How to Become a CNA in Wisconsin
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an integral part of the nursing staff and assist nurses with the everyday care of patients. The job can be demanding, but it is an ideal fit for anyone who wants to work in the nursing field in a challenging environment.
To become a CNA in Wisconsin requires candidates to complete a training program approved by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing and pass a state mandated licensing exam. The training programs must include 88 hours of class work and 32 hours of clinical training. The class work includes medical terminology, effective communication and reporting, nutrition, patient rights and confidentiality and patient observation. Clinical training takes place within a healthcare facility and candidates learn patient care and handling, fluid and food monitoring, tracking vital signs and CPR certified.
Candidates who successfully complete the training program will be allowed to take the state licensing exam. The licensing exam, which is also called the Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), is administered by Pearson VUE Testing Services. Candidates must apply to take the exam within one year of program completion. The application to take the exam is submitted to the office of the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry. The application includes documentation of program completion and a criminal background and fingerprint check. Once the application is approved, the candidate will be notified with an exam date and a selection of testing sites.
The licensing exam is completed in two steps. The first step is a written or oral exam and the second part is a demonstration of clinical skills before an evaluation board. Candidates will have up to two chances to pass the licensing exam before being required to complete the training program again.
Once a CNA is properly licensed, the CNA will be listed in the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry and they can pursue CNA employment. CNAs are typically employed in long term care facilities, but will also find employment in other facilities, as well and include group homes, hospice organizations, visiting nurse organizations, private home care and rehabilitative facilities.
CNA tasks include assisting patients with toileting, feeding, dressing, transfer from bed to chair and back again, assist with walking, collecting vital signs, monitoring food and fluid intake and out go and escort to other parts of the facility for activities or other appointments.
The average CNA salary is $25,000 annually and tops out at about $48,000. The actual salary largely depends on several factors including type of facility where employed, years of experience and geographic location and the cost of living. CNAs can also increase their salary level by completing advance CNA care programs. Some facilities will pay a salary differential to employees who work the night shift.
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