Transcript | Pathways in Wound Care Education


Become a Wound Care Nurse

Work in a challenging but rewarding field.

Earn good pay.

Enjoy numerous job opportunities.

Fulfill your desire to help others.


Degrees in Wound Management Nursing












CNA | Certified Nursing Assistant

Also known as home health aides, nurses’ aides, personal care assistants or patient care technicians, CNAs work directly under the supervision of a registered nurse and relay vital information to the nurse in charge.

Duties Include:

Administer topical products.

Monitor and take vital signs.

Maintain medical record documentation.

Salary: $25,000

Requirements: 2 weeks – 1 month training. Classes usually taught by an RN.

Workplace: Hospitals or nursing homes, adult day care centers or assisted living facilities and even private settings.


LPN | Licensed Practical Nurse (LVN*)

*In some states, LPN has been replaced with LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse).

Under the supervision of the registered nurse or prescribing provider (e.g. physician, APRN, or physician’s assistant), the LPN/LVN provides the prescribed care to the patient at-risk of or with wound care needs. 

Duties Include:

Vital signs, drawing blood, dressing application, assessments.

Treatment and prevention of pressure injuries.

Maintaining medical record documentation.

Salary: $44,000

Requirements: High school diploma, 1-2 year practical nursing program accredited by the state board of nursing, work experience, NCLEX-PN exam, state licensing exam.

Workplace: Hospitals, home health care settings, personal care companies


RN/ADN | RN with Associate Degree in Nursing

Registered nurses can advance in his/her career in administrative work or as head nurse of a unit. RNs are directly involved in patient care, including vital signs and basic patient comfort duties.

Duties Include:

Administration of medications.

Patient care plans and assessments, direct interaction with physicians.

Staff education of staff, community education.

Maintenance of medical records and detailed communication to other nurses on staff.

Salary: $71,000 - $75,000 + sign-on bonuses and benefits

Requirements: Diploma or associate’s degree in nursing, NCLEX exam, state licensing exam

Workplace:  Hospitals, nursing homes, specialty doctor offices, private care agencies, physical therapy settings and insurance companies.


RN-BSN | RN with Baccalaureate Degree

RNs who want to increase their salary or enter administration roles often seek a four year baccalaureate degree. Because of the nursing shortage, more schools are offering accelerated RN-BSN nursing programs.

Duties Include:

Patient and wound assessment.

Develop nursing care plans.

Interact with primary care providers and other staff.

Salary: $79,000

Requirements: 4-year Bachelor of Science degree

Workplace: Hospitals, nursing homes, specialty doctor offices, private care agencies, physical therapy settings and insurance companies


MSN | Masters of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) now represents the educational standard upheld by national certification organizations offering credentials to certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse practitioners, as well as state Boards of Nursing responsible for the issuance of advanced practice authorization. A nurse with an MSN degree can pursue certification in a specialty or continue their academic education toward a DNP or PhD. Most schools have MSN programs tailored to specific Advanced Practice RN (APRN) roles.

APRN Roles:

Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nurse Practitioner



APRN | Advanced Practice RN

An Advanced Practice RN (APRN) is a nurse with advanced training in a specialized nursing role, who passes the national certifications. These nurses most commonly have a Masters’ of Science in Nursing (MSN) and successfully pass a national examination to use the title APRN. Nurses who have earned a DNP (either with or without a MSN) may also sit for the national examination and become APRNs. An APRN can generally practice medicine without the supervision of a physician.

APRN Types

Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nurse Practitioner

Salary: $100,000 - $176,000

Requirements: MSN or DNP degree. Nurse practitioners must have completed an NP program in a specialty.

Workplace: Inpatient hospital settings, clinical settings ranging from home healthcare to public health centers



CNS | Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Clinical Nurse Specialist plans, directs, or coordinates daily patient care activities. A CNS ensures adherence to established clinical policies, protocols, regulations, and standards and works to improve patient outcomes by applying theory and research to improve the efficiency and success of nursing systems.

Duties Include:

Evaluate quality and effectiveness of nursing practice.

Perform assessments, differential diagnoses, specialized tests and prescribe medication.

Maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives and infection control standards.

Salary: $95,000

Requirements: MSN plus national certification denoting advanced knowledge and clinical skills in a specialty

Workplace: Inpatient hospital settings, clinical settings ranging from home healthcare to public health centers



NP| Nurse Practitioner

A Nurse Practitioner works independently or in collaboration with a physician (according to state practice acts and facility/agency policies). This specialist has many of the same duties as a physician, without the residency and longer schooling program.

Duties Include:

Write prescriptions and coordinate referrals.

Provide services in wound clinics.

Provide Medicare billable services (RNs lack this ability).

