(found 68 schools, updated in July 2017)
The Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in Wisconsin provides a variety of critical healthcare services to the people under her or his care. Working under the supervision of an Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), clients include medical facility patients, residents in various healthcare facilities and people with disabilities. It is a highly rewarding professional career offering steady employment and the satisfaction of knowing the services performed improve the quality of life for people with special medical or other healthcare needs.
- 7 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Wisconsin
- How to Keep CNA Certification Active
- Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Wisconsin
- Get CNA Certification in Bordering States
7 Steps to Becoming a CNA in Wisconsin
The Certified Nurse Aide position is referred to by a number of titles that include Certified Nursing Assistant and Nursing Aides. The Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS) – Division of Quality Assurances approves CNA training programs as meeting state legal and quality requirements. DHS has authorized Pearson VUE to manage Wisconsin’s Nurse Aide Registry. Only people listed in the Registry are allowed to call themselves “certified,” and certification is required to work in licensed healthcare facilities.
New CNAs complete a state-authorized training program and pass a two-part competency evaluation examination. However, there are several pathways to get a name placed in the Wisconsin based on past training or experience. Following are the steps to take to meet CNA certification requirements.
Step 1: Review the Eligibility Pathways to Certification
To select the best pathway to CNA certification in Wisconsin, first review the various eligibility routes. Select the one that fits individual qualifications.
A new CNA first completes a Wisconsin state-approved training program. After completing training, the applicant is allowed to take the CNA certification NNAAP Examination. NNAAP is the acronym for National Nurse Aide Assessment Program.
Graduate Nurse or Student Nurse
Wisconsin recognizes the training that nursing students complete includes learning CNA skills. A person who has graduated from a state-authorized nursing program but has not taken the nursing licensure exam for Registered Nurses or Practical Nurses must submit proof of training to DHS and request to take the NNAAP exam. The student nurse must provide verification of appropriate training and take the competency exam.
If the graduate nurse attempted and failed the exam for Registered Nurses or Practical Nurses, the applicant must take the NNAAP exam. A Graduate Nurse who has a current nursing license also must take and pass the CNA exam in Wisconsin.
Nurse Educated in a Foreign Country
An applicant who completed a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse program in a foreign country can submit proof of RN or LPN status to the Wisconsin Board of Nursing (WBON). The WBON then provides a letter verifying the applicant is eligible to sit for the RN or LPN exam. The letter makes the applicant eligible to take the CNA exam.
Out of State CNAs
Certified Nurse Aides from other states have several routes to choose from in order to get placed on the Wisconsin CNA Registry. Unless indicated otherwise, training means the applicant has completed 120 hours of CNA training which includes 32 hours of clinical training.
- If an out of state Certified Nursing Assistant, the applicant can submit proof of completed training and verification of passing a nurse aide competency exam that is similar to the Wisconsin NNAAP exam to be placed directly in the Registry.
- If an out of state CNA applicant completed training but has not passed a CNA competency exam that is equivalent to the Wisconsin NNAAP exam, it is necessary to take and pass the Wisconsin NNAAP exam.
- If an out of state CNA applicant completed training but has not taken a competency exam, it is necessary to take and pass the Wisconsin NNAAP exam.
- An out of state Certified Nurse Aide who completed a training program that was less than 120 hours, worked as a paid CNA for at least 2088 hours in the prior two years (24 months) and passed a CNA competency exam similar to the Wisconsin NNAAP exam may be placed directly in the Registry. Employers must verify the hours worked.
- An out of state CNA who completed a training program that was less than 120 hours and worked as a paid CNA for at least 2088 hours in the prior two years (24 months), but has not passed a CNA exam, must take and pass the Wisconsin competency exam.
- An out of state CNA who completed a CNA training program that was less than 120 hours, but has not worked as a paid CNA for at least 2088 hours in the prior two years (24 months), must complete a Wisconsin state-approved training program and pass the CNA competency exam.
Lapsed Nurse Aide
A CNA who was once on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry, but has allowed certification to lapse by not meeting employment requirements to work a minimum number of hours in a federally funded healthcare facility (see the section “How to Keep CNA Certification Active” for more details), will need to retake the competency exam.
Home Health Nurse Aide
The Home Health Nurse Aide is listed in the Nurse Aide Registry but does not have certification that permits working in a federally certified home health setting.
Military personnel can request consideration of their healthcare related military training as equivalent to the required CNA training. There are strict requirements concerning the types of courses and clinical hours that veterans must have completed. If the request is approved by DHS, the veteran does not have to complete a nurse aide training course but will have to take and pass both parts of the NNAAP exam on the first attempt. If the request is denied, the applicant will have to retrain and retest.
