History of the WOCNCB
Established January 1978
Examinations Began November 1979
Historical background on the evolution of Enterostomal Theroapists (ETs):
1958 - Rupert Turnbull, Jr., MD trains Norma Gill to rehabilitate ostomy patients. Dr. Turnbull coins the term "Enterostomal Therapist."
1961 - Norma Gill and Dr. Turnbull begin training ETs at the Cleveland Clinic.
1968 - American Association of Enterostomal Therapists (AAET) forms.
1969 - Association name changed to North American Association for Enterostomal Therapy (NAAET).
1971 - NAAET name changes to International Association for Enterostomal Therapy (IAET).
1992 - IAET changes name to WOCN® Society (Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurses Society)
IAET voted to establish a certification committee/board to plan and implement the certification of new graduates of accredited ET Nursing Education Programs (ETNEPs). The Psychological Corporation was chosen to develop, implement and evaluate the examination.
The certification committee/board voted to become a separate body from the Accreditation Committee and call themselves the ET Nursing Certification Board (ETNCB). The credential would be Certified in Enterostomal Therapy Nursing (CETN).
Certification effective for 5 years.
Students enrolled after 2/28/79 will be required to take the certification examination to be Board Certified. Others would be "granted" one certification period. All graduates prior to 2/29/78 must re-certify by 12/31/84.
First examination administered.
June 1984 Qualifications changed to "must be officially graduated from ETNEP to be eligible." Non-nurse, LPN, LVN and RN were eligible.
Professional Testing Corporation begins contract as full service testing agency for the administration of the examinations.
ETNEPs require a bachelor's degree to enter programs.
IAET changes name to WOCN® Society (Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurses Society) and opens membership to all nurses practicing in the field of wound, ostomy and/or continence care.
ETNCB changes name to Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®).
Offers 3 specialty examinations in addition to generalist (250 questions each.)
Offers new credentials CWCN, COCN and CCCN.
Board decided to adopt policy initiated by ONS (Oncology Nurses Society) to require bachelor's degree for initial certificants beginning in the year 2000. (Those already certified and maintaining continuous certification will be grandfathered.)
Letter sent to non-nurses (LVN, LPN, ET) requesting that they relinquish the credential effective January 1995.
First NOCA meeting attended by WOCNCB representative. Many discoveries made related to standards, accepted credentialing practices (including NCCA Accreditation.)
Board votes to pursue alternative methods to recertify.
Hired consultant to look at the Professional Growth Program (PGP) for recertification.
Terminated contract with Professional Testing Company (PTC).
Signed contract with Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) to develop, implement and evaluate the credentialing program.
Job Analysis (Role Delineation) conducted.
Job Analysis Committee convened to define tasks essential to practice.
WOCNCB begins item bank analysis.
Board voted to add the following eligibility pathways:
1. Graduate of a non-accredited graduate program in nursing with documentation of course work related to specialty.
2. 2000 Hour experiential pathway.
Examination Committee appointed (13 members).
Pilot program for recertification via Professional Growth Program (PGP) began.
Began awarding CWOCN® (and CWCN®, COCN®, CCCN®) credentials to recertifying nurses.
WOCNCB marketing booth designed and debuted at Multi-specialty Nursing Conference, Orlando, Florida.
Examination Committee convenes for the first time.
Public Member added to the Board membership.
"Ask the Board" website feature introduced.
First administration of the new WOCNCB examinations with 80 items on each examination (wound, ostomy, continence). Candidates select the examination(s) desired.
New lapel pins stating "Certified by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board" offered.
Marketing Committee formed.
WOCNCB marketing booth premiers at the WOCN Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Item writing session conducted by Larry Fabrey, Vice President, AMP, was held at the WOCN Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Board committed to computer-based testing beginning in 2002.
Board votes to change criteria for Experiential Pathway to the following beginning in the year 2000: 1,500 clinical experience hours in the last 5 years for each specialty in which certification is sought.
Board votes to pursue Foot & Nail Certification.
