Nurse Education

How to Become a Foot Care Nurse

Review the requirements for your state below and consider these steps:

 

1. Determine if your state allows nurses to perform routine foot care (a few don't allow it) and what conditions are required to perform foot care (e.g. completion of education and training, certification, working with a podiatrist, an order, etc.).

If nurses are allowed to perform foot care in your state:

 

2. Choose your preferred certification board based on your eligibility and values. This will determine the focus of your foot care content.

 

          a. Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) to become a Certified Foot Care Nurse 

          b. American Foot Care Nurses Association (AFCNA) to become a Certified Foot Care Specialist

 

 

3. Find and successfully complete a foot care course (preferably approved by an ANCC provider/approver) that matches the exam content from your chosen certification board. (WOCNCB Exam Content / AFCNA Exam Content)

 

4. Find a preceptor who is a foot care professional who provides routine foot care. Complete 20-40 hours of hands-on-training. Maintain this foot care professional as a mentor for the remainder of your career.

 

If certification is required by your state, you want to advance the credibility of this nursing specialty, or you want to show your clients you have the knowledge and skills to perform safe, competent care:

 

5. Apply online for the certification exam (WOCNCB / AFCNA) and pass.

6. Purchase your tools and instruments, determine your documentation process (paper vs. electronic), and get liability insurance.

If you have any questions beyond what I've provided here and other pages, please email me (Kristen) with any questions!

 

Foot Care Continuing Education Hours and Hands-on-Training with Preceptors

Online Courses:

 

There are many options for online foot care related nursing education. Whichever source you choose, make sure the content matches the certification exam content (WOCNCB Exam Content / AFCNA Exam Content), even if you decide to not get certified. These two certification bodies are the leading experts on what knowledge and skills are required for competent and safe routine foot care. 

 

If you prefer to follow WOCNCB standards, I recommend Emory Nursing's online Foot and Nail Care Course. The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society® Core Curriculum: Wound Management is the core curriculum for both the Emory course and the WOCNCB exam content.

If you prefer to follow AFCNA standards, I recommend the AFCNA webinars that are currently being offered for no cost (subject to change). I've linked an old registration, but signing up should put you on an automatic mailing list for future webinars. Another option is Rainier Medical Education Programs, which offers non-credit videos so you can better understand foot care nursing, as well as videos for certification eligibility.

Additionally, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers their Foot & Nail Care Expanded Online Education course.

Always seek out the latest updates. Every so often, certification boards will survey certified foot care nurses to review new trends and needs for foot care. These reviews may change their recommendations for knowledge and skills required to perform competent and safe care. Stay up to date and informed on their recommendations by reviewing their exam content.

Hands-on-Training:

Rainier Med in Washington has offered hands-on-training in the past and (I assume) will in the future. FootCare by Nurses in Greenfield, MA offers hands-on-training. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers hands-on-training (currently on hold). I highly recommend training with a podiatrist in your area who you can refer clients to if the foot care becomes advanced. Spending some hours with a wound care podiatrist is very helpful as well.

 

WOCNCB is currently compiling a database for CFCN preceptors, which I will link when it becomes available. CFCNs can opt in here.

 

Regulations regarding foot care performed by nurses: 

Most states have adopted a position that follows the Scope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework. After reviewing your state's Nurse Practice Act and other Rules/Regulations that may prohibit specific actions, if you have not had the education and training, it is not within your scope of practice to perform foot and nail care. Some states require certification, some states require evidence of education and training, most states use the above referenced framework (which calls for education and training), and some states have limited the foot care services that nurses can perform. Contact your state board of nursing for confirmation/clarification. Many states consider this a legal issue and refuse to give specific direction; at least one state requires an order to perform foot and nail care, while another does not allow nurses to perform routine nail care.

 

Most states do not declare the specifics of what a nurse can or cannot do, but will in cases where it puts the public in danger. The purpose of a state's board of nursing is to protect the public. It is our job as nurses to protect the public as well. Certification Boards have the expertise to determine what concepts nurses should know, or be skilled in, to be considered competent. Regardless of certification requirements, nurses must have education and training. Certification is verification that you are compliant with state regulations and value your clients' well-being.

Below is a list of states and a starting point for your research.

