Wound Care Certification

Become A WCC

The Right Choice

When considering becoming a wound specialist through wound care certification, choose the credential that aligns best with your lifestyle. The WCC certification is the number one wound care credential in the United States. There are thousands of multi-discipline WCCs making a difference in the lives of their patients and improving the quality of wound care every day.

Eligibility for Certification

Applicants for the WCC Certification examination must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Active, unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Assistant, 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:
  1. Education Option
    1. Successful graduate of NAWCO approved “Wound Management Certification Training 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 WCC Certification examination within 2 years of the approved course completion date.
  2. Certification Option
    1. Current active certification with Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) as a “CWCN”, “CWON”, “CWOCN” or current active certification with American Board of Wound Management (ABWM) as a “CWS”.
    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 WCC Certification examination.
  3. 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 sixty (60) 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).
    3. Receive passing score on the WCC Certification examination.
  4. Preceptor Option
    1. Successful graduate of NAWCO approved “Skin and Wound Management Training course”
    2. Completion of a minimum of 120 hours of hands on clinical training with an NAWCO approved clinical preceptor after completion of “Skin and Wound Management Certification Training Course”. Preceptor must be approved by the NAWCO before completing any clinical hours.
    3. Receive passing score on the WCC Certification examination within 2 years of the approved course completion date. For more information 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.

NAWCO Approved Skin and Wound Management Certification Training Course

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

Wound Care Education Institute

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:

Structures and functions of normal skin 5%
Identification and management of risk factors impacting skin integrity 10%
Wound healing process 15%
Patient assessment, data collection and analysis 20%
Wound etiology and description 20%
Treatment administration and management 20%
Education and Training 5%
Legal, Ethics, and Policy 5%

*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 the website or product is legitimate.  NAWCO does not not currently endorse or approve any publications for this purpose.

“Clinical Guide to Wound Care” by Cathy Thomas Hess, Seventh Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers. 2012.

“Acute and Chronic Wounds: Current Management Concepts” Fifth Edition by Ruth A Bryant and Denise P Nix, Mosby, Inc. Publisher, 2015.

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

“Wound Care: A Collaborative Practice Manual for Health Professionals” Fourth Edition by Carrie Sussman, Barbara Bates Jensen, Publisher: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, 2012.

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. 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 toward the back of this handbook) must be completed and received at least six weeks prior to 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 electronic form only through our online examination results process. 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.

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.



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 us er 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. Time limits apply, please see the WCC Candidate Examination Handbook for full details. 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 or examination. For recertification details click here.

Examination Statistics

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Number of exam takers 2435 2656 2250 2162 2341
Number certified 1807 1979 1694 1643 1741