Like other states, Wisconsin adheres to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA ’87), which helps to improve the quality of care in long-term health care facilities. Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, in accordance with the act, defines the training and evaluation standards for nursing assistants who work at licensed long-term care facilities and hospitals across the state. A defined curriculum sets the standards for nursing assistant knowledge and skills, and a competency evaluation program ensures prospective nurse aides understand and uphold the standards for executing their duties on the job.
CNA Classes in Wisconsin:
Wisconsin nurse aides must complete a state-accredited training program and pass the state competency exam before providing care to patients at licensed care facilities. CNA classes equip students with the essential knowledge and skills to pass the state competency exam and succeed on the job. Graduates of approved programs must apply for and pass the exams within one year of graduation – failure to complete the process within one year means you’ll have to complete another training program before you’re eligible for testing. While the Department of Health requires new nurse aides to acquire appropriate education, there are instances where they’ll waive the training requirements – out-of-state CNAs and nursing students are some examples.
Prerequisites to Training
There are no minimum education requirements for entering a nurse aide training program according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. However, many training providers request a high school diploma from prospective students as a requirement for enrollment. Students with a high school diploma – or those with an eighth-grade reading and comprehension ability – have greater success with the course workload and state exam. Following are some other requirements for nurse aide training.
- High school diploma or GED equivalent
- Nurse aide students should be at least 18 years old
- Criminal background check and fingerprint report
- No prior convictions, felony, or reports of misconduct
- Must provide proof of citizenship or legal residency
- Recent TB test report
- Report of a recent physical exam
- Proof of immunization
Wisconsin’s Certified Nurse Aide Training Requirements
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services regulates nurse aide training programs. They designed the course curriculum and set guidelines for the number of training hours. Wisconsin nurse aides must complete a full 120 hours in the classroom, lab, and clinical setting. The state takes an active role in monitoring training providers and students. Therefore, tardiness or absenteeism during training could jeopardize your chances of graduation from the course.
A crucial aspect of the program comes in the delivery of practical training in the form of the clinical experience. The department of health stipulates a minimum of 32 hours for clinical hands-on experience. During this time, students work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse providing direct care to patients at licensed facilities. Before moving on to the clinical component of the program, students must cover at least 16 hours of classroom training in preparation for the realities of providing patient care.
Training program delivers essential knowledge skills such as personal care techniques, basic nursing principles, oral and written communication, infection control, emergency response, safety, fire training, HIPPA laws, transferring patients, rehabilitation and restorative techniques, patients’ rights and caring for patients with Alzheimer’s diseases and related dementias.
Cost of Training
Wisconsin is home to several affordable CNA classes – if you do your research, you might unearth opportunities for free training. The average cost of paid programs in the state is $800. Classes at community colleges and universities run for 6 to12 weeks and may cost upwards of $1,500. There are several government agencies and local organizations that sponsor programs in an effort to make CNA training more affordable.
Always start small in your search for an affordable program. Seek out medical facilities and vocational schools as a first resource. Nursing homes often sponsor free training several times a year to recruit new nurse aides. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is another valuable resource for affordable training. Ask your employer to sponsor the training if you’re employed at a licensed nursing home. If all else fails, you can request financial aid or use the option for prorated reimbursement of your training and state testing if you’re employed as a CNA within 12 months of certification.
Nurse Aide Testing
As of September 1, 2018, D&S Diversified Technologies – Headmaster will be the approved testing provider for DHS. The test will comprise of a Knowledge/Oral test and a Skills test. The knowledge test will comprise of a maximum of 60 minutes to complete the 75 questions. For the Oral test, the first 67 questions will be read orally, and the final 8 questions will need to be answered without oral assistance. You must obtain a minimum socre of 71% to pass the knowledge exam.
Electronic testing using internet connected devices is available at Wisconsin test sites. Candidates will see the test questions on the screen and will click or tap their answers. Official scores will be available the next business day.
The 75 multiple choice questions will be selected from ares based on the approved DHS test plan and the categories defined in Federal regulations. These might include safety, communication, infection control, personal care, resident rights, basic nursing skills, disease process, the aging process and restorative care, and others.
