The CWOCN exam is offered
to candidates whose goal is to become a Certified Wound Ostomy Continence

Who is eligible to take the CWOCN exam?

Those who are eligible to take the exam MUST:

  • Hold a current RN or APRN license – You must submit the copy of the license with your application.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Have successfully graduated from an accredited Wound, Ostomy, Continence Education program within the last five years, or you will have completed at least 50 credits along with 1500 clinical hours.

For retaking candidates:

  • You must be a current licensed RN.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period before you are able to take the test again.
  • Submit your completed application along with the application fee.

For recertifying candidates:

  • You must currently be certified by the WOCNBC in the specialty you are applying for.
  • Hold a current license as a registered nurse.
  • Submit fees with your application.

What is the application process?

  • You may complete the application online at
  • You will need to have proof of your current RN license.
    • Make sure expiration date and state(s) are visible.
  • Proof of education:
    • You will need to upload a copy of your diploma or transcripts.
  • You will also need to provide proof of clinical hours and the exam fees.

How much does it cost to take the exam?

The exam fees are as follows:

  • 1 Specialty - $395 USD
  • 2 Specialties – $510 USD
  • 3 Specialties – $610 USD
  • 4 Specialties - $670 USD

You may schedule up to four-exams in one day, or you can schedule them on different days. Just remember that your exams must be within the eligibility period in which you applied.

You may make all payments online by credit card or by mail via check or money order.

There is a one-time surcharge fee of $75 for those who schedule more than one exam during multiple testing periods.

How can I schedule an exam date?

You may schedule a time and place to take the exam after you submit your application and are approved. You may schedule your exam on-line or by phone.

*Important: Keep in mind that if you need to reschedule your exam, there is a $50 fee, and you must reschedule at least four days before your scheduled exam.

Where is the exam given?

The exam is given at over 400 Castle computer-based testing centers across the U.S. and Canada, and at around 200 testing centers internationally. You will be able to choose a location that is convenient for you when you are filling out the application.

How many questions will I find on the CWOCN exam?

The CWOCN exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. 10 of these questions are pre-test questions and are not scored. You will be given a total of two-hours for each exam that you take.

What topics will I be tested on?

The CWOCN exam tests your knowledge in the following areas:

  • Wound Care
    • Comprehensive Factors Affecting Wound Care
    • Implementing Principles of Wound Management
    • Assessing and Managing Pressure Ulcers
    • Assessing and Managing Lower Extremity Venous Disease
    • Lower Extremity Arterial Disease
    • Assessing and Managing Lower Extremity Neuropathic Disease
    • Other Types of Wounds
  • Ostomy Care
    • Assessing Factors Affecting Fecal and Urinary Diversion
    • Implementing Management Principles of Fecal and Urinary Diversion
    • Colostomy
    • Assessing and Managing Ileostomy
    • Ileal Conduit
    • Assessing and Managing Continent Fecal Diversions
    • Continent Urinary Diversions
    • Assessing and Managing Fistulas
    • Assessing and Managing Percutaneous Tubes and Drains
  • Continence Care
    • Principles of continence
    • Principles for urinary continence
    • Stress Incontinence
    • Assessing and Managing Urge Incontinence
    • Functional Incontinence
    • Voiding Disorders
    • Principles for Bowel Disfunction

When will I receive the results of my exam?

You can expect to receive your results immediately upon completion of your exam. If you passed, you will get your certificate and wallet card, about a month after taking the exam.

What if I fail the exam? Do I have the option of taking it again?

If you fail the exam(s) once, you can submit a re-take application with a $100 discount. Keep in mind that this is only a one-time thing. If you fail your exam a second time, you will have to pay the full re-take fee.

If you fail your exam(s) more than three times, you will have to submit a new application along with the requested documents, and full fee. You will also have to wait six months before taking it again.

Can you describe test day? What will it be like?

On the day of your exam, you should arrive – at minimum – fifteen minutes early. You will need a photo ID on you that is signed. Examples of these include your driver’s license, government issued photo ID, or your passport.

You are not permitted to bring any personal items into the testing center. Personal items include, but are not limited to: cell phones, tablets, recording devices, etc.

What if I’m late arriving to the testing center?

Unfortunately, if you are late to your exam, you will not be able to take it, and you will have to forfeit all paid fees.

If I have a disability, will I be accommodated?

Definitely. If you are a person with a disability, you will be accommodated. However, you must request accommodations at the time you submit your application. You must also submit documentation from a medical professional.

How Can I Prepare for the CWOCN Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Study Guide



Last Updated: November 9, 2023