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Best Online CNA Classes in Wisconsin

If you’re thinking about launching a career in healthcare, here’s your guide to the best online CNA classes in Wisconsin. Read on to learn about programs, salary expectations, and get step-by-step instructions to secure your future career.

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Looking for a practical way to break into the allied healthcare field? Rather than graduate and then try to find a way to gain some experience, the online CNA classes that Wisconsin offers have experience built right into them. In fact, clinical hours are a state requirement to receive your CNA certification.

Becoming a CNA is one of the few career certifications available to high school students, whereas others often require a high school diploma or a GED. Additionally, online CNA classes in Wisconsin are typically short — often accomplishable in just four weeks —and relatively inexpensive. This makes it a great option for adults jumping into the workforce for the first time, stay-at-home parents looking for part-time jobs once their kids start school, or adults looking to perform a career shift into healthcare.

Wherever you are coming from, this guide will help you learn the steps for choosing and finishing your Wisconsin online CNA classes. It will also help you know what to expect from your state certification exam and your career search once you’ve been certified. Keep reading to learn more — then start today!

Inside Wisconsin’s Standout Online CNA Classes

To start you off, we’ve collected details about some high-quality online CNA classes in Wisconsin to give you an idea of what a typical program looks like and what you can expect to learn. While this is not a ranked list, these are standout programs to kick off your own research.

Blackhawk Technical College

Logo of Blackhawk Technical College showing a stylized black hawk in front of a blue and yellow circular background, with the name "Blackhawk Technical College" written to the right of the image in black text.

The 90-hour CNA course at Blackhawk Technical College aims to be as flexible as possible for students with work and family responsibilities. The course is offered in a hybrid format, with lab requirements available to be completed during open hours in the campus lab. The curriculum includes classroom lectures, campus lab experiences, and a clinical practicum, where students work at healthcare agencies with patients and residents.

Prior to enrolling in this program, students must complete a placement exam, a criminal background check to determine eligibility for placement at an active clinical site, and clinical requirements. Once enrolled, students will take the two-credit nursing assistant course ($358) and work on the state’s required lab and clinical site hours. Upon graduation, students will be eligible to sit for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam and will be presented with a technical diploma.

BTC’s CNA program is accredited by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Bureau of Quality Assurance.

Mid-State Technical College

The nursing assistant technical diploma from Mid-State Technical College is another of the great online CNA classes that Wisconsin offers. It’s a single two-credit hybrid course available during the day or evening and can be taken in an eight-week or 16-week format. The 120-hour program includes online learning, campus lab experiences, and a 30-hour clinical practicum with patients and residents. Program starts occur in the spring and in the fall.

Mid-State’s CNA program is open to high school students (age 16+), returning adults, and college transfer students. Upon completion, students will be eligible to take the CNA certification exam and continue on to additional education or the workforce. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services has recognized this program as a nurse-aide training and a competency evaluation program. The program costs an estimated $1,089, which includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, and exams.

Waukesha County Technical College

Students can begin pursuing their 99-hour CNA technical diploma in the spring, summer, or fall at Waukesha County Technical College. The two-credit course will help students learn fundamental nursing assistant skills through lectures, demonstrations, and skills practice. After mastering the skills, students will complete training in a nursing home or hospital setting under the supervision of an instructor. Qualified CNA students will also be eligible for the Medication Assistant certification course, which is offered separately.

Like most online CNA classes in Wisconsin, program outcomes include communicating and interacting effectively with clients, family, and co-workers; maintaining and protecting client rights; reporting information and recording observations; providing safe care to a diverse population; meeting personal, physical, and psycho-social client needs; assisting with client rehabilitation and restorative care and promoting independence; assisting clients with long-term, disabling conditions; and working cooperatively in a team environment.

You’ll pay between $146.20 and $224.25 per credit, depending on timing and residency. Financial aid is available.

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How to Become a CNA in Wisconsin Online

Now that you know what your future CNA program may look like, below we’ll detail the steps you need to take as you start down this career path. We’ll start at the beginning — before you’re in a CNA class — and walk you through the majority of milestones you’ll hit on your way to finding a job and becoming a certified nursing assistant.

Step 1: Meet Basic Background Requirements

Several online CNA classes in Wisconsin partner with high schools to let seniors become certified nursing assistants before graduation. In these cases, high school students must be over 16 years old. Adult students interested in taking one of the online CNA classes in Wisconsin must have a high school diploma or equivalent. All students must consent to a background check and a possible physical examination and be updated on immunizations. Often, a TB test is also required.

Step 2: Graduate from an Approved CNA Program

Not every CNA program available meets Wisconsin’s standards. To be included in the state’s registry of certified nursing assistants, students must graduate from one of these approved CNA programs. Approved programs will include classroom instruction, practice labs, and clinical experiences that will help students master critical skills for nursing assistants.

Step 3: Take the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program Competency Examination (NNAP)

Once you’ve completed your coursework, lab hours, and clinical experiences, you can take the CNA certification exam through the Wisconsin TestMaster Universe (TMU). The test comprises a knowledge-based portion and an in-person clinical skills evaluation. The knowledge-based portion is a 75-question multiple-choice test that students must complete in 60 minutes. The skills evaluation will be conducted with an evaluator who will test three to four random skills from a list of skills that CNAs must know. Be sure to bolster your study skills and search for test prep practice before you tackle this step.

