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  • Writer's pictureNSWOCC

How SWANs Are Taking Flight: Real Interviews From SWAN™ Program Students and Graduates

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

Each year, the NSWOCC Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute graduates two cohorts of nurse leaders to become respected champions in wound, ostomy, and continence care through our CNA-accredited Skin Wellness Associate Nurse (SWAN™) Program. The SWAN™ program is the only one of its kind in Canada, providing Diploma RNs and Practical Nurses with the skills, knowledge, recognition, and confidence that they need to become leaders within their organization.

Recently, NSWOCC interviewed some current students and recent graduates of the SWAN™ Program who were enthusiastic to share how their experience with the program helped them towards the pathway of nursing excellence and leadership. Here's what they had to say!

“Since the course…I’m able to go in and explain to the staff… this is what we’re looking for. This is what the person needs to do. These are the products we need to order. I wouldn’t have had that knowledge before… my knowledge base has expanded exponentially in that I’m able to assess more confidently.”
Shannon Murphy, Registered Practical Nurse

When Shannon Murphy first began the SWAN™ Program, her experience in ostomy and continence was limited. Having been out of school since 2005, Shannon also wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of an online course. Despite working full-time and having to balance her personal life, Shannon was able to thrive in the SWAN™ Program and is now a wound-care champion at her place of work. When asked about how the program benefited her, Shannon felt that SWAN™ gave her an opportunity to be a leader at her facility, and she consistently puts the knowledge she gained from the program into practice. Throughout the program, Shannon also felt well-supported by her individualized academic advisor and other staff, who were quick to respond to questions and were consistently available to provide any assistance that she needed.


“I've had another good experience this week, a home client… had been to ER numerous times with catheter issues, so I told her I would be happy to schedule a WCC visit… I'm looking forward to this consult because I feel I have much more to offer now than from my previous experience. I have a fair amount of knowledge, but the SWAN Program has really added to that, and even just knowing where to look for credible information. So it's been really exciting to have these light bulb moments almost daily.”
Lindsey Mclaughlin, SWAN Student

Lindsey Mclaughlin, a current student enrolled in the SWAN™ program, also has nothing but positive things to say about her experience with the program. While working, Lindsey has had many opportunities to use the knowledge and skills gained from the SWAN™ Program. In addition to helping the patient mentioned above, Lindsey has used her new skills to conduct a thorough assessment and health history of a catheter patient, which ultimately helped the patient get the help they needed and pointed them in the right direction for treatment. Similarly, knowledge from the course helped her provide all sorts of recommendations for an ostomy consult that she would have otherwise not had the knowledge and confidence to share. According to Lindsey, these moments of seeing her hard work pay off in the SWAN™ Program is incredibly rewarding, especially when she knows that the information she uses each day comes from an accredited program.

Learn more about the SWAN Program at

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