Advanced Practice Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Exams



To be eligible for WOCNCB Advanced Practice certification you must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Hold a current RN license and/or APN license. (A copy of the current license must be submitted with your application.)
  2. Have completed a MSN or higher nursing degree program to become an APRN (NP, CNS, NMW, and CRNA). (A copy of diploma and transcripts must accompany application.)
  3. Fulfill ONE of the following requirements to document basic Wound, Ostomy, and/or Continence knowledge:
    1. Current entry-level WOCNCB certification in the specialty or specialties for which Advanced Practice certification is desired.
    2. Accredited Education Program Pathway (Fulfill ALL of the following requirements)
      1. Complete a WOC Nursing Education Program that is accredited by WOCN.
      2. Candidates are required to successfully complete exam(s) within five years of graduation from a Wound, Ostomy, Continence Education Program.
      3. The Nursing Education Program must be accredited at the time of graduation.
      4. A copy of your certificate of completion/graduation must be submitted with your application. Please contact an accredited program for more information.
    3. Experiential Pathway (Fulfill ALL of the following requirements)
      1. Within each specialty for which certification is sought, 50 CE/CME credits (contact hours) or an equivalent in college course work post-Bachelor's, must be completed over the previous five years. All CE/CME credits (contact hours) or college course work must directly apply to the specialty area for which you apply. Multi-day conferences may include professional practice topics or may be focused on a specific type of treatment i.e. hyperbaric oxygen (HBO).  Professional practice topics do not relate directly to any clinical focus and are not accepted. HBO education programs receive partial credit but are usually not accepted in their entirety.
      2. For each certification specialty, 1500 clinical hours must be completed over the previous five years. Further, 375 of those hours must have occurred within a year prior to application.
      3. Accumulation of contact and clinical hours must be earned post-Bachelor's and while functioning as an RN.
      4. To track your CE and clinical hours, click here.

Upon passing the exam(s), individuals receive a CWOCN-AP®, CWON-AP®, CWCN-AP®, CCCN-APSM, or COCN-AP® credential. Certification must be re-established every five years.

Note: Full eligibility information and instructions regarding documentation required for the Experiential Pathway are outlined in the Candidate Examination Handbook. The Candidate Handbook is a 56 page document.

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