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President's Message

The Art and Science of Certified WOC/FC Care Nursing

The “MacGyver moment”.  How many times have you “gone into the barn” to gather supplies in order to create or engineer wound care management solutions?  What causes you to identify a compassionate nursing presence with a new ostomate is of the highest order.  When does the mechanical questioning of a patient’s continence history switch into gentle storytelling of the patient’s story?   How do you hold and cleanse a worn and callused foot?  These are all examples of the art of Wound Ostomy and Continence (WOC) and Foot Care (FC) nursing in which we utilize our creative abilities to provide optimal patient care.  I have no doubt we can each share a deeply resonating story embodying the unique gestalt of our nursing practice.

Certification through the WOCNCB® is centered upon the science of WOC/FC nursing.  The applicant must be able to pass an evidenced-based didactic exam after meeting the educational and clinical requirements.  Successful preparation requires a high degree of conceptual understanding, the application of specialty knowledge, some rote memorization, and the motivation and discipline to buckle down, ignore temptation and study.   These qualities are attributed to a well-prepared nursing professional. Certification assesses entry-level specialty knowledge to promote and maintain patient safety.

Success and sustainability of professional nursing practice entails blending the art with the science.  As our specialty practice develops, many of us may find ourselves catapulting from our comfort zone to a spot where a creative solution is necessary.   The tension to release and expand may be due to a limited product formulary and a keen desire to find an easy wound care solution.  Or it may be related to a sense the patient needs more than barrier change instructions to manage their ostomy.   In 1860, when Florence Nightingale (1969) reflected on what it means to be a nurse, she wrote a nurse “must be a sound, and close, and quick observer; and she must be (a woman) of delicate and decent feeling.”

It is this bridge of sound nursing practice (through certification), observation (of the patient’s needs and situation complexity) and decency (of our shared humanity) I can comfortably say keeps me at the bedside.  After becoming certified, what keeps you coming back?  Share your story of certification and how it has propelled you to a more satisfying level of practice. The WOCNCB® would love to hear it! Email your story to

Cathryn L. Reimanis, DNP, MS, CNS, ANP-BC, CWOCN
WOCNCB® President

Nightingale, F. (1969) Notes on Nursing: what it is and what it is not. p. 126.  New York, New York: Dover Publications.

What‘s New?

2017 Employer Recognition Award

Congratulations Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is the recipient of the 2017 Employer Recognition Award! This award is given annually to honor an organization that has demonstrated exemplary support of the certification process in WOC nursing. Chosen from numerous candidates, MUSC, located in Charleston, South Carolina, displays encouragement of advancement to all nurses within the organization seeking national specialty certification. The award was presented in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center as part of the 2017 WOCN® Society’s 49th Annual Conference.

"I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse care team members for their extraordinary work in preventing harm. The low prevalence of hospital acquired pressure ulcers at the Medical University of South Carolina Health is a true testament to this dedicated and evidence based resource team. This is a wonderful honor by your national organization that edifies your commitment to our patients and families - you exemplify our Commit to Patients and Families First goal!" -Jerry A. Mansfield, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, Executive Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Patient Experience Officer, Medical University of South Carolina

Click here to learn more about the award and winners!


Congratulations Frances Wilson MSN, RN, CNS, CWOCN, CFCN

The award is given annually by the United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) to an outstanding ostomy nurse who is nominated for recognition by the members of local ostomy support groups. The award will be presented during the UOAA Annual Conference in Irvine, CA.

Congratulations to these WOCNCB® Certified for hitting the 30-Year Continuous Certification Mark in 2017!

Sharon A. Aronovitch Aimee A. Foster Ann M. Maxwell
Mary Jo Cannon Evonne M. Fowler Margaret McGinn-Byer
Judy B. Cornwell Kathleen G. Lawrence Diane Merkle
Joanne Dowdell Jeanne  Linnemanstons Leslie P. Wilson
Colleen M. Drolshagen Sally W. Matson Madeline M Zumbo

They join the ranks of individuals who hit the mark previously.  To view the list of previously WOCNCB® 30-year continuous certifications since 2013 click here.

