Winona State University has achieved accreditation status through the WOCN Society for its newly developed Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Education Program (WOCNEP). WSU Adult and Continuing Education has facilitated the development of this program for the past two years, and the first cohort of 25 students began their coursework in January 2021.

This highly rigorous, entirely online non-credit program is a year in length, depending on the selected specialties, and the full-scope option includes nearly 400 didactic learning hours and 120 clinical learning hours. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to test for certification through the WOCN Certification Board.

The need for this program was brought to WSU by Mayo Clinic, and the collaboration was awarded a Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). These three areas of specialty nursing care are in high demand across the state and the country, and the current pool of certified nurses is not sufficient to meet growing patient needs.


The Winona State University WOCNEP is a program that exemplifies excellence, preparing nurses for the real work of WOC specialty care. Mayo Clinic in the Midwest has a long history of partnering with WSU.

The WSU WOCNEP is a terrific example of how this Academic-Practice Partnership resulted in creating an accredited, rigorous, online program that ensures patients needing specialty WOC care will have access to nationally certified WOC nurses for many years.

Dr. Jane Foote

Senior Administrator of Nursing Education and Professional Development, Mayo Clinic

I’ve worked as a WOC certified nurse for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen firsthand the difference that a WOC nurse makes on a patient’s care team. It has been exciting for me to contribute to increasing capacity for our regional and statewide healthcare systems to give wound, ostomy, and continence patients the care they require and deserve.

Jill Ohland

WOCNEP Director, Winona State University

The next cohort of the WSU WOCNEP is planned to start in mid-April. Applications will open March 1. More information will be available online from Adult and Continuing Education in the coming weeks. In the meantime, questions can be sent via email to


We are so proud of this program and thankful to all who have contributed to its development. This addition to our non-credit program portfolio embodies our institutional commitment of improving the world through education and community, and we are honored to have a part in addressing the needs of our community, region, state, and beyond.

Heather Dieterman

Adult & Continuing Education Assistant Director, Winona State University

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