Online Foot Care Course

How to Become a Foot Care Nurse

Review the requirements for your state below and consider these steps:


1. Determine if your state allows nurses to perform routine foot care (a few don't allow it) and what conditions are required to perform foot care (e.g. completion of education and training, certification, working with a podiatrist, an order, etc.).

If nurses are allowed to perform foot care in your state:


2. Choose your preferred certification board based on your eligibility and values. This will determine the focus of your foot care content.


          a. Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) to become a Certified Foot Care Nurse 

          b. American Foot Care Nurses Association (AFCNA) to become a Certified Foot Care Specialist



3. Find and successfully complete a foot care course (preferably approved by an ANCC provider/approver) that matches the exam content from your chosen certification board. (WOCNCB Exam Content / AFCNA Exam Content)


4. Find a preceptor who is a foot care professional who provides routine foot care. Complete 20-40 hours of hands-on-training. Maintain this foot care professional as a mentor for the remainder of your career.


If certification is required by your state, you want to advance the credibility of this nursing specialty, or you want to show your clients you have the knowledge and skills to perform safe, competent care:


5. Apply online for the certification exam (WOCNCB / AFCNA) and pass.

6. Purchase your tools and instruments, determine your documentation process (paper vs. electronic), and get liability insurance.

If you have any questions beyond what I've provided here and other pages, please email me (Kristen) with any questions!


Foot Care Continuing Education Hours and Hands-on-Training with Preceptors

Online Courses:


There are many options for online foot care related nursing education. Whichever source you choose, make sure the content matches the certification exam content (WOCNCB Exam Content / AFCNA Exam Content), even if you decide to not get certified. These two certification bodies are the leading experts on what knowledge and skills are required for competent and safe routine foot care. 


If you prefer to follow WOCNCB standards, I recommend Emory Nursing's online Foot and Nail Care Course. The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society® Core Curriculum: Wound Management is the core curriculum for both the Emory course and the WOCNCB exam content.

If you prefer to follow AFCNA standards, I recommend the AFCNA webinars that are currently being offered for no cost (subject to change). I've linked an old registration, but signing up should put you on an automatic mailing list for future webinars. Another option is Rainier Medical Education Programs, which offers non-credit videos so you can better understand foot care nursing, as well as videos for certification eligibility.

Additionally, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers their Foot & Nail Care Expanded Online Education course.

Always seek out the latest updates. Every so often, certification boards will survey certified foot care nurses to review new trends and needs for foot care. These reviews may change their recommendations for knowledge and skills required to perform competent and safe care. Stay up to date and informed on their recommendations by reviewing their exam content.


Rainier Med in Washington has offered hands-on-training in the past and (I assume) will in the future. FootCare by Nurses in Greenfield, MA offers hands-on-training. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers hands-on-training (currently on hold). I highly recommend training with a podiatrist in your area who you can refer clients to if the foot care becomes advanced. Spending some hours with a wound care podiatrist is very helpful as well.


WOCNCB is currently compiling a database for CFCN preceptors, which I will link when it becomes available. CFCNs can opt in here.

Foot and Nail Care Online Course - pending creation and 30 contact hours

To be approved by an ANCC accredited Approver.


This online course will offer 30 contact hours of Continuing Nursing Education (CNE), which fulfills the educational requirement to take the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) exam to become a Certified Foot Care Nurse as well as the American Foot Care Nurses Association (AFCNA) exam to become a Certified Foot Care Specialist. Continuing Nursing Education specific to Foot and Nail Care is still required by every state if you decide to not pursue certification. 


The purpose of this course is to increase knowledge, application, and analysis of content as advised by WOCNCB and AFCNA for competent care as a foot care nurse/specialist.


Future use: Modules 1 and 2 are learner paced and do not provide CNE hours. Modules 3-8 will be asynchronous and facilitated. Upon successful completion of the eight (8) modules and quizzes, you may take a cumulative exam. You will receive a certificate of completion for 30 contact hours with a passing score of 80-100.

Module 1 reviews basic information about certification.


Coming Soon: Module 2 reviews anatomy and physiology of the lower extremities.

The remaining modules are under construction.  

These modules are currently for informational purposes only.

Module 1 is open to view, but may not be copied, redistributed, or adapted. 


