The Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) provide the Certified Wound Care Nurse (CWCN) certification to identify nurses with expertise and skills to provide patients with qualified and specialized wound care needs. The CWCN is a voluntary certification and is valid for five years.
There are eligibility requirements for the CWCN exam including a current Registered Nurse License and at least a bachelor’s degree. Other requirements can be found on the WOCNCB website, and you need to meet all eligibility requirements before submitting your application to sit for the CWCN exam.
Registration, cost, and location
After you have verified that you meet the eligibility for the CWCN exam, follow the link on the WOCNCB website to complete the online application. Your application is not complete until you include the $395.00 testing fee. Payment is made via credit card or by check or money order mailed to Castle Worldwide, Inc (the testing provider). Keep in mind that your application is not complete until payment is received.
Once your application is approved, Castle notifies you of your eligibility to test and provides you with instructions to register for the exam with the testing center nearest to you. There are 450 Castle test centers in the United States and Canada, and over 200 centers located internationally. Test sessions are offered Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., based on center availability.
Exam delivery method and score reporting
The Certified Wound Care Nurse examination contains 120 multiple-choice questions and is delivered by computer at Castle Worldwide, Inc testing centers. The exam consists of 110 scored questions and 10 non-scored questions. The non-scored questions are used to validate future versions of the certification exam and are mixed in with the scored questions. You will not know which question counts so be sure to answer all test questions. You have two hours (120 minutes) to complete the examination.
At the conclusion of your exam, your unofficial results are provided. Your raw score is converted to a scaled score ranging from 200 to 800. The passing score for the CWCN exam is 500. If you were unsuccessful in passing the exam on your first attempt, you can register to retake the exam after a thirty-day waiting period. The one-time retake fee is $295.00, and you do not have to reapply.
The CWCN examination tests your ability to recall and recognize information, comprehend, relate, and apply your knowledge, and analyze and synthesize information to determine and evaluate solutions and their usefulness. The exam consists of about 25% recall, 61% application, and 14% analysis questions. Each question has four possible answers with only one answer correct.
There are seven tasks within the exam:
- Task 1 – Assess comprehensive factors affecting wound care – 17 questions
- Task 2 – Implement principles of wound management – 17 questions
- Task 3 – Assess and manage pressure ulcers – 16 questions
- Task 4 – Assess and manage lower extremity venous disease – 15 questions
- Task 5 – Assess and manage lower extremity arterial disease – 15 questions
- Task 6 – Assess and manage lower extremity neuropathic disease – 15 questions
- Task 7 – Assess and manage other types of wounds – 15 questions
The day of your examination, bring your government-issued, valid, photo identification, and arrive at the testing center 15 minutes before your examination appointment. Leave your belongings at home, and do not bring anything with you into the testing center. All test supplies are provided at the beginning of your examination and returned at the conclusion.
Take care to follow the instructions provided to you for the testing center. Failure to follow the rules may result in your dismissal from the center and the possible forfeiture of your testing fees.
When you have completed your exam and submitted your answers for scoring, an official score report is provided. Additionally, you may retrieve your results through your account on the Castle website; instructions for obtaining your electronic score report are provided before your departure. The month following your examination, a personalized certificate and wallet card is mailed to you. Your certification is valid for five years from the date of your exam.
How Can I Prepare for the CWCN Exam?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!