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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice
ANA Rules Favorably on WOCN Society Request
Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nursing is one of the newest specialties recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA). The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing 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.
The WOCN Society Prepares Its Case
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.
"The Book" 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.
This document is now available to order through the WOCN Online Bookstore.
Order now >>
As with any profession, the members who are part of it are only as
strong as the body of knowledge that guides them. Being recognized as
specialty by ANA is a laudable achievement.
Keeping current with the knowledge base of the profession is recommended
to ensure that professionalism is maintained.
Updated: May 19, 2010
Posted: March 29, 2010