SWAN™ Program

The SWAN Program

For practical nurses and diploma RNs who aspire to become respected nurse leaders and integral members of their organization’s wound, ostomy, and continence leadership team, the CNA-accredited Skin Wellness Associate Nurse (SWAN™) program is the only program in Canada that offers: competency and evidence-informed advanced knowledge in wound, ostomy and continence management; confidence to transfer that knowledge into practice; recognition and respect for your competencies through the nationally recognized SWAN™ designation; and continuous learning and lifelong support through mentorship and collaboration in a SWAN™-Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOC) team.

SWAN™s are uniquely recognized for their advanced knowledge and their contributions as wound, ostomy and continence nurse champions in their workplaces and communities across Canada.

Become a wound, ostomy and continence champion and nurse leader. Advance your knowledge by becoming a SWAN™.

Develop Competence and Gain Advanced Knowledge in Wound, Ostomy & Continence Management

Graduate with evidence-informed, advanced knowledge in the tri-specialty areas of wound, ostomy, and continence

Gain Confidence

Confidently transfer knowledge into practice and become a respected member of the wound, ostomy, and continence leadership team in your organization

Earn Respect and Recognition

Proudly display your competency as a wound, ostomy and continence nurse champion with nationally recognized SWAN™ designation

Access Continuous Learning and Lifelong Support

Lifelong mentorship and peer support through the SWAN Community of Practice and Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC) Membership

Participate in annual skill enhancement workshops and skills labs, and advanced courses such as the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute Advanced Wound Debridement course

Contribute to an Interprofessional Team

Receive and share expertise

Professional support in a SWAN-Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOC) Team

Skilled nurses provide optimal patient care.

The goal of the SWANTM Program is to educate and prepare more skilled wound, ostomy and continence nurses across the spectrum of care (e.g., acute care, long-term care and homecare). Graduates will have an enhanced ability to provide optimal care for individuals with wound, ostomy and continence issues as members of a collaborative NSWOC team. The program is designed to provide non-specialty nurses the ability to provide optimal wound, ostomy and continence care under the direction of the NSWOC, Clinical Nurse Specialist (Wound, Ostomy or Continence) or Physician and to be integral members of the WOC team.


  • 5-month, competency and standards of practice-based:
    • 3 sections (wound, ostomy & continence)
      • 26 paced, online modules
    • Self-directed clinical preceptorship
    • Ongoing mentorship with CNA certified NSWOCs
    • Individualized support from an Academic Advisor
    • Bi-weekly interactive learning sessions

Course Length

Two cohorts per year starting in February and August respectively.
Courses are five (5) months long.

Topics Covered

  • Integumentary System
  • Wounds
  • Ostomies
  • Continence Care

Program Cost

$3,000 Tuition
$50 Course Administration Fee
$100 NSWOCC associate “WOC Student Associate” registration fee

CohortApplication DeadlineStart DateEnd DateGraduation
6 – Fall 2022June 30, 2022Aug 22, 2022Jan 28, 2023May 2023
7 – Winter 2023November 30, 2022Jan 16, 2023June 25, 2023May 2024
8 – Fall 2023June 30, 2023Aug 21, 2023Jan 28, 2024May 2024
9 – Winter 2024November 30, 2023Jan 15, 2024June 23, 2024May 2025
10 – Fall 2024June 30, 2024Aug 19, 2024Jan 26, 2025May 2025

Start & Complete Your Application: Step-by-Step Process

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“Becoming a wound, ostomy, and continence champion and nurse leader”

Watch the SWAN™ Program webinar


NOTICE: The SWAN Program uses the new Core Curriculum Texts produced by the Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society. If you have questions please contact the Wound, Ostomy & Continence Institute Chair: Dr. Kimberly LeBlanc at chair@wocinstitute.ca.


Carmel Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society™ Core Curriculum: Ostomy Management [2E]

ISBN-13: 9781975164560

Book#: EFMC5 (2022)


McNichol Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society™ Core Curriculum: Wound Management [2E]

ISBN-13: 9781975164591

Book#: OKQC5 (2022)

Wound, Ostomy & Continence Institute students are able to purchase these books directly from the publisher at a discount. Students are encouraged to purchase their books early, to ensure that they have them at the opening of the course. Students are may go directly to Login Canada and purchase their textbooks at a discount. Please go to lb.ca/wocinstitute


All continence readings will be provided by the WOC Institute

Please check your provincial nursing association for potential funding opportunities!

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The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute is wholly owned and operated by Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC).

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