The Skills test will evaluate your performance as you demonstrate the Wisconsin approved nurse aide skills tasks. A complete list of skills tasks is available in the Candidate Handbook.
The Skills test requires completion of the 3 to 4 tasks in 30 minutes. You must correctly perform all the key steps and 80% of all non-key steps on each task to pass the Skills test.
Testing fees are as follows:
- Knowledge and Demonstration/Skills – $125
- Oral and Demonstration/Skills – $130
- Knowledge Only – $32
- Oral Only – $37
- Demonstration/Skills Only – $93
First-time testers must pay for both the written and demonstration/skills exam. Personal checks or cash are not accepted from candidates.
On exam day, you must walk with the following:
- Confirmation letter
- Two forms of current previously signed IDs
- Two number 2 pencils and an eraser
- Watch with a second hand
- Wear full clinical attire
- Arrive 15-20 minutes before the scheduled start time
There are several paths to obtaining eligibility for placement on the WNAR if you’re listed on an out-of-state registry. You must be current and in good standing on another state’s registry to be considered.
Complete an Out-of-State application downloaded from D&SDT-Headmaster’s website at hdmaster.com. Submit your application as early as possible as multiple state agencies must verify the application.
If transferring from California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina or Pennsylvania, you must mail the completed Out-of-State application and your CNA training certificate indicating date of completion or a transcript of letter from the training program verifying the total hours completed in the nurse aide training to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
If transferring from a state not listed above, you must mail the completed application to the state where you receive your initial basic nursing aide training.
DHS staff will initiate your TMU informational record once the application is received.
- Provide a valid email address to receive a user name and temporary password to login to TMU and complete the reciprocity process.
- Change your pass to one of your choosing
- Input your demographic information
- Incomplete or inaccurate information will delay or prevent you from being listed on the WNAR
Eligibility for Reciprocity – Active Certification
There are several ways to gain eligibility:
- If you’re a nurse aide candidate in another state and completed 120 hours, including 32 hours of clinical, and passed a nurse aide competency exam that is comparable to the Wisconsin competency exam, your name will be added to the WNAR. Use the temporary username and password to log into the TMU at wi.tmuniverse.com to complete the transfer.
- If you’re a nurse aide candidate in another state and completed 120 hours, including 32 hours of clinical, and passed a nurse aide competency exam that is not comparable to the Wisconsin competency exam, you’ll need to take the Wisconsin exam. Use the temporary username and password to log into the TMU at wi.tmuniverse.com to pick a test event and location to take the exam. Your name will be added to the WNAR if you pass the exam.
- If you’re a nurse aide candidate in another state and completed 120 hours, including 32 hours of clinical, and have not tested and are within one year of completing the nurse aide training, you’ll need to take the Wisconsin exam. Use the temporary username and password to log into the TMU at wi.tmuniverse.com to pick a test event and location to take the exam. Your name will be added to the WNAR if you pass the exam. If it is more than one year since you completed the program and have not tested, you will need to take a DHS approved program and take the exam.
- If you’re a nurse aide candidate in another state and completed less than 120 hours of training but a minimum 75 hours and have practiced as a nurse aide for a minimum of 2088 hours in the past two years, you’ll need to have your employer complete Employment Verification forms. Return the completed and notarized forms to DHS for processing your application.
- Attach an image to your TMI record at wi.tmuniverse.com after the forms and completed and notarized to expedite the process. Your name will be placed in the WNAR if your employer confirms the minimum 2088 hours of employment and you have successfully passed a nurse aide competency exam. Use the temporary username and password to log into the TMU at wi.tmuniverse.com to complete the transfer.
- If you are a nurse aide candidate from another state and completed training that is less than 120 hours but a minimum of 75 hours, you can take an approved 45-hour bridge program and take and pass the knowledge and skills exam to be added to the WNAR. Approved Bridge Programs are available on the DHS website.
- If you are a nurse aide candidate from another state and have completed a training program that is less than 120 hours, but a minimum of 75 hours, and have been employed as a nurse aide for a minimum of 2088 hours in the previous 24 months but have not completed an evaluation that is comparable to the Wisconsin exam, you must take and pass the Wisconsin competency exam.
