If I Live in Minnesota, Can I Transfer My CNA License to Wisconsin?

Wisconsin holds higher training requirements for CNAs than Minnesota does.
Wisconsin holds higher training requirements for CNAs than Minnesota does. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Although nursing boards’ requirements to become a licensed nurse are relatively similar among states