FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WTA PROGRAM
WHY CHOOSE THE WTA PROGRAM?
Acknowledging the ever growing demand for wound care services in all health care settings, the WOCN Society developed the WTA Program to:
- Educate and prepare more skilled wound care providers across settings, including the military services.
- Enhance nurses’ ability to provide optimal care for patients with acute and chronic wounds as members of a collaborative wound care team.
- Provide the non-WOC certified nurse the ability to optimally care for the patient with chronic or acute wounds under the direction of the WOC specialty nurse, WOC APRN nurse, or physician.
Benefits of the WTA Program include:
- Content of this program provides clear discussion of role limitations and importance of CWCN consultation for complex or non-responsive wounds.
- Pricing is designed to provide affordable wound care education.
- The program was developed and presented by internationally-recognized leaders and educators in wound management and prevention practices.
- Unlike other wound education courses, the WTA Program requires comprehensive hands-on training and testing.
- The WTA Program is an evidence-based continuing education course that meets international standards of care and prepares participants for the WTA-C certification.
- Graduates of the WTA Program are eligible to become WTA-C certified. This certification is offered through the WOCNCB®, a certification body nationally recognized by the ABSNC and the NCCA.
- The WOCN Society is an accredited provider of continuing nursing professional development through the ANCC.
WHERE CAN THE PROGRAM BE OFFERED?
The WTA program can be offered in any healthcare setting, in one of two ways:
- An online course that is followed by on-site competency training and testing. The online program can be presented in any environment, under the direction of a WOCN Society-approved WOC nurse (WTA Course Coordinator). The didactic lectures are delivered through pre-recorded online learning modules, featuring well known and seasoned WOC experts, to ensure consistency in the content of the program. The WTA Course Coordinators for the online course may add their own case studies/examples to clarify areas that might be questioned by the attendee. The online course coordinators will also be responsible for the onsite competency evaluations. Alternatively, they may recruit WTA Clinical Skills Instructors.
- An on-site course that is delivered live, over 3-5 days, but expert faculty identified by the WOCN Society. This delivery method also includes competency training and testing.
For more information about the on-site WTA Programs, please contact the WOCN Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO CAN TAKE THE COURSE? (BSN, OT, PT, PA, ETC). WHAT IS THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR COURSE PARTICIPANTS?
The WTA Program is offered to non-BSN, LPN/LVNs and medics, but attendance is not limited to those levels of practice. The WTA Program would be an excellent program for SWAT, PU/IP, and Skin Resource teams.The target audience for the WTA Program includes:
- Licensed health care providers (LPN/LVNs; non baccalaureate RNs; and/or baccalaureate or Master’s prepared RNs who do not wish to specialize but want more knowledge in wound care).
- Military medics/corpsmen (Active duty).
- Other clinicians who want more wound care knowledge.
Note: Continuing Education (CE) Contact Hours provided only for nurses. All other attendees will obtain a certificate of completion upon successful completion of the program.
CAN MILITARY MEDICS TAKE THE PROGRAM? CAN IT BE USED ONCE OUT OF ACTIVE DUTY?
The information provided within the WTA Program is an excellent overview of normal anatomy and physiology, wound healing principles, types of wounds and wound care therapies. Medics/corpsmen are often the initial and primary wound care providers for wounded soldiers and the information provided in the course will be beneficial in their role. The ability of medics/corpsmen to provide wound care when they are no longer on active duty will be dependent upon where they choose to work, the criteria of that employer, and practice restrictions based on state licensing requirements.
HOW DO I GET THE WTA PROGRAM AT MY INSTITUTION?
The first step is to commit to the importance and value of bringing up to date wound prevention and wound treatment training to your nurses and discuss implementing WTA training in your organization. WTAs create a support system to ensure accurate implementation of plans developed in coordination with certified wound clinicians.
The second step is to identify a WOCN certified nurse (CWCN, CWON or CWOCN) who can serve as Course Coordinator. If a WOC certified nurse is not available within your organization to take on this role, there are a number of national providers who can bring this program to your institution. Refer to the WTA providers list. For those interested in becoming a Course Coordinator click here to apply to be a Course Coordinator.
