CNA Training in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin-based CNA is a medical professional trained to give various medical services to a patient. A certified assistant works under RN (Registered Nurse) or LPN (Licensed practical nurse), serving clients, such as residents in healthcare facilities, patients at medical facilities, and disabled persons. It is also a highly gratifying career that offers steady employment. Besides, the satisfaction of being able to improve one’s life quality with effective healthcare needs is the icing on the cake.

Steps to Become a Wisconsin-based CNA

The position of CNA is represented by various titles, including Nursing Aide and Certified Nursing Assistants, among others. The DHS (Department of Health) provides approval for the training programs that meet the state’s quality and legal requirements. In Wisconson, Pearson VUE is authorized by DHS to manage the Nurse Aide Registry. Below are the steps that are to be followed to meet the requirements of CNA certification.

Step 1: Analyze the Pathways for Certification Eligibility

In Wisconsin, you have to review different eligibility pathways and choose the best match for your qualifications and skills.


Firstly, you should complete a training program in Wisconsin that is state-approved. After the training is completed, the applicant gets permission for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAP) examination for the certification.

Student or Graduate Nurse

In Wisconsin, a nursing student learns CNA skills as a part of the training. However, there may be a case when a graduate nurse has completed an approved nursing program without taking the licensure exam to be a practical nurse or registered nurse. Such candidates should submit their training proof to the department of health along with a request to appear for the exam of NNAAP. And, a student nurse has to submit proof of training and appear for the competency examination.

For Foreign Country Nurses

Applicants having completed an LPN/RN program at a non-US country should submit the LPN or RN status proof to the WBON (Wisconsin Board of Nursing). This is required to get a letter of eligibility from the board for taking the LPN or RN exam, as well as for the CNA examination.

Home Health Nurse Aide

This category of nurses is registered as a nurse aide but isn’t allowed to work in a home health facility that is federally certified due to lack of certification.

Military Personnel

A person who is in the military can get his/her military healthcare training considered as the CNA training required. However, for this, veterans must have accomplished the strict requirements in terms of clinical hours and course types. There is no need to complete a training course of nurse aide for a veteran if DHS approves their request. But in the first attempt, they have to pass both parts of the exam. In case the request is not approved, the applicant has to take the test and training again.

CNAs from a Different state

CNAs from other states may take any of the routes below to get their names added to the CNA registry in Wisconsin.

  • A non-Wisconsin CNA should submit the training proof and verify that he/she has passed the NNAAP-equivalent (Wisconsin based exam) competency exam of a nurse aide for a direct registry entry.
  • If the non-Wisconsin CNA has completed the training but is unable to clear the competency exam for CNA, he/she is required to clear the NNAAP examination in Wisconsin.
  • The other state CNA can also get a direct entry to the registry if he/she has completed the training program of a maximum of 120 hours, as well as has worked for a minimum of 2088 hours within the previous 24 months as paid CNA and also cleared the equivalent competency exam of CNA.

Step 2: Select a State-approved Program

In Wisconsin, if a person wants to complete their training program of CNA that is state-approved, they have to find a program as per their needs. You can discover various CNA programs at education centers, community colleges, and technical colleges. A lot of long-term care facilities, institutes for mental health, and nursing homes also offer such programs.

According to federal law, a person can work for a maximum of 120 days at any of the nursing facilities before attaining a listing in the registry, if he/she meets the required conditions. These conditions include full-time employees supervised by an LPN or RN.

Step 3: Traning Cost

In Wisconsin, every program for nurse aides can have a different training cost. The estimated cost of Gateway Technical College in Kenosha for the course of a nursing assistant is $691. It includes resident tuition, curriculum, uniforms, supplies, and textbooks. There are some extra charges for the insurance of student accidents, other expenses, and certification fees. However, the cost of CNA classes is $1150 if you join the Paramount Healthcare Training Institute, Milwaukee. However, there are some discounts available as well. In Wisconsin CNA Training Center, the cost is $855 for administration and tuition fees. However, you may have to bear other expenses, such as supplies and uniforms.

Thus, in Wisconsin, while estimating the CNA classes’ cost, ensure that it includes all the expenses. The rates of a training program can be changed by the school with time. And, you should also verify any financial aid that is available through schools. You can also check other funding sources, such as DVR (division vocational rehabilitation) and workforce development department.

Free Training

In Wisconsin, you can also get free training for CNA. For the students who work in skilled nursing facilities, the employer can also give the entire training costs. If nurse aides already have certification and are employed at a skilled nursing facility during the period of 12 months from being certified, they can request the full training cost reimbursement.

Step 4: Meet the Training and School Conditions

In Wisconsin, if you want to get admission to a training program of CNA, you have to meet the program’s and school’s conditions. Below are the required ones:

  • Finish an application
  • Your age should be at least 16 years
  • Clear a criminal background check by Justice Department and Wisconsin Caregiver
  • Submit immunizations proof-like tuberculosis screening, MMR, and chickenpox
  • You should be able to write and speak in English
  • Meet the minimum abilities of maths

Step 5: Finish CNA Training

According to state law, the training program of CNA in Wisconsin requires at least 120 hours that include the clinical experience of 32 hours. There are six areas of healthcare covered under classroom training:

  • Social interaction and communication
  • Dementias
  • Personal care skills
  • Nursing skills
  • Resident’s rights
  • Restorative services

Students gain knowledge about communicating with other people and establishing a relationship with clients. They learn the process of recording vital signs, protecting the privacy of the client, assisting with grooming and bathing, working with dementia persons, and applying assistive devices, etc. Under the LPN or RN supervision, clinical training provides practical experience to students with residents and patients.

Step 6: Clear the NNAAP Exam

The NNAAP competency exam is the responsibility of Pearson VUE, and the administration of the tests for a certified nurse aide is done through Credential. You can take the test at a Wisconsin-based training facility or a regional site approved to conduct the test in the state.

The exam contains two parts that include:

  • Oral or Written

The written test comprises 70 MCQs, while the oral one has MCQs (60) and reading comprehension questions (10). You can find sample questions, reading tests of self-assessment, and outline of the exam’s content in the Pearson VUE’s handbook.

  • Skills Evaluation

Skills evaluation replicates the caregiving solutions of the real world. Students are tested for a set of five skills. One of the skills is handwashing. From the 22 total, remaining skills can be randomly selected. But demonstrating the measurement skills is another essential among the rest four.

Non-Wisconsin certified nursing assistants and nurse aides who are newly trained must clear both portions of the examination within 1 year after finishing the training. This is required to earn a CNA certification. If the applicant appears for the test under other pathways, he/she has to take the exam anytime, again.

Step 7: Get Certified

Your name is placed in the nurse aide registry of Wisconsin by the Pearson VUE after you pass both parts of the exam, viz. skill evaluation and oral/written. However, if you don’t need to appear for the exam, as per the chosen pathway, you can directly apply to the DHS of Wisconsin for placement in the registry.

Keep the Certification Active

If you are willing to continue working as a skilled nurse in any facility that is federally funded, you have to maintain your certification for the eligibility of employment. To keep the CNA certification active, the nurse has to work for at least 8 hours as a nurse aide that is paid within the last 24 months. But in case, the assistant fails to report or work for 8 hours during the previous 24 months, the certification lapses. And, you are considered ineligible to serve at a federally funded home health agency, a nursing home, or intermediate care facility for intellectually disabled. To reinstate your certification, you will need to take the test of NNAAP competency and pass it again.