Wound Care Certification

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History

The Wound Care Certification (WCC) was created by the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy (NAWCO), a professional certification organization which was founded in 2002.[1] The WCC credential has received accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).[2]


Function of the Test

WCC Study Guide

The WCC credential recognizes expertise in wound care, including topics such as patient assessment, wound healing processes, wound etiology, and treatment management.[3]

In order to be eligible to earn the WCC credential, candidates must hold an active unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Physician, or Physician Assistant. Candidates must also meet an educational, certification, experiential, or preceptor eligibility requirement.[3]

Because candidates must already be licensed medical professionals, certification in Wound Care does not confer any additional licensure privileges. However, certification is beneficial as an exercise in professional development, motivating candidates to improve their skills and abilities and enhancing their future career prospects.[4]

In 2013, 2250 candidates took the exam, of whom 1694 (75.3%) passed.[5]

Test Administration

WCC Flashcards

The WCC exam is primarily administered at PSI Computer Testing centers. Paper and pencil examinations are also available in various other locations.[3]

The fee to take the examination is $330, which includes a $300 certification fee and a $30 processing fee.[3]

Both the computer-based and the paper and pencil version of the exam consist of 100 to 110 questions and have a two-hour time limit.[3] Candidates who take the computer-based test receive immediate test results, and examination results are e-mailed to all candidates within seven to ten business days of the exam date. Unsuccessful candidates who wish to retake the WCC exam must pay all applicable examination fees. There is no minimum waiting period between retests, but candidates are are limited to three reexamination attempts within two years. After a total of four failed examinations, a candidate must wait one full year before being allowed to take the exam again.[3][6]

Candidates with disabilities who require special testing accommodations must submit a request for special accommodations along with documentation of disability needs to NAWCO at least six weeks prior to the intended testing date.[3]

Test Format

Test Structure

The Wound Care Certification Exam is made up of eight main focuses: Structures and functions of normal skin; Identification and management of risk factors impacting skin integrity; Wound healing process; Patient assessment, data collection and analysis; Wound etiology and description; Treatment administration and management; Education and training; and Legal, ethics, and policy. The exam has 100 questions having to do with these eight topics, along with an additional 10 pretest questions that will not be scored. All 110 questions are multiple choice.[7]

Test Environment

Candidates are expected to arrive in a timely manner to the testing site. For admission, candidates must present a government issued photo identification. No bags, heavy coats, back packs, etc. are allowed into the examination room. The WCC contains multiple choice questions that come in either a computer-based format or a paper and pencil format.

Sample Questions

Scoring

The WCC exam comprises 100 scored multiple-choice questions and up to 10 unscored, unmarked pretest questions which are being assessed for inclusion on future versions of the WCC.[3]

The content on the WCC exam is distributed as follows:

Distribution of questions on the WCC exam[3]
Content Area #
of questions
Structures & functions of normal skin 5
Identification & management of risk factors
impacting skin integrity
10
Wound healing process 15
Patient assessment, data collection & analysis 20
Wound etiology & description 20
Treatment administration & management 20
Education & training 5
Legal, ethics & policy 5
Total 100 questions

NAWCO does not publish specific information about the exam scoring process or the passing score. However, it claims that the passing score is "based upon recommendations from statistical analysis performed by the testing corporation."[5] Typically, this sort of statistical analysis is conducted for criterion-referenced examinations, meaning that the passing score is determined by assessing the difficulty level of every individual question and determining what percentage of minimally qualified candidates would answer each question correctly. The passing score in a criterion-referenced examination represents the lowest acceptable level of knowledge required to earn the credential. Because each version of the exam differs slightly in difficulty, scores on criterion-referenced examinations are scaled to take difficulty into account so that candidates who take easier versions of the test do not receive an unfair advantage over candidates who take more difficult versions of the test.

In 2013, the pass rate for the WCC exam was 75.3%.[5]

References

  1. ^ Wound Repair and Regeneration. Wound care certification: The grin without a cat March 27 2015
  2. ^ Marketing and Promoting Yourself and Your New WCC® Credential March 27 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i NAWCO - WCC Candidate Examination Handbook March 27 2015
  4. ^ NAWCO - Wound Care Credentialing... The Mark of Distinction March 27 2015
  5. ^ a b c NAWCO - Wound Care Certification March 27 2015
  6. ^ NAWCO - WCC Certification FAQs March 27 2015
  7. ^ WCC Handbook 23 April 2015