Step 2: Choose a State-Approved Training Program
Anyone who must complete a Wisconsin state-approved CNA training program will need to find the program that best fits their needs. There are many CNA program in Wisconsin located throughout the state and are found at technical colleges, education centers, and community colleges.
There are also many nursing homes, long term care facilities and mental health institutes offering training programs. Federal regulations allow people to work for up to 4 months (120 days) in a skilled nursing facility before achieving Registry listing, if able to meet certain conditions. Conditions include being a full-time employee and working under the direct supervision of the supervisory RN or LPN.
State Approved CNA Classes in Wisconsin by City
|City||Training Provider||Address||Contact Name|
|Milwaukee||Amber House, Inc.||7414 West Hampton Avenue||Carmen Martin|
|Summit||Aurora Medical Center|
|36500 Aurora Drive||Tracey Maszka|
|Grafton||Aurora Medical Center|
|975 Port Washington Road||Patricia Stockhausen|
|Oshkosh||Aurora Medical Center|
|855 North Westhaven Drive||Priscilla Navis-Buteyn|
|Milwaukee||Aurora Nursing Assistant Education Center||3033 South 27th Street, Suite 105||Bette Schubert|
|Janesville||Blackhawk Technical College|
|PO Box 5009||Sarah Hubert|
|West Bend||Cedar Community|
|5595 County Road Z||Denise Wetzel|
|Madison||Center for Healthcare Education|
|3001 West Beltline Highway, Suite 305||Elizabeth Mullikin|
|Madison||Central Wisconsin Center|
|317 Knutson Drive||Patricia Banks|
|Eau Claire||Chippewa Valley Technical College|
|620 West Clairemont Avenue||Kathy Zuznar|
|Oshkosh||Clarity Home Health|
|424 Washington Avenue||Kristin Bock|
|198 County Road D F||Erin Blank|
|Boyceville||CNA Professional Services, Inc.|
|E1602 1198th Avenue||Donna Nichols|
|Keshena||College of the Menominee Nation|
|N172 Highway 47/55||Terri Harmala|
|Eau Claire||Dove Healthcare West|
|1405 Truax Boulevard||Kendall Rosemeyer|
|Sheboygan||Fortis Management ‐ Sheboygan Progressive|
|1920 Mead Avenue||Brenda Briscoe|
|Appleton||Fox Valley Technical College|
|1825 North Bluemound Drive||Barb Tuchscherer|
|Elkhorn||Gateway Technical College|
|400 County Road H||Krstine Mueller|
|Kenosha||Gateway Technical College|
|3520 30th Avenue||Julie Capelli|
|Racine||Gateway Technical College|
|1001 South Main Street||Pat Onko|
|Eau Claire||Grace Lutheran Foundation|
|816 Porter Avenue||Karen Goldbeck|
|Milwaukee||J. Johnson Educational Center Ltd||PO Box 18132||Joan Johnson|
|Cleveland||Lakeshore Technical College|
|1290 North Avenue||Holly Euclide|
|Madison||Madison Area Technical College|
|1701 Wright Street||Kathy Hansen|
|Fort Atkinson||Madison Area Technical College|
|827 Banker Road||Kathy Hansen|
|Portage||Madison Area Technical College|
|330 West Collins Street||Kathy Hansen|
|Reedsburg||Madison Area Technical College|
|300 Alexander Avenue||Kathy Hansen|
|Watertown||Madison Area Technical College|
|1300 West Main Street||Kathy Hansen|
|Sauk City||Maplewood of Sauk Prairie|
|245 Sycamore Street||Joni Blau|
|Niagara||Maryhill Manor Inc.|
|501 Madison Avenue||Patricia Sparapani|
|Madison||Mendota Mental Health Institute|
|301 Troy Drive||Martha Crawford|
|Wisconsin Rapids||Mid-State Technical College|
|500 32nd Street North||Greory Leonard|
|Milwaukee||Milwaukee Area Technical College|
|700 West State Street||Josie Veal|
|Milwaukee||Milwaukee Center for Independence|
|2020 West Wells Street||Stephanie King|
|Beaver Dam||Moraine Park Technical College|
|700 Gould Street||Karrie Bruegman‐May|
|Fond du Lac||Moraine Park Technical College|
|235 North Natioan Avenue||Karrie Bruegman‐May|
|West Bend||Moraine Park Technical College|
|2151 North Main Street||Karrie Bruegman‐May|
|6400 Gisholt Drive, Suite 102||Jenna Ruehlow‐Haney|
|Rhinelander||Nicolet Area Technical College|
|PO Box 518||Lenore Bemke|
|Wausau||Northcentral Technical College|
|1000 Campus Drive||Laura Hoffmeister|
