President's Message

Hello and Welcome in the New Year!  There is so much excitement here at the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board as we embark upon our 40th year in 2018.

Consider our rich history and the certifications we have added:  Foot Care, Advanced Practice for Ostomy Care, Advanced Practice for Wound Care, and Advanced Practice for Continence Care.  WOCNCB® certification reflects an educational and professional commitment to patient care in each specialty we offer at every level of nursing education.

It has been a tremendous achievement for us to be able to provide the community with The Gold Standard for Certification in Wound, Ostomy, Continence, and Foot Care nurse specialties. We would like to celebrate this achievement with you throughout the year. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn as social media will be our primary platform for most of this celebration. We would like to thank all the WOCNCB® Certified nurses who have earned our credentials over the years. We look forward to growing our community of nurses and raising awareness of the importance of specialized knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated by our certified nurses to promote optimal health outcomes.

As we look ahead to 2018, we have several initiatives underway.  We are developing an experiential pathway for the Wound Treatment Associate Certification (WTA-C), preparing questions for foot care flashcards, undertaking a job task analysis for wound, ostomy, and continence, updating our Professional Growth Portfolio (PGP) Handbook, and continuing our ongoing work to develop exam questions that accurately test the knowledge of applicants in each specialty.  I’d like to thank all of our volunteers who serve on the Board of Directors and committees and those who attend our standard setting meetings.  Their work makes it possible for us to maintain our high standards for certification.

Thank you again for choosing the Gold Standard for Certification®!

Jill Trelease, DNP(c), FNP-BC, CWON, CFCN
WOCNCB® President

  WOCNCB® Achieving Excellence for 40 Years

WOCNCB® will be celebrating the 40 year milestone throughout the year. To kick off the occasion we share an article written by one of our own nurses who has been certified for 40 years - Jan Colwell, MS, RN, CWOCN®.

Reflections on 40 years by Jan Colwell, MS, RN, CWOCN®

As we prepare for the 40th anniversary of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board, (WOCNCB®) it seems like an ideal time to look at the ongoing development of our nursing specialty.  I have been practicing as a WOC nurse for 40 years and share the 40th anniversary with the WOCNCB®.  I graduated from the Jewish Hospital Enterostomal Therapy Educational Program in 1978, when our specialty was single focused, I received my education in ostomy and was an Enterostomal Therapy (ET) nurse.  At the time of completion of my onsite 8 week program (remember no wound no ostomy still an 8 week program!) I started at a community hospital and soon afterward was offered a job at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), working with my favorite boss of all times. The position I was offered was once held by an ET nurse, Henrene Honesty, who was the first President of the International Association of Enterostomal Therapy (IAET).  She left the position before I started at UCMC but she had established the role of the specialty nurse and this is the role I stepped in to.  I think perhaps it was Henrene’s role modeling, despite the fact I never got to work with her, that provided me with direction in my career. Henrene was a leader in the IAET and wrote one of the early books (1972) in our field, Essential in Abdominal Ostomy Care. (Right: Jan at the start of her career in 1978 UCMC announcement.)

Early in my practice I was working independently with staff and patients both in the Medical Center as well as in the clinics and developed a collaborative agreement (outlining my privileges, my limitations and the physicians that I had as resources) in 1979, a first for UCMC since there were so few nurses in a specialty role.  As you know, now an advanced practice nurse must in most states have a collaborative agreement to practice.  As I got established in my role I realized that I needed to expand my role to include wound and continence care.  This meant two professional considerations for me, ongoing education (enrollment in a masters of nursing program) and certification.  The master’s program allowed me to focus on wound and ostomy care (my advisor was a PhD ET nurse), with many of my projects geared to wound healing and treatment (remember my basic ET preparation did not provide me with wound or continence care).  Once finished with my masters and educating myself in continence care, taking the certification in all three areas was feasible.  Soon after the IAET became the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, and I was a certified WOC nurse, well prepared for my role (at least most days!). 