WOCN Society's 49th Annual Conference Highlights

WOCNCB® Employer Award recipients present at conference and representing MUSC: Valerie Kneece Harris, BSN, RN, CWCN, Glenda Brunette, MSN, RN, CWON,Phill Botham, MSN, RN, CWON, Lisa Stewart, BSN, RN, CWOCN and Rebecca Rothemich, BSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN.

WOCNCB® Certification highlighted in recent study

The Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing (JWOCN) recently published this study as an open-access article.

The new study found:

  • Hospitals employing wound care specialty certified nurses (CWON, CWCN, CWOCN) had lower HAPI rates and better pressure injury risk assessment and prevention practices.
  • Stage 3 and 4 HAPI occurrences among hospitals employing CWOCNs, CWCNs, and CWONs were nearly half the rate of hospitals not employing these nurses. 

Read and share the open-access article here.

Congratulations to our video contest winners!

Theme: Why is WOCNCB® the Gold Standard?

  • First Place: Katie James RN, CWCN - Ellisville, Missouri
  • Second Place: Teresa Novy RN, CWON - Bloomington, Illinois
  • Third Place:  Lynne Wilkens RN, CWON - Nashua, Iowa

View Videos here.

Share your Accomplishments

WOCNCB® would like to recognize our certificants for their accomplishments!  If you have an achievement that you are especially proud of, or if you know a colleague who does, let WOCNCB® know!  We are dedicated to highlighting the successes of our incredible nurses through social media, email updates and newsletters.

Congratulations to Lois Fink, past public member of the WOCNCB®. Lois recently published "Courage Takes Guts: Lessons Learned From A Lost Colon". Lois tells her story of living with Crohn's disease and her fight to take back her life through ostomy surgery.


Benevolence Fund and Credential Extension Available
Difficult times happen, did you know applicants currently certified by the WOCNCB® may apply for funding for financial hardships? ClickBenevolence Fund to learn more.  A Credential Extension is offered for serious medical reasons. Submit requests in writing at least two weeks prior to your expiring credentials to allow time for an approval. Learn more.

Need PGP points?  Volunteer!

Are you going to a WOCN Regional Conference?
If you plan on attending a regional conference, please consider volunteering and promoting the WOCNCB®.  To make it easy, WOCNCB® will send you a "Showbox" containing promotional material and resources.  As a bonus, you will obtain two PGP points (teaching category) under any specialty!  To request a Showbox contact: or call (888) 496-2622.

Less time to Commit?  Consider Item Writing

Consider writing an "item," which is a test question for a WOCNCB® examination. Earn 3 PGP points per accepted item. We encourage you to draw on your current clinical experience to write items. Anyone can submit items, and no items will be refused. Every item is reviewed and edited as necessary by the Examination Committees, and all submissions become the property of the WOCNCB®. You can submit your items to the WOCNCB® National Office using this Item Writing Form. Please follow these item writing guidelines.


Official Flash Card Sets Available

Be better prepared to pass the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Exams. Each flash card set contains just over 200 questions developed from the Exam Content Outline.  Order here.

PGP Webinar on Demand

Time to recertify? Consider recertifying using the Professional Growth Program (PGP) Portfolio! Click here to access the PGP Webinar On Demand. Remember recertifying candidates with multiple specialties may select to PGP or Exam for each specialty.

NOTE: There are more online resources to guide you through the PGP process. Click on any of these helpful tools to get started:

Represent - Wear Your Credentials with Pride!

Market yourself and show off those hard earned credentials. Find what suits your certifiable style! Visit the WOCNCB® website to view the entire collection. 

Important Dates

  • ANCC - October 11-13, Houston, TX, WOCNCB Booth 1732
  • SAWC - October 20-22, Las Vegas, NV, WOCNCB Booth 117

Do we have your most recent contact information?

We know that a lot can happen in five years. We also want to hear from you and make sure we stay up to date! Email us and let us know of any changes to your contact information, and we will be happy to make the update for you!

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Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823
Phone: (888) 496-2622
Fax: (414) 276-2146
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