Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in Wisconsin: Overview and Resources

Are you considering a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Wisconsin? This rewarding profession offers numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover the steps to become a CNA, the top certified nursing assistant programs in Wisconsin, financial aid options, and the resources available to help you navigate the certification process.

Short Summary

  • Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Wisconsin requires completing a state-approved course and passing the competency exam.
  • Various financial aid options are available to make CNA training more affordable.
  • Continuing education and career advancement opportunities exist for CNAs, along with resources from the WI Department of Health & Family Services.

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Wisconsin

Embarking on a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Wisconsin starts with completing a state-approved course. This course should consist of 120 hours of instruction, 32 of which should be dedicated to clinical care experience. One such program, endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as a nurse aide training program, is the Nursing Assistant program at Madison College. This program equips students with the necessary skills to pursue employment as nursing assistants.

Financial aid is available for students who demonstrate financial need, such as those who are part of an ethnic/racial underrepresented group or who receive assistance through programs like Badger Care or Food Share. It’s worth noting that punctuality is crucial for CNA candidates, as tardiness could negatively impact their prospects.

Wisconsin CNA Certification Requirements

To be considered for CNA employment in Wisconsin, candidates must typically have completed high school. However, those without a high school diploma can still find employment if they possess reading and writing proficiency.

In addition to education, CNAs must complete a state-approved training program and pass a competency exam. With the proper qualifications in place, future CNAs can embark on a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.

Top CNA Programs in Wisconsin

Several top-notch CNA programs in Wisconsin have gained reputations for their quality education and training. Among these are Milwaukee Area Technical College, Fox Valley Technical College, and Western Technical College.

When selecting a program, it’s essential to consider factors such as student-to-instructor ratios, classroom environment, costs, school reputation, and testing pass rates of graduates. The average cost of Certified Nursing Assistant programs in Wisconsin is around $800.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College, a public technical college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers a 120-hour Certified Nursing Assistant program. This program teaches the essential nursing assistant skills through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be equipped to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia, among other patients. This comprehensive training provides a strong foundation for CNAs to excel in their chosen career path.

Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College provides a Nursing Assistant (CNA) program that educates students on how to offer personal care and comfort to patients with health issues. The training program lasts 6-8 weeks, offering a relatively short timeframe for students to acquire the necessary skills to become CNAs.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be equipped to provide compassionate and competent care to their future patients, paving the way for a successful career as a CNA.

Western Technical College

Located in La Crosse, WI, Western Technical College offers a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program designed to prepare students for the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Certification Competency Examination. With successful completion of the program and the competency exam, students can apply for certification.

This comprehensive program equips future CNAs with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their chosen profession, making Western Technical College an excellent choice for those pursuing a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Financial Aid and Reimbursement Options for CNA Training

Various financial aid options are available for CNA training in Wisconsin, including federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Federal Student Loans. Some CNA programs may also qualify for state-supported job grants or scholarships. These resources can help ease the financial burden of pursuing a CNA education.

Many employers may offer to reimburse the cost of training once you are employed with them. To take advantage of this, you must obtain full certification within 12 months. It’s important to research and explore all available financial aid options to make your CNA training as affordable as possible.

Transferring Out-of-State CNA Certifications to Wisconsin

If you’re a CNA from another state looking to work in Wisconsin, the process is relatively simple. Visit hdmaster.com and submit an out-of-state application. For those transferring from certain states, you’ll need to provide a CNA training certificate indicating the date of completion and proof of total hours completed in CNA training.

To ensure your application is not denied, make sure your address and name are up-to-date. By following these steps, out-of-state CNAs can secure employment in Wisconsin and continue their careers in the healthcare field.

Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry

The Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry, maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, identifies certified nursing assistants who have fulfilled federal and/or state requirements and are qualified to work in Wisconsin. To be included on the registry, you must complete a state-approved CNA program and pass the state certification exam.

Inclusion on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry enables CNAs to gain employment in any healthcare facility within the state. Additionally, it allows for the transfer of their certification to other states, providing greater flexibility and opportunities for career growth.

Ethical and Legal Responsibilities for CNAs in Wisconsin

As a nursing assistant in Wisconsin, it is your responsibility to provide basic care and comfort to patients. This vital role in the healthcare industry comes with ethical and legal responsibilities. CNAs must ensure they renew their certification every two years, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their federal qualification.

By adhering to ethical and legal responsibilities, CNAs can provide safe and compassionate care to their patients while maintaining their professional credentials.

Continuing Education and Career Advancement Opportunities for CNAs

Continuing education and career advancement opportunities are available for CNAs in Wisconsin. CNAs may pursue licensure as a practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) and specialize in certain areas of healthcare. These advanced roles often provide increased responsibilities, better compensation, and more opportunities for growth.

Certified Nursing Assistants may also need to complete regular training to maintain their certification. This ongoing education ensures that CNAs stay up-to-date with the latest practices and continue to provide the highest quality of care to their patients.

Navigating the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services

The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services offers valuable resources on nurse aide training programs, competency testing, and registry. They authorize nurse aide training programs and offer standardized training and testing programs for feeding assistants, medication aides, and nurse aides.

To access these resources, contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Division of Quality Assurance Office of Caregiver Quality at (608) 261-8319, or email [email protected]. Navigating the department’s resources can help you stay informed about CNA certification and training opportunities in Wisconsin.


In conclusion, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in Wisconsin offers a fulfilling and rewarding career in healthcare. With the right training, resources, and support, you can successfully navigate the certification process and embark on a career that offers numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. Whether you’re just starting your journey or looking to advance your career, the information provided in this guide can help you achieve your goals as a CNA in Wisconsin.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a CNA in Wisconsin?

Becoming a CNA in Wisconsin requires completion of a state-approved training program of 75 hours, including 16 hours of clinical work, and passing a nurse aide competency exam within one year of completing your training.

Therefore, it typically takes about three months to become a CNA in Wisconsin.

How much does a CNA course cost in Wisconsin?

The cost of CNA courses in Wisconsin can range from $500 to $2,000 depending on the program chosen. Typically, accelerated programs are more expensive than those which follow a standard pace.

What score do you need to pass CNA exam Wisconsin?

To pass the CNA Exam in Wisconsin, you must score 80% or higher on each of the required skills/tasks and perform all of the steps outlined in the Candidate Handbook.

You can retake the exam if you don’t pass it the first time.

How long is a CNA license good for in Wisconsin?

Certification lasts for 24 months. In the state of Wisconsin, Certified Nursing Assistants must renew their certification every 24 months. The renewal process requires that you have worked in a nursing facility or hospital for at least 8 hours during the two year period before certification renewal is eligible.