With more than three quarters of nurses in Vermont age 45 or older, there is an evident need for a new crop of nurses to fill nursing jobs in the near future. The nursing shortage is not as severe in Vermont as it is elsewhere, but with more than half of the nursing industry planning to retire by 2020, it will definitely feel the pinch soon. The state has already prepared for this by offering financial incentives for nurses to pursue graduate studies and go into teaching, which will help expand nursing programs and lessen the projected shortage.
Wound, ostomy and continence nurses care for patients that have wounds (including ulcers and those caused by injury), ostemies (artificial openings that allow for alternate disposal of bodily wastes) and/or incontinence. The major professional organization is the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN). Certification is maintained by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB), and their CWOCN, COCN, CWCN and CCCN credentials are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent, overall job growth for registered nurses. The median registered nurse salary is $62,450.