Welcome to the WOCN Society Member Spotlight blog, featuring inspiring stories behind our members. In this edition, we shine a light on Barbara Pieper, PhD, RN, CWOCN, BC-ACNS, FAAN, WOCNF, a distinguished WOCN Society member with an impressive 34-year history of continuous involvement in the wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) care field. As a Professor and a member of the inaugural WOCN Fellow class, Barbara’s journey is marked by a passion for continuous learning, impactful research, and a commitment to advancing WOC nursing.
Barbara’s entry into the nursing field was prompted by her desire to explore new wound care products entering the market. Intrigued by the potential of transparent dressings, hydrocolloid dressings, and specialty beds, she sought to understand their usage and effectiveness. The journey led her to the WOCN Society, where she discovered a community committed to openly sharing ideas and care—an integral part of her early career development. Barbara’s passion for healthcare is rooted in the dynamic interactions with nursing students, patients, and staff, coupled with the perpetual learning that the field demands. This enthusiasm has driven her commitment in nursing education, clinical practice, and scholarly pursuits.
Joining the WOCN Society
When she joined the WOCN Society in 1989, Barbara was drawn to the Society’s objectives and influential Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing (JWOCN). Early contributions to the publication marked the beginning of a fruitful relationship. Barbara has always enjoyed the camaraderie among nurses, learning opportunities at annual conferences, participating on committees, submitting, and reviewing manuscripts to JWOCN, and including WOC care concepts in her academic lectures.
Meaningful WOC Moments
Proud of her role as a WOC nurse in nursing education, clinical practice, and scholarship, Barbara stated “My favorite stories would be from my clinical practice in the injection drug community.” Barbara witnessed the pride and transformation of patients within this community when embraced by a respectful clinical practice to help heal their wounds.
Vision for the Future
In the next five years, Barbara plans to continue her impactful volunteer work, including wound care consulting in a street health program and mentoring nurses. Her commitment to giving back to the community remains unwavering. Barbara’s life outside nursing involves volunteering in non-nursing areas and indulging her passion for travel. Through these experiences, she gains valuable insights into the impact of culture, religion, health, and nutrition on individuals.
Being a WOCN Fellow
Barbara’s decision to apply for the prestigious WOCN Fellow Program was motivated by a desire to explore the accomplishments of her illustrious career. She envisions the program evolving, with varied types of Fellows playing roles aligned with the changing objectives of the WOCN Society. Recognizing and supporting her fellow professionals in the WOC nursing community, Barbara emphasizes the unique contributions of Fellows. “Fellows working together can have a positive effect on multiple aspects of healthcare at the local, national, and international levels,” said Barbara.
Advice for Aspiring WOCN Fellows
Barbara stresses the importance of holding and maintaining a WOC board certification, keeping an updated curriculum vitae, and actively participating in research and evidence-based practice projects. She encourages WOC nurses to participate in committees and seek mentorship when applying for the fellowship. “I learned so much being a section editor on the JWOCN as well as manuscript reviewer, participating on the Scholarship Committee and Abstract Review Committee, as well as other committees,” Barbara emphasized.
Thank You, Barbara
On behalf of the WOCN Society, thank you, Barbara, for being a valuable member of the WOCN Society. Your passion for continuous learning, collaboration, and mentorship sets a commendable standard for aspiring WOC nurses within the community.
Listen to the WOCTalk podcast episode WOCN Fellows of Excellence: Shaping the Future of WOC Nursing featuring Dr. Pieper and 2023 inaugural Fellow class member Dr. Buscemi.