Skin Wound Ostomy


Why should a long-term care nurse certify in Skin Wound & Care and become an SWOC?

Live Proctored Exam Dates


Exam Only Dates & Locations

The overall goal of the Skin Wound Ostomy Certification is to bring the highest level of patient care to the long-term care community, which includes nursing home, hospices and home health patients. The SWOC® is a designation for nurses, which demonstrate competence in following standard of care in the field of skin, wound, and ostomy care. The College of Long Term Care administers the SWOC examination to nurses interested in studying best practice guidelines for chronic wound, ostomy, and skin conditions and then testing their knowledge base to qualify as an SWOC. CLTC is the certification body which administers the SWOC Certification exam and conducts oversight of the SWOC Certification process. Attendance at any CLTC educational activities does not guarantee passage of the SWOC Certification exam. The SWOC Certification process is a separate entity from the SWOC Educational Course.


Requirements for nurses interested in taking the SWOC Exam are the following:


  1. Valid nursing license

    • (Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)) registered with a state nursing board.

    • The license must be in good standing with the state board.

  2. Completion of a minimum of 14 contact hours in skin, wound, and ostomy care education with courses approved by state nursing boards or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


There are no minimal requirements of wound care experience to achieve the SWOC certification, as this is a knowledge-based certification, not an experiential competency.


Eligibility requirements for the SWOC exam will be examined on a yearly basis to evaluate the efficacy and overall competence of SWOC nurses.



Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent government mandated policies, we have decided to cancel the Las Vegas and Atlantic City courses.

We are looking at alternatives to the live course, and if any of those options become available, we will let you know.

In the meantime, if you are interested in attending a live course, please look at the current schedule to see what courses are still being offered. If you have any questions, please contact the Course Coordinator, Kevin at (310) 445-5999 ext 254.


September 19-20


Oakland, CA


Las Vegas, NV


Atlantic City, NJ


Austin, TX


Orange County, CA


New Orleans, LA



PLEASE NOTE: All live courses for 2020 have been canceled but Online courses available.

SWOC Exam Format

The exam is a 100 question multiple choice type exam, where examinees should choose the best answer of 4 possible options. Currently the exam is a live proctored exam with a 2 hour window to complete the exam. Students are given a scantron at the start of the exams, and the scantrons are graded using electronic software. The exam is a paper exam, and the scantron is filled with a number 2 pencil.


Venues and dates for the exam are given at various times throughout the year.


The SWOC  exam tests clinical knowledge in the areas of bedside skin, wound, and ostomy care. Questions are formulated from best practice recommendations published in peer reviewed medical journals and the latest medical literature.


Please notify us in advance if you have any special test taking requirements related to any learning disabilities. Additional time will be given to those who require it due to medical conditions.


Special accommodations can also be made for individuals with other disabilities who may have seating, hearing, and/or visual impairment.

Contents of SWOC Examination

1. Skin Biology and Care

     1.1 The epidermis function and anatomy

     1.2 The Dermis function and anatomy

     1.3 Skin Aging Process

     1.4 Skin Care Best Practice Recommendations

     1.5 Skin Moisturization Best Practice Recommendations

2. Dermatologic Diseases in the long-term population

     2.1 Common diseases encountered

     2.2 Exanthem formation and diagnosis

     2.3 Treatment of exanthems

3. Wound Science and Healing

      3.1 Cellular biology of wound formation

      3.2 Cellular biology of wound healing

      3.3 Phases of wound healing

      3.4 Barriers to wound healing

      3.5 Chronic wound biology

4. Patient Assessment, Wound Assessment
      4.1. History & Physical
      4.2. Risk Assessment for pressure injury
      4.3. Clinical Exam
      4.4. Wound Assessment and Documentation
      4.5.  Governmental Policy in wound care

5. Pressure Injury

      5.1. Background
      5.2. Etiology
      5.3. Risk Factors for the Development of Pressure Injury
      5.4. Pressure Injury Identification and Staging
      5.5. Anatomic areas affected by pressure injury
      5.6. Deep Tissue Pressure Injury
      5.7. Stage 1 Pressure Injury
      5.8. Stage 2 Pressure Injury

      5.9. Stage 3 Pressure Injury
      5.10 Stage 4 Pressure Injury
      5.11 Unstageable Pressure Injury
      5.12 Medical Device Pressure Injury
      5.13 Mucosal Membrane Injury
      5.14 Periwound Management
      5.15 The Main Elements of Treating a Pressure Injury
      5.16 Skin Tears
      5.17 Payne Martin Classification of Skin Tears
      5.18 Treatment of Skin Tears
      5.19 Abrasions​

