Wound, ostomy, and continence nursing

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Wound, ostomy and continence nursing is a nursing tri-specialty involved with the treatment of patients with acute and chronic wounds, patients with an ostomy (those who have had some kind of bowel or bladder diversion), and patients with continence conditions (those with bladder and bowel control and associated skin care issues). WOC nurses use evidence-based knowledge and skills to manage these complex patients. Nurses in this specialty are often referred to as wound, ostomy, continence nurses (WOC) nurses. In the United States, certification is available for this specialty from the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board. There are additional organizations that offer varying levels of certification in this field (American Board of Wound Management).


WOC nurses are found in all healthcare settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities and outpatient clinics. They work with patients who have acute or chronic wounds, fistulas or ostomies. They may assist patients who have other bowel or bladder disorders.[1]


Specialty certification for WOC nurses is available through the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB). Nurses and other healthcare professionals may also earn the Certified Wound Specialist (CWS) certification through the American Board of Wound Management.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "WOC nurses". Nursing. 33: 43–44. January 2003. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 

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