|Green Bay||Northeast Technicial College|
|PO Box 19042||Cynthia Theys|
|Milwaukee||Paramount Healthcare Training Institute|
|2020 South 54th Street||Marcus Burris|
|Janesville||Pioneer Court||2122 Pioneer Drive||Tammy Bailey|
|Wauwatosa||Quality Healthcare Options|
|7425 Harwood Avenue||Mary Herker|
|Fremont||Quality CNA Training LLC ‐ Kaukauna||9591 Ash Lane||Paulene Kipke|
|Fremont||Quality CNA Training LLC ‐ Monona||9591 Ash Lane||Paulene Kipke|
|Fremont||Quality CNA Training, LLC ‐ LaCrosse||9591 Ash Lane||Paulene Kipke|
|Fremont||Quality CNA Traning, LLC ‐ New Glarus||9591 Ash Lane||Paulene Kipke|
|Fremont||Quality CNA Training LLC‐Green Bay||9591 Ash Lane||Paulene Kipke|
|Fremont||Quality CNA Training LLC ‐ Waupaca||9591 Ash Lane||Paulene Kipke|
|Union Grove||Southern Wisconsin Center||21425 Spring Street||Danielle Lorentz|
|Fennimore||Southwest Wisconsin Technical College|
|Highway 18 East||Jill Henry|
|Spring Valley||Spring Valley Nurse Aide Training||S830 Westland Drive||Jill Hartung|
|New Richmond||St. Croix Health Care Center||1445 North 4th Street||Sandy Hackenmueller|
|Manitowoc||St. Mary’s at Felician Village||2005 Division Street||Joan Smaglik|
|Whitehall||Trempealeau County Health Care|
|W20298 State Road 121||Terri Sommer|
|Pewaukee||Waukesha County Technical College |
|800 Main Street||Sally Christiansen|
|801 South Klein Drive||Jane George|
|La Crosse||Western Technical College|
|400 7th Street North||Joan Miskis|
|Mount Horeb||Wisconsin Illinois Senior Housing DBA Ingleside Manor|
|407 North 8th Street||Marsha Miyagawa|
|Butler||Winnebago Mental Health Institute|
|PO Box 9||Deborah Becker|
|Neenah||Wisconsin CNA Training Center||1091 Jacobsen Road||Christina Rawlins|
|Ashland||Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College|
|2100 Beaser Avenue||Kathy Kitter‐Carey|
|Shell Lake||Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College|
|505 Pine Ridge Drive||Kathy Kitter-Carey|
|New Richmond||Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College|
|1019 South Knowles Avenue||Kathy Kitter-Carey|
|Superior||Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College|
|600 North 21st Street||Kathy Kitter-Carey|
|King||Wisconsin Veterans Home|
|N2665 County Road QQ||Leann Turzinski|
|Chippewa Falls||Wissota Health and Regional Vent Center||7490 156th Street||Sarah North|
Step 3: Evaluate Training Cost
Each nurse aide program in Wisconsin determines the costs for training. For example, the current cost estimate for the Nursing Assistant course at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha is $691 for resident tuition, two sets of uniforms, textbooks and curriculum, and supplies. There are additional fees incurred for certification fees, student accident insurance and other expenses. At Paramount Healthcare Training Institute in Milwaukee, the CNA classes cost $1,150, but discounts may be available. The website does not say what the cost includes. The Wisconsin CNA Training Center charges $855 for tuition and administration fees, but students will have other expenses for things like uniforms and supplies.
This leads to three important points. First, when estimating the cost of any of the CNA classes in Wisconsin, be sure to include all expenses in the calculations. Second, schools can change the training program rates at any time. Third, always inquire about financial aid offered through the school or available through outside funding sources, like the Department of Workforce Development and the Division Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).
Free CNA Training
There is a way to get free CNA training in Wisconsin. Students can work and train at Medicare and Medicaid funded skilled nursing facilities, and the employer will cover all training costs. Nurse aides who are already certified and then employed by a federally funded nursing facility within 12 months of certification can also ask for full employer reimbursement of training costs.
