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About NSWOCC

Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC) is a registered charity for over 500 nurses specialized in the nursing care of patients with challenges in wound, ostomy and continence and over 700 total members.

NSWOCC acts in the public interest for Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOCs) to give national leadership in wound, ostomy and continence promoting high standards for NSWOC practice, education, research and administration to achieve quality specialized nursing care.

NSWOCC speaks for NSWOCs and gives them a strong national association through which they can support each other and speak with a powerful, unified voice. NSWOCC is working towards taking an active role in legislative policy which could influence the health care decisions that affect NSWOC professionals every day.

Mission

Leading excellence is our passion.

Enhancing lives is our inspiration.

Innovation is our commitment.

Vision

Every person deserves specialized wound, ostomy and continence care.

Values

Nursing Specialty Excellence.

Leadership.

Collaborative partnerships.

Executive Board

Executive Board

Regional Directors

Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada is a national organization which is set up in five regions to strengthen communication. Each Region is led by a Regional Director who is an elected Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (Member of NSWOCC). There are two regional meetings held per year which all NSWOCC members can attend. The NSWOCC Regional Directors are NSWOCC Board Members and they report to the NSWOCC Executive Board. The Regional breakdown and Regional Directors are as follows:

Regional Directors

Core Program Leaders

We are pleased to introduce our Core Program Leaders. These programs have produced exemplary work from members of the NSWOCC.

Get Involved!

If you’d like to get more information about a Core Program, or if you’d like to learn how to get involved, please email office@nswoc.ca.

Community Engagement

Core Program Leader

Erin Rajhathy

RN, MClScWH, BScN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

This Core Program will continue to provide the necessary resources, supporting documentation and strategies to respond to internal and external influences that impact the association. This may require communicating solutions to address issues at a local, regional and national level. Please contact the Board with any ideas that you may have in the area public relations for our members. Portfolios: Improving specialized care in wound, ostomy & continence


Key Highlights

  • Attended the monthly Ostomy Canada and NSWOCC joint Advocacy meetings and the Ontario ADP Advocacy Task Force meetings

  • Continued to advocate to the Ontario Ministry of Health advocating for better ostomy reimbursement through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP)

  • Met with the Manager of ADP October 11/22 to discuss rationale behind increasing the reimbursement of ostomy supplies

  • Provided guidance and support to NSWOCs facing potential declassification in a large group of acute care facilities in Hamilton, Ontario resulting in the immediate cessation of declassification of the NSWOC as having Nurse Clinician status.

  • Disability Tax Credit (DTC) initiative to get the DTC Form change in the category of elimination to acknowledge NSWOCs as certifiers of the form. The DTC Disability Advisory Committee has agreed to meet in the near future.

  • Held the Nova Scotia Wound, Ostomy and Continence Summit on September 22, 2022, which was funded by a patient with some support from Industry partners.

Empowering our Members to Advocate

French Community of Practice

Core Program Leader

Valérie Chaplain

IA, BSc Inf, ISPSC, PSCC(C)

La communauté francophone de pratique vise à facilité l'accessibilité et le partage d'informations professionnelles parmi les membres des ISPSCC partout au Canada, dans le but de favoriser la prise en charge des patients issus de la minorité francophone partout au pays.


Projets en cours:

Recommandations des meilleures pratiques pour les soins des gastrostomies


Projets en constante demande: révision des documents traduits de l'anglais vers le français.


The French Community of Practice aims to facilitate the accessibility and sharing of professional information among NSWOCC members across Canada, with the goal of promoting the care of Francophone minority patients across the country. 


Current projects: 

Best Practice Recommendations for Gastrostomy Care 


Projects in constant demand: revision of documents translated from English to French.

Strengthening the French Language in Wound, Ostomy and Continence

Indigenous Wound, Ostomy and Continence Health

Core Program Leader

Bev Smith

RN, BScN, NSWOC

This Core Program is focused on improving the lives of Indigenous people in the areas of wound, ostomy and continence care. This group looks at the accessibility to NSWOCs, SWANs and WOC supplies to ensure the best possible care.


Key Highlights

  • Seven meetings have been held since January 2022.

  • We have been working with the University of Toronto’s KITE Research Center providing input on the development of sensor socks to identify pressure points on the foot and that could lead to a future project on creating culturally appropriate footwear for Indigenous peoples with diabetes. This work includes applying for grant funding and KITE collaborating with Vee Tech and Sona Group of India, to develop smart fabric-based wearables that could be customized to be culturally relevant.

  • We continue to work on having disposable negative pressure wound therapy covered by Non-insured Health Benefits (NIHB). We hope to get a response from NIHB before the end of the year.

