CNA Exams in Wisconsin

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Candidates must take and pass the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) Examination to be eligible to appear on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry. The NNAAP examination program determines the minimal competency to become a CNA in the state of Wisconsin. There are two sections in the NNAAP Exam – Skills Evaluation and Written/ Oral testing. Without passing both the sections, students cannot appear on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry; hence they can’t work as a professional CNA in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services works with Pearson VUE to provide the assessment of the NNAAP exam, and also score and report the result of the exam. Pearson VUE is the authorised administrator of the examination. The same group maintains the Wisconsin CNA Registry. The American Red Cross (ARC) and Pearson VUE work together to plan, schedule and manage the NNAAP Exam.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates who meet one of the given below categories, are eligible to apply and take the NNAAP Exam or/ and apply to get listed on the Wisconsin Registry:

  • New Nurse Assistant– these candidates have completed their CNA training program but are not registry on the state’s Registry.
  • They need to submit the photocopy of the completed nursing aide training program.
  • They can re-take the failed exam (both or either of the two) as many times until they pass the exam within 12 months of the successful completion of the training program; else they need to retake the new training course again.
  • To schedule the failed NNAAP Examination, candidates need to submit appropriate testing fees, a new application and failing Score Report.
  • Graduate Nurse or Student Nurse-Graduate Nurses and Student nurses are those who have completed and who are presently enrolled in the state approved training program respectively.
  • Nurses who have not written the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) must provide a Graduate/Student Nurse Verification Sheet and an original transcript to the Department of Health to provide verification that s/he has met all the necessary CNA training requirements.
  • Foreign -Educated Nurse-They own the licensure of practical nurse or finished a nursing education program in a foreign nation. They can take the National Council licensure Examination for Practical  Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) after submitting a letter from the Board of Nursing of Wisconsin as a proof being a foreign educated nurse.
  • Out-of-State Student Nurse Aide Theyhave completed training of mandatory hours in a state other than Wisconsin, but they are not eligible to appear on the Wisconsin’s CNA registry.  These candidates have to submit documents of the training they have completed as a proof of completion of the training course while applying for the exam.
  • Lapsed Nurse Aide Their status on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry is inactive because they have not fulfilled the required nurse aide employment criteria.
  • Reciprocity-They have completed nurse aide training program of minimum 120 hours with a clinical training of at least 32 hours. They are not listed on the Wisconsin’s Nurse Aide Registry but in the state registry of other states.
  • Military Personnel– They must meet training requirements of the Wisconsin Act 120.Military Training Verification obtained from DHS is needed to apply for the NNAAP Examination.
  • Home Health Nurse Aide– They carry active status on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry but are not eligible to work as a professional CNA in a federally certified health settings.

Exam Application

  • Aspirants must submit the completed ‘Application for Competency Evaluation’ at the address-

American Red Cross
PO BOX 5875
Harrisburg, PA 17110

  • Application for Competency Evaluation is obtainable-
  • through nurse aide training program,
  • by downloading it from Pearson VUE website- ,
  • by calling American Red Cross at-  (866)257-5424, or
  • by mailing self-addressed envelope to American Red Cross on the address mentioned on the inside front cover.
  • Candidates must mention their contact (telephone) number in the application so that ARC can contact them if the exam is cancelled.
  • The same address appears on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry that candidates give on the application.

Confirmation Letter– A confirmation letter carries critical information regarding the NNAAP Examination. ARC mails a confirmation letter to the address given in the application within the five working/ business days once ARC receives application and other mandatory materials.Contact ARC at (866)257-5424 if the confirmation letter is not received within 10 business days.
Special Exam Requests for People with Disability– Under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, candidates with disability can request for special arrangements with ARC of the Susquehanna Valley (ARCSV) for testing.

Exam Scheduling

ARC schedules the NNAAP Examination either at In-facility or Regional testing centres.

  • In-FacilityFor an approval by the ARC, there must be at least five nursing aide students to write the exam on the same day. Other local facility is chosen as the exam site if number of students is less than five so that minimum criteria to declare a site as In-Facility can be met.
  • When the examination date is decided, the facility contact the students and convey the scheduled date and time of the examination.
  • Confirmation Letters is not dispatched to in-facility test-takers.
  • Regional Testing– After receiving the appropriate testing fees, all needed documents and application, ARC schedules the NNAAP Examination at the RTS (Regional Test Sites.  In case sent documents are incomplete then the exam is not scheduled and ARC mails a deficiency letter to the candidates within the five working days.
  • TESTING LOCATIONS in Wisconsin are– Altoona, Hayward , Appleton, La Crosse, Beaver Dam, Fennimore, Fond du Lac Green Bay, Janesville, Madison, Manitowoc, Menomonie, Milwaukee, Pewaukee, Rhinelander, Rice Lake, Union Grove, Wausau, West Bend and Wisconsin Rapids.
  • Candidates with Disability may request for special arrangements for testing at –

Nurse Consultant
Office of Caregiver Quality
PO Box 2969

  • These candidates need not to take ADA approval to challenge the Oral Examination.
  • There is TDD (Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf) machinery with Pearson VUE to help hearing-impaired and deaf individuals in giving the examination.

