Frequently Asked Questions
Advanced Practice Certification
Q: I am only interested in advanced practice certification in the Wound and Ostomy specialties. Is AP certification only offered for the tri-specialty (CWOCN-AP)?
A: In addition to the tri-specialty (CWOCN-AP), advanced practice certification can be earned for any single specialty, or any two specialties.
Q: Will the AP certification replace my current certification, or must I do both?
A: Once you have earned your basic WOCN certification, and take the AP exams to earn your Advanced Practice credential, you will only need to carry forward with the AP credential. Certification must be established every five years.
Q: I'm certified via Experiential Pathway. Will I qualify for AP credential without going through a WOCN Education Program?
A: Yes. If you have established WOC certification you are eligible, no matter which pathway you used to establish your credentials initially.
Q: I just recertified via PGP - can I use the same activities in my AP portfolio?
A: If you have established your initial AP credential via examination and are recertifying the AP level via portfolio, activities may be used for AP portfolio certification that was previously used in your PGP portfolio. You will need to use activities occurring during the past five year period.
Q: I have a Masters, but not in Nursing - will I be eligible for the AP credential?
A: The current eligibility requirements are that you have completed a graduate level NP or CNS program. A copy of your diploma and transcripts must accompany your application. Therefore, you must have a MSN.
Certification / General
Q: When will I receive my credentials certificate?
A: Certificates are issued on a monthly basis, about the 15th of the month following the one in which you tested. For example, if you tested in February, it will be mailed about March 15th. If you have not yet taken all the exams for which you applied, the certificate will not be issued until you have passed all your specialty exams, in order to issue the duo- or tri-specialty credentials. Credentials can be verified online and are posted about twelve weeks from the actual testing date, at http://www.wocncb.org/credential-verification/index.php. In the meantime, you or your employer may contact us for written or verbal credential verification.
Q: How long is certification valid?
A: Certification is valid for a 5-year period, at which time you may become recertified.
Q: Can I take my wound exam a year prior to my credential lapsing, so it falls in the same date as my ostomy and continence credentials, in order to earn the tri-specialty CWOCN?
A: Yes, you may apply early and take all three examinations. When you pass all three examinations within twelve months, you will be able to earn the tri-specialty CWOCN credential.
Q: My credentials lapsed, may I become certified again?
A: Yes, you may send an exam application with lapsed credentials, which must be accompanied by documentation of eligibility by the application deadline.
Q: I forgot that I have to recertify before the end of the month. Is it too late to register to take the exams?
A: You may apply any time, and up to 18 months prior to credentials expiration. Once you apply, you will have a 12-month eligibility period in which to schedule exams – or until your credentials are due to expire. You may send an exam application with lapsed credentials, which must be accompanied by documentation of eligibility. Please review the Exam Handbook for complete details.
Q: Can I sign CWOCN after my name if my credentials have lapsed, but I'm scheduled to take the exams?
A: You must not use our trademarked credentials once your certification has lapsed. This is considered fraudulent use of a credential. Once you successfully pass your exams again, you may begin using the earned credential(s) immediately.
Q: Can the WOCNCB link to the affiliate websites and visa versa?
A: The WOCNCB links to sites that relate to certification. If you discover a site that may be appropriate, please e-mail us at info@WOCNCB.org.
Q: Why do we have to re-certify every 5 years?
A: Certification validates your knowledge in wound, ostomy and/or continence. Certification also shows that you meet nationally recognized standards in your specialty. Demonstrating you have kept your knowledge current validates professional education and experience, ultimately promoting quality patient care. To read more about recertification, please visit our web site at www.WOCNCB.org and view "Recertification by PGP."
Q: Can we see archived newsletters?
A: Yes, visit our website section by clicking on "Newsletter."
Q: Can the WOCNCB offer the certification in Canada? Can a Canadian take the test?
A: The WOCNCB does not limit its certification. If a nurse demonstrates eligibility, and passes the certification exam(s), they will earn our certification credentials. If you are unsure whether your educational background qualifies, please contact us via e-mail at info@WOCNCB.org. Please refer to our Candidate Handbook regarding test locations.
Q: I changed my address through WOCN® but did not receive my recertification reminders. Because the WOCNCB did not change my address in their database, I missed the deadline to sign up for the test. What is the process for me to change my address through the WOCNCB?
A: Because the WOCN® Society and the WOCNCB are separate organizations, you must notify both organizations regarding change of address information. Please e-mail the WOCNCB at info@WOCNCB.org if your address has changed since your most recent certification.
Q: Can someone from the WOCNCB monitor the WOCN® chat rooms and give feedback to the questions posed by the users?
A: The WOCN® has set up chat rooms for its members, some of whom are certified by the WOCNCB. The WOCNCB can only speak to nurses who contact our organization directly. Please visit our "Ask the Board" feature on the www.WOCNCB.org website to post your question. Our Board members answer posted questions on a regular basis.
Q: Why can't we recertify with CEU's and not take the exam?
A: You may want to consider our alternate method of recertification, the "Professional Growth Program" (PGP) which uses a combination of CEUs and other WOC-nursing activities. For more information on the PGP process, please visit the website section "Recertification by PGP" and click on "Handbook" at www.WOCNCB.org. The current practice of CEU only recertification by other organizations may soon be a thing of the past. The American College of Nursing is recommending portfolios similar to the WOCNCB as the best way to document ongoing knowledge in a specialty.
Where can I find the listing of WOCN accredited WOC Educational Programs?
Q: When are exams held?
A: Exams are offered year-round and you may schedule your exam date any Monday through Friday within 12 months of your application submission date. Please refer to the Examination Handbook for complete information.
Q: Where are exams held?
A: Click here for a listing of test centers.
Q: If I have a question or problem, who do I contact?
A: Please contact Castle Worldwide at (919) 572-6880.
Recertification by PGP
Q: How many CEUs are required?
A: Please refer to the PGP Handbook for complete instructions.
Q: Why can't we recertify with CEU's and not take the exam?
A: You may want to consider our alternate method of recertification, the "Professional Growth Program" (PGP) which uses a combination of CEUs and other WOC-nursing activities. For more information on the PGP process, please visit the website section "Recertification by PGP" and click on "Handbook" at www.wocncb.org . The current practice of CEU only recertification by other organizations may soon be a thing of the past. The American College of Nursing is recommending portfolios similar to the WOCNCB as the best way to document ongoing knowledge in a specialty.
Q: How long do pre-approval requests take?
A: The pre-approval process can take up to 4 weeks to receive your response.
Q: How many teaching programs can you develop?
A: See the PGP Handbook in the “Teaching” category for presentations/development; there is no maximum.
Q: For Conference CEs (e.g., WOCN Society) what date do you use to submit for PGP?
A: CEs should be grouped together, see Appendix A in the PGP Handbook for an example and you will use the date listed on the CE certificate, or if over multiple dates then use the last date completed.