Step 4: Start Working as a CNA

Once you’ve passed your CNA certification exam, you’ll be listed in Wisconsin’s state registry of certified nursing assistants. At that point, you can apply for jobs within the state in facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and home health services.Your responsibilities will include helping patients move, bathe, and eat; taking vital signs; updating patient records; and assisting other healthcare professionals with responsibilities that fit under your scope of practice.

Step 5: Renew Your CNA License Periodically

Once you receive your CNA license, you can work for two years. After 24 months have lapsed, you’ll need to renew your CNA license by submitting proof of paid CNA work in an eligible facility (a minimum of eight hours in the previous 24-month period), as long as it was performed under the supervision of an RN or LPN. You’ll need to repeat this step every two years by following the specific instructions provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Salary and Career Prospects for CNAs in Wisconsin

The median yearly income for CNAs throughout the United States is around $35,760. Luckily for nursing assistants in Wisconsin, the median is right at or slightly above this amount, depending on your city. The median for the whole state falls a little above the national median, sitting at $36,780. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Madison, offers CNAs the highest median yearly salary in Wisconsin ($37,400), while Janesville-Beloit offers the lowest ($35,360). Even in the lowest-paying city, CNA salaries remain close to the national median.

However, despite the fair pay throughout the state and an increasing demand for nurses nationally, Wisconsin is one of the few statesseeing a decline in CNA job openings. Based on Projection Central’s data, the state is expected to need fewer nursing assistants by 2030 than it already has.

One tip: Nurses with more advanced education are in demand in Wisconsin, meaning you may consider one of the popular CNA to LPN bridge programs.

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
US$28,030$35,760$45,940
Wisconsin$30,630$36,780$42,370
Appleton, WI$30,660$36,230$40,010
Eau Claire, WI$30,600$36,070$41,200
Fond du Lac, WI$30,910$36,430$40,410
Green Bay, WI$30,780$36,880$39,160
Janesville-Beloit, WI$31,080$35,360$41,250
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN$31,070$36,670$42,090
Madison, WI$31,130$37,400$46,890
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI$30,790$37,210$42,470
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI$30,740$36,440$40,960
Racine, WI$30,560$36,410$41,790
Sheboygan, WI$30,750$37,330$39,440
Wausau, WI$30,220$35,790$38,100

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

AreaNew Jobs (2020-2030)Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States115,3008.3%187,000
Wisconsin-630-2.1%3,600

Source: Projections Central

Answering Your Questions About Online CNA Classes in Wisconsin

If all the insight above has you asking even more questions about your future as a CNA, you’re not alone. So we’ve compiled some of the most asked questions from our readers about online CNA classes in Wisconsin and answered them below. Before you start down the path toward your future as a CNA, you may want to brush up on your communication and interview skills, which will come in handy as you weigh your options.

Are there any 2-week CNA classes in Wisconsin offered online?

It’s not common to have entire CNA programs online because they are focused on helping students learn hands-on skills in labs and clinical experiences. However, there are aspects of online CNA classes in Wisconsin that are built to be flexible to help adult learners. Many CNA classes in Wisconsin are available during the day, in the evenings, or on the weekends, and most use a hybrid approach, with course instruction online and labs and clinical experiences in person. You’ll just want to take steps to stay motivated for the online components of your CNA program.

Are there free CNA classes in Wisconsin?

One downside to taking a CNA certification course through a college is that they’re rarely qualified for financial aid — though some scholarship options are available. However, an incredible perk about living in Wisconsin is that the state has a special program that partners with nursing homes. This program is called WisCaregiver Careers. It helps students get hired at nursing homes, and then the employers participating in the WisCaregiver Career program pay for a nationally recognized CNA training option that lasts between four and 12 weeks — depending on class size, your availability, and region. After certification, students are then offered a bonus after six months of work.

Additionally, high school students can look into free CNA courses offered by their local community colleges. Tuition is often free or heavily discounted for high school students, though students are still expected to pay for books, uniforms, and the certification test.

Are Wisconsin CNA classes accredited/approved?

The word “accredited” isn’t typically used when referring to CNA programs. However, each state has a list of approved CNA programs that students must graduate from to qualify for CNA certification. Wisconsin’s list of approved CNA programs can be found here. If you take a CNA course through a community college, most of these programs take place at an institutionally accredited school.

Can you be a CNA with a felony in Wisconsin?

By law, all students attending a CNA program must have a background check. If you have questions about the crimes that may affect your eligibility, you might want to start with doing a thorough background check on yourself to see what is included on your record. A criminal conviction, whether felony or misdemeanor, will trigger the need for further investigation of your application. Issues that come up on a background check will be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, state boards must issue a Denial of Licensure if you have been convicted of the crimes listed in Table I and Table II of this document.

Can you take the CNA test without classes in Wisconsin?

The short answer is no. To be certified as a nursing assistant, students must receive a certain number of hours in classroom instruction, lab practice, and clinical experiences. Proof of this education is required in order to schedule a time to take the certification test.

How long is a CNA program in Wisconsin?

Most CNA programs take between 6 and 16 weeks in Wisconsin, depending on the program that you choose. For example, Western Technical Colleges has a CNA program that lasts six to eight weeks, Mid-State Technical College’s CNA program lasts eight to 16 weeks, and Chippewa Valley Technical College has a CNA program that lasts 14 weeks.