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About the WOCN Society

The History of the WOCN Society

Founded in 1968, the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) is a professional, international nursing society of more than 5,000 health care professionals who are experts in the care of patients with wound, ostomy and incontinence.


The WOCN Society is a professional nursing society which supports its members by promoting educational, clinical and research opportunities to advance the practice and guide the delivery of expert health care to individuals with wounds, ostomies and incontinence.

Strategic Plan and Visions

In an effort to expand upon the WOCN Society's mission of shaping the future of wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) health care and supporting our members, the following strategic plan and visions were developed:

Vision Statement

Be the trusted global authority and leader in WOC care.

Vivid Description:

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) is recognized world-wide for the promotion of safe and effective wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) care. Leading health care organizations recognize the WOCN Society as the premiere nursing specialty organization to affect change to improve WOC patient outcomes. Cutting-edge education guides the practice of members and other health care practitioners dealing with WOC conditions. Nursing associations, policy makers, regulatory agencies, payers, institutions of higher learning and the public look to the WOCN Society for guidance, research and resources about the prevention and care of WOC conditions. WOCN members are sought out as experts and advocates for WOC care. Because prevention and effective treatment is proven to be cost-effective, WOC nurses are employed in a variety of healthcare systems. WOCN members serve as content experts, educators, and advisers in collaborative health initiatives to assure access to a WOC specialty practice nurse. Industry partners recognize the WOCN Society as a model for all organizational partnerships.

Core Purpose

To advance the practice of wound, ostomy and continence nursing.

Core Values


Demonstrated by uncompromised dedication to being a trusted, unbiased and credible source of evidence-based information and expertise.


Demonstrated by being stewards of excellence with a common passion for mutual respect, shared experiences and life-long learning.


Demonstrated by continuing commitment to education and research to generate and disseminate knowledge that improves patient outcomes.

Society-wide Strategies


The WOCN Society will be the authoritative voice promoting awareness among the public, policy makers and the health care community about the prevention and management of WOC disorders.


The WOCN Society will be the leader in comprehensive, innovative WOC education that promotes safe and effective prevention and management of WOC disorders.


The WOCN Society will be the driving force in promoting research to enhance WOC clinical practice.

Volunteer Engagement:

The WOCN Society will be a thriving organization of diverse WOC nursing leaders.


With your assistance, our vision will become a reality and the WOCN Society will strengthen and grow. We welcome your insight and participation, and look forward to succeeding together!

Copyright 2017 Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™. All rights reserved.

The WOCN® Society is professionally managed by Association Headquarters, a charter accredited association management company.

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 15115.