WCC Certification

Welcome to the WCC Information page. The first step is to determine which of the 4 pathways you would be eligible for. Each pathway A-D is outlined below. For full details, you can download the WCC Candidate Examination Handbook.

Eligibility for Wound Care Certification

Applicants for the NAWCO® WCC Certification Examination must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Active, unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, Nurse Practitioner (NP), Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Physician OR Physician Assistant.
  2. Completion of application and required supporting documentation.
  3. Full payment of required fees.
  4. AND must meet ONE of the following options:

A. Education Option

  1. Successful graduate of NAWCO approved “Wound Management Certification Training Course” within past 2 years. (see below for approved course)
  2. Documentation of active involvement in the care of wound care patients or in management, education or research directly related to wound care while actively licensed for at least two (2) years full-time/four (4) years part-time within the past five (5) years.
  3. Receive passing score on the NAWCO WCC Examination.

B. Certification Option

  1. Documentation of active involvement in the care of wound care patients, or in management, education or research directly related to wound care while actively licensed for at least two (2) years full-time/four (4) years part-time within the past five (5) years.
  2. Receive passing score on the NAWCO WCC Examination.
C. Experiential Option
  1. Documentation of active involvement in the care of wound care patients, or in management, education or research directly related to wound care while actively licensed for at least four (4) years full-time within the past five(5) years.
  2. Completion of one-hundred twenty (120) contact hours in skin and wound care within the past five (5) years. To receive credit, the contact hours must be from an accredited provider of continuing nursing education by American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC); or an approved course from American Physical Therapy Association, (APTA), National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy™ (NAWCO®), Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME), or American Medical Association (AMA).

D. Preceptor Option

  1. Successful graduate of NAWCO approved "Wound Management Training Course". (See below for approved course)
  2. Complete a minimum of 120 hours of hands on clinical training with an NAWCO approved clinical preceptor after completion of "Wound Management Certification Training Course". (Please make sure your preceptor is approved by the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy before completing any clinical hours.
  3. Receive passing score on the NAWCO WCC Examination.
    (For full details on the Preceptor Option click here.)


Upon obtaining a passing score on the Certification examination, candidates may use the initials "WCC®", Wound Care Certified, to designate their status. Credentials are awarded for a five (5) year period.

Upon expiration of the credentialing term, Certificants are required to recertify with the NAWCO to maintain their credentials.

Scope of Practice

The WCC provides direct patient wound and skin care in acute, long-term care and home care settings. The WCC plays an important role as a direct care provider, educator and resource for optimum patient outcomes in wound and skin care management. The WCC scope of practice is performed in accordance with legislation code and scope of practice as determined by each respective professional state regulatory board.

Skin and wound management includes the identification, assessment, management, prevention, and continuing evaluation of patients with alterations in skin/tissue integrity, that includes but is not limited to pressure, vascular, arterial and diabetic ulcerations, as well as skin conditions resulting from incontinence, surgical procedures and/or trauma.

Skin and Wound Management is a specialized area that focuses on overall skin care and promotion of an optimal wound environment, including prevention, therapeutic interventions and rehabilitative interventions.

Skin and Wound Management requires the skills of the interdisciplinary team that includes the physician, nurses, WCC, dietitian, physical therapist, occupational therapist, social workers, and other health care disciplines or providers depending upon each individual patient assessment. The physician is the leader of the interdisciplinary care team. Skin and Wound Care management plans must always be prescribed by the physician.

NAWCO Approved Skin and Wound Management Certification Training Course

"Skin and Wound Management Certification Training Course"
Offered by Wound Care Education Institute

25858 Pastoral Drive
Plainfield, IL 60585

Content of Examination

The certification exam is an objective, multiple choice test consisting of up to 110 questions and is available in a computerized format or paper & pencil format with a total testing time of two (2) hours. A passing score is required to become certified.*

The questions for the certification examination are prepared by the NAWCO Certification Committee and teams of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The examination questions are written to assess cognitive levels of knowledge, comprehension, application and analysis related to skin and wound management. The content for examination questions is based upon job practice analyses conducted to ensure the content is current, job-related and representative of the responsibilities of wound care practitioners. Each question is subjected to editing for grammar, bias and technical adequacy by experts from the testing agency. For detailed content listing see the Candidate Handbook.

The examination is weighted in approximately the following breakdown:

Data Collection
Normal Skin, Wounds, and the Wound Healing Process
Systems Review and Head to Toe Visual Exams
Wound Description
Patient’s Nutritional Status
Wound Healing and Monitoring
Wound Etiology
Treatment Recommendations
Interdisciplinary Wound Treatment and Prevention
Wound Care Education and Training
Legal, Ethics, and Policy
*The passing score is based upon recommendations from statistical analysis performed by the testing corporation, and is set by the NAWCO Certification Committee.

