Eight VON nurses in training to provide advanced wound & ostomy care

NSWOC Education Photo

Advanced wound and ostomy care can improve healing time, enhance patient experiences and boost healthcare system capacity. With that in mind, we are currently supporting eight registered nurses with VON in Ontario to complete Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOC) certification training through the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute. 

“We are extremely proud of these nurses for completing the first module of the NSWOC program, and we look forward to celebrating their next achievements during the course of the program,” says Heather MacArthur, Associate Vice President, Home and Community Care, Ontario South West & South East

The NSWOC program is a 12-month, highly interactive online program that certifies university-prepared nurses (BN/BScN or equivalent) for the role of NSWOC.

The cohort of VON nurses began the course in January of 2024. Agnes Falconio, Farrah Taipale, Jared Hiemstra, Jennifer Vickers, Kristina Darlington, Katrina Kreller, Kirsten Vinken and Gurpreet Atwal have been working together on assignments and studies, and supporting each other in their learning. Each manager has worked to provide flexibility and the time required to focus on their weekly studies.

“We are pleased to be able to support these dedicated nurses through a very exciting journey that will in turn allow us to support more clients with complex needs,” says Davina Wong, Associate Vice President, Home and Community Care, Central & Northern Ontario. "Some of the requirements for participation included a minimum of one-year experience at VON, working as an RN in the Visiting Nursing program, and a willingness to work in a hybrid field-and-classroom model. All of our nurses also received positive endorsements from their managers to take part in this exciting initiative."

The program consists of three courses: Ostomy, Continence and Wound. Each course entails 160 hours of education, 75 hours of which are spent in the clinical setting, for a total of 480 hours of specialized education, with 225 hours in the clinical setting.

The final exam for the program is the Canadian Nurses Associate (CNA) certification exam, which enables the NSWOC to use the credential WOCC(C).

This “grow your own” initiative at VON is not the first of its kind. Previously, three VON NSWOCs were financially supported by VON Community Corporations to complete their education. VON has also supported students in PSW programs through triOS College as part of the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) curriculum that maps to the provincial-approved training standard.