How to Become a CNA in Wisconsin

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Learn how to become a CNA in Wisconsin and provide essential nursing care to the elderly and chronically ill. Discover the state-approved training, exam requirements, and potential earnings for a fulfilling healthcare career.

In Wisconsin, compassionate CNAs provide vital nursing care, enhancing the well-being of the elderly and chronically ill. They offer essential support for medical needs and daily grooming, improving residents' quality of life in nursing homes.

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What are the requirements to become a CNA in Wisconsin?

If you want to become a CNA in Wisconsin, you need to meet certain requirements. Once you gain the necessary knowledge and get certified, you can start working as a caring and skilled CNA in the state's healthcare industry. Here are the requirements that you'd need to comply with:

  • Complete state-approved training. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) requires 120 hours of training with 32 clinical hours. 

  • Age. To qualify for certification, you must be at least 18.

  • Pass a background check. You need to undergo a check on your criminal history. You cannot have any past convictions that would make you ineligible to work as a nurse aide.

  • Be up to date on immunizations. Before enrolling in the nursing assistant program, you must fulfill and record all necessary prerequisites. The Wisconsin Immunization Record online is a helpful resource for checking vaccination status. Annual tuberculosis (TB) screening is also a must, with a set due date of one year. These results are separate from the Wisconsin Immunization Registry because it's a screening rather than a vaccine.

  • Be in good physical health. Once you become a CNA, you must be physically healthy to do your job well. It's essential to carry out your duties effectively, provide the best patient care, and keep everyone safe.

  • Pass the state exam. You must pass the competency exam for CNAs in Wisconsin. Passing the certification exam shows that you meet all the requirements of the Wisconsin DHS to be eligible to be on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry (WNAR) list. It will also open doors to a fulfilling career in the healthcare field for you.

Where can I find CNA classes in Wisconsin?

You can conveniently search for CNA classes near you through Dreambound— a platform that helps people find allied health training programs. You can find classes in specific locations like Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau. Explore available options using your zip code, and pick a training provider that suits your preference.

What do I need to know about the exam?

As you start your nursing career, you must pass the competency exam. Passing this exam ensures you understand the nurse aide's knowledge and skills standards. It proves that you can competently and safely perform the job of an entry-level nurse aide.

Wisconsin uses the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) test. It has two parts: a skills demonstration and a written (or oral) test. Both parts are necessary to get listed on the WNAR. D&S Diversified Technologies LLP Headmaster conducts the examination. Here's what you need to know about the two-part test:

  • Written or oral test. You have up to 60 minutes to complete the 75 questions Knowledge Test. The proctor will read the first 67 questions orally for the Oral Test. You need to answer the remaining eight questions by yourself. It is to assess your English reading comprehension. The passing score for the knowledge portion is at least 71%.

  • Skills Demonstration Test. You have 30 minutes to complete the three or four tasks according to your selection. The tasks will have scenarios the RN Test Observer will read to you. You must perform all key steps and at least 80% of the non-key steps on each task.

If you’re thinking of how much you have to spend for the exam, here’s a breakdown to help you:

  • Written & Skills Evaluation: $125

  • Oral & Skills Evaluation: $130

  • Written Exam only: $32

  • Oral Exam only: $37

  • Skills Exam only: $93

So, what should you bring on the day of the exam? Make sure to bring the following:

  • A current identification with a photo I.D.

  • Social Security card

  • Non-skid, closed-toe shoes for the clinical evaluation

  • Three No. 2 pencils and an eraser

  • A watch with a secondhand

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How much do I expect to earn as a CNA in Wisconsin?

As of May 2022, the typical yearly income for a CNA in Wisconsin is around $36,750. On an hourly basis, the average pay is approximately $18.98. Some may earn as much as $29.72 per hour, while others may receive as little as $10.65 per hour. It depends on factors like experience and the type of facility you work at.


Becoming a CNA in Wisconsin opens doors to a fulfilling healthcare career full of growth opportunities. You get the chance to make a difference through compassionate care and pave the way for further education and career advancement. Your journey as a CNA leads to a rewarding future where your passion for helping others thrives and positively impacts patients and their families. Explore what comes after CNA, and discover what awaits you!

Consider Dreambound as a valuable resource if you're thinking about getting started in this field. We've written many guides to help with the different parts of the certification process across the country:

Thinking about a potential career transition? Dreambound offers detailed guides to help you with making an informed decision. Dive in below:

Marce Arnejo
Written by
Marce Arnejo

Marce Arnejo is part of the Sales team at Dreambound. Her role involves seeking out schools and institutions to provide valuable opportunities for students seeking a career in the healthcare sector. Beyond her professional life, Marce is passionate about music and gaming. She finds joy in exploring various genres of music and using gaming to unwind and immerse herself in virtual worlds. Her diverse interests enrich her personal life and contribute to her work by bringing new ideas and creativity.

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