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CNA License in Wisconsin

Wisconsin, known for being a major cheese-producing state, is located in the Upper Midwest and experiences severe winter conditions along with mild summers. Parts of the state border Lake Superior and Lake Michigan and give residents beautiful views of the Great Lakes. Wisconsin is also known for the home of the Green Bay Packers football team as well as the location of Wisconsin Dells, which has a series of indoor and outdoor amusement and water parks. With a population of 5.8 million, Wisconsin has plenty of opportunities for those pursuing health care careers and especially for CNAs who help to take care of the 15 percent of the population above the age of 65.

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About Wisconsin

– Capital: Madison
– Minimum Wage: $7.25
– Number of Hospitals: 129
– Number of Nursing Homes: 34,730


– Total Population: 5,757,564
– Population (ages 45-64): 1,596,915
– Population (ages 65+): 875,868
– Population (ages 85+): 128,096

Top Colleges & Unversities

– University of Wisconsin, Madison
– Lawrence University
– Marquette University

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Wisconsin

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

CNA training in Wisconsin must be state-authorized, and Wisconsin does not accept online or correspondence courses. All new CNAs are required to complete training except for those who have completed equivalent nursing training or foreign practical or licensed nurses who are waiting to take their nursing board examinations. These individuals are allowed to skip training with the state’s approval and continue directly to the examination.

The Wisconsin Department of Health regulates the state’s CNA program and does not require students to have completed a minimum amount of education. However, many training programs have their own requirements and may wish students to have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 18 years old. Students will also need to have an up-to-date immunization record along with a negative tuberculosis screening from the past six months to attend school. Potential students will also need to undergo both state and FBI background checks and have fingerprints on file with the state before applying for the certification examination. The background checks should not turn up any prior convictions or felonies. Finally, students will need a doctor’s physical completed to prove that they can handle the physical work required of CNAs.

Wisconsin requires a higher-than-average number of training hours for its CNA students. Individuals here must complete at least 120 hours of which 32 hours must be spent performing hands-on care in a local health care facility. The other hours are typically spent in the classroom or lab learning and practicing CNA theory.

The Wisconsin Department of Health uses Pearson Vue to administer its CNA examinations. Students have up to one year to pass the test before they need to redo CNA training. Therefore, getting a testing date set up as soon as possible at the end of training is to one’s advantage.

The test is composed of two sections, which test written knowledge as well as clinical skills. The written test may be taken orally if students indicate this on their applications. The written version has 70 multiple-choice questions while the oral version has 60 multiple-choice questions plus ten additional comprehension questions. Students are given two hours to complete this section. The skills section tests five CNA tasks. One task is always hand washing, and another is taking a measurement, such as a blood pressure. The other three skills are randomly selected on test day. Students will perform the tasks in front of a Nurse Aide Evaluator and will perform them on a volunteer actor. Students have 30 minutes to complete this section. The fee for both sections is $115 whether students choose the written or oral version.

Applicants will receive their scores at the testing site shortly after completing the test. Those who fail one or both sections will receive information about how to retake the section they failed. Individuals may take the test as many times as necessary to receive a passing grade as long as it is completed within the one-year timeframe required.

Wisconsin does endorse CNAs from other states who are moving to Wisconsin. To be eligible for endorsement, CNAs must have completed a training program with at least 120 hours and passed a competency examination in another state. Those who have not completed the examination will be required to test in Wisconsin. Those who completed a training program with fewer than 120 hours will need to have their prior employers fill out an Employment Verification Form that states that the CNA worked at least 2,088 hours within the past 24 months. The process is free, and those who are approved will be listed on the registry within ten days and receive a certificate in the mail within three weeks.

Wisconsin CNAs must renew their certifications every two years. To be eligible for renewal, they must have worked for pay as a CNA under the supervision of a licensed nurse for at least eight hours in the past two years. CNAs will be required to list their employment history on the renewal form. The application is sent through the mail, and the renewal forms take two weeks to process. Wisconsin CNAs who allow their certifications to lapse will be required to retake the competency examination successfully before they are recertified. The renewal process is free except in the case of those required to sit for the examination.

Employment Information for WI

Average Salary for CNAs in WI

The average salary of a CNA in Wisconsin is on par with the state’s income per capita of $27,523. The average yearly income for a CNA here is $26,850 with an average hourly pay rate of $12.91. Of course, this does not include any additional benefits, including insurance and tuition reimbursement, that some CNAs may have to work at some types of facilities, such as hospitals.

Job Outlook in WI

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics currently lists Wisconsin as having over 35,000 job opportunities for CNAs. They are scattered throughout the 129 hospitals and 34,730 nursing homes as well as other health care facilities, such as Alzheimer’s units. CNAs have a great future before them as the state’s population continues to age. In fact, 1.6 million residents are currently between the ages of 45 and 65.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in Wisconsin
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
University Of Wisconsin Hospital And Clinics600 Highland AvenueMadisonWI53792608-263-6400Website
Aurora St. Luke'S Medical Center2900 West Oklahoma AvenueMilwaukeeWI53215414-649-6000Website
Froedtert Hospital And The Medical College Of Wisconsin9200 West Wisconsin AvenueMilwaukeeWI53226414-805-3000Website
Aspirus Wausau Hospital333 Pine Ridge BoulevardWausauWI54401715-847-2121Website
Gundersen Lutheran1900 South AvenueLa CrosseWI54601608-782-7300Website
Bellin Memorial Hospital744 South Webster AvenueGreen BayWI54301920-433-3500Website
Mercy Health Hospital1000 Mineral Point AvenueJanesvilleWI53548608-756-6000Website
Community Memorial HospitalW180 N8085 Town Hall RoadMenomonee FallsWI53051262-251-1000Website
Mayo Clinic Health Eau Claire1221 Whipple StreetEau ClaireWI54703715-838-3311Website
Meriter Hospital202 South Park StreetMadisonWI53715608-417-6000Website
Ministry St. Joseph'S Hospital611 St Joseph AvenueMarshfieldWI54449715-387-1713Website
St. Mary'S Hospital700 South Park StreetMadisonWI53715608-251-6100Website
Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph5000 West Chambers StreetMilwaukeeWI53210414-447-2000Website
Agnesian Healthcare430 East Division StreetFond Du LacWI54935920-929-2300Website
Amery Regional Medical Center265 Griffin Street EastAmeryWI54001715-268-8000Website
Appleton Medical Center1818 North Meade StreetAppletonWI54911920-731-4101Website
Aurora Bay Care Medical Center2845 Greenbrier RoadGreen BayWI54311920-288-8000Website
Aurora Lakeland Medical CenterW3985 County Road NNElkhornWI53121262-741-2000Website
Aurora Medical Center10400 South 75th StreetKenoshaWI53142262-948-5600Website
Aurora Medical Center Grafton975 Port Washington RoadGraftonWI53024262-329-1000Website

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