Once there is an approved course coordinator at your institution, a two year license must be purchased for $2,500. There is also a $150 participation fee for each participant who is signed up to take the course.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WTA, WCEI, AND WCC?
The primary factor that differentiates the WTA program from its competitors is that the WOCN Society has clearly identified the role of not only the WTA, but also the roles of the WOC advanced practice registered nurse and WOC specialty nurse. Based on content endorsed by the WOCN Society, the program is designed for wound care providers functioning at the non-specialist level. Wound treatment associates will be prepared as strong and knowledgeable team members to complement the role of the WOC specialty nurse.
The program itself is unique in a few ways:
- The WTA program offers 32.25 ANCC-accredited contact hours, which is more than other similar programs.
- In addition to passing a written comprehensive examination, participants must also demonstrate competency
- There are several clinical skills competencies that accompany the program, and course coordinators can choose which their participants must complete. This allows the program to be tailored to different practice settings.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE WTA ONLINE COURSE?
There is an initial fee of $2,500; this licensing fee permits your agency to offer the WTA Program for a two-year period. There is an additional fee of $150 per participant for up to 100 participants within the two-year licensing period. This fee covers a hard copy WTA participant workbook and administrative costs of managing the Program for each participant.
CAN I PREVIEW THE WTA LESSON VIDEOS?
Below are short videos previews of three WTA Program modules. These videos provide an example of the video format and the presentation style.
WTA Module 1
WTA Module 10
WTA Module 14
HOW LONG IS THE PROGRAM?
- Each participant is expected to complete the course within three months.
- The online program is designed to be self-paced, however, all participants are required to complete the course within 3 months from the date they are enrolled in the program.
- The total estimated time required for completion of all elements of the course is about 32 hours.
- The estimated time to view all pre-recorded online learning modules and to complete online review questions is approximately 15-20 hours.
- Additional time will be required for the applied learning day, which typically takes about 6-8 hoursand includes review of critical content, preparation for the final exam, skills demonstration and practice.
Participants are also required to meet with the Course Coordinator at defined points throughout the course and to complete a final exam and skills competency testing.
Click here to view a 12 week sample schedule for all students and Course Coordinators to use as a template for course flow and completion.
WHAT CLINICAL SKILL COMPETENCIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE WTA PROGRAM?
Participants will be able to demonstrate competency in the following skills:
- Performing risk assessment
- Pressure injury prevention
- Basic management of incontinence associated dermatitis and skin tears
- Documentation of wound status
- Application of a compression wrap
- Measuring an ankle brachial index (ABI)
- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT).
- Wound Identification
- Using the Braden Scale for predicting pressue injury risk effectively
WHO PROVIDES THE EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS FOR THE COURSE?
The course curriculum, instructional/delivery methods, and methods of evaluation of participants (written examination, competency evaluation scenarios/scoring guides/criteria for evaluation, etc.) were developed by the WTA Task Force and Committee and are produced and copyrighted by the WOCN Society.
WHO PROVIDES THE SUPPLIES FOR THE HANDS ON TESTING?
Supplemental materials such as dressing samples, compression wraps, ABI equipment, NPWT equipment, etc., will be the responsibility of the individual course coordinator/facility to arrange and provide.
IS THERE A CAP FOR THE ATTENDANCE?
No. It is up to each individual WTA Course Coordinator to determine manageable class size. However, it is important to remember that one cannot enroll more than 100 participants within the 2-year program license.
IS THERE CLINICAL OR PRECEPTING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
No, there are no precepting or clinical requirements. The didactic instruction and final written examination will be provided online. The overall course will be facilitated by a WOCN-approved WTA course coordinator (WOC nurse) who is onsite and will review and facilitate the learning/evaluation activities for the participants. The course coordinator will provide clarification and guidance to learners, as needed. Additionally, the course coordinator will be responsible to assist with demonstration and evaluation of the clinical skills competencies in simulated experiences, following established criteria and scoring methodology. Depending on the number of participants, additional WOCN Society approved clinical skills instructors may be used to demonstrate and evaluate the clinical competencies.
HOW DOES THE WOCN SOCIETY MARKET THE WTA PROGRAM?