 

AlabamaApproved Standardized Procedures
 

AlaskaAdvisory Opinions: Scope > Scope foot care
 

Arizona - Advisory Opinion
 

Arkansas - Nurse Practice Act and Decision Making Model
 

California - Understanding the Role of the Registered Nurse

ColoradoBoard of Nursing > Scope of Practice Algorithm
 

ConnecticutNursing Scope of Practice questions (860) 509-7555
 

Delaware - Board of Nursing > Scope of Practice
 

FloridaPetition for Declaratory Statement
 

GeorgiaScope of Practice Decision-Making Model
 

HawaiiScope of Practice Decision Making Framework
 

Idaho - Rules of the Board > 04. Practice > a. Perform Acts. (p. 17)
 

IllinoisState of Illinois Nursing Rules > Joint Committee on Administrative Rules > RN Scope of Practice
 

IndianaFrequently Asked QuestionsStatutes and Rules and Indiana Administrative CodeArticle 2. Standards for the Competent Practice of Registered and Licensed Practical Nursing

IowaIowa Administrative Code pending response
 

KansasNPA by Statute or Rules and Regulations > Requirements for Licensure and Standards of Practice > Standards of practice pending response

 

KentuckyAdvisory Opinion Statement 
 

LouisianaScope of PracticeRN Scope of Practice Guidelines 
 

Maine - PracticeScope of Practice Decision Tree 
 

MarylandProposed Concepts for Possible Regulation
 

Massachusetts - Advisory Ruling
 

Michigan - no specific nurse practice act - Public Health CodePublic Health Code (Excerpt), and Board of Nursing - General Rules

MinnesotaScope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework 
 

MississippiFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) > Wound & Foot Care > Can a RN perform nail/foot care?
 

Missouri - Scope of Practice Decision Making Model
 

Montana - Scope of Practice
 

Nebraska - Advisory Opinion: Safe Practice: Nursing Roles and Assignments: Competency and Nurse Licensing Scope of Practice


NevadaPractice Decision Request and Scope of Nursing Practice Decision Making Framework


New HampshireScope of Practice and Position Statement


New JerseyDecision-Making Model Algorithms


New Mexico - Practice Acts > Nursing Practice Act 


New YorkPractice Information, requires an order, and restrictions apply, contact NURSEBD@nysed.gov


North CarolinaScope of Practice Decision Tree, Practice, and Position Statement
 

North DakotaScope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework 
 

OhioPractice RN & LPN > RN and LPN Decision Making Model and The Nurse Practice Act - Ohio Revised Code (ORC)  pending response
 

OklahomaGuidelines, Position Statements > Decision-Making Model for Scope of Nursing Practice Decisions
 

OregonInterpretive Statements, Policies, and Information Regarding Nursing Practice > All Licensed Nurses > Foot Care Provided by RNs and LPNs


PennsylvaniaBoard Laws & Regulations, pending response
 

Rhode Island - outside nursing scope of practice
 

South CarolinaAdvisory Opinion # 57  
 

South DakotaPractice and Delegation Decisioning GuidesScope of Nursing Practice Decision-making Framework
 

Tennessee - Nursing Practice Code and Rules > Standards of Nursing Competence and Position Statements > Decision making Guidlines (pp. 19-20) 
 

TexasDecision Making for Determining Nursing Scope of Practice and Scope of Practice Decision‐Making Model 
 

Utah - R156-31b-703b. Scope of Nursing Practice Implementation and Section 801 Practice within limits of competency


Vermont - Nurse Practice Act and APRN/RN/LPN Scope of Practice plus Decision Tree
 

Virginia - Nurse Practice Act and Decision Making Model
 

Washington - Decision Tree 
 

West VirginiaScope of Practice for Licensed Nurses 
 

Wisconsin - Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses 
 

Wyoming - Advisory Opinion RN Scope of Practice and Decision Making Model

Criteria for Qualification of Continuing Education Programs/Offerings and Mandatory Continuing Education Requirements:

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) gives accreditation to Providers and Approvers of Continuing Nursing Education. State regulations may not require that CNE is provided or approved by these entities, however courses that are provided or approved by these entities undergo peer evaluation and have set standards for quality nursing education. Quality Matters is an additional certification body that ensures quality online education.

Determine your state's requirements for CNE so you are compliant with your practice.

Below is a list of states and a starting point for your research.

 

Alabama
 

Alaska -
 

Arizona
 

Arkansas
 

California

Colorado
 

Connecticut
 

Delaware
 

Florida
 

Georgia
 

Hawaii
 

Idaho
 

Illinois
 

Indiana

Iowa
 

Kansas

 

Kentucky
 

Louisiana
 

Maine
 

Maryland
 

Massachusetts - Mandatory Continuing Education for nurses244 CMR 5.00: CONTINUING EDUCATION

Michigan -

Minnesota
 

Mississippi
 

Missouri
 

Montana
 

Nebraska


Nevada


New HampshireContinuing Education Requirements / Nur 403.01 Continuing Education Requirements for LPN, RN and APRN / Nur 403.04 Method of Calculation of Contact Hours for Individualized Learning 


New Jersey


New Mexico


New York


North Carolina
 

North Dakota
 

Ohio
 

Oklahoma
 

Oregon


Pennsylvania
 

Rhode Island
 

South Carolina -
 

South Dakota
 

Tennessee
 

Texas
 

Utah


Vermont§ 1624. Registered nurse license renewal 

 

Virginia
 

Washington
 

West Virginia
 

Wisconsin
 

Wyoming

© 2021 Cape Cod Foot Care, LLC. All rights reserved. 

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