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:
- 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.
- Completion of application and required supporting documentation.
- Full payment of required fees.
- AND must meet ONE of the following options:
A. Education Option
- Successful graduate of NAWCO approved “Wound Management Certification Training Course” within past 2 years. (see below for approved course)
- 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.
- Receive passing score on the NAWCO WCC Examination.
B. Certification Option
- 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.
- Receive passing score on the NAWCO WCC Examination.
- 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.
- 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
- Successful graduate of NAWCO approved "Wound Management Training Course". (See below for approved course)
- 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.
- Receive passing score on the NAWCO WCC Examination. (For full details on the Preceptor Option click here.)
Upon expiration of the credentialing term, Certificants are required to recertify with the NAWCO to maintain their credentials.
Scope of Practice
National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy provides certification to various disciplines in healthcare.
The scope of practice for the “WCC” health care professional is performed in accordance with legislation code and scope of practice as determined by each respective professional state regulatory board along with prospective employer mandated guidelines.
The scope of practice established by the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy provides each certified health care provider with an understanding of their responsibilities and role as a member of the interdisciplinary wound care team. The WCC provides direct hands on and/or consultative skin and wound management in all health care setting. As with any specialty, certification does not supersede state practice acts nor does it permit a clinician to practice beyond their individual knowledge or expertise.
Advanced Practice Nurse:
Role: The APRN will work independently or in collaboration with a physician to provide care for the individual with a wound.
a. As a leader, provides oversight, assistance and guidance to other members of the interdisciplinary wound care team to establish a comprehensive approach to wound management that includes all disciplines.
b. Comprehensively assesses the individual patient to establish a medical diagnosis, making appropriate clinical decisions to ensure optimum outcomes for the management of the patients wound needs.
c. Abides by state practice acts, regulations, and laws established within their state/states of licensure to prescribe medication, treatments, and make necessary referrals.
d. Independently, or in collaboration with other interdisciplinary wound care team members, develops and implements skin management, wound treatment and wound prevention programs and provides corresponding education to facility/agency staff, family members/caregivers and patients.
e. Collaborates with other wound care professionals to conduct research and assess findings to establish updated, relevant approaches that will improve practices in health and wound care.
Role: The registered nurse has a key role in oversight of the wound care patient working under the guidance of a physician or other prescribing clinician (APRN, PA).
Responsibilities include but not limited to:
a. Develops and implements skin management, wound treatment and wound prevention programs and provides corresponding education to facility staff, family members/caregivers and patients.
b. Provides hands-on care and/or consultation to wound management patients, to a comprehensive assessment to determine the most appropriate and cost-effective use of wound management products and resources. Hands on care will include conservative sharp debridement/chemical cauterization with physician order, per facility guidelines and if allowed according to individual state practice act.
c. Works with the interdisciplinary team to establish individualized, comprehensive care plans.
d. Re-evaluates as needed, facility policies and procedures governing wound care, and makes necessary adjustments to guidelines based on trends, needs, and industry changes.
e. Acts as a wound care patient advocate working towards quality improvement within the facility/agency in order to establish the necessary standardized guidelines that address the specialized complex needs of the wound care patient.
Licensed Practical Nurse:
Role: Under the supervision/guidance of the Registered Nurse, APRN or Physician, according to individual state practice act; the Licensed Practical Nurse will provide the prescribed wound care to the patient including but not limited to:
a. As part of the interdisciplinary wound care team, will provide input to the Supervising RN/APRN for care plan consideration and implementation per established protocols.
b. Will implement preventative care, monitor skin status, and apply treatments per orders and as established by the supervising RN or prescribing clinician in each individual wound care patients treatment plan.
c. Observes patients response and wound status reporting any changes to patient or wound to the supervising clinician.
d. Will participate in the facility quality assurance program as assigned.
Physical Therapist/Occupational Therapist: Responsibilities include but not limited to:
a. As part of the interdisciplinary wound care team, will provide input to the Supervising RN/APRN/Physician for care plan consideration and implementation per established protocols.
b. Will assess and make necessary recommendations for adjunctive modalities specific to therapy administration within the state’s scope of practice for therapy clinicians.
c. Will assess and assist other members of the interdisciplinary wound care team in support surface selection and provide requested education for proper positioning.
d. Observes patients response and wound status reporting any changes to patient or wound to the supervising clinician.
e. Will participate in the facility quality assurance program as assigned.
Role: The physician will work in collaboration with an APRN/PA/interdisciplinary wound care team to provide and plan care for the individual with a wound. Responsibilities include but not limited to:
a. Independently or in collaboration with the APRN, PA, RN, the physician establishes wound diagnosis, prognosis, wound care treatment and prevention measures to be implemented.
b. Works with the interdisciplinary team to educate facility/agency staff, patients and family members regarding interventions, preventative measures, and individualized patient treatment plans.
c. Collaborates with other wound care team members in quality assurance programs within the healthcare setting.
d. Provides bedside treatments to include conservative sharp debridement when needed.
e. Provides order for appropriate referrals and tests when necessary.
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:
|Normal Skin, Wounds, and the Wound Healing Process||
|Systems Review and Head to Toe Visual Exams||
|Patient’s Nutritional Status||
|Wound Healing and Monitoring||
|Interdisciplinary Wound Treatment and Prevention||
|Wound Care Education and Training||
|Legal, Ethics, and Policy||
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Number of exam takers||2076||2272||2435||2656|
|Average Pass rate||74%