6. Debridement

      6.1. Heel Ulcers

      6.2. Debridement Indications

      6.3. Debridement Types

      6.4. Contraindications to Debridement

7. Dressing Choice and Support Surfaces
       7.1. Support Surface Types and Selection
       7.2. Theory and Science of Wound Dressings
       7.3. Dressing Types
       7.4. Dressing Selection and Best Practice Principles

8. Peripheral Arterial Disease & Ulcers
       8.1. Pathophysiology
       8.2. Assessment
       8.3. Physical Exam
       8.4. Diagnosis
       8.5. Treatment

9. Venous Stasis Ulcers

       9.1. Pathophysiology
       9.2. Assessment
       9.3. Physical Exam
       9.4. Diagnosis
       9.5. Treatment

10. Diabetic Wounds

       10.1. Pathophysiology
       10.2. Assessment
       10.3. Physical Exam
       10.4. Diagnosis
       10.5. Treatment

11. Gastrostomy Tube/Ostomy Formation Management and Care

      11.1 Assessment

      11.2 Complications

      11.3 Treatment

12. Nutrition

      12.1 Relation to wound healing

      12.2 Diet

      12.3 Vitamin supplementation

      12.4 Long-term care considerations

13. Infection

      13.1 Types

      13.2 Diagnosis

      13.3 Vitamin supplementation

      13.4 Treatment

14. Surgery & Alternative Treatment Modalities

      14.1 Surgical options for wounds

      14.2 Alternative Treatment Modalities for wound healing


SWOC-S Certification Program Policies and Procedures

The College of Long Term Care (CLTC) Certification Body does not restrict entrance to the SWOC-S Certification Program on the grounds of membership in any organization, excessive and unsupported eligibility requirements, or graduation from CLTC Certification Body’s own education or training program. Certification is open to all qualified candidates.


Separation of Certification and Training Policy:


The College of Long Term Care Certification Body offers training and certification. However, CLTC Certification Body does not require completion of CLTC Certification Body’s training as a prerequisite or component of the SWOC-S certification program. Candidates are free to select any training that meets the SWOC-S educational requirements they wish, and completion of CLTC Certification Body’s training will not provide any advantage over completion of any other training program.



CLTC is committed to providing a certification process that is fair and free from discrimination. All reasonable efforts are made to ensure that CLTC examinations are based on job-related knowledge and tasks. In addition, during item-writing training, editorial review of individual items, and exam review situations, documentation on how to prevent bias and stereotyping is provided in either written or verbal form.

CLTC endorses the principle of equal opportunity. Eligibility criteria for examination and for certification under the CLTC programs are applied equally to all applicants regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, age, marital status, or disability.

CLTC and its test development vendor comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and strive to ensure that no disabled individual is deprived of the opportunity to take a CLTC examination solely by reason of that disability. Special testing arrangements may be made for these individuals. All testing sites will comply with all federal, state, and local laws regarding use of public buildings, ensure accessibility required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and accommodate applicants with disabilities on an individual basis without additional cost.


Statement of Impartiality


The College of Long Term Care, its Directors, Managers, Staff and others involved in the certification process fully understand the importance of impartiality in undertaking its Certification Activities and is committed to keeping our certification process free from any conflicts of interest.


All personnel, internal and external, and committees are required to act impartially. We do not involve ourselves in any activities, which might jeopardize impartiality or result in a conflict of interests, nor do any of our sub-contracted agencies or consultants.

In fulfilling this commitment, we carefully assess the suitability of proposed members of the board of directors, committee members, staff, or sub contracted entities to ensure they are and remain free of any conflicts of interest.

In nominating members to be elected to Council, careful consideration is given to the impact it will have, should the nominee be elected, such that no single interest is predominant. In approving proposed members of other committees that have an interest in our certification programs, careful consideration is given to the impact it will have on impartiality. 

If a topic is being discussed and a voting member of a committee has an interest that could impact on impartiality, the President or the Chairman of the committee will consider whether it is appropriate to suspend the voting rights of that member for the duration of the topic being discussed.


Annually all individuals involved in our certification process are required to update their Conflict of Interest Statement, attesting that they are free from conflict or identifying any possible conflicts which might arise during their involvement with our certification program.

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