References for Study

The following reference list may be helpful in preparing for the examination. This list does not attempt to include all the acceptable references available, nor is the examination based solely on these sources. The NAWCO does not sponsor or endorse any one reference over another. Some of the references can be accessed online, while others are available at local book stores.

Please be aware that there are many websites selling products that claim to be "study guides" or books that will assist you in passing the WCC exam. Before you purchase anything that claims to assist you in passing the WCC exam, please call our offices at 877-922-6292 to inquire whether or not this is a legitimate website or product. There are not currently any publications that we endorse or approve for this purpose.

Clinical Guide to Wound Care, Sixth Edition, Cathy Thomas Hess, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers, 2008.

Acute and Chronic Wounds: Current Management Concepts, Third Edition, Ruth A Bryant and Denise P Nix, Mosby, Inc. Publisher, 2007.

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Secrets, Catherine Milne, Lisa Q. Corbett, and Debra Duboc; Publisher Hanley & Belfus, 2002.

Wound Care: A Collaborative Practice Manual for Health Professionals, Third Edition, Carrie Sussman, Barbara Bates Jensen, Publisher: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, 2007.

Advances in Skin & Wound Care Journal, Published by Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Ostomy/Wound Management Journal, Published by HMP Communications.

Examination Administration

The Wound Care Certification Examination is sponsored by the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy and Osto. The independent NAWCO Certification Committee has been established to develop and maintain the WCC certification program and all its essential activities. Computerized versions of the examination are administered at computer based testing facilities managed by PSI Services, LLC Computer Testing. PSI Services, LLC maintains testing sites throughout the United States and in other countries. Proctored paper and pencil examinations are available in various scheduled locations around the US. You can view testing centers near you at www.psiexams.com

Accommodation Procedures

An applicant may request a change in examination procedures or process due to disability, handicap, or other reason. The forms, "Request for Special Accommodations and Documentation of Disability Needs", located in the Candidate Handbook, must be completed and received before the deadline of the requested examination date. The request must be specific as to the nature of the problem. The applicant is responsible for demonstrating that the request should be granted.

Examination Results

Your exam results will indicate "Pass" or "Fail".

Official results are reported in written form only, in person or by U.S. mail. Results are not reported over the telephone or by facsimile. Candidates taking the computerized version of the examination will receive their results immediately following the completion of the exam. Candidates taking the paper and pencil version of the exam will have the option to receive their exam results by email within 7-10 business days of the exam date. This option will be offered at the time of the examination.

Examination Disclosure

The examination and answer sheets remain solely the property of the NAWCO®. These materials are confidential and are not available for review by any person or agency for any reason.

Review of Examinations

For security reasons, examination materials are not available for review. Neither the testing corporation nor the NAWCO will discuss specific questions on any of the examinations. Comments about questions should be directed in writing to the NAWCO Certification Committee. The NAWCO will review comments relating to the exam but will not make a written response to comments.

Candidates who believe their examination results were improperly recorded or their examination graded inaccurately may ask that their examination be hand scored. To request examination hand scoring individuals should complete a signature form available from NAWCO headquarters or Click here.


NAWCO strictly protects the security of your personal information and honors your choices for its intended use. We carefully protect your data from loss, misuse, unauthorized access or disclosure, alteration, or destruction. Though we make every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information when required by law wherein we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process. Otherwise, your personal information is never shared outside the company without your permission. Inside the company, data is stored in password controlled servers with limited access.

Retesting Policy

Candidates who take the certification examination and are unsuccessful may retake the examination for a total of three
(3) additional re-examination attempts within two (2) years of the first examination date. Candidates who are unsuccessful after a total of four attempts are required to wait one (1) year after their final attempt before reapplying and retaking the examination. Candidates are encouraged to self-study or attend a wound management training course during this time. Unsuccessful candidates are not eligible for any refunds.

Individuals may appeal decisions regarding eligibility, examination results, and disciplinary matters made by the NAWCO Certification Program by submitting a written letter of appeal to the NAWCO Certification Committee within thirty (30) days of the NAWCO decision or action that is being appealed. Certificants may request a copy of the appeal policy by contacting the NAWCO office.

Certification Certificate

The NAWCO will award an official numbered certificate to all candidates upon passing the certification exam, denoting status as WCC, Wound Care Certified.


Upon expiration of the WCC certification, credentials can be reinstated by retraining, continuing education, examination or CEOP program. For recertification details
click here.

Examination Statistics*

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number of exam takers 2076 2272 2435 2656
Number certified 1672 1994 1804 1979
Average Pass rate

Total certified