A WOC nurse is a Registered Nurse (RN) who holds a Baccalaureate Degree or higher and completes a formal, accredited WOC full scope or specialty education program. WOC nurses can specialize in wounds, ostomies, or incontinence, and provide acute and rehabilitative needs for individuals with select disorders of the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and integumentary systems. WOC nurses provide direct care to people with abdominal stomas, wounds, fistulas, drains, pressure injuries, and/or continence disorders, and can serve as an educator, consultant, researcher, or administrator.

  • Provide and interpret evidence-based tools for staff nurses for decision support
  • Evaluate new products
  • Connect patients with supply resources to reduce ED visits for this purpose
  • Provide follow-up care post-discharge
  • Assist surgeons and infection prevention practitioners in SSI reduction

All Nurses are not equal


WOC nurses are certified through the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®) and can provide significant expertise and results. Look for the legally defensible CWOCN®, CWCN®, COCN®, CCCN®, or CWON® credentials to ensure that you have the most highly trained and educated nurses on staff.


Possess high-level group facilitation skills and expertise on a large number of medical products

Contribute business acumen skills that encompass product consolidation and standardization

Perform comprehensive literature reviews on best practices followed by the execution of efficient product

Use cross-departmental relationships to influence stakeholders when conflict arises

WOC Nurses provide results


A study investigated how WOC nurses affect patient outcomes in home healthcare settings and found that patients in home healthcare agencies with a WOC nurse were*:





*Westra, B. L., Bliss, D.Z., Savik, K., Hou, Y., & Borchert, A. (2013). Effectiveness of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses on Agency-Level Wound and Incontinence Outcomes in Home Care. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs, 40(1), 25-33. doi: 10.1097/ WON.0b013e31827bcc4f.

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