- If you’re a nurse aide candidate from another state and have completed a training program that is less than 120 hours but a minimum of 75 hours, and have practiced for less than 2088 hours in the previous 2 years, you may enroll in a 45-hour Bridge Program. Log in to TMU at wi-tmuniverse.com to complete the transfer process and receive approval to enroll in a 45-hour Bridge Program.
Eligibility for Reciprocity – Inactive Certification
If you’re listed in an inactive state in another state’s Registry and have completed an approved nurse aide training program having at least 120 hours with 32 hours of clinical training, you must take and pass the Wisconsin competency exam to be eligible for placement on the WNAR.
Federal eligibility must be renewed every 24 months to continue working as a nurse aide in a federally certified facility – Medicare and/or Medicaid certified. Renewal requires that you worl for pay as a nurse aide in a nursing home, home health agency, and hospital for at least eight hours during the active certification period. Paid work must be completed under the direction of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
Renewal must be completed by logging in to TMU at wi.tmuniverse.com to indicate where you worked and document your work hours. The employer will be contacted via email to verify your work hours. Your federal eligibility will be confirmed for another 24 months once the employer confirms your work experience.
There is no need to report employment history if you work in a hospital or state licensed facility. With this option, your federal eligibility will lapse, but you can legally work in a state licensed facility and be listed as Certified only on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry.
Contact the Registry:
Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry
Wisconsin Department of Health Services – Division of Quality Assurance
Office of Caregiver Quality
P.O. Box 2969, Madison, WI 53701
Phone: (608) 261-8319
Fax: (608) 264-6340
Email: [email protected]
D&S Diversified Technologies LLP – Headmaster
P.O. Box 418, Findlay, OH 45839-0418
Email: [email protected]
State Approved CNA Programs in Wisconsin
Altoona, WI CNA programs:
2512 New Pine Road, Altoona, WI 54720
Appleton, WI CNA programs:
Fox Valley Technical College
1825 N Bluemound Drive, Appleton, WI 54912
Ashland, WI CNA programs:
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
2100 Beaser Avenue, Ashland, WI 54806
Beaver Dam, WI CNA programs:
Moraine Park Technical College
700 Gould St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Black River Fall, WI CNA programs:
Pine View Care Center
400 County Road, Black River Falls, WI 54615
Chippewa Falls, WI CNA programs:
Wissota Health-Regional Vent Center
2815 County Highway I, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
Cleveland, WI CNA programs:
Lakeshore Technical College
1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI 53015
Eau Claire, WI CNA programs:
Chippewa Valley Technical College
620 W Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701
Grace Lutheran Foundation
Po Box 287, Eau Claire, WI 54702
Dove Healthcare – West
1405 Truax Blvd, Eau Claire, WI 54703
Elkhorn, WI CNA programs:
Gateway Technical College-Elkhorn
400 County Rd H, Elkhorn, WI 53121
Fennimore, WI CNA programs:
Southwest Technical College
Highway 18 East, Fennimore, WI 53809
Fond Du Lac, WI CNA programs:
Agnesian Health Care
430 E Division Street, Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Moraine Park Technical College
235N National Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Fort Atkinson, WI CNA programs:
Madison College – Fort Atkinson
827 Banker Road, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
Grafton, WI CNA programs:
Aurora Medical Center – Grafton
975 Port Washington, Grafton WI 53024
Green Bay, WI CNA programs:
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
PO Box 19042, Green Bay, WI 54307
Kenosha, WI CNA programs:
Gateway Technical College
3520 30 Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53144
King, WI CNA programs:
Wisconsin Veterans Home
