Becoming a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in Wisconsin

CNA assisting a senior use a walker down a hospital hallway

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 our Nurse Aide Statistics and our list of training programs. For more information, see our Nurse Aide Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information about nurse aide requirements for employment eligibility in Wisconsin, see Nurse Aide State and Federal Employment Eligibility, P-02393 (PDF).

Do you want to become a certified nurse aide in Wisconsin? Refer to the scenario below that applies to you.

Email any required materials to DQA Nurse Aide Training and Testing. Contact us if you have questions.

I am a new student or would like to find a training program

I am a student nurse

I am a graduate nurse who has not taken the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN

I am a graduate nurse who has not passed the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN

I am a currently practicing RN or LPN

I am a military veteran

  • Complete military training, education, and experience that satisfies all nurse aide training requirements and a minimum of 16 hours of hands-on clinical experience as described in the Nurse Aide Testing Requirements for Military Personnel, P-00225A (PDF).
  • Submit Military Training Verification, F-00657 (PDF).
  • Submit service school academic reports, certificates of training for specific programs completed, and training documentation signed by your Unit’s Training Non-Commissioned Officer.
  • Submit a written personal narrative about how your military education/training/experience has prepared you to be a nurse aide.
  • Pass both the written and skills competency examinations within one attempt.

I am an out-of-state trained nurse aide who is active and in good standing

If you are a nurse aide candidate from another state who has completed a state-approved training program of 75 hours, which included 16 hours of clinical, and you have successfully passed a nurse aide competency exam that is the same or substantially similar to the Wisconsin competency examination within one (1) year of training completion, please complete the following steps:

  • Submit the Wisconsin Nurse Aid Registry -- Out of State Registry Application (PDF).
  • Submit a copy of your diploma from your training program.
    • If you challenged the examination for placement on the registry or you were deemed onto the registry in another state, you must retrain and test in Wisconsin to be eligible for placement.

I am an out-of-state trained nurse aide who is inactive, but in good standing

If you are a nurse aide candidate from another state who has completed a state-approved training program of 75 hours, which included 16 hours of clinical, and you have successfully passed a nurse aide competency exam that is the same or substantially similar to the Wisconsin competency examination within one (1) year of training completion, please complete the following steps:

  • Submit the Wisconsin Nurse Aid Registry -- Out of State Registry Application (PDF).
  • Submit a copy of your diploma from your training program.
    • If you challenged the examination for placement on the registry or you were deemed onto the registry in another state, you must retrain and test in Wisconsin to be eligible for placement.
Last Revised: September 24, 2021