Wound, Ostomy, & Continence (WOC) Nurse Education

Winona State University is proud to offer an accredited Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (WOC) Nursing Education program as part of its continuing education offerings.

WOC Nursing Education is a fully online, non-credit professional training program designed to provide experienced registered nurses with the education they need to care for patients with wound, ostomy, and continence needs ranging from pressure ulcers to pre- and post-ostomy care to fecal and urinary incontinence.

Graduates from this program are eligible to sit for the WOC Certification exam offered by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB).

This is a rigorous program lasting from 6-12 months and is designed to give nurses an unsurpassed education as they prepare to provide this much needed specialty care to patients.

Although classes are taught asynchronously online, they are structured and led by instructors, giving students easy access to educational assistance and an experienced WOC nurse as well as to other learners.

The curriculum was designed by experienced WOC-certified nurses through a special partnership with Mayo Clinic and a Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant.

Classes are taught by WOC-certified practicing nurses and is provided through Winona State University Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) on a non-credit basis.

The WSU WOC Nursing Education program is fully accredited by the WOC Nurses Society (WOCN) through February 2029.

The application window is now closed.

Admission decisions announced: Nov. 28, 2022.

The next WOC cohort have begun as of Jan. 3.

Domestic Students

  • Active, unencumbered RN license in the U.S. state of practice
  • Completed baccalaureate (or higher) degree
  • One year of clinical nursing experience following RN licensure
  • Current clinical nursing experience within five years prior to application

International Students

  • Equivalency of an active, unencumbered U.S. RN license in the country/region of practice, as determined by CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) Profession Report
  • Equivalency of a U.S. baccalaureate (or higher) degree, as determined by CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) Profession Report
  • One year of clinical nursing experience following licensure
  • Current clinical nursing experience within five years prior to application
  • English proficiency at the graduate level

Applications for the January 2023 cohort will open Aug. 1.

The following documents are required in the admission process:

  • Completed application (PDF)
  • Verification of active unencumbered RN license in the state of practice
  • Official transcript(s); if baccalaureate is in another field, include both official nursing and baccalaureate transcripts.
    • Transcripts should be mailed to Winona State University, Attn. Adult & Continuing Education, PO Box 5838, Winona, MN 55987
    • International students should contact continuingeducation@winona.edu for specific transcript/education requirements needed for admission.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV) outlining education and clinical nursing experience with dates of practice, including the month and year
  • Non-refundable application fee of $200

The didactic courses in this program are fully online and asynchronous, yet instructor-led.

Students watch recorded lectures, participate in discussion questions, and complete assignments designed to reinforce learning. Knowledge is assessed through regular quizzes as well as final examinations.

Access to class quizzes is retained throughout the student’s time in the program and can be used as a study tool for the certification exam(s).

Students can expect to dedicate 10-20 hours per week on their learning.

More than 500 didactic learning hours are included in the full scope program.

Required clinical hours vary by scope. The clinical experience for full-scope learners consists of 120 clinical learning hours of preceptor-led learning spread across each specialty.

Clinical hours may begin once the didactic portion of the specialty has been completed.

Clinical experiences are arranged by the program. A WOC-certified nurse or experienced provider will be in direct supervision of all clinicals.

A clinical location will be assigned to you based on your geographic location. You will be responsible for transportation to the assigned clinical site.

Although every effort will be made to accommodate your personal preferences, we ask for flexibility in clinical scheduling.

Background studies are required for clinical placement, and associated costs will be the responsibility of the student.

Students are also required to hold current health insurance and personal professional liability insurance.

Specific requirements, such as vaccination or immunity status and CPR/BLS certification, are determined by the clinical placement facility and may vary from site to site.

Learners are responsible for the following program costs.

  • Registration Fees
    • Full Scope: $6,500
    • Dual Scope: $4,500
    • Single Scope: $2,500
  • Application Fee: $200
  • Books: Approximately $90 - $270
  • WOC Nurses Society Student Membership: $65
  • Background Studies: Study needs are determined by the clinical placement facility and range from $10 - $45.
  • Certification Exam(s): Please visit the WOCNCB website for up-to-date exam information.

Scholarships are available through both the WOCN Society Foundation and the North Central Region of the WOCN Society.

You will need the following technology to be a successful online learner:  

  • Laptop or desktop computer that meets WSU's minimum requirements
  • Stable, high-speed internet connection   
  • Current version of a web browser (Google Chrome is recommended browser to access D2L)

Laptop rentals are available through Winona State University for an additional cost. Please contact continuingeducation@winona.edu for more information about this option.

What will my classes be like? How many hours per week will I need to commit to this program? 

Classes are housed completely online in the D2L Brightspace learning environment. There are no synchronous meetings. You will be able to complete coursework on your own schedule.

However, courses are instructor led and structured, meaning this program is not self-paced. You can expect to spend roughly 10-15 hours per work on coursework. 

In addition to the online portion, each WOC element will also have 40 hours of clinical practice to be started upon successful completion of the online learning.

Clinical practice time could overlap with online course time. For example, you may be scheduled for wound clinical time while taking the online ostomy course.

Do I need to complete all three specialties?

Students may choose a single or dual specialty of their choice or complete the full scope program. Regardless of the number of scopes selected, all students must complete the Professional Practice course.

How long is this program? How long is each class?

For students electing the full scope program, completion of didactic and clinical learning will take roughly one year. Participants take one course at a time, and all learners are required to complete the Professional Practice class.

Approximate Class Lengths

Course Title

Course Length

Professional Practice Issues

6 weeks

Wound Assessment and Management

16 weeks

Fecal and Urinary Diversion Ostomy Management

12 weeks

Continence Assessment and Management

12 weeks

I have a question not answered here.

We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have about this program. Please email us at continuingeducation@winona.edu and we will respond as soon as possible.