How to Certify in Advanced Practice Wound, Ostomy or Continence

The Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board has evolved over the years to capture the growing roles and responsibilities of nurses.  In 2012, the Advanced Practice exams for wound, ostomy and continence specialty nursing commenced as the entry-level certification to the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), specifically the Nurse Practitioner (NP) or the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). 

The exams validate the advanced specialty knowledge as well as core role competencies of the APRN in each of the specialties CWCN-AP®, COCN-AP® and CCCN-AP® (CWOCN-AP® for the tri-specialty certification).   Completion of a mandatory clinical component for each specialty area is required prior to AP exam testing.  Five-year recertification can be accomplished via an AP professional portfolio or examination.

See how you can partner with the WOCNCB to promote patient and public safety while practicing to the highest level of your APRN degree*. Click here to assess your eligibility to sit for the Advanced Practice Certification Exam. 

*Due to State Board of Nursing licensure requirements, please contact your State Board of Nursing to determine licensing and scope of practice questions.

Considering certification?  Be sure to Download Candidate Examination Handbook PDF
The Candidate Handbook is a 56 page document.

The Candidate Exam Handbook details:

  • eligibility requirements
  • the application process
  • exam content
  • general WOCNCB policies.

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AP Examination

WOCNCB has created new documents to assist you in preparing for the AP exams. Please click the links below to access complete information by specialty including a list of references.

The Value of Certification Nurses
The Value of Certification Administrators
The Value of Certification Consumers

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