WisCaregiver Career Program

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In an effort to attract and retain more nursing home caregivers, the Department of Health Services (DHS) launched the innovative WisCaregiver Careers program on March 1, 2018. DHS received federal approval to invest $2.3 million to implement WisCaregiver Careers, designed to add approximately 3,000 nurse aides to this high-demand field.

To learn more about the program, refer to the WisCaregiver Careers Fact Sheet, P-02030 (PDF).

As of July 31, 2019, more than 9,000 people have registered for the WisCaregiver Careers program. To date more than 3,000 people have enrolled in training.  Due to the number of current registrants and training enrollments, both new registration and training enrollment are closed for WisCaregiver Careers until further notice. We are exploring ways to extend the program and re-open registration.

People who are already enrolled in a training program with WisCaregiver Careers can continue with the program as usual. Those in training programs now, or who have just completed a training program can  contact a participating nursing home about employment. 


Caregiver Workforce Issues

Marketing and Recruitment

The program includes funds for marketing and recruitment to highlight the resources available through the program and the rewarding aspects of working as a nurse aide caring for Wisconsin’s elders. Public service announcements highlight training and testing to be provided at no cost to the student, and a $500 retention bonus paid by participating nursing homes after six months of employment.

Training and Testing

The program provides free training for up to 3,000 students through approved nursing home nurse aide training programs, approved Wisconsin Technical College System nurse aide training programs, and private nurse aide training programs. Testing fees for the state competency exam will be covered for all students who successfully complete training through these programs.

Participating WisCaregiver Careers Nurse Aide Training Programs, P-02031A (PDF)

Workforce Solutions

Caretaker sitting at meal with two elderly women

The WisCaregiver Career Program will also include resources and training to help nursing homes hire and retain the best possible workforce.

WisCaregiver Careers Facility Practices for Recruitment and Retention, P-02140 (PDF)

On January 18, 2018 Wisconsin nursing homes attended a webinar showing how to implement WisCaregiver Careers as a future employer for students receiving the free training and testing through the program. Below is a copy of the presentation and other materials related to the webinar.

On September 14, 2017, Wisconsin nursing homes attended a webinar introducing them to the benefits of WisCaregiver Careers as a possible solution to the workforce shortage faced by nursing homes. Below is a copy of the presentation and other materials related to the webinar.

2019 WisCaregiver Careers Webinar Series

DHS is hosting a series of free webinars featuring nursing home staff and other experts who will share their best practices for successful staff recruitment and retention. All webinars are scheduled from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

The last webinar for 2019 is on December 5: Year Two Highlights & Accomplishments.

Additional information about these webinars will be provided via WisCaregiver Careers email list closer to the date of each webinar. You can sign up to receive these updates.

To participate:

If you would like to make sure your audio is working correctly, click Meeting at the top left corner and select Audio Setup Wizard.

Webinars will be recorded and made available on this page after they take place.

Previous 2019 Webinars

September 5: Webinar featured guest speaker Stephen Campbell, Data and Policy Analyst at PHI, who discussed smart decision making to support nursing home recruitment and retention.

May 2: Webinar featured guest speaker Christopher Ridenhour, who discussed opportunities for employee coaching, engagement, and retention.

February 7: Webinar featured guest speaker Denise Boudreau-Scott, who discussed innovative ways to improve recruitment efforts.

2018 WisCaregiver Careers Webinar Series

December 6: Year one highlights and accomplishments

November 1: Webinar featured guest Christine M.W. Witt, executive director of Advanced Employment, Inc.

October 11: Webinar featured guests Susan Churchill and Sharon Mylrea, development specialists with UW-Oshkosh Center for Community Development, Engagement and Training, discussing the Caregivers SOAR! program.

September 6: Webinar featured guest Dr. Paul White, author and founder of Appreciation at Work and Creating a More Positive Work Culture with the 5 Languages of Appreciation.

August 2: Webinar featured guest Karen Hayden of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital discussed the subject of employee recruitment and retention.

June 7: Webinar featured guest Anna Ortigara of Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), who discussed peer mentorship programs.

May 3: Webinar featured guests from Karen Sautbine of Lakeland Health Care Center and Ila Johnson of Good Shepherd Services addressing the subject of employee recruitment and retention.

April 5: Webinar featured guests from Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Center and North Central Health Care addressing the subject of employee recruitment and retention.

March 1: Webinar featured guest speaker, Denise Boudreau-Scott. Topics included website demonstration, media campaign, and employee engagement.

WisCaregiver Careers in the News


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This page is being issued pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 50.065.

Last Revised: September 24, 2019