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How to Properly Write your NSWOC Designation and Credential

Once you complete the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Education Program (WOC-EP) through the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute, you may officially use the designation NSWOC! The final component for the WOC-EP is writing the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Wound, Ostomy and Continence (Canada) certification exam, which, upon achievement, enables the NSWOC to use the credential WOCC(C).

Recognized as Nurses who have specialized training in wound, ostomy and continence by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), NSWOCs are the ONLY nursing specialty with CNA certification in wound, ostomy and continence care (WOCC(C)). But how do you properly write your NSWOC credentials to showcase your expertise?

We'll show you how:

The designations and credentials written behind the name of a Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence should appear as follows: degrees, credentials, and designations are listed after the name of the individual with or without a comma followed by a single space after each designation.

NSWOCC recognizes that nurses within Canada may wish to organize their credentials by professional designation, followed by educational degrees, while others may wish to utilize educational degrees followed by professional designations. NSWOCC does not hold a position as to which method of listing degrees and credentials is correct. The NSWOC designation shall be written after educational degrees, professional designations and credentials but before CNA credentials. Certified Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence may choose to use both the NSWOC designation and WOCC(C) credential or the WOCC(C) credential alone. It is the choice of the individual but may be dictated by employer requirements. CNA credentials shall directly follow NSWOC if both the designation and credential are being used.

Examples of correct English credential utilization:

Susan Jones, RN, BScN, MN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

Susan Jones, RN, PhD, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

Susan Jones, RN, BScN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)

Susan Jones, RN, BScN, NSWOC

Susan Jones, RN, BScN, WOCC(C)

Please note that it is incorrect to place a “(C)” for after NSWOC. WOCC(C) is the correct method to display the individual's certification. Neither NSWOC, nor WOCC(C), shall be used in place of a professional designation. The nurse must still note their professional designation (i.e. RN, NP, RN(EC)) after their name according to their provincial legislative requirements.

By consistently using your credentials and designations in proper form, this will allow patients, health care professionals and policymakers to clearly identify and understand the expertise of NSWOCs. As the only group with certification in each area of the tri-specialty, it is important that credentials and designations clearly state that a standard of expertise in wound, ostomy and continence has been verified as the subject experts for consultation.

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