IN THIS ISSUE:     Award Spotlight  |   Helping Hands  |   Did you Know?  |   Save Dates

President's Message

Hello and happy summer!  There are some exciting things going on within our certifications.

I enjoyed meeting many of you who stopped by our booth at the WOCN Annual Conference in Philadelphia last month. We had a team of Board members, PGP Committee members, and staff on hand to answer questions about certification and recertification. While at the conference, we celebrated WOCNCB®’s 40th Anniversary with cupcakes and photo-ops in our exhibit booth.

I would like to recognize the recipient of the 2018 Employer Recognition Award: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The award was presented at the WOCN Society conference, and they are an amazing team of dynamic, young nurses who are innovative in their approach to providing care and identifying interventions for prevention. It is so exciting to see the emergence of new leaders within our field.

I would also like to recognize the wonderful nurses who have 30 years of certification – you are our mentors and our pillars of wisdom.  Thank you for your presence and your practice. 

2018 has already seen many projects related to our certifications come to fruition.  You’ll find stories in this newsletter about the new Foot Care Fast Track, the new and improved PGP Handbook, and details on the many exam prep resources that are available as you get ready to take the certification exams.  

We encourage you to talk about your certifications – share them with nursing students, with your peers, and with your patients.  Let them know about your achievements.  Your celebrations are our celebrations!  Please share your stories on Facebook, LinkedIn, and through our newsletters. We will continue to celebrate our 40th Anniversary throughout the year, so please share your photos and stories both new and old #wocncb40.

I was so excited to meet so many new nurses who have decided to pursue certification through the WOCNCB®.  Your energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  And to the nurses who have longevity – it is your wisdom that has built our specialties and set the GOLD standard for patient care.  I look forward to hearing more stories and celebrations of nurses certified by WOCNCB®. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me directly.

Jill Trelease, DNP(c), FNP-BC, CWON, CFCN
WOCNCB® President

Award Spotlight

2018 Employer Recognition Award

Congratulations Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH)

From left to right: representing TJUH: Marzena Sroczynski, BSN, RN, CWOCN, Jill Bocchese, BSN, RN, CWOCN, Shane Rudolph, BSN, RN, CWOCN, Jinah Yoo, BSN, RN, CWOCN, Mary Anne McGinley, PhD, RN, Senior Vice President for Patient Services & Chief Nursing Officer and Denise Gould, BSN, RN, CWOCN.

The WOCNCB Employer Recognition Award is awarded annually to honor an organization that has demonstrated exemplary support of the certification process in WOC nursing. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) is the winner of the 2018 award. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is a level 1 trauma center with 900 beds, employing 5 CWOCNs.

"The ability to have a team of Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses (WOCNs) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital has been invaluable.  The WOCN certified nurses are qualified specialists in caring for patients with ostomies, difficult to treat wounds, and pressure injury prevention. They are knowledgeable in technological advances as well as therapeutics related to wound, ostomy, and continence care.  The WOCNs have also contributed greatly in the positive culture shift seen in our institution especially in the area of pressure injury prevention and treatment.  Our WOCNs are visible and accessible throughout the hospital:  they perform daily skin rounds with an interdisciplinary team, collaborate with staff caring for at-risk patients, as well as assess and educate patients and families. Their interdisciplinary approach ensures that everyone knows their role in pressure injury prevention – from transportation aides to physicians and nurses, patients and their families.  In addition, our WOCN team provides mentorship and guidance to our unit based Skin Champion nurses through monthly education and one-on-one collaboration. 

Pressure injury prevention is foundational to the care our patients receive at Jefferson. Evidence of the effectiveness of our WOCN team includes:  our hospital-acquired pressure injury prevalence rate is consistently below the National benchmark for a Level 1 Trauma center; education of staff and creating educational tools for staff; planning and coordinating an Annual Global Pressure Injury Prevention Conference that engages our staff as well as staff from local institutions. I can attest to the positive impact that our WOCN team has made in ensuring that every patient receives excellent care at our institution."

Mary Anne McGinley, PhD, RN, Senior Vice President for Patient Services & Chief Nursing Officer

Click here to learn more about the Employer Recognition Award and read the winning 2018 nomination essay.

Congratulations to these WOCNCB® Certified for hitting the 30-Year Continuous Certification Mark in 2018!

