Nursing Assistant (CNA)

3-credit Technical Diploma

Program Code 30-543-1

Learn fundamental nursing assistant skills through lectures, demonstrations and skills practice in this 120-hour program. After mastering the skills, complete training in a nursing home or hospital setting under the supervision of an instructor. Certified Medication Assistant course is available for qualified CNAs.

How Long It Will Take

You can complete this program in one semester (120 hours).

Start Date

You can begin this program year round.

How This Program Is Offered

This is offered on campus in a traditional classroom/lab setting as well as at various clinical sites.

What Makes This Program Unique

  • To fit individual needs, this is offered at a variety of days and times at both the Pewaukee and Waukesha campuses.
  • Established long-standing relationships exist with clinical partners across Waukesha County.
  • Upon successful completion of the WCTC Nursing Assistant program, graduates will be eligible to take the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Competency Examination through Headmaster and be placed on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry.
  • The discussion portion of some classes utilizes an online format.

Courses You'll Take

For the courses you’ll take, semester sequence, pathways and course descriptions, view the program catalog page.

Important Dates

Please note: As we navigate through the uncertainty of our current situation with COVID-19, we are delaying the posting of our spring CNA schedule to November 1, 2020.

  • Spring schedule available online: November 1
  • Spring registration begins: November 10 (veterans only) and November 11 (7 a.m. online and 8 a.m. phone and in-person)

How to Start

  1. Set up a WCTC student account to get your username and ID.

  2. Review the Nursing Assistant Technical Standards to determine if you need assistance from WCTC's Student Accessibility Office to support your success in this course.

    Complete the Nursing Assistant Application. Return completed packet along with a $20 check or money order made out to WCTC. Return in person or by mail to:

    Waukesha County Technical College
    Attn: Nursing Assistant Program, H-101
    800 Main St.
    Pewaukee, WI 53072

    Upon receipt of your application and $20, WCTC will run your background check through the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Allow five business days for processing. 

    Please note that if you have lived outside of Wisconsin within the last three years, you will need to obtain a background check from the state in which you lived. You may either submit this via email to or include a hard copy with your application.

    Once your background check is complete, you will be granted a registration permit and will be notified by email.

  3. Register for CNA Course

    Find upcoming courses through our Course Search tool. Select your desired term, search "Nursing Assistant," then select "Find Courses." Explore offerings to find the course that works for your schedule. There are three ways to register:

    1. Online (recommended):

    • Log into MyWCTC. If you are unable to log in, please contact the Service Desk at 262.691.5555.
    • Select "MyWCTC Account."
    • Select "Student Services."
    • Select "Registration."
    • Select "Add/Drop Classes."
    • Select "Term."
    • Follow the steps to register.

    - OR -

    2. Phone: Call 262.691.5578 to register.

    - OR -

    3. In Person: Stop by the Enrollment Center on the first floor of the College Center to register in person. Bring your registration form.

  4. Before the First Day of Class
    • Fall Health Requirement Update: Due to COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility restrictions, our fall CNA clinical instruction will be held in the classroom labs. Thus, CNA health requirements (2-step TB test and flu vaccine) are waived.
    • Purchase textbook and royal blue scrubs from the WCTC Bookstore. You must have white shoes and a watch with a second hand. 
    • Bring your textbook to your first day of class.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I find out when courses are offered?

Find upcoming courses through our Course Search tool. Select your desired term, search "Nursing Assistant," then select "Find Courses." Once you find the list of courses, select "view schedule" to see when the course meets.

Why can't I register for a course?

Have you submitted your Nursing Assistant Application, Background Information Disclosure Form and $20 fee to the Nursing Assistant Program Office? Have you completed one of the required prerequisites for the course? Please contact Registration if you are unsure at 262.691.5578.

What is a hybrid course?

A hybrid course is a fast-paced course where the material is learned through self-study. Practice tests will be taken online. You must have access to a computer to participate in a hybrid course. There are face-to-face class times for tests, lab and clinical.

How do I know if a course's clinical is held in a hospital or nursing home setting?

You will find this in the information when you view the course schedule. All clinicals are held in a nursing home unless identified as a hospital setting. Please note, there are different health requirement forms for each setting.

What if I need to miss a portion of the class?

All class time is required by the State of Wisconsin. You must plan to attend all course time.

Where do I find the course syllabus?

You will receive and review the course syllabus on your first day of class.

Can I do a Quantiferon blood test in place of a 2-Step TB test?

Yes, but be aware of the cost difference.

Can I complete my health requirements at another health facility?

Yes, but we encourage using designated ProHealth Care sites. These facilities manage health requirements for all of WCTC's School of Health. They are most familiar with our forms. If you go to another site, be sure they follow the timing of the TB test explained on the health requirement form.

What if I do not want to receive the flu vaccine?

All of our clinical sites require the flu vaccine between October 1 and March 31. If you do not want to receive the flu vaccine, you would need to register for a course that does not take place within this time frame.


Financial Aid Eligibility

This program is not eligible for financial aid.


The cost of your degree depends on a number of factors, including where you live, how your program is delivered, how long it takes to finish your program and the financial aid you receive.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

Career Salaries

$24,000 – $31,000 annually

Salary range calculated as the 25th to 75th percentile of all wages for related occupations in Waukesha County as reported by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). Program graduate wages may vary based on experience, industry, location and specific job requirements.

Check the WCTC Graduate Success Report to view our graduates’ entry wages.

Potential Careers

If you are interested in getting an introduction to the nursing field and learning basic skills, the Nursing Assistant program may be right for you. Those working as Nursing Assistants have compassion for others, and possess strong time management, organizational and communication skills. Many who complete the Nursing Assistant program continue their studies to become a registered nurse.

  • Nursing Assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Competency Test (State Exam) to Become a CNA

The Department of Health Services requires that all candidates who complete a nursing assistant training program have mandatory competency testing before they can be placed on the nurse aide registry. This means that after you finish your program here, you will have to fill out an application and make arrangements to take the competency test.

As of September 1, 2018, competency testing will be conducted through Headmaster.

If you have completed the program and would like additional practice to prepare for the competency test, you may register for a Nursing Assistant Skills Exam Review session.

Other Educational Opportunities

Our certificates are a short-term educational option for growing your workplace skills and workforce marketability. Explore the following certificates:

Learning is an ongoing process. That’s why we offer professional development classes and seminars, designed to build upon your knowledge and experiences. They’re also a great way to fulfill industry requirements. Here a few you might be interested in:

Program Coordinator

Renee Gehring | 262.695.6596