Salary: $100,000 - $176,000

Requirements: MSN, 1-2 year NP Program in a specialty, NP certification

Workplace: Cardiology, Emergency, Family practice, Geriatrics, Neonatology, Nephrology, Oncology, Pediatrics, Primary care, School health, Women's health.


DNP | Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the educational requirement for national certification and state licensure in all APRN roles. The curriculum for the DNP degree builds on traditional master's programs by providing education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership. The DNP is intended to be a parity degree with other healthcare doctorates such as psychology, medicine, and dentistry.

Roles Include:

High-level health system positions.

Academic positions.

Policy making roles.

Salary: $90,000

Requirements: Master’s degree in nursing + 3 years in a DNP program.

Workplace: High-ranking administrative positions in universities, pharmaceutical companies, health advocacy organizations, nursing or other health-related publishing companies.


PhD | Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS, DSN, DNSc) have historically been research-focused. Doctoral programs in nursing focus largely on the development of critical thinking and linking theory and practice to research within the framework of scientific inquiry.

Roles Include:

Tenured university professors

Clinical research coordinators

Principle investigators

Salary: $90,000

Requirement: Master’s degree in nursing + 4-5 years in PhD program.

Workplace: Research or high-ranking administrative positions in universities, pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, health advocacy organizations, health care information technology corporations and nursing or other health-related publishing companies


Education/Training/CE* Timeline (in years)

CNA – Less than 1 year.

LPN/LVN – 1 year.

RN/AND – 2 years.

RN/BSN – 4 years

Certification – 5 years

Masters – 6 years

PhD, DNP, APRN – 7+ years.


When to take the Wound Management Fundamentals Course

Wound Management Fundamentals Course is designed for healthcare professionals who want to learn the basic concepts of wound management and would like the opportunity to practice hands-on skills. Many students who complete the Wound Management Fundamentals Course go on to take Wound Management Certification Prep, which is a much more in-depth program with a clinical experience component.

When to take the Wound Management Certification Prep

Wound Management Certification Prep is designed for RNs with a baccalaureate degree.  Wound Management Certification Prep can be taken for graduate-level credit and is an in-depth program with a clinical experience component.

When to take continuing education courses

Continuing Nursing Education is a way for nurses of all levels to keep updated and learn new skills. UW Continuing Nursing Education offers many wound care education opportunities, including the popular (and free!) UW Wound Academy. To learn more, you can search our catalog for all courses related to wound care.



What is Certification?

Certification is the formal process by which a certifying agency, such as American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), validates a nurse's knowledge, skills, and abilities in a defined role and clinical area of practice, based on predetermined standards.

Nurses achieve certification credentials through specialized education, experience in a specialty area, and a qualifying exam.

Purposes of Certification

Protecting the public.

Meeting the needs of employers, practitioners, and the public by identifying individuals with certain knowledge and skills.

Assuring consumers that professionals have met standards of practice.

Demonstrating an individual's commitment to a profession and to lifelong learning.

Providing an individual with a sense of pride and professional accomplishment.

Increasing salary.


Certification Organizations

Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board

American Board of Wound Management

Wound Care Education Institute

American Professional Wound Care Association

Facility-specific certification


Are You Eligible to Take a Certification Exam?

Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board - Bachelor-prepared nurses.

American Board of Wound Management - Bachelor-prepared nurses.

Wound Care Institute - Anyone holding a healthcare license.

American Professional Wound Care Association - Healthcare workers in a variety of settings.

Facility-specific certification - Depends on the facility.


Requirements for Certification

Most certification organizations require a bachelor degree, college credit or contact hours in a specialty, and a certain number of hours of clinical experience.  Most require that education, training and experience occur within 5 years of taking the exam. For details, please consult the website of the certification organization you are interested in.

Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board.

American Board of Wound Management.

Wound Care Institute.

American Professional Wound Care Association.


Preparing for the Certification Exam

Many nurses take a review course or certification prep course before they take a certification exam. UW Continuing Nursing Education offers an extensive wound management program for update and review:

§  Wound Management Certification Prep

o   130 contact hours (6 graduate level credits)

o   Online and three-week onsite class in Seattle

o   Clinical experience


Salary per Degree

Salaries range from $25,000 to $130,000 depending on position, city and state of practice.


Why take Continuing Nursing Education classes?

Keep your nursing knowledge updated! Some states even require CE.
Most recertification requires CE as well.

It’s easy to update your wound management knowledge with offerings by UW Continuing Nursing Education, a unit of the UW School of Nursing. UWCNE is accredited by ANCC and WOCNCB and provides lifelong learning excellence to wound care professionals. For more information, click the UW CE button at the left.


Wound Management CE at Continuing Nursing Education

Annual Conference - Update in Wound Management

Online Education - Wound Care Update.

Blended Course - Wound Management Fundamentals Course.

Blended Course - Wound Management Certification Prep.


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