Break into One of the Most Rewarding and In-Demand Nursing Specialties in Canada - Become an NSWOC
Updated: Mar 2
Nursing is a rewarding career path that offers a variety of specialties for you to pursue. Becoming a specialized nurse will give you access to opportunities to work to the full scope of nursing, have greater responsibilities, and potentially a higher salary. But which specialty provides the greatest benefits? Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (NSWOCs) take the cake.
NSWOCs work across the continuum of healthcare to meet the needs of individuals living with ostomies, acute and chronic wounds, and urinary and fecal continence problems. Because of their extensive and valuable expertise, it is no surprise that the NSWOC’s are one of most in-demand nursing specialties in Canada, across the continuum of care.
Overall, nursing is among the most sought-after jobs in Canada as a result of significant labour shortages. In fact, registered nurses (RNs) are the one of the most in-demand job positions in Canada, with RN and registered psychiatric nurse job vacancies increasing over 27,600 in September 2022 (Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, “The Daily — Job Vacancies, Third Quarter 2022: New Record High Number of Job Vacancies in Health Care and Social Assistance”). In 2009, a report by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) predicted that Canada would see a shortage of over 60,000 full-time nurses by 2022 (Canadian Nurses Association).
However, this estimation did not take into account the strain the pandemic also put on the nursing population, driving even more nurses to leave their positions or retire (Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, “The Daily — Experiences of Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic, September to November 2021”). Moreover, as the population of Canada ages, the demand for nurses and NSWOCs will only continue to rise.
Given the current healthcare crisis in Canada, pressure on healthcare administrators to deliver cost-efficient care is intensifying—and policymakers are ever-more focused on ensuring quality and system sustainability. Wound, ostomy and continence challenges are common across all Canadian healthcare settings—and their management places a financial burden on the healthcare system. It has been shown that when NSWOCs are involved in care management, resulting in higher quality care, reduced costs, and improved outcomes for patients (Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada).
Pursuing a profession as an NSWOC is a rewarding career choice, allowing for lifelong learning, professional leadership, and an opportunity to work to the full scope of nursing practice. But how can you break into this specialty and advance your career?
At Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Canada (NSWOCC), we offer our Wound Ostomy and Continence Education Program (WOC-EP) through the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Institute. The WOC-EP is a state-of-the-art, paced, 12-month, blended online and practice-based program that prepares BN/BScNs for the role of an NSWOC. The blended program includes online theory acquisition with a clinical preceptorship for consolidation of knowledge gained into practice. The final exam for the program is the CNA certification exam, which, upon achievement, enables the NSWOC to use the credential WOCC(C).
Students in the WOC-EP program develop as an NSWOC leader to advance and sustain the tri-specialty of wound, ostomy, and continence management.
So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step to becoming an NSWOC:
Canadian Nurses Association. “Health Human Resources - Canadian Nurses Association:
Tested Solutions for Eliminating Canada’s Registered Nurse Shortage.” Canadian Nurses Association, www.cna-aiic.ca/en/nursing/nursing-tools-and-resources/health-human-resources. Accessed 24 Jan. 2023
A CNA report offering practical and feasible responses to a key problem for Canada’s health system: if the health needs of Canadians continue to change, and no policy interventions are implemented, Canada will be short almost 60,000 full-time equivalent RNs by 2022.
Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. “The Daily — Experiences of Health Care Workers
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, September to November 2021.” Statistics Canada, 3 June 2022, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220603/dq220603a-eng.htm. Accessed 24 Jan. 2023.
---. “The Daily — Job Vacancies, Third Quarter 2022: New Record High Number of Job Vacancies in Health Care and Social Assistance.” Statistics Canada, 19 Dec. 2022, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/221219/dq221219a-eng.htm. Accessed 24 Jan. 2023
On a quarter-over-quarter basis, job vacancies rose in the third quarter for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (+17.0% to 27,600)
Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada. “The NSWOC Power of 3:
HOW NURSES SPECIALIZED IN WOUND, OSTOMY AND CONTINENCE HELP.” NSWOCC, www.nswoc.ca/powerof3. Accessed 24 Jan. 2023.