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Proper Use of WOCN® Acronym and WOCNB® Credentials

The Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) Society adopted the American Nurses Association (ANA) position statement regarding the order of credentials and certifications for professional nurses, which explains the proper listing for credentials and recommends that nurses only list nationally recognized credentials.

The recommended order of listing credentials and certifications is (1) education (highest earned degree first), (2) license (designation required by the state), (3) national certification, (4) awards and honors and (5) other certifications, with credentials listed as capital letters without periods between the letters and with a comma between each credential. For example, proper listing of credentials and certifications are:

· A Nurse, PhD, RN, APRN, CWOCN, FAAN

· B Nurse, MSN, RN, APRN, CWOCN

· C Nurse, BSN, RN, CWON

· D Nurse, BS, RN, CCCN

It is critical for nurses to correctly and proudly display their credentials and certifications to distinguish their professional and educational value and elevate their level of expertise.

The Society and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®) collaboratively developed a joint position statement to clarify the proper usage of the WOCN® acronym and WOCNCB® credentials and educate the wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) community in an effort to protect each organization’s name, brand, or logo from being used to create an impression of a relationship when one does not exist.

The WOCN® mark should only be used as an adjective along with the descriptive name, and never as a substitute for products or services or used in a plural or possessive manner. For example, proper vs. improper uses of the WOCN® mark are:

The Society and the WOCNCB have taken the time to ensure that nurses are recognized as the highly qualified professionals that they truly are! We sincerely hope you find this position statement informative and welcome any comments or concerns you may have. For more information, please see the WOCN Registered Trademark Use Guidelines Position Statement.

Thank you for your continued commitment, enthusiasm and support to both the Society and the WOC specialty.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Watts, MSN, RN, CWON
WOCN Society Immediate Past President