California nurses receive wound care certification from national organizations, including the Wound Care Education Institute, the American Academy of Wound Management and the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board. Both licensed practical or vocational nurses and registered nurses qualify for some of these certifications. However, others credentials are available only to registered nurses with a bachelor's degree or graduate study.
Wound Care Education Institute WCC Certification
The Wound Care Education Institute cooperates with the Hospital Association of Southern California in training nurses to become Wound Care Certified. Nurses qualify in one of several ways. They may complete a National Alliance of Wound Care-approved class and show proof of qualifying experience during the previous five years. Second, they may obtain another national wound care certification and document suitable experience. Third, they may prove active experience in wound care and complete 60 hours of education, meeting the requirements of the American Medical Association or other national heath associations. As a final option, the preceptor option, nurses can complete a course accepted by the National Alliance of Wound Care, followed by at least 120 hours of approved clinical work. The WCC credential remains in effect for five years.
Diabetic Wound Care Certification
California nurses can also become Diabetic Wound Certified. Both practical or vocational nurses and registered nurses can achieve this advanced credential from the Wound Care Education Institute. Prerequisites for certification include the WCC or other recognized credential in wound care, an active nursing license and completion of a course in diabetic skin and wound management, meeting National Alliance of Wound Care standards. The candidate then must pass a national exam at one of many testing centers. This certification also stays current for five years.
American Academy of Wound Management Certifications
The American Academy of Wound Management offers nurses two levels of wound certification, the Certified Wound Care Associate (CWCA) and the Certified Wound Specialist (CWS). Nurses with a minimum of three years of clinical work qualify for the CWCA certifying exam, available at Professional Testing Centers. At writing time, the exam fee comes to $300. Annual renewal costs $125 and requires completing at least six units of continuing education. Nurses who have a bachelor's degree or higher plus three years of appropriate experience can qualify for the higher CWS exam, which costs $550. Renewal requires six units of continuing education, plus a $150 yearly fee.
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board
The Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board certifies registered nurses with a bachelor's degree or higher in wound, ostomy and continence care. The board's offerings include Certified Wound Care Nurse (CWCN), Certified Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse (CWOCN), Certified Wound Ostomy Nurse (CWON), plus other certifications for ostomy and continence care. To qualify for certifying exams, nurses must complete a board-approved educational program or a combination of 50 hours of graduate study plus 1,500 hours of clinical work. The board also offers higher-level certifications for advanced practice nurses with qualifying graduate study. Nurses may take more than one exam at a time if they wish. At writing, the first exam costs $300, with discounts for additional exams.