The following are the milestones that I feel have made a difference in my practice (and I hope yours) over the past 40 years of practice (not meant to be inclusive but are significant to me and in no specific order):

  • Bachelor’s degree as minimal entry into WOC practice
  • Tri-Specialty (from ostomy only to include wound, ostomy and continence) with name change from International Association of Enterostomal Therapy to The Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society)
  • Certification in all areas (and the certification board separate from the Society)
  • Establishment of Guidelines in all three areas of specialization (and the continued updating of the same)
  • The high quality of the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing as the publication that communicates the important work in our field, with an impact factor of 1.359.
  • College credits for some of the WOCN Educational Programs
  • Online educational programs for many WOCN Educational Programs
  • Core Curriculum Educational Texts for all three WOC specialties
  • Development of a political policy and advocacy agenda to help us service our patients
  • The high quality of our annual conference which provides us with cutting edge research and clinical information (and a way to network)

Because of my specialty nursing organization and my certification, I have been able to support our specialty by serving as the President of the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, have edited two text books on ostomy care, have traveled worldwide to talk about the management of our patients, have been part of several ostomy related research projects and contributed to the development of the ostomy guidelines.  My role model was Henrene Honesty (who I eventually met and was able to thank for being a pioneer in our field) and my professional career has been guided by my dedication to my patient base.  As WOC nurses we all have our patients to thank and it is our continued mission to provide our patients with the best quality of care. 

The years in front of us will remain challenging and may need us to look again at our educational preparation and certification.  The challenges I see are how to provide outpatient care to our patients, how to increase the number of advanced practice nurses in our profession (and thus care to our patients in the outpatient area) and how to influence the policies that will determine access to care.  The acuity of our patient population continues to rise and we are the nurses with these skills, we need to be sure that our patients have access to WOC nurses.

Happy 40th to the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board and the upcoming 50th anniversary for the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society; a strong professional base has been built for our practice and I know we will remain a strong nursing community that will always be there for our patients!

Award's Spotlight

Congratulations Laurie Lovejoy McNichol, MSN, RN, CNS, GNP, CWOCN, CWON-AP, FAAN named 2017 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Nurse of the Year®.

The National Magnet Nurse of the Year awards recognize the outstanding contributions of one nurse in each of the five Magnet Model components.  Laurie was recognized for outstanding contributions in the New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements category.  Since the first Annual Magnet Nurse of the Year Award given in 2011, Laurie is the fourth WOCNCB® certified nurse to be selected for the honor. Laurie is past president of the WOCNCB® (1995-1996). 

Nominate Your Employer! WOCNCB® is now accepting applications for the 2018 Employer Recognition Award.

The WOCNCB® Employer Recognition Award is given annually to honor an organization that has demonstrated exemplary support of the certification process in WOC nursing.

To nominate your employer:

  • Only current WOCNCB® Certificants can nominate an organization.
  • The application and full details on the submission guidelines can be found on the WOCNCB® website 

Accepting nominations through February 15, 2018


  What's New?

Welcome New WOCNCB® Board Members

Shawn Hogan, BSN, RN, CWON Melayne Martin, BSN, RN, CWOCN

2018-19 WOCNCB® Board Members

Front row left to right: Kathleen M. Kump, Chenel Trevellini, Jill M. Trelease, Cathy L. Reimanis, Stanley J. Cooper, Shawn Hogan. Back row left to right: Jessica Simmons, Clay E. Collins, Melayne Martin, Michael J. Kingan, Gail G. Erickson, Phillip J. Botham. Click here for more information on current Board of Directors.