The CWOCN who wants to bring the WTA Program into their facility is responsible for marketing the program to their facility administrators/CNO, and for recruiting their participants. WOCN has created a number of marketing tools to help with this effort, which can be found on the Getting Started with the WTA Program page.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE WOC NURSE COMPARED TO THE WTA? IS THERE A CONFLICT OF PRACTICE/PURPOSE?
There is no conflict of practice or purpose.
In 2017, the WOCN Society updated and disseminated a position statement about the “Role and Scope of Practice for Wound Care Providers” that defined the roles of the WOC advanced practice registered nurse, WOC specialty nurse and the wound treatment associate. The position statement clearly identifies that wound treatment associates are prepared to function under the supervision of a WOC advanced practice registered nurse, a WOC specialty nurse or physician. By clearly defining the roles and through marketing efforts, the intent is to strengthen the position of WOC specialty nurses as the expert, capable of directing bedside care associates to improve patient outcomes.
WOC nurses are “specialty” nurses as recognized by the American Nurses Association who are prepared as experts and leaders by virtue of RN licensure, minimum BS degree, education from a WOCN Society accredited program and/or certification from the WOCNCB. Wound treatment associates will not be prepared to serve as leaders but to function as integral members of the wound care team to support and extend the role of the WOC specialty nurse.
HOW CAN I BECOME A WTA COURSE COORDINATOR OR WTA CLINICAL SKILLS INSTRUCTOR?
The following criteria apply to course coordinators and clinical skills instructors:
- Must be an active member of the WOCN Society.
- Must be certified by WOCNCB as CWCN, CWON, or CWOCN.
- For Clinical Skills Instructors only: In the event there are no WOCNCB certified and qualified wound care nurse specialists available, a registered nurse who is a certified wound specialist (CWS) by the American Board of Wound Management (ABWM), may be approved as a CSI.
- At least 1 year of clinical experience in wound care, post certification.
- Clinical experience/expertise in the following areas: risk assessment, pressure injury prevention, wound management, differential assessment and management lower limb ulcers, ankle brachial index measurement, sensory testing with Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, 4-layer compression wraps, and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) wound identification; and using the Braden Scale for predicting pressure injury risk effectively
- Strong interpersonal skills.
Additional criteria for course coordinators include:
- The online course coordinator must have experience/expertise in small group work and instruction such as planning/presenting in-services, new staff orientation and precepting/mentoring students.
- The onsite faculty must have experience/expertise in public speaking/presentations at a regional/national level, as well as experience/expertise in small group work and instruction.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE MULTIPLE COURSE COORDINATORS? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE PROCESS, APPLICATIONS, OR COST?
The program cost remains the same regardless of the number of WOC instructors (course coordinators) or WOC nurses serving as clinical skills instructors to evaluate the competencies. All instructors must meet the WOCN Society criteria and be approved to serve in this role. The application and approval processes for co-coordinators are the same as for course coordinators. Course coordinators may share one program license, which allows them to oversee the progress of the same set of participants.
WILL THERE BE TRAINING FOR INSTRUCTORS/COURSE COORDINATORS?
Course coordinators have access to a recorded orientation video, which walks them through the navigation of the online platform, and provides tips for administering the program. This video can be viewed in the course coordinator’s account. If you have questions about accessing the video, or if you have questions that are not addressed in the video, please email email@example.com.
CAN I EARN PGP POINTS FOR SERVING AS A COURSE COORDINATOR? HOW ABOUT IF I TEACH IT MORE THAN ONCE?
WTA Course Coordinators can earn PGP points under the “Teaching” category. Points allocated for the WTA Program reflect the need for personal preparation in order to answer learner questions and be prepared for interactive online discussions. You cannot claim PGP points for the independent development of learning materials and content.
For more information, including how to properly document your involvement with the WTA program, as Course Coordinator, how many and what types of hours are eligible, etc., please contact the WOCNCB.
HOW MANY CONTACT HOURS ARE OFFERED TO NURSES UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF WTA PROGRAMS?
The comprehensive WTA Program offers 32.25 contact hours to licensed nurses who complete the program in its entirety.
HOW CAN THE WTA TITLE BE USED? DOCUMENTATION? FACILITY NAMES AND ROLES? COULD THE WTA TAKE THE TITLE WITH THEM?
