The Certified Wound Ostomy Nurse (CWON®) is developed and maintained by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Certification Board (WOCNCB). The CWON certification is for general practice nurses interested in moving to the specialized wound and ostomy care field. This voluntary credential proves a nurse’s knowledge and qualifications through a rigorous and thorough examination and continuing education.
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CWON Exam Eligibility
There are two pathways to eligibility for the CWON exam, and the exam consists of two specialty tests: wound and ostomy. Both methods require you to hold a current Registered Nurse (RN) license and a bachelor’s degree in any field. Additional requirements are defined below.
For this pathway, you need to be a graduate of an accredited Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (WOC) Nursing Education program completed within the past five years from the date of exam application. The WOC program must be accredited by the WOCN® Society at graduation and include 40 hours of didactic instruction, 40 hours of clinical patient care, and 20 hours distributed between specialty areas.
This pathway focuses on your experience in the specialty after obtaining your bachelor’s degree while practicing as an RN. This pathway requires 100 Continuing Education (CE)/Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits (50 credits per specialty) or an equivalent in college courses completed over the five years before the date of your application. Your CE/CME credits must apply directly to the CWON specialty. Additionally, you must have 3,000 patient clinical hours (1,500 clinical hours per specialty) within the previous five years, with 375 clinical hours obtained within the past year. The required clinical and education hours must be directly related to the specialties.
About the CWON Credential
Each exam evaluates your specialized competence and professionalism in providing wound and ostomy care, including assessment, intervention, and education in all settings across the healthcare spectrum. Each exam is computer-delivered regardless of the test-taking method (remote or in-person).
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CWON Exam Outline
Each exam contains 120 multiple-choice questions, ten of which do not count toward your final score, and you will be given two hours to complete each exam.
There are three types of questions throughout each exam:
- Recall (25%): Recall or recognize specific information
- Application (61%): Comprehend, relate, or apply knowledge to new or changing situations
- Analysis (14%): Analyze and synthesize information, determine solutions, or evaluate the usefulness of a solution
The Certified Wound Care Nurse exam contains three domains, divided into tasks that evaluate your knowledge and skills.
- Determine the patient’s current health and risk status through interviews, medical records, and questionnaires
- Determine the patient’s current skin and wound status by performing focused assessments
- Develop a patient-centered plan of care using health history and assessments to establish skin and wound management goals
- Use periodic assessments to evaluate the care plan and to promote optimal skin and wound management
Domain II: Intervention and Treatment (44 items)
- Implement prevention measures to promote skin health and injury prevention
- Recommend and provide interventions to promote wound management
- Recommend/perform debridement to promote wound healing
Domain III: Education and Referral (27 items)
- Instruct patients and caregivers using the individualized skin and wound care plan to prevent complications, maintain optimal health, and encourage autonomy
- Instruct healthcare clinicians and providers on skin and wound care principles and techniques, promoting optimal management and preventing complications
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to support patient-centered care
The Certified Ostomy Care Nurse exam contains three domains, divided into tasks that evaluate your knowledge and skills.
- Using patient interviews, medical records, and questionnaires, determine the patient’s current health and risk status
- Use focused assessments to determine the patient’s current status of ostomies, fistulae, or percutaneous tubes
- Develop a patient-centered plan of care to establish goals for managing ostomies, fistulae, or percutaneous tubes
- Evaluate the patient care plan using periodic assessments to promote optimal ostomy, fistula, or percutaneous tube management
- Assess patients’ health-related quality of life with ostomies, fistulae, or percutaneous tubes
Domain II: Intervention and Treatment (44 items)
- Recommend and provide interventions for the optimal management of ostomies
- Recommend and provide interventions for the optimal management of fistulae
- Recommend and provide interventions for the optimal management of percutaneous tubes or drains
Domain III: Education and Referral (30 items)
- Instruct patients and caregivers on management techniques to prevent complications and encourage patient autonomy
- Instruct other health care clinicians and providers on care principles and techniques to promote optimal management and prevent complications
- Collaborate with other health care professionals and make referrals to support patient-centered care
CWON Exam Registration
Registration for the CWON exam is available only online. You must complete the application, upload the required documents, and pay the $510 registration fee. The fee is payable online via credit card or mail with a personal check or money order.
Scheduling the Exam
When your registration is approved, Scantron emails your notification of eligibility to sit for the examinations. You can take both exams in one appointment, or break them up into two appointments. From your approval date, you have 12 months to complete the exams. Separate testing appointments incur a one-time $75 surcharge. The surcharge fee is paid with the exam registration fees.
CWON Exam Delivery Methods
There are two exam delivery methods: at a Scantron testing center and by a remote proctor.
Scantron Testing Facility
Scantron testing centers are located nationwide and internationally. Testing sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and are based on test center availability. Tests are generally offered Monday through Friday with two sessions per day. There is an additional fee of $150.00 for examinations scheduled outside of the US or Canada.
Remote Proctored Exam
Live remote proctoring allows you to take the exams from the comfort of your home or office. Requirements for remote testing include a desktop or laptop computer (tablets and mobile devices are not eligible for remote proctoring), a webcam, and a microphone. Remote proctored exams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
CWON Exam Scores
The results of each test are provided to you immediately after the exam. You can also view your results through the online credentialing system found on the Scantron website.
WOCNCB uses a scaled scoring method to determine the minimum passing point. Each correct answer is worth a raw point. The raw points are totaled, and a scaled score is determined.
Your score report indicates your pass or fail status; WOCNCB does not publish the required passing score because it can vary from test to test.
Retaking the CWON Exam
If you need to retake the exam(s), WOCNCB offers a one-time discount of $100.00 (after the first retake, full fees apply). You can take the exam up to three times with a 30-day waiting period between attempts without having to reapply. However, additional attempts after the third require a new application.
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How do I obtain a CWON certification?
To be certified as a Certified Wound Ostomy Nurse (CWON), you must pass the Certified Wound Care Nurse (CWCN) exam and the Certified Ostomy Care Nurse (COCN) exam.
How many questions are on each exam?
There are 120 questions on each certification exam.
How long are the exams?
Each exam is timed at two hours.
What is a passing score for the CWON certification?
Because the scoring system for the exams is scaled, there is no set passing score to obtain your CWON certification.
How much does a CWON certification cost?
Because you are taking two exams to obtain your CWON certification, the fee is $510.
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.
by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 5, 2024