Helping Hands

Thank you WOCNCB® 2017 Volunteers

WOCNCB® is thankful for all those who donate their time to board and committee service. There are so many who contribute to the success of this organization. We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to those volunteers whose volunteer service ended in 2017:

  • Connie Blazek, MSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN, (Eau Claire, Wisconsin), Item Review Committee: 2014-2017
  • Reba Giles, MSN FNP-BC CWOCN-AP, (Carrboro, North Carolina), AP Exam Committee: 2014-2017
  • Kathleen B. Hoffman, MSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN, (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Foot Care Exam Committee: 2012-2017
  • Elizabeth S. Jones, BSN RN CWOCN CFCN, (Columbia, South Carolina) PGP Committee:  2014-2017
  • Stacy Schoenbach, MS, RN, CWOCN, (North Bellmore, New York), Item Review Committee:  2014-2017
  • Cathy Wogamon, MSN, RN, CWCN, (Live Oak, Florida), Item Review Committee:  2014-2017

WOCNCB® Certificants Volunteer for Youth Rally

Each year the Youth Rally has a dedicated team of Licensed Medical Professionals who have experience with wound, ostomy and continence nursing. Some certificants share their experience:

Rachelle Sideris, MSN, RN, CWOCN shares her experience as a 2017 volunteer:
As a WOC Nurse, I’ve heard about Youth Rally and kept it in the back of my mind. At National WOCN conference in 2015, it was announced that Youth Rally needed additional nurses. Something told me that was where I needed to be. Within 2 weeks, I was in Boulder, Colorado, scared, but at the same time witnessing such an amazing scene. To see adults who are selflessly giving of themselves to ensure 1 week of fun, excitement, and learning for these adolescents.

It was not just a camp, it was a family. I’ve learned so much from the campers, the counselors, the administrators, and the amazing nurses. I knew this would not be a one-time event for me. I became part of a “family reunion” and have since returned in 2016 and 2017, and plan to keep returning.
You can look at pictures, videos, and testimonials, but you must be there to feel the emotion of this wonderful camp.

Left: Rachelle Sideris, MSN, RN, CWOCN, PROUD YOUTH RALLY NURSE assisting camper with new product.


Sue Thompson, BSN, RN, CWOCN shares her Youth Rally volunteer experience.

I have been a volunteer Youth Rally nurse for 6 years. It is difficult to find the words to define the reason this camp pulls me back each year. For me the biggest event is many times the smallest. A camper will realize they can be independent in dressing, cathing, or bowel/bladder irrigation flushes. It might be when they talk with another camper so they can bring home information on a procedure they learned about and want to talk to their doctor to see possibilities.  My biggest heart pull is being able to help a camper, for the first time, experience ice skating, weight lifting, or rock climbing, helping them into the ocean to take a wave and literally “surf the nurse!”. What a tremendous high to see the campers overcome their fear and take on a new life style change.

Sue Thompson, BSN, RN CWOCN, pictured at right assisting a mobility-impaired 11-year old child into the ocean for the first time – “surf the nurse”!

Maureen Dwyer, BSN, MA, RN, CWOCN has been a volunteer with the Youth Rally in various capacities for 8 years. See Maureen (green tee) Youth Rally 2017 Mission Beach field trip – helping a mobility-impaired camper out of the water.  This was the first time the camper went swimming in the ocean.
This was my fourth year in attendance during camp as a Volunteer member of their medical team. My goal each year is to make a positive change in some young person’s life, that’s my hope. It’s a goal you don’t always know you reached, but I left camp in San Diego this July knowing I had done just that. One young 15 year old female camper learned of our Camp a week prior to the event through a flyer she received in the mail from Coloplast, the company that makes her supplies. In our initial introduction I found her to be a very engaging and slightly shy young woman who was unsure how to describe her diagnosis and had yet to meet one person "like her" in her entire 15 years. Over the course of the week I witnessed this young woman grow in so many ways. We had the opportunity to talk on several occasions and it was very apparent that she was learning so much and finally realized she "was not alone" (Youth Rally’s signature motto!). On the morning of her departure she presented me with a small gift and a thank you note. In her note she thanked me for helping her truly understand her body and how things worked and for helping her find her voice. Her gift of thanks was truly one of the greatest gifts I have every received. I would encourage all certified WOC nurses at some point in their career to take the time and opportunity to attend the Youth Rally camp and make a difference, whether you realize it or not, in the life of another.

Each year the Youth Rally has a dedicated team of Licensed Medical Professionals who have experience with wound, ostomy and continence nursing. Youth Rally is now accepting volunteer applications, visit for details.

