What is a CWS Certified Wound Specialist?
A CWS is a Certified Wound Specialist. Anyone using the CWS initials after their signature is proving that they have already taken and passed the CWS exam offered by the ABWM. The CWS certification is a valuable and accredited wound care certification worth pursuing. WoundEducators.com can start you on your journey of becoming CWS certified.
How do you become a CWS?
The first step in becoming CWS certified is seeing if you are eligible. Physicians, Podiatrists, Physical Therapists, and Nurses with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degrees can qualify. In addition to having the right education and title, you also need to possess a current, active license. Your medical license cannot be expired or retired. The third step is making sure that you have the experience required to become fully certified. The ABWM requires all CWS candidates to have at least three years of wound care or wound management experience.
What Exactly Three Years’ Experience Means
The three years of required wound care experience does not have to be consecutive or continuous. Part-time wound experience still counts! The ABWM clarifies the wound care experience requirement as: “Wound care does not have to be your primary responsibility to meet the requirement of 3 years of experience, just so long as long as you have a cumulative total of three years of experience in wound care related roles. ”
An alternative to having three years of wound care experience is to complete a fellowship in wound care. This fellowship must be certified by a credentialing organization and at least one year. A letter of recommendation must be supplied from the fellowship program director and include a CWS Certified Wound Specialist that was actively involved in the wound training.
For either path to certification, Certified Wound Specialist candidates must possess a full and unrestricted professional license in at least one state and in all states in which the candidate currently practices.
Start with WoundEducators.com
Even if you do not have your three years of necessary experience or fellowship, you can still take the WoundEducators.com wound care certification course. (If you do not have the experience at this time, we recommend that you take the wound care certification course and obtain your “certificate of completion” and continuing education hours.
You can present this certificate of completion to your employer. This certificate will show that you have completed an advanced wound management course and may help you to get more wound care experience.
You will not be eligible to take the CWS exam yet, but you can take our wound care certification course right away. The course will provide you with the necessary wound care knowledge to pass your CWS exam later on. Once you have the required experience to sit for the wound certification exam, we will re-enroll you in the course at no charge provided it is within three years of purchase. The CWS exam can be difficult, but we are confident that if you complete our online wound care course, you can and will pass. Our wound care courses will also provide RN-BSNs, BSNs, and PTs with 57 CE hours. If you are an RN-BSN, we recommend taking our BSN wound care course over the RN wound care course, as the information presented in the BSN course is geared towards that knowledge and achievement level.
Who Becomes CWS Certified?
The number of nurses and healthcare professionals becoming wound care certified is rising, proving a need for distinguished wound care personnel in today’s industry. There are currently 2,503 certified CWS professionals – this is a small and prestigious group!
The majority of people possessing the CWS certification are RN-BSNs. Many PTs also choose to become CWS certified. Many of these professionals choose the CWS certification over the CWCN certification because the CWS certification is valid for ten years. The CWCN certification, on the other hand, is only valid for five years. Both certifications are nationally accredited, but only those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher are eligible to become CWS certified. The CWS and CWCN are the only two accredited certification options for BSNs, RN-BSNs, PTs, and NPs. We encourage you to make sure that your hard work pays off, no matter which certification you end up pursuing. We highly recommend choosing an accredited wound care certification.
Becoming CWS Certified
In order to become CWS certified, check off your three requirements – licensure, education, and experience. Once you have those three, you can register to take the CWS exam. To register for the exam, you must mail the following to the ABWM in one packet:
- Application Checklist
- Completed Cover Page
- Application Payment page (whether paying by check or credit card)
- Completed ABWM Application
- Professional Résumé
- Personal Statement/Essay
- Copy of Professional License(s)
- Three Letters of References
Incomplete applications will be returned to sender, resulting in delays to approval. Once your CWS application is received and approved, you will receive an email and postcard with instructions on how to schedule. The CWS certification exam can be taken at over 200 AMP testing center locations nationwide. The exam fee is $575- this is not included in the price of your wound care course, as the course will prepare you for multiple wound care certifications. Even without the test cost included, WoundEducators.com courses are still one of the most affordable ways to become wound care certified. We put our customers first by offering the lowest cost accredited wound care courses with the most CE hours given per dollar spent.
Other ABWM Wound Care Certifications
To learn more about the ABWM and all certifications offered by the ABWM, visit our wound care certification information page. If you need more information on which certification is right for you, contact us! We love to help our students and future students become certified and find wound management jobs after certification.