A few things can get cloudy when talking about wound certifications, accreditations, and licensing. Sometimes, businesses can even purposely be vague with what they offer, leading consumers to make inaccurate conclusions. WoundEducators is here to set the record straight for you.
What is a Certification?
A ‘certification’ is simple – it’s a tool used to signify that someone passed an exam. It’s a clear way to measure or show someone’s competence.
Certifications may be required, or they may be optional. In some locations, certification is a requirement for employment or practice.
Wound Care Certification
To achieve a legitimate accredited wound care certification, you must be nationally certified through either the American Board of Wound Management (ABWM), the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Board (WOCNCB), or the National Alliance Wound Care Ostomy (NAWCO). This certification only happens after:
- All specific requirements are met
- Applications are submitted
- The National exam(s) are scheduled
- The National exam(s) are passed
For example, you can use Wound Educators courses and practice exams to prepare you for the CWCA, CWS, CWSP, WCC, AWCC, or CWCN certifications. WoundEducators and the credentialing organizations (ABWM, NAWCCB, and WOCNCB) are separate companies that operate independently of each other.
Certification and Certificates
Certification and Certificates are different things although the words are very similar.
Make sure that any certificate offered is not being mistaken for a certification. Companies can have their own brand-name certification that is not nationally recognized or accredited – it’s simply a certificate.
Two examples of companies that offer ‘wound care certification’ that simply is viewed as a completion certificate include:
- SNF Wound Care
You will still need to choose a wound care certification exam and pass it, which can add an extra cost that you may be unprepared for if it’s not disclosed upfront.
The Difference Between Certification and Licensure
Licensing or licensure can be thought of as mandatory certification. Think about passing your original NCLEX and becoming a nurse. You had to apply through your state licensing boards and pass the NCLEX exam.
Many wound certifications list having an active license as a prerequisite to sit for the exam. This means if you are an RN you must have an active RN license to apply for the CWS exam (among other prerequisites!)
Currently, there are no accredited wound care certifications that are offered without the official application and exam process. Why? This is the only standardized way to maintain the national standard set forth and ensure candidates truly know wound management! Generally, accreditation only happens when the exam organization is independent of the study or course material. Accreditation is done through an independent agency that is not the course provider or the exam provider- to keep it fair.
National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the accreditation organization that reviews certifications and makes sure they follow all guidelines set forth by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).
If you’re still following along, see where WoundEducators fits into all this talk on certificates, credentialing, certification, and accreditation.
Does Wound Educators Offer Wound Care Certificates or Certification?
When you finish the WoundEducators online wound care certification course and pass the course exam, you receive a course completion certificate. This certificate shows you possess the necessary wound management knowledge covered in the course. This does not mean you are wound care certified YET – you still need to sit for the professional exam and gain the “official certification”, or licensure.
You’re still on track! This course completion certificate can be used to leverage more experience with your current employer, distinguish yourself from your colleagues, or help you pursue a different job that has more wound-care-related responsibilities. You will also get up to 60 CE hours upon receiving the course completion certificate.
WoundEducators wound care courses are also independently accredited and approved for continuing education hours. Quality is important when investing in your wound care education, and we made sure to do it right.
WoundEducators Offers the Most Flexibility with Wound Certification
We aim to always be transparent with our students and help guide them to choose the best wound care certification for their current role, experience and desired career path. As a result, you can use our course to prepare you for ANY nationally accredited wound certification exam. We know students will have to pay for the exam, so our course is priced below the national average to accommodate for the extra cost! If you need help deciding which course or which nationally accredited certification is right for you, contact us and we can help you navigate.