  • Michelle Buffalo, RN, BScN, NSWOC, WOCC (C), Jer Caul, RN, BScN MClSc AHCP WH, CDE and Bev Smith, RN, BScN, NSWOC gave a presentation at the May 2022 NSWOCC National conference entitled, “Equitable Healthcare for Indigenous People”. Bev and Michelle conducted a role play during this presentation to demonstrate the challenges patients face when being discharged from a hospital into an indigenous community. This presentation is available in video format at www.sharingcircle.online

  • Our Indigenous Wound, Ostomy and Continence Core Program supported awarding a full scholarship to an Indigenous Nurse who graduated from the WOC-EP Program at the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute. Congratulations to Kaylee Irving who was the recipient of this award. This scholarship was generously funded by 7Generations Medical.

  • Congratulations to Michelle Buffalo, RN, BScN, NSWOC, WOCC (C) of Wetaskwin, Alberta who was awarded the Ostomy Canada Society scholarship in May 2022, for excellence in ostomy care.

Supporting Truth and Reconciliation

Membership

Core Program Leader

Shelly Barnes

RN, BN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

The new Membership Core Program will bring together a group of NSWOCC Members to engage, discuss membership benefits and the member experience within the association and create a plan to drive positive change.


Key Priorities

  • Continuing Education

  • Continue to advance NSWOC knowledge and proficiency

  • Support the National Office and other Core Programs in offering continuing education opportunities

  • Communication & Awareness of NSWOCC Activity

  • Increase communication from the Board of Directors more directly to members

  • Provide more updates on association & Core Program activities and initiatives

  • Meet the Networking and Collaboration needs of NSWOCC Members across Canada

  • Mentorship

  • Accommodate members from each time zone

We are still looking for members from Atlantic Canada and Québec to join our Core Program; if you're interested in getting involved, please email office@nswoc.ca.

Building Member Value

National Conference Planning

Core Program Leader

Mary Hill

RN, BScN, MScN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

One of many objectives that will be highlighted at the conference is to showcase NSWOC’s as leaders in wound, ostomy and continence care. NSWOCC Conferences are an excellent place to network and meeting new colleagues. During the summer there were opportunities to submit oral abstract presentations.

Paediatric Community of Practice

Core Program Leader

Stephanie Furtado

RN, BSCN, MClSc-WH, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

The Paediatric Community of Practice brings together an establishes a national network of NSWOCs and SWANS who are dedicated to advancing wound, ostomy and continence clinical practice in Canada.


Key Highlights

  • Thank you to the nurses who volunteered at Ostomy Youth Camp

  • Networking of members leading to new collaborative projects, for example a new case study poster being created for use of convex ostomy products in neonates.

  • Main project is the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Paediatric IAD

  • Preliminary practice enabler presented at the 2022 NSWOCC National Annual Conference.

  • Core recommendations due to go out for Delphi consensus among Community of Practice.

  • Volunteers will conduct a peer review

  • Target date for launch is May 2023

  • This Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Paediatric IAD will be available once completed at www.nswoc.ca under “Best Practice Recommendations

Specializing in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care of Children and Youth

Professional Development

Core Program Leader

Debra Johnston

MN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C), IIWCC

Debra leads this Core Program developing professional growth opportunities to facilitate the provision, maintenance and recording of knowledge, and clinical skills related to the scope of NSWOC professional practice including “Best Practice Recommendations:” There will be opportunities for NSWOCC members to get involved in this Core Program by answering the calls for volunteers, or by contacting Debra about future opportunities at office@nswoc.ca


Portfolios: Ethics, Professional Growth, Certification, Mentorship/website, Position Papers, Best Practice Recommendations.

Setting the National Standard of Practice for NSWOCs

Publications

Core Program Leader

Lina Martins

RN, BScN, MScN, WOCC(C)

This Core program focuses on providing opportunities for publication in the JWOCN and the NSWOC Advance.

Shaping the narrative of Wound, Ostomy and Continence nursing by publishing

Research and Practice Co-Chair

Core Program Leader

Kevin Woo

PhD, RN, FAPWCA, WOCC(C)

This Core Program develops evidence based Best Practice Recommendations, supports literature searches for all NSWOCC projects and identifies potential research projects for NSWOCC. Portfolios: Research, Best Practice Recommendations

Supporting Evidence Based Practice

Research and Practice Co-Chair

Core Program Leader

Karen Campbell

MClSc(WH), RN, WOCC(C)

This Core Program develops evidence based Best Practice Recommendations, supports literature searches for all NSWOCC projects and identifies potential research projects for NSWOCC. Portfolios: Research, Best Practice Recommendations

Supporting Evidence Based Practice

SWAN Community of Practice

Core Program Leader

Sharon Hunter

RPN, IIWCC, SWAN

This Core Program will be implementing and developing unique strategies to market the SWAN role as a critical team members within the Canadian healthcare system. This core program is open to SWAN Graduates and RPN/LPN who have an interest in skin health.