Individuals who successfully complete the course requirements will receive a certificate of completion documenting they completed the Wound Treatment Associate Program and earned 24 contact hours for nurses and 20 continuing competency units for PTs and PTAs. Completion of continuing education programs does not customarily confer a title upon the participant such as occurs with licensure or certification.
A sample position description for a nurse completing the WTA Program is available as part of the program. WTA graduates may share this document with their employer and use it as a guide/template/foundation, if agreeable by the employer.
CAN I BECOME CERTIFIED AS WTA-C?
Yes, however WTA-C certification is not a requirement. Depending on the organization/agency, WTA-C certification is preferred and may be required. The WTA-C certification credential launched in the Fall 2015 and represents a critical stage in the evolution of wound care. Voluntarily applying for certification is another step in the process of ensuring the delivery of consistent quality care and would be the choice of the WTA graduate.
WILL THE WTA-C BE ACCREDITED BY THE ANCC FOR ORGANIZATIONS TO USE IN THEIR CERTIFIED NURSE COUNT FOR MAGNET DESIGNATION?
The ANCC recognizes specific certifications toward gaining Magnet status, and WOCNCB’s are on the list for the following: CCCN, CFCN, COCN, CWCN, CWON, CWOCN, CWOCN-AP. WOCNCB is in the process of getting this certification credential added to the list of ANCC-accredited credentials.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS OF THE WTA AND THE WOC NURSE? ARE THERE LIABILITIES TO WOC NURSE?
When collaborating with other nurses, a WOC nurse is not responsible for the actions of others. Scope of practice limits are defined by each state and each nurse is accountable to practice in accordance with the specific requirements of the licensing boards in the state(s) in which he or she practices.
CERTIFICATION VS. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION ACCOMPANIED BY CONTACT HOURS: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Although the WTA course is not a certification program, as an educational program developed and endorsed by the WOCN Society it does carry a certain amount of credibility. The WOCN Society is internationally recognized as a premier provider of wound, ostomy and continence education. It is accredited (accreditation with distinction) as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Also, many states require RNs and LPN/LVNs to have a certain numbers of contact or continuing education hours for re-licensure or re-certification. This course can help meet that need. The Society continues to highly value and support the WOCN Society-accredited education programs and the process of certification for WOC specialty nurses by the WOCNCB. We also recognize that there is a continued and growing need to increase access to skilled wound care providers at the non-specialty level to achieve positive healing outcomes, prevent complications, and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. While not all providers of wound care will seek or are eligible for WOCNCB certification, continuing education is essential for all levels of wound care providers to ensure quality of care for the patients we serve.
CAN CREDITS FROM THE WTA PROGRAM BE APPLIED TOWARDS A WOCNEP PROGRAM?
No. The WTA Program is geared to the non-specialty level of practice and does not have the depth and breadth of content as presented in the WOCN Society accredited nursing education programs (WOCNEPs). WOCNEPs have very specific requirements for the curriculum with content and methods of instruction that are designed to prepare post BS degree registered nurses for specialty practice and certification.
SHOULD I ENROLL INTO THE WTA PROGRAM IF I AM A CWCA?
Yes. The course will provide valuable continuing education, based on evidence-based guidelines and best practices recognized by the WOCN® Society that could be used as a basic review or update for a variety of wound care providers.
WILL CMS RECOGNIZE THE WTA GRADUATES IN LONG TERM CARE AS A TEAM LEADER IN ABSENCE OF A WOC SPECIALTY NURSE?
The WTA graduates will not be prepared to serve as the “team leader.” Please refer to position statement: “Role and Scope of Practice for Wound Care Providers.”
CAN PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE ADVANCED PRACTICE CREDIT FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE WTA PROGRAM?
While the WTA course is not accredited through AANP, it is accredited through AANC, and ANCC allows nurses to self-designate advance practice credits. This means that a nurse can decide if the education she/he is about to receive is considered advanced practice based on the nurse’s current scope of practice, education level, experience, etc. In other words, those who are taking the WTA program could claim AP credits for the program, since knowledge gained by attending these programs is of higher level and can be considered advanced practice.