Karen Aal

Paula Erwin-Toth

Elaine Hoglin

Joan Sjolander

Nancy Amick

Alicia Ferguson

Karen Hunter

Geraldine Smith

Susan  Bell

Joan Flynn

Therese Jacobson

Barbara Strunk

Susan Berns

Karen Fox

Kathryn Kwiatkowski

Thomas Szopa

Vicki Bingham

Thelma Fuhs

Debra McCamish

Denice Taylor

Sarah Brentzel

Catherine Garvin

Andrea McIntosh

Debra Thayer

Pamela Brown

Donna Golden

Joan Morse

Cathy Thomas Hess

Lisa Chenot

Brenda Goodson

Maryann Ostrout

Ing Tioe Tjoa

Bonnie Cunningham

Mary Anne Griffin

Cindy Parlett

Robert Trout

Judith Dedio

Nancy Gutman

Marilyn Pekol

Alda Visnauskas

Linda Dickerson

Patricia Hart

Catherine Ratliff

Deborah Warner

Wilson Enfinger

Jean Hicks

Jane Rupert

Carolyn Watts

They join the ranks of individuals who hit the mark previously.  To view the list of previously WOCNCB® 30-year continuous certifications since 2013 click here.

Congratulations to our 2018 video contest winners!

Contest theme: As a Certified Nurse what impact has 40 years of WOCNCB® Certification had on your nursing specialty(ies)?

  • First Place: Irene Beaman, RN, CWON & Margaret Norberg, RN, CWON®
  • Second Place: Bonnie Landy, RN, CWON®
  • Third Place: Sabina Shrestha, RN, CWOCN®

View winning videos!

Share your Accomplishments

WOCNCB® would like to recognize our certificants for their accomplishments!  If you have an achievement that you are especially proud of, or if you know a colleague who does, let WOCNCB® know!  We are dedicated to highlighting the successes of our incredible nurses through social media, email updates and newsletters.

2018 Conference Highlights!

Helping Hands

A Patient's Point of View

Gina Day, RN, CWON and Phil Balmoos

My name is Phil Balmoos.  In October of 2016, I suffered my first and only bout with diverticulitis.  I was hospitalized, and given antibiotics with the hope that my bowel was not perforated.  On the 3rd day, a full scan showed that my sigmoid colon was indeed perforated and to my great surprise, I was told that I was going into surgery as soon as they could get me into the operating room.  My mind went blank, and then was flooded with a cacophony of confusing thoughts and questions.  I was frightened, not knowing much about what was about to happen and not looking forward to it.  My mom had received a colostomy 20 years prior caused by colon cancer and my loving wife had stepped up and cared for her.  So my wife had experience with caring and fitting of ostomy products then.  

After the surgery, doctors and nurses would come in and look, touch, feel, look at drips, ask how I’m feeling, draw blood, etc.  I don’t really remember their names or faces.  Then I met a wonderful nurse named Gina Day.  

She came into my room, and proceeded to tell me that she was there to make sure I knew how to deal with my new plumbing.  Now, I was still reeling from wrapping my head around this “thing” so learning about it was the last thing I wanted to do just then.  I was hungry because for the 3 days before my surgery and until the bowels came out of shock, (3 days later) all I had was ice chips.  Also, my incision (10 inches long) was healing so it was slow.  But as soon as I was able to sit in my chair, Gina handed me a colostomy bag and said practice opening, closing, handling, cleaning and getting used to it.  As I said, my wife had experience with my mom, so it was a little more comforting with her there to listen to Gina and ask questions.  Gina kept reiterating to me (us) that she was determined that I was going to be proficient at handling this process.  Gina answered (and continues answering) all our questions, made many helpful suggestions regarding diet changes, and really made us feel okay about this.

Then the surgeon told us that I would go home on Friday but there would be no visiting nurse available until Monday, expecting my wife to handle the daily incision dressing changes for the weekend.  On the previous Thursday, when my wife saw the raw, weeping incision for the 1st time, she turned white and nearly fell out.  Gina stepped in and challenged the surgeon’s recommendation of discharge (much to the chagrin of the surgeon) and insisted I stay and discharge Monday. 

Gina Day is an ostomy nurse.  She is the only ostomy nurse in the Pocono area.  That has to be overwhelming.  She is kind, caring, and totally dedicated to helping “ostomates” with this life-altering situation.  She is a mom.  She has a life but always takes time to call back, answer texts, and do whatever it takes to help us.  She organizes our monthly support group, newsletter, events, guest speakers, lines up manufacturer representatives to come show us new or different product choices, and takes time just to listen.  There is nobody better or more informed about this field.  Oh yeah, she does all this and she doesn’t really have a dog in the race.  She does it just because she sees a need and cares. My wife and I are so thankful she came into my room.  Everybody in our support group, and anybody else who has had the pleasure of her expertise and manner feels the same way.