Regulations regarding foot care performed by nurses: 

Most states have adopted a position that follows the Scope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework. After reviewing your state's Nurse Practice Act and other Rules/Regulations that may prohibit specific actions, if you have not had the education and training, it is not within your scope of practice to perform foot and nail care. Some states require certification, some states require evidence of education and training, most states use the above referenced framework (which calls for education and training), and some states have limited the foot care services that nurses can perform. Contact your state board of nursing for confirmation/clarification. Many states consider this a legal issue and refuse to give specific direction; at least one state requires an order to perform foot and nail care, while another does not allow nurses to perform routine nail care.


Most states do not declare the specifics of what a nurse can or cannot do, but will in cases where it puts the public in danger. The purpose of a state's board of nursing is to protect the public. It is our job as nurses to protect the public as well. Certification Boards have the expertise to determine what concepts nurses should know, or be skilled in, to be considered competent. Regardless of certification requirements, nurses must have education and training. Certification is verification that you are compliant with state regulations and value your clients' well-being.

Below is a list of states and a starting point for your research.


AlabamaApproved Standardized Procedures

AlaskaAdvisory Opinions: Scope > Scope foot care

Arizona - Advisory Opinion

Arkansas - Nurse Practice Act and Decision Making Model

California - Understanding the Role of the Registered Nurse

ColoradoBoard of Nursing > Scope of Practice Algorithm

ConnecticutNursing Scope of Practice questions (860) 509-7555

Delaware - Board of Nursing > Scope of Practice

FloridaPetition for Declaratory Statement

GeorgiaScope of Practice Decision-Making Model

HawaiiScope of Practice Decision Making Framework

Idaho - Rules of the Board > 04. Practice > a. Perform Acts. (p. 17)

IllinoisState of Illinois Nursing Rules > Joint Committee on Administrative Rules > RN Scope of Practice

IndianaFrequently Asked QuestionsStatutes and Rules and Indiana Administrative CodeArticle 2. Standards for the Competent Practice of Registered and Licensed Practical Nursing

IowaIowa Administrative Code pending response

KansasNPA by Statute or Rules and Regulations > Requirements for Licensure and Standards of Practice > Standards of practice pending response


KentuckyAdvisory Opinion Statement 

LouisianaScope of PracticeRN Scope of Practice Guidelines 

Maine - PracticeScope of Practice Decision Tree 

MarylandProposed Concepts for Possible Regulation

Massachusetts - Advisory Ruling

Michigan - no specific nurse practice act - Public Health CodePublic Health Code (Excerpt), and Board of Nursing - General Rules

MinnesotaScope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework 

MississippiFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) > Wound & Foot Care > Can a RN perform nail/foot care?

Missouri - Scope of Practice Decision Making Model

Montana - Scope of Practice

Nebraska - Advisory Opinion: Safe Practice: Nursing Roles and Assignments: Competency and Nurse Licensing Scope of Practice

NevadaPractice Decision Request and Scope of Nursing Practice Decision Making Framework

New HampshireScope of Practice and Position Statement

New JerseyDecision-Making Model Algorithms

New Mexico - Practice Acts > Nursing Practice Act 

New YorkPractice Information, requires an order, and restrictions apply, contact

North CarolinaScope of Practice Decision Tree, Practice, and Position Statement

North DakotaScope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework 

OhioPractice RN & LPN > RN and LPN Decision Making Model and The Nurse Practice Act - Ohio Revised Code (ORC)  pending response

OklahomaGuidelines, Position Statements > Decision-Making Model for Scope of Nursing Practice Decisions

OregonInterpretive Statements, Policies, and Information Regarding Nursing Practice > All Licensed Nurses > Foot Care Provided by RNs and LPNs

PennsylvaniaBoard Laws & Regulations, pending response

Rhode Island - outside nursing scope of practice

South CarolinaAdvisory Opinion # 57  

South DakotaPractice and Delegation Decisioning GuidesScope of Nursing Practice Decision-making Framework

Tennessee - Nursing Practice Code and Rules > Standards of Nursing Competence and Position Statements > Decision making Guidlines (pp. 19-20) 

TexasDecision Making for Determining Nursing Scope of Practice and Scope of Practice Decision‐Making Model 

Utah - R156-31b-703b. Scope of Nursing Practice Implementation and Section 801 Practice within limits of competency

Vermont - Nurse Practice Act and APRN/RN/LPN Scope of Practice plus Decision Tree

Virginia - Nurse Practice Act and Decision Making Model

Washington - Decision Tree 

West VirginiaScope of Practice for Licensed Nurses 

Wisconsin - Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses 

Wyoming - Advisory Opinion RN Scope of Practice and Decision Making Model