Key Highlights

  • The SWAN Community of Practice (COP) was re-launched March 2022

  • Terms of reference for this SWAN Community of Practice were developed

  • The following goals were discussed during the monthly meetings with the participants. We will:

  • be working to build awareness of the SWAN role - it is important that we establish an identity for SWANs. This will include developing some tools to assist communicating who SWANs are and the role that they play within the team.

  • improve communication among the group. A SWAN Facebook page has been set up and we encourage all SWANs to join - email office@nswoc.ca to get connected

  • work to build a SWAN mentorship program - we will be working on defining what this will look like

  • have a vision to launch a SWAN educational stream at the 2023 NSWOCC National conference which will be taking place May 3 to 7, 2023 at the Westin Ottawa. SWAN COP members provided input to this educational stream, and it has been integrated into the national conference education program for 2023. Thank you to all who contributed the ideas for topics and speakers.

  • set a date to have a “SWAN Day” – which will be a day set to recognize and celebrate SWANs for their work in skin health. This day will be selected starting in 2023.

Supporting Practical Nurses and Diploma RNs in Skin Wellness
Core Programs

Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute

WOC Institute

Additional Leadership

Additional Leadership

National Office

Director of Operations

Troy Curtis

BHum(Hons)

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Samaia Aidroos

National Office

NSWOCC's 40th Anniversary

The History of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing

1776

French surgeon performed the first documented ostomy surgery for bowel blockage. A sponge was attached to the opening with a bandage to absorb any effluent.

 

1958

Norma Gill offered a position as the first Enterostomal Therapist.

 

1961

The first formal ostomy education program was developed, and its graduates termed Enterostomal Therapy Nurses.

 

1964

Bertha Okun who had surgery for Ulcerative Colitis in 1957 graduated from the Cleveland Clinic as an Enterostomal Therapist under the supervision of Dr. Rupert Turnbull becoming the first Canadian Enterostomal Therapist. She went on to be a founding member of the North American Association for Enterostomal Therapists in 1968, now known as the Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society.

 

1980

The first Canadian Enterostomal Therapy School is started in Vancouver.

 

1980

Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy is formed to address Canadian issues related to ET Nursing.

 

1980

New Canadian Enterostomal Therapy Nursing Certificate Programs Formed. 

University of Toronto and Université de Montréal open Enterostomal Therapy Nurse certificate programs.

1982

Acute & Chronic Wound Management

Enterostomal Therapy Nurse scope of practice expands to include acute and chronic wounds.

 

1986

Continence Care

Enterostomal Therapy Nurse scope of practice expanded to include continence care.

1990

Closure Of Canadian Certificate Programs

University of Toronto and Université de Montréal Enterostomal Therapy Nurse certificate programs close due to funding issues. Nurses go to the United States for Enterostomal Therapy Nurse training.

 

1995

Global Recognition: 55 countries recognize Stoma Therapy Nursing with schools in 21 countries.

1996

The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy starts bilingual Enterostomal Therapy Nurse Education Program with Nicole Denis as the founding director.

 

2007

New Online Enterostomal Therapy Nurse Education Program -

The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy ETNEP goes online for the first time.

 

2008

ET nursing turns 50 years old – one of the oldest nursing specialties!

 

2008

Enterostomal Therapy Nursing Granted Certification

Canadian Nursing Association (CNA) recognizes Enterostomal Therapy Nursing as a specialty and grants Enterostomal Therapy Nurses Certification as Certified Enterostomal Therapy Nurses CETN(C).

 

2009

First Graduates of The Enterostomal Therapy Nurse Certification Exam -

60 ETNs write the 1st Certification Exam. 

 

2017

Hundreds of Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy Entersomal Therapy Nurse graduates to date.

 

2018

Enterostomal Therapy Nurse Education Program Technology & Online Simulation -

The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy Academy begins working to bring technology and online simulation to the ETNEP program.

 

2018

CAET Academy Obtains Library Access - 

CAET Academy obtains library access for students through the CINAHL database.

 

2018

CAET becomes NSWOCC -

The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy changes its name to Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC).

 

2018

The Wound, Ostomy & Continence Institute is Born

The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy Academy changes its name to Wound, Ostomy & Continence Institute. The Enterostomal Therapy Nurse Education Program (ETNEP) becomes the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Education Progam (WOC-EP). The Knowledge to Practice courses become known as the Wound, Ostomy & Continence Institute Skin Health Program. The CNA CETN(C) certification becomes the WOCC(C) certification.

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