If you're an empathetic individual who has a desire to work in a noble profession, perhaps a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is for you. As baby boomers continue to age and retire, CNA employment opportunities will continue to rise. The US Department of Labor has projected jobs in the CNA sector to grow by 21% through 2022.
CNAs can be found working in a wide variety of healthcare setting which includes hospitals, rehab facilities, transitional care units, patient homes, and nursing homes. Typically, they are tasked with duties such as taking and recording vitals, feeding, bathing, and grooming.
If you're looking to become a CNA in Wisconsin, your first step should be to find the top programs available. While searching for the best programs, the following should be considered:
Students must get themselves enrolled in a state-approved Nursing Assistant program. Approved programs in the state of Wisconsin are required to be 120 total hours and must include 32 clinical hours. To find a list of approved programs, refer to the state's Department of Health Services website.
Established 1967, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Southwest Tech) is a two-year community and technical college located in the small town of Fennimore. SWTC is a member college of the Wisconsin Technical College system, and serves the communities of Crawford, Grant, Lafayette, Iowa, Dane, Sauk, and Vernon counties.
Students at SWTC can choose from two different CNA courses—both are two months in duration. One is delivered in an online/in-class hybrid format, while the other is delivered completely on-campus. This three-credit Nursing Assistant Program aims to ready students for the National Nurse Aide Assessment test and to prepare students for gainful employment in the nursing assistant field. Throughout the program’s duration, students learn how to interact and communicate effectively with patients, their families and with fellow staff members, how to maintain and protect patient rights, how to assist with patient rehabilitation and restorative care, how to assist patients with chronic, debilitating illnesses and more.
The estimated cost of attendance for SWTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $406 plus additional fees.
Located in the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a two-year vocational-technical higher education institution that was first established in 1912. In addition to its main campus in downtown Milwaukee, MATC operates campuses in Oak Creek, West Allis and Mequon. The college’s total annual enrollment is approximately 35,000 students.
MATC offers students a three-credit CNA program which can be taken during morning, evening or weekend hours. The program seeks to prepare students for entry-level employment as a direct caregiver working in patient homes, hospital settings, and long-term nursing facilities. Coursework emphasizes basic nursing skills, specialized care, communication techniques, assisting patients with daily living activities (DLA), and more.
The estimated cost of attendance for MATC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $456 plus additional fees.
First chartered in 1965, University of Wisconsin Green Bay is a public university located in the city of Green Bay; one of many schools that make up the University of Wisconsin System. UWGB has earned the nickname ‘Eco U’ because of the strong emphasis it places on environmental sustainability.
UWGB offers students a one-semester long CNA course consisting of a combination of in-class lectures and discussions, simulated lab practice and a supervised clinical externship. Students learn a wide variety of technical skills and theoretical concepts which are integral to work as a nursing assistant. After successfully completing this course, students will be prepared to pass the Wisconsin Nursing Assistant Competency Exam and to provide excellent person-centered care to patients in a wide variety of nursing care facilities.
The estimated cost of attendance for UWGB’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $943. This includes tuition, books and other supplies.
Situated in the city of La Crosse along the Mississippi River, Western Technical College is a two-year vocational-technical college which serves 11 counties in the surrounding area. WTC was originally founded in 1912 under the name Western Wisconsin Technical College. It is a member college of the Wisconsin Technical College System.
WTC offers students an approved three-credit nursing assistant program. Included in the program is a combination of classroom lecture and discussion, laboratory skills practice and a clinical externship experience at a local long-term care facility. WTC’s CNA program places a special emphasis on caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses. Students also learn effective communication techniques (both written and oral), fundamental nursing skills, how to assist patients in maintaining their independence, and how to promote and assist the rehabilitation process. Financial aid is not offered for this course.
The estimated cost of attendance for WTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $500 plus additional fees.
Located in Rock County, Blackhawk Technical College is a state-funded technical college that was first established in 1968. BTC is a member college of the Wisconsin Technical College System and serves the communities of Green and Rock counties. The college’s main campus is situated between Janesville and Beloit.
BTC’s three-credit Certified Nursing Assistant program is composed of 120 total contact hours. Within these 120 hours is a combination of classroom lectures and discussions, on-campus laboratory skills practice and a clinical practicum component which occurs at a local healthcare facility. Following the successful completion of this course, students will have gained the knowledge and skills that are necessary to work as an effective member of an interdisciplinary health care team.
The estimated cost of attendance for BTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is $803.
Originally founded in 1912, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is one of the 16 member colleges which comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. NWTC serves the communities of nine counties across the state, including three main campuses in Marinette, Green Bay and Sturgeon and five regional learning centers.
NWTC’s one semester CNA program seeks to prepare students for future employment in a wide variety of healthcare settings which include acute care hospitals, rehab centers, home health agencies and long-term care facilities. NWTC’s Nursing Assistant program boasts a 98% first-attempt pass rate for the state certification assessment. Throughout the duration of the 120-hour course, students learn personal care skills, communication techniques, how to care for patients with dementia, client rights and more.
For current tuition information regarding NWTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, call (920) 498-5444.
Established in 1912, Chippewa Valley Technical College is a public, two-year community college with a main campus in the city of Eau Claire. CVTT is one of the 16 member colleges that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition to its primary campus, CVTT maintains satellite learning centers in River Falls, Neillsville, Menomonie and Chippewa Falls.
CVTT’s Certified Nursing Assistant course is composed of 120 contact hours of in-class lecture and discussion, simulated lab skills practice and clinical practice onsite at a local healthcare facility. Instructors cover topics like anatomy and physiology, nutrition, the body’s structure and function, the aging process, procedures of nursing care, and legal and ethical issues in the nursing field. Other topics covered during the course are data collection techniques, how to maintain patient safety, and interpersonal communication methods.
Current tuition information for CVTT’s CNA program can be found by calling (715) 833-6200.