Nurse Aide Training and Registry Information

 COVID-19 and the nurse aide shortage

Learn more about how you can address nurse aide surge staffing due to COVID-19.

Beginning in 1990, the federal government required all states to establish a “Registry” of persons who were eligible to work as a nurse aide in federally regulated facilities. The Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry lists the names of nurse aides who, through training, testing and experience, meet federal and/or state requirements to work in Wisconsin. Federal regulations require all states to keep such a list. Wisconsin’s Nurse Aide Registry is maintained by Headmaster. (See Registry Services below to search the registry.)

Federal and state regulations require that a person’s name is entered on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry only after satisfactorily completing both a Wisconsin approved

  1. Nurse aide training program, or basic nursing course for professional nurses or licensed practical nurses, and
  2. Competency evaluation program.

A person may also transfer from another state nurse aide registry if that person meets all requirements of the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry. See the Registry Services tab below for the Out-of-State Application

In Wisconsin, all approved nurse aide training programs must provide students with comprehensive instruction on the requirements to work in all types of licensed health care facilities (e.g., nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, hospitals, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities). Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS), Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) approves nurse aide training programs that satisfy the standards outlined in Wis. Stat. ch. 146 and Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 129. See the Training tab below for details regarding training and the Training Programs tab for program information.

The Wisconsin Nurse Aide Training Program and Registry Manual, P-00118, currently under revision, provides detailed information about the nurse aide training and competency evaluation program regulations and the Nurse Aide Registry in Wisconsin. This manual is intended to assist nurse aide training program instructors, nurse aide employers and nurse aides in understanding their roles and responsibilities regarding nurse aide training and testing programs and the Registry.

New Nurse Aide Training Program Requirements

The nurse aide training program application materials are being updated to reflect the new minimum hour requirements and information will be posted on this webpage when available.


Partner Contacts:

  • Registry: 888-401-0465
  • Testing: 888-401-0462

DQA Contact:

Office of Caregiver Quality: 608-261-8319

Registry Services


Training Information for Nurse Aides

Please note that nurse aide training programs offered through correspondence or on-line services are not approved nurse aide training programs in Wisconsin. All nurse aide training programs must be approved by DQA prior to providing instruction.

Training Programs

Information for Nurse Aide Training Programs

Please note that nurse aide training programs offered through correspondence or on-line services are not approved nurse aide training programs in Wisconsin. All nurse aide training programs must be approved by DQA prior to providing instruction.



DHS has one state-administered competency test as allowed under federal law to ensure a neutral and objective nurse aide testing process. DHS contracts with Headmaster to deliver Wisconsin’s Nurse Aide Competency Testing Services.

Schedule a Competency Examination

In order to schedule the Wisconsin nurse aide competency examination, candidates must have successfully completed a DHS approved nurse aide training program or have a DHS issued approval to test letter.

After successfully completing the training program, your instructor will enter your initial registration information into TestMaster Universe (TMU), in the Wisconsin NA Testing and Registry website, including the date you successfully completed training. If you have a DHS issued approval to test letter, DHS staff will enter your information in TMU

After you are registered, you will receive an email from TMU with your username and password. You will use this information to log into TMU to complete your demographic information and schedule your test exam.

This is what you need to do:

  • Login to TMU with your username and password. If you do not know your username and password, enter your email as your username and select, Forgot Your Password? link. TMU will send you an email to reset your password.
  • Select Profile. Enter your demographic information.
  • Select Testing
  • Select Scheduling. This webpage will show all available test sites and dates available for testing.
  • Select your test site and date, and complete the test scheduling process.   

After you have completed the testing scheduling process, you will receive an email or text confirmation with your testing details.   

If you are unable to login to TMU, contact Headmaster staff by calling 888-401-0462.

Additional Resources

Last Revised: June 2, 2020