Examination Fees

Examination fees are paid to the American Red Cross (ARC) via money order, certified check or company check. The fee paid by Visa/Master Card (Debits card payment is not allowed) carry surcharge.

Written Exam and Skills Evaluation  Both $ 15
Oral Exam and Skills Evaluation Both $ 115
Skills Evaluation ONLY Retest $ 70
Written Exam ONLY Retest $ 45
Oral Exam Only Retest $ 45

Note: Cash and personal checks are not acceptable. Paid feed are non-transferrable and non-refundable as the fees include administration costs of testing and registration.

Program Fee Reimbursement- Candidates, who pay their testing and training fees before getting into job, are entitled to reimbursement if they find employment in a nursing home within 1 year of the successful completion of the Nursing assistant training course and the following NNAAP Exam.

Exam Cancellation and Rescheduling

  • To reschedule the exam  candidates must contact American Red Cross (ARC) minimum four business days prior the scheduled exam date to reschedule the exam if they are unable to appear for the testing on the alloted date.
  • The testing fee is neither transferrable nor refundable if candidates do not notify ARC 4 days before the scheduled examination date.

For the Exam-Day

  • Candidates should reach the examination site for Written/Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Late comers are not permitted to write the exam. The examination fee is not refundable.
  • Candidates must carry –Confirmation Letter.
  • Two current (not expired) signature bearing identification forms. Out of the two, one must have candidate’s picture. Proper Identification includes-Clinical card, Driver’s License, Credit card, Signature carrying Social Security card, Passport, Library card, State-issued identification card and Alien registration card.

NOTE: Photocopies of the identification documents are not allowed.

  • Candidates cannot sit for the examination without proper identification. Examination fee is not refundable in this case and to retake the exam, the examination fee is paid again.
  • Candidates are expected to dress-up in loose, non-binding clothes on the day of exam.
  • Candidates who take the Skills Evaluation must be ready to serve as a health-care client.
  • Candidates who misconduct are debarred from the examination.

Components of the NNAAP Examination

Written Examination

There are seventy multiple choice questions in the written section of the examination. Candidates get two hours to finish the exam. Candidates are supposed to mark one box for every asked question on the given answer sheet. Any kind of marking on the question booklet is allowed.

Oral Examination

  • Students who got difficulty in English can give the orally administered exam instead of written examination. The oral exam is conducted through a cassette tape. Earphones and a cassette player are given at the testing centre itself. Students have to listen to a tape and answer to the questions of the test booklets.
  • There are two sections in the Oral Examination and candidates must qualify both sections to pass the exam. First section carries sixty multiple choice questions which are read twice. The second part contains 10 multiple choice questions. This section is to test candidates’ ability to recognise basic words of English used often in the nursing field.  Every word is read thrice.  Candidates much match the heard words to the words written in the test booklet.
  • It takes 2 hours to complete the oral examination.

Skills Evaluation

  • The Skills Evaluation is done in a setting up that resembles an actual care setting.
  • The 24 clinical skills except Wash Hands skill are listed in alphabetical order. Wash Hands skill is a must do skill and performed before initializing the Skills Evaluation.

Exam Score Report

  • The Exam evaluator faxes the evaluated and scored answer sheet at student’s address.
  • Score Report indicates about the failure and passing of the examination.
  • A score Report enlists all five performed skills with “Satisfactory” for a passed skill and “Unsatisfactory” for a failed skill. Satisfactory result for each skill is required to qualify the Skills Evaluation.
  • If candidates pass the exam then the score report provides information about the Nurse Aide Registry Card.
  • If candidates fail the exam, then information regarding how to retake the exam is provided.
  • Newly trained nurse aide aspirants, who are appearing for the examination for the first time, must pass both the sections of the NNAAP Examination within 1 year of completion of CNA training course to become eligible for listing in the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry.
  • To retest the failed part or parts of the NNAAP examination, candidates must submit appropriate exam fee and a new completed exam application or failing Score report. Candidates must provide correct information about test site and their address while mailing their failing Score report.
  • Candidates who pass both the sections of the exam successfully are listed in the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry.  Passed candidates receive a Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry Card from Pearson VUE roughly within 3 weeks after passing both the parts of the NNAAP Examination.  A call can be made to Pearson VUE at 1-877-329-8760 if the Nurse Aide Registry card is not received within 3 weeks period.
  • Employer may ask for Registry card for verification whether the candidate is registered on the registry, hence it is recommendable that candidates must not make any kind of changes on the issued Registry Card as this can affect their Nurse Assistant status.
  • The current status of the Nurse Aide on the Wisconsin Nurse Ade Registry can be checked on the Pearson VUE website-