N2665 County Road, King, WI 54946
Hayward, WI CNA programs:
Hayward Health Services
10775 Nyman Ave, Hayward, WI 54843
Hurley, WI CNA programs:
Villa Maria Health-Rehab Center
300 Villa Drive, Hurley, WI 54534
Janesville, WI CNA programs:
Blackhawk Technical College
Po Box 5009, Janesville, WI 53547
2122 Pioneer Drive, Janesville, WI 53511
Juneau, WI CNA programs:
198 County Road DF, Juneau, WI 53039
Kenosha, WI CNA programs:
Gateway Technical College-Kenosha
3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144
King, WI CNA programs:
Wisconsin Veterans Home Ainsworth Hall
N2665 County Rd Qq, King, WI 54946
La Crosse, WI CNA programs:
Western Technical College
400 Seventh St N, Lacrosse, WI 54602
Madison, WI CNA programs:
Central Wisconsin Center
317 Knutson Dr, Madison, WI 53704
Mendota Mental Health Institute
301 Troy Dr, Madison, WI 53704
6400 Gisholt Dr Ste102, Madison, WI 53713
Madison Area Technical College
211 N Carroll St, Madison, WI 53703
Center for Health Education/ CHES
3001 W Beltline, Suite 305, Madison, WI 53713
1701 Wright Street Madison, WI 53703
2020 South 54 Street, Milwaukee, WI 53219
Manitowoc, WI CNA programs:
Quality CNA Training LLC
2021 S Alverno Road, Manitowoc, WI 54220
St Mary’s At Felician Village
1635 South 21st St, Manitowoc, WI 54220
University of Wisconsin Manitowoc
705 Viebahn Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220
Milwaukee, WI CNA programs:
Amber House, Inc
7414 W Hampton Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53218
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
Aurora NA Education Center
3033 South 27 Street, Suite 105, Milwaukee, WI 53215
J. Johnson Educational Center
7905 W. Appleton Ave., 202, Milwaukee WI 53218
Mount Horeb, WI CNA programs:
Ingleside Nursing Home
407 N 8th St, Mount Horeb, WI 53572
Neenah, WI CNA programs:
Wisconsin CNA Training Center LLC
1091 Jacobsen Road, Neenah, WI 54956
New Richmond, WI CNA programs:
St Croix Health Care Center
1445 North 4 Street, New Richmond, WI 54017
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
1019 South Knowles Avenue, New Richmond, WI 54017
Niagara, WI CNA programs:
501 Madison Avenue, Niagara, WI 54151
Oshkosh, WI CNA programs:
Aurora Medical Center-Oshkosh
855 N West Haven Dr, Oshkosh, WI 54904
424 Washington Ave, Oshkosh, WI 54901
Osseo, WI CNA programs:
Dove Healthcare – Osseo
51019 Ridge View Rd, Osseo, WI 54758
Park Falls, WI CNA programs:
172 Lawrence Ave, Park Falls, WI 54552
Pewaukee, WI CNA programs:
Waukesha County Technical College
800 Main St #219, Pewaukee, WI 53072
Plum City, WI CNA programs:
Plum City Care Center
301 Cherry Avenue West, Plum City, WI 54761
Racine, WI CNA programs:
Gateway Technical College-Racine
1001 S Main St, Racine, WI 53403
Randolph, WI CNA programs:
Randolph Health Services
502 S. High Street, Randolph, WI 53956
Rhinelander, WI CNA programs:
Nicolet Area Technical College
PO Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501
Shell Lake, WI CNA programs:
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
505 Pine Ridge Drive, Shell Lake, WI 54871
Spring Green, WI CNA programs:
501 South Winsted, Spring Green, WI 53588
Summit, WI CNA programs:
Aurora Healthcare – Southern Lakes
36500 Aurora Drive, Summit, WI 53066
Union Grove, WI CNA programs:
Southern Wisconsin Center
21425 Spring St, Union Grove, WI 53182
Waukesha, WI CNA programs:
Waukesha County Technical College-Blackboard
800 Main St #219, Waukesha, WI 53072
Waunakee Manor Health Care Center
801 South Klein Dr, Waunakee, WI 53597
Wausau, WI CNA programs:
NorthCentral Technical College
1000 Campus Dr, Wausau, WI 54401
Wauwatosa, WI CNA programs:
Quality Healthcare Options, Inc
7425 Harwood Ave, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
West Bend, WI CNA programs:
5595 County Road Z, West Bend, WI 53095
Whitehall, WI CNA programs:
Trempealeau County Health Care Center
W20298 State Rd 121, Whitehall, WI 54773
Winnebago, WI CNA programs:
Winnebago Mental Health Institute
Po Box 9, Winnebago, WI 54985
Wisconsin Rapids, WI CNA programs:
Mid-State Technical College
500 32nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494