Step 4: Identify and Meet School and Program Prerequisites
Admittance into a CNA training program in Wisconsin requires meeting school and program prerequisites. They typically include the following:
- Completing an application
- Meeting the age requirement of 16 years or older
- Passing a Wisconsin Caregiver and Department of Justice Criminal Background Check
- Showing proof of immunizations that include tuberculosis screening; measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); and chicken pox
- Able to speak and write English and meet minimum math abilities
Step 5: Complete CNA Training
State law requires the Wisconsin CNA training program to be a minimum of 120 hours with 32 hours of clinical experience included. The classroom training covers topics under six broad care areas.
- Communication and social interaction
- Personal care skills
- Respecting resident’s rights
- Basic nursing skills
- Basic restorative services
The student learns how to successfully communicate with and establish effective relationships with clients; take and record vital signs; assist with bathing and grooming; apply assistive devices; protect client privacy; work with persons who have dementia; and much more. Clinical training gives the student hands-on experience with patients and residents while under the supervision of the RN or LPN.
Step 6: Take and Pass the NNAAP Exam
Pearson VUE is responsible for the implementation of the NNAAP competency evaluation examination and uses Credentia to administer Certified Nurse Aide testing. Exams can be taken at an approved regional test site or a training facility in Wisconsin.
The CNA exam consists of two parts: Written or Oral Test and Skills Evaluation.
Written or Oral Test – The Written Test has 70 multiple-choice questions. The Oral Test is comprised of 10 reading comprehension items and 60 multiple-choice questions. Pearson VUE provides an exam content outline, sample questions and a self-assessment reading test in its handbook. Here is a CNA practice exam.
Skills Evaluation – The Skills Evaluation takes place in a setting that replicates a real-world caregiving situation. Applicants are tested on five skills, and handwashing is always one of them. The remaining skills are randomly selected from a list of 22 skills taught in CNA training programs. One of the four skills will include demonstrating measurement skills.
Step 7: Get Certified as a CNA in Wisconsin
Pearson VUE places the names of people who successfully passed the Written or Oral Examination and the Skills Evaluation in the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry. Those who do not have to take the exam, per a pathway described earlier, will apply directly to the Wisconsin DHS for Registry placement.
How to Keep CNA Certification Active
Certified Nurse Aides who want to work in a federally funded skilled nursing facility must maintain certification to be eligible for such employment. CNA Certification is for 24 months for these nurse aides. Within the 24 months, the nurse aide must work at least eight (8) hours in a paid nurse aide position to keep certification active. If the nurse aide did not work or report the 8 hours within the 24 months, certification to work in federally funded nursing homes, home health agencies, intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, and hospices lapses. For reinstatement, the nurse aide must retake and pass the NNAAP competency test.
Salary and Job Outlook for CNAs in Wisconsin
Certified Nursing Assistants who are certified in Wisconsin to work in federally funded facilities are employed in nursing homes, hospices, facilities for people with intellectual disabilities and home health agencies. All CNAs can work in state-funded hospitals and non-Medicaid funded healthcare facilities which includes clinics and emergency centers.
The current average CNA salary for the state of Wisconsin is $27,980 or $13.45 per hour. It is higher in certain cities. For example, the average salary for Certified Nurse Aides in Madison is $31,250 which is 11.7 percent higher than the state figure. Currently, there are approximately 32,380 CNAs working in the state. The projected nursing assistant jobs growth for Wisconsin for the period 2014-2024 is 13.4 percent.
CNA Salaries in Wisconsin
|WI CNA Salaries||Empl.||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage||Wage percent relative std. error||Hourly 10th % wage||Hourly median wage||Hourly 90th % wage||Annual 10th % wage||Annual median wage||Annual 90th % wage|
|Eau Claire, WI||1150||13.22||27500||2.6||10.22||13.09||16.96||21250||27230||35280|
|Fond du Lac, WI||490||13.48||28030||1.8||10.57||13.43||16.92||21990||27940||35190|
|Green Bay, WI||1920||13.54||28160||2.4||10.35||13.38||17.70||21540||27830||36820|
|La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN||1190||14.12||29360||1.8||11.91||13.99||17.58||24780||29110||36570|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||9560||13.33||27720||1.3||10.08||12.84||17.49||20970||26700||36370|
|Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area||2920||11.88||24710||2.0||9.57||11.61||14.87||19900||24150||30920|
|Northwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area||600||13.00||27040||2.3||10.26||12.95||16.11||21340||26930||33510|
|South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area||2690||13.51||28110||2.4||10.30||13.38||17.40||21430||27830||36190|
|Western Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area||2480||13.64||28380||2.1||10.46||13.57||17.54||21760||28220||36480|