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I am grateful, humbled and honored as I write this as my time commences as the new, New England Region of the WOCN Society president.

My journey as a WOC nurse began when, as a home health nurse, we were forced to come up with innovative wound care solutions when our Medicare reimbursement shifted.   Twice daily wet-dry dressings were replaced with foams, alginates, negative pressure and new to us technology that were healing wounds faster, using less nursing visits.  Debra Dubuc was our CWON Nurse practitioner consultant.  We loved working with her.  I asked her about certification during one of her visits with us, if it was something I could pursue.  She was honest, that it was hard work, demanding and required a great deal of time.  Then she told me, “I think you can do it.”

My first regional conference was spring conference, also in Newport, RI.  I didn’t know anyone, except Deb.  The welcome I was given overwhelmed me.  Everyone made me feel like I belonged to this group.

Those words were the ignition that sparked my journey to WOC nursing, from there to graduate school, and finally to where I am today as a CWOCN and a nurse practitioner.    I am not saying this to boast of my accomplishments, rather to stress that they were sparked by someone telling me, “I think you can do it.”

In your workplaces, is there a nurse who you think can do it?  Does he light up when he has to change the negative pressure dressing, or does she come up with an innovative pouching solution to a complex ostomy?  Is there a certified nurse in your institution who doesn’t belong to the WOCN Society?  These are potential new members who we can bring into our fold and make them feel welcome, and help to contribute to our future as an organization and overall, help improve the quality of patient care.

That is my challenge to all of us.  Thanks for a great conference, see you in Montreal!

Bridget Mejza

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