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Proper Use of WOCN® Acronym & Your WOCNCB® Nursing Credentials

The WOCN Society and the WOCNCB are two separate entities but work collaboratively to provide WOC nursing education. If you have questions regarding your certification, contact info@wocncb.org. If you have questions about your WOCN membership, contact info@wocn.org.


“WOCN®” is a trademarked acronym abbreviated for the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®). The WOCN trademark should only be used as an adjective along with the descriptive name, and should never be used as a substitute for products or services or used in a possessive manner. Individuals should not be referring to themselves as a “WOCN”. Instead, they should refer to themselves as a WOC nurse, wound nurse, ostomy nurse, continence nurse, WOCN Society member, etc.

Examples of Proper vs. Improper uses of the WOCN® trademark:

Image: Examples of proper use of the WOCN trademark



The 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.

Below are examples of the proper listing of credentials and certifications:

  • Name, PhD, RN, APRN, CWOCN, FAAN
  • Name, MSN, RN, APRN, CWOCN
  • Name, BSN, RN, CWON
  • Name, BS, RN, CCCN

It’s 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 WOCN Society and the WOCNCB® collaboratively developed a joint position statement to clarify the proper usage of the WOCN acronym and WOCNCB credentials and to educate the wound, ostomy, and continence 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 Society and the WOCNCB have taken 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. Thank you for your continued commitment, enthusiasm, and support to both the WOCN Society and the WOC specialty.