New Definitive Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Core Curriculum Textbooks Benefit from Chapters by Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden Scholars

As the national population ages, there is a rapidly growing demand for nurses specializing in wound, ostomy, and continence care and a greater need for comprehensive expert training in this important area of healthcare.

To help meet that need, four Rutgers University–Camden nursing scholars are sharing their research expertise by authoring chapters in the newly published definitive core curriculum text books on wound, ostomy, and continence nursing.

“At the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden, we have a brain trust of academic nurses who are expert in caring for people with life-altering health issues that are frequent consequences of chronic illness,” says Joanne Robinson, dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden and co-author of a chapter on continence management. “We’re proud to share our expertise in these text books, which are the centerpieces of WOC education nationally.”

The three text books in the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Core Curriculum series were published by the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society through its “Educating Today for Exceptional Outcomes Tomorrow” program. The texts provide WOC nursing students and practicing clinicians with a comprehensive guide to WOC care.

Joining Robinson as chapter authors in the text books were Janice Beitz, a professor of nursing and director of Rutgers–Camden’s Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Education Program; Michael Clark, an assistant professor of nursing and director of Rutgers–Camden’s Doctor of Nursing Practice adult gerontology program; and Kevin Emmons, a clinical assistant professor of nursing at Rutgers–Camden.

“WOC nursing is a niche field and there are few nurses who specialize in the field,” says Emmons, who wrote a chapter on palliative wound care. “There are a small number of experts that must meet the demands of a large population of patients with WOC needs, so it’s rare to have a critical mass of knowledge in one institution. That makes our university unique.”

It is estimated that between 500,000 and 800,000 Americans are living with an ostomy and most of the patients who require wound, ostomy, or continence care are older Americans.

“It is our hope that wound, ostomy, and continence patients — especially older patients — benefit from information that is specific to their unique needs,” says Clark, who co-authored a continence management chapter with Robinson. “It is a topic that requires more research to increase our understanding of these issues and we hope these books will set a standard of care for those patients.”

The Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden has one of the few graduate level WOCN certificate programs in the country and the first in New Jersey. The new text books are designed specifically for students in certificate programs like Rutgers–Camden’s program, where 20 students are currently enrolled.

Established in 2013 and accredited by the WOCN Society Board of Directors in 2014, the 13-credit program prepares nurses to provide acute and rehabilitative care for patients with wound, ostomy, and continence care needs in multiple healthcare settings, including inpatient, outpatient, long-term, and home health care. The program also prepares students to sit for the national certification exam in wound ostomy continence nursing.

“These text books present a state-of-the-art curriculum featuring the latest thinking on WOC nursing from top national experts,” says Beitz, who has contributed to the development of a number of best practice algorithms to assist WOC nurses in patient care. “This shows that Rutgers–Camden is nationally renowned for WOC education and we’re proud to lend our expertise.”

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