For those who want to become a Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse (CWOCN®), you must first pass a Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse Exam. For a successful completion of the exam, you must first meet the eligibility requirements and then apply to take it. Upon your application being approved, you will be allowed to schedule a testing session for the exam. A passing completion of the exam rewards you with certification in your desired field and the ability to practice with dedication and commitment.


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Am I Eligible?

To be eligible to take this exam you must fall into one of the following categories with the appropriate requirements met and documentation to prove it.

Initial (first time) candidates:

  • Have a current RN license
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Have either graduated from an accredited WOC program within the last 5 years or have completed at least 50 credits and 1,500 clinical hours post bachelor’s degree per specialty you are applying for
  • Be able to pay all test fees at the time of application

Retake candidates:

  • Have a current RN license
  • Wait 30 days after a failed exam to retake
  • Include any fees at the time of application
  • Finish and pass the exam(s)

Recertifying candidates:

  • Have certification by the WOCNCB in the specialty you are applying for
  • Have a current RN license
  • Include any fees at the time of application
  • Finish and pass the exam(s)

How do I Apply?

The application for the CWOCN exam can be found only online. You will need to provide proof of your current RN license, education, continuing education credits or WOC programs, and clinical hours as necessary. Your exam fee and any surcharge fees will also be paid for at this time.

When and Where is it Taken?

You can choose from over 450 testing centers throughout the U.S. and Canada and over 200 international test centers. Tests are available on a first come, first served basis for each location. You may take each exam in order during one test session or separately. You are given two hours for each specialty exam.

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Can I Reschedule?

You may reschedule/cancel your testing session through the online scheduling system any time at least four business days prior to your test date. A $50 rescheduling fee will apply. If you do not cancel/reschedule prior to those four days, or do not show up for your scheduled test session, all testing fees will be forfeited, and you must complete a retake application and pay an additional testing fee.

What does it Cost?

Examination fees are paid during the online application process and are assessed based on the number of specialties involved in your test including wound care, ostomy, continence and/or foot care.

    1 specialty – $395

    2 specialties – $510

    3 specialties – $610

    4 specialties – $670

There is a one-time surcharge fee of $75 assessed for scheduling your exam(s) during multiple testing periods instead of within a single testing period. If you fail the exam and need to retake it, you will be given a $100 discount for a one-time use.

What Should I Bring with me?

When arriving for your scheduled test session, please make sure to do so at least 15 minutes early. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test and will forfeit all testing fees. You must bring a signed photo identification with you to the test site. The following are the only acceptable forms allowed:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Government issued ID cards

No personal items are to be brought into the testing center including: cell phones, computers or other electronic devices, reference materials, cameras, bags or purses, food or beverages, personal writing utensils, hats, hoods, coats or jackets, and calculators (unless otherwise mentioned by the test sponsor).

What is Covered?

Each specialty exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, 10 of those are non-scored pretest questions. The topics covered are as follows:

Wound Care

  • Factors affecting wound care
  • Principles of wound management
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Lower extremity Venous Disease
  • Lower extremity arterial disease
  • Lower extremity neuropathic disease
  • Other types of wounds

Ostomy Care

  • Factors affecting fecal and urinary diversion
  • Management of fecal and urinary diversion
  • Colostomy
  • Ileostomy
  • Ileal conduit
  • Fistulas
  • Percutaneous tubes and drains

Continence Care

  • Principles of continence
  • Principles of urinary incontinence
  • Stress incontinence
  • Urge incontinence
  • Functional incontinence
  • Other voiding disorders
  • Principles of bowel dysfunction

How is it Scored?

The results of your exam will be printed and immediately given to you after completion at the test center. These scores may also be viewed later online. If you pass the exam(s), you will receive a personalized frameable certificate and a wallet card. These are delivered the month after completion of your last successful exam, once you have completed all your exams. These credentials are good for five years.

How to Prepare?

For a more comprehensive and thorough explanation of everything covered on the test, check out our CWOCN Study Guide and Flashcards. These practice essentials will help you be prepared for every topic the test covers. They will also allow you to complete some sample questions so you can better understand the formatting and process of the test itself. Be sure to use both the CWOCN study guide and CWOCN flashcards to be better prepared for this exam.

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CWOCN Study Guide

Mometrix Academy is a completely free resource provided by Mometrix Test Preparation. If you find benefit from our efforts here, check out our premium quality CWOCN study guide to take your studying to the next level. Just click the CWOCN study guide link below. Your purchase also helps us make even more great, free content for test-takers.


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CWCN®, COCN®, CCCN®, CWON®, and CWOCN® are registered trademarks of the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board. Mometrix Test Preparation is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board.

CWOCN Study Guide Customer Success Stories

Our customers love the tutorial videos from Mometrix Academy that we have incorporated into our CWOCN test study guide. The CWOCN study guide reviews below are examples of customer experiences.

I bought your study guide before I had even started my courses for the CWOCN. I felt this would give me a chance to read it before starting any classes and continue to use as a review during the courses. I then used the study guide after I finished with courses. It greatly helped me learn and retain all the information.

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CWOCN Study Guide – Customer

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 17, 2023