her aim was to network, learn from peers in the field, and further enhance her skill sets in wound, ostomy, and continence care. One of Anne’s favorite aspects of being a WOCN Society member is the continuous learning opportunities, especially through daily consolidated digest emails to stay informed about the latest practices and insights from fellow WOC professionals.
Passion for Home Care & Palliative Care
Anne loves providing home care and finds it rewarding to assist patients in their own environments. The diversity of backgrounds and healthcare needs encountered keeps her engaged, turning each day into an adventure and a learning opportunity. Anne felt an exceptional sense of pride when she transitioned into palliative care and hospice in 2008. Supporting patients, caregivers, and staff in managing complex wounds and ostomies proved to be an especially rewarding experience.
Transformational Patient Care
Recalling a specific impactful moment, Anne shared a story about a home hospice patient with significant leakage around her venting PEG. Being part of the hospice care team, Anne was able to contain the leakage, marking the beginning of her ongoing involvement in hospice care.
Reflecting on her career, Anne remembers a patient with a new ileostomy who initially struggled to adjust. “I made regular visits to her home and was rewarded to see the depression lifting. Her blinds were always drawn initially, and she did not leave her home I saw all that change as an appropriate ostomy appliance was put in place and her peristomal skin healed and she felt supported and not alone. She kept in touch for years after being discharged from homecare.”, said Anne.
In addition to her clinical work, Anne obtained a post-master’s certification in hospice and palliative nursing. Recognizing the shortage of wound and palliative-specialized clinicians, she launched the educational wound app “Wound Care Pro” in October 2022. Originally named “Palliative Wound Pro,” the app aims to be inclusive, applying similar wound care principles while considering differing goals of care, such as wound healing or palliation.
Looking ahead, Anne envisions continuing in a hybrid role of in-person and virtual WOC consults. She plans to mentor clinicians interested in wound and ostomy care while providing ongoing staff education. Additionally, she aims to continue publishing, writing policies/protocols, and presenting at conferences related to wound care, palliative care, and nursing.
Outside of her professional life, Anne enjoys reading, being outdoors, dining out, traveling, and spending quality time with her family.
Thank You, Anne
On behalf of the WOCN Society, thank you, Anne, for being a valuable member of the WOCN Society and for the clinical skill, education, empathy, and trust you bring to the profession of WOC care. Anne’s journey exemplifies the dedication and impact that WOCN Society members bring to healthcare. Stay tuned for more Member Spotlights as we continue to celebrate the incredible professionals within our community!