Did You Know?

Stay IN Continent After 5 Years!


Why should I recertify in Continence?  I rarely do continence nursing. I hear this comment often and have to respond – BEING a WOC nurse you DO practice continence nursing many times a day and do not even realize it!  Here are a few examples:

  • Choosing a containment device for urine and or stool incontinence
  • Teach patient, family and staff on skin care due to the incontinence  
  • Urinary incontinence patient education, teaching Kegal exercises
  • Patient suffers from constipation and you educate about fluid and dietary intake
  • Patient has incontinence dermatitis you have to find out why they are incontinent to alleviate the root cause

Continence nursing is not just about urodynamic testing, it’s about taking care of the skin, protecting it against urine and stool, teaching about techniques to prevent incontinence or lessen its effects, why it happens.

Getting all of the specialty requirements for PGP in continence is not that difficult. The required minimum 10 continuing education credits can be obtained at conferences; excellent sites include: SUNA, WOCN Society, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Hollister and Practicing Clinicians Exchange, many are free or charge a nominal fee. 

There are projects, teaching, research, product review, committees, writing articles and many more options to fulfill the 40 professional practice points needed.

An easy way to do the PGP is to log in your Continuing Education credits and projects as they are completed. That way when recertification time gets closer, you can review what you have done and see how many credits are needed.  Often when you use this strategy, you see that you are already done!

To quote  Mikel Gray PhD, PNP, FNP, CUNP CCCN, FAANP, FAAN, “If you take care of incontinent associated dermatitis you ARE a continence nurse! “ Gray M. Thelma Wells Lectureship.

Keep your CCCN!
Kathy Porras APRN-BC, CWON-AP, CCCN is an Advanced Practice Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Saint Catherine Hospital in Indiana.

New WOCNCB® webinar now "On Demand"


The purpose of the webinar is to introduce the WOCNCB®, the eligibility requirements and pathways to becoming certified. The webinar is approximately 30 minutes and is free, share with colleagues interested in becoming WOCNCB® certified! To access click WOCNCB® Webinar On Demand.



Getting Ready to Certify or Re-Certify?


Make sure you visit JWOCN online to access FREE Getting Ready for Certification articles. These articles are written by WOCNCB® certificants and include practice exam questions to help prepare for WOC specialty practice certification examinations.

Visit JWOCN to access all the collections of available Getting Ready for Certification articles for Wound, Ostomy, Continence and Foot Care.



If you hold a CWCN, it will replace the 8 CE/CME in basic skin/wound care as well as the 12 clinical hours specific to skin/wound care needed.
Fast Track eligibility to take CFCN exam:

  • Current CWCN, CWON or CWOCN
  • 16 CE/CME credits specific to foot care
  • 28 clinical hours specific to foot care

Fast Track to expand your knowledge and expertise! Learn more.

PGP Webinar "On Demand" - Is it time to recertify? Consider recertifying using the PGP Portfolio!

The webinar will introduce you to the Professional Growth Program (PGP) portfolio recertification process. The PGP portfolio measures knowledge in your specialty area(s) (WOC or Foot) and documents progress from novice to expert.  Watch PGP webinar and get started!

Note: Requirements for AP Recertification are different click here for details.

WOCNCB® provides additional online resources to guide you through the PGP process. Learn more here.

Tools to Help You Prepare for Exams:

Be better prepared to pass the Wound, Ostomy, Continence and Foot Care exams.  Follow the links to the WOCNCB® website below:

New Reduced Price for WTA-C

The 5 year Wound Treatment Associate Certification is now available for a reduced price of $250.00. Click here for eligibility & exam information. 

All WOCNCB® official announcements are sent via email

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!

Remember the WOCN Society and WOCNCB® do not share contact databases to prevent any perceived or actual conflict of interest on the part of the certification board.  Please keep both WOCNCB® and the WOCN Society up-to-date. To learn more regarding the WOCN Society and the benefits of membership please visit

555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823
Phone: (888) 496-2622
Fax: (414) 276-2146
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