Did you Know?

Gaylene Montez, RN, CWOCN, CFCN

A CWCN and a CFCN have a lot in common

Happy feet.  Dancing feet. Athlete’s foot.  High arch. Flat foot. Fat foot.  Whatever type of feet people have, they are important to mobility.  Those of you who are certified wound care nurses know how much a diabetic neuropathic ulcer, or peripheral arterial ulcer can cost someone.  They can lose all or part of their foot or have an even greater portion of their leg amputated.  You can be part of the solution as a Certified Foot Care Nurse.  Certified Foot Care Nurses play a significant role in the prevention of lower extremity amputation through assessment and education of patients.

Certified Foot Care Nurses assist the elderly with fall prevention by assessing gait, mobility and foot wear.  As a Certified Foot Care Nurse, you can help clients walk again and wear shoes, not by a miracle, but simply by reducing nails and callouses.  You can assist diabetic patients and patients with a foot deformity to find shoes and cost-effective over the counter products that could reduce their risk of foot injury.  You can touch the homeless patient who does not have the resources to see a podiatrist.

Certified Foot Care Nurses function in homes, hospitals, podiatry offices, and assisted living and long-term care settings.

Touching feet and saving lives –the mission of a Certified Foot Care Nurse.

A Certified Wound Care Nurse (CWCN®) and a Certified Foot Care Nurse (CFCN®).complement each other and if you are currently certified in one area, you meet most eligibility requirements for the additional certification. Learn more here.

CFCN® FAST TRACK eligibility for current CWCN®, CWON® or CWOCN® - If you hold a CWCN®, it will replace the 8CE/CME in basic skin/wound care as well as the 12 clinical hours specific to skin/wound care needed! Full eligibility information is outlined in the Candidate Examination Handbook.

Official WOCNCB® Foot Care Flash Cards coming soon!

Your WOCNCB® is here for you!

The Benevolence Fund

The Benevolence Fund provides financial support for recertification. Possible circumstances that would qualify you for funding:

  • Severe Illness/Accident
  • Death of Immediate Family Member
  • Natural Disaster (fire, crime, flood, weather, etc.)

To learn more and download the application visit the Benevolence Fund page of our website.

New in 2018 - WOCNCB® is accepting online Benevolence Fund donations via the WOCNCB® website Donate Here!

WOCNCB® Certification & Recertification Resources

Exam Preparation

Time to recertify and don't like exams? Consider PGP

The WOCNCB® established the Professional Growth Program (PGP) as an alternative to taking an exam for recertification. Submit a professional portfolio using an online submission system. We have online resources to guide you through the PGP process. Click on any of these helpful tools to get started or visit the website.

Stay tuned for an upcoming invite for the new PGP Webinar later this year.

Need PGP points? Volunteer to Promote WOCNCB® with the Showbox!

Are you going to a WOCN Regional Conference?  If you plan on attending a regional conference, please consider volunteering and promoting the WOCNCB®.  To make it easy, WOCNCB® will send you a "Showbox" containing promotional material and resources.  As a bonus, you will obtain two PGP points (teaching category) under any specialty!  To request a Showbox contact: or call (888) 496-2622. Pictured right: Sheryl Bailey, BSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN  promoting WOCNCB® in Portsmouth, VA.


WOCNCB® 40th Anniversary

Celebrate with Us!

WOCNCB® is celebrating its 40 year anniversary in 2018. Join in the celebration by sharing your memories or photos from your years as a WOCNCB® certified nurse with us using #WOCNCB40 and adding the “I am a WOCNCB® Certified Nurse” Facebook frame to your profile picture.


Save the Date:  WOCNCB® will be exhibiting at these upcoming conferences:

International Continence Society (ICS) August 28-31, 2018 Phildelphia, PA - Learn More or Register

ANCC Magnet October 24-26, 2018 in Denver, Colorado - Learn More or Register

Desert Foot November 7 – 10, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona - Learn More or Register

Look for us at these conferences and stop by our booth and grab a WOCNCB® Certified purple name badge ribbon!

Return to Top

555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823
Phone: (888) 496-2622
Fax: (414) 276-2146
Stay Connected with WOCNCB®:

   Youtube     LinkedIn    Facebook