Board votes to change criteria for Experiential Pathway to the following beginning in the year 2000: 50 contact hours and 1,500 clinical experience hours in the last 5 years for each specialty in which certification is sought.
Professional Growth Program Committee and Credentialing Review and Appeals Committee formed.
"Marketing Your Credential" pre-conference session held at the WOCN Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN.
Board votes to increase the number of Board members to 8 with staggered 4 year terms.
Foot & Nail Certification Advisory Committee formed.
Board committed to a Foot & Nail Certification Job Analysis.
First open election of Board members held.
Professional Growth Program (PGP) Handbook developed.
Sent surveys for Foot & Nail Certification job analysis.
Received NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) accreditation.
Job Analysis sent out to certificants.
New test matrix based upon Job Analysis.
Changed management firm to Executive Director, Inc.
Task Force formed to research feasibility of Advanced Practice
(AP) credential for WOC nurses.
CETN credential officially retired.
Self Assessment Examination (practice exam) available online.
Professional Growth Program (PGP) Handbook revised.
Foot & Nail Advisory Panel met. Test blueprint and eligibility requirements for new foot and nail credential/exams finalized.
Professional Growth Program (PGP) Handbook revised.
Position Statement issued on Advanced Practice.
Examination Handbook revised.
Foot and Nail Practice Analysis completed.
Foot & Nail Examination Committee formed. Test development in progress, planned for launch in 2005.
Board approved eligibility requirements for candidates to apply for Foot & Nail credential exams.
Board agreed to move forward with WOC Advanced Practice credential.
Began administering Foot & Nail Examination for new credential, Certified Foot Care Nurse (CFCN®).
Advanced Practice role delineation survey sent.
Advanced Practice CWOCN certification via portfolio made available for Graduate level NP and CNS. (CWOCN-AP®)
Board approved duo-specialty credential for wound/ostomy nurse, CWON®
Began Hardship Assistance Program for qualified candidates applying.
CFCN candidates are now required to have eight hours of clinical experience if applying via the Experiential Pathway.
Change to eligibility for Experiential Pathway, so that of the 1,500 hours clinical experience 375 must be completed within one year prior to certification application.
Board agreed to implement an Ad Hoc Committee on Evidence-Based Practice.
Board approved to require any certificant with lapsed credentials greater than two years are required to prove eligibility via the Experiential Pathway, effective January 2008.
to require candidates to successfully complete exam(s) within five years of graduation from a Wound, Ostomy, Continence Education Program, or they must then prove eligibility via the Experiential Pathway, effective January 2008.
Board approved when the WOCNCB makes a change in policy to eligibility criteria to (re)certify, the Board must provide written notification to its certificants and provide 1 year before the change goes into place.
Board approved members of the Board and all Committees actively involved in WOCNCB business will receive a two-year extension of all currently held WOCNCB credentials beyond their term of service and are exempt from recertification during their term of service. This does not include certifications earned in the future or after election or appointment to the Board or Committees – in other words, extensions are not grandfathered.
Board approved to move forward in the process for development and evaluation of Advanced Practice wound, ostomy, and/or continence specialty certification by examination.
Board approved to move forward with completing a job analysis to assess possibility of offering certification at the LPN level. Board agreed NOT to offer non-BSN RN level.
Board approved to blend the Graduate Pathway requirements into the Experiential Pathway, stating that "candidates must either have 50 Continuing Education (CE) credits related to the specialty or college coursework credits equal to 50 CE credits." Effective August 2009.
Eligibility change. Experiential Pathway wording to state, "Within each specialty for which certification is sought, 50 contact hours (CEUs) or an equivalent in college course work post-Baccalaureate must be completed over the previous five years. All CEUs or college course work must directly apply to the specialty area for which applied. Effective Feb. 2010.
Board approved the CFCN Handbook for Recertification by Professional Growth Program (PGP portfolio).
Board approved the Credential Review Committee Charter to stipulate any extension beyond a six-month timeframe be reviewed by the full Board.
Board premiered the new PGP Online system. PGP Online enabled certificants to manage and submit their PGP Portfolios via browser access to a proprietary online system.