Wisconsin Nursing Assistant / Nurse Aide Guide

CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant - Aide Practice Exam

Is a License or Certification needed: To get certified and work as a nursing assistant or nurse aide in Wisconsin, you need to complete a nursing assistant program and pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam.

Who Grants Certification: The Wisconsin State Department Health Services grants certification to Wisconsin nursing assistants or nurse aides.

The Qualifications to become Certified: There are seven routes of eligibility in order to qualify for receiving a nursing assistant or nurse aide License in the state of Wisconsin. These include:

  • You have successfully completed a Wisconsin state-approved training program within the past year as a new nurse aide.
  • You are a currently enrolled nursing student.
  • You are a graduated nursing student.
  • Your previous CNA certification has lapsed. You had a place on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry, but you lost it.
  • You have a current and in good-standing nurse aide certificate in another state.
  • You have completed your nursing education in a foreign country
  • You are a Wisconsin Home Health Aide with your name on the registry, but haven’t yet passed the NNAAP.

Further details can be found in the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Candidate Handbook.

How to Apply for Certification and to take the Exam: In order to apply for nurse aide Licensure in the state of Wisconsin, you will need to have completed a Wisconsin state-approved nurse aide training program successfully. Applications for testing are completed in the Test Master Universe (TMU) portal. Once a training program is completed, candidates will be assigned a username and password to take the knowledge test.

Test Content: The NNAAP test has two parts, a Skills Evaluation and a Written (or oral) part. Both parts must be passed to be listed on the Wisconsin State Nurse Aide Registry. The written section is 70 questions in length, 60 are multiple-choice and 10 are reading comprehension questions. Take two pencils with you. You will have two full hours to complete the exam. (The oral exam if given in place of the written exam is 160 questions in length.) The Skills Evaluation will be a 25 minute time period given to complete 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills. Content topics include:

  • Activities of Daily Living – Hygiene, Dressing and Grooming, Nutrition and Hydration, Elimination, Rest/Comfort/Sleep
  • Basic Nursing Skills - Infection Control, Safety/Emergency, Therapeutic/Technical Procedures, Data Collection and Reporting
  • Restorative Skills – Prevention, Self-care/Independence
  • Psychosocial Care Skills – Emotional and Mental Health Needs
  • Spiritual and Cultural Needs
  • Communication
  • Client Rights
  • Legal and Ethical Behavior
  • Member of the Health Care Team

Certification Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements: According to Wisconsin Law, to renew your license, it is required that you have worked in the paid role of a nurse aide during the past 24 months. This must be paid employment, not volunteer work, and in a nursing environment such as a nursing home, home health setting or a hospital.

You can renew your license with the Washington State Department of Health TMU portal.


WI Nurse Aide Registry
WI Department Health Services
Division of Quality Assurance
Office of Caregiver Quality
P.O. Box 2969
Madison, WI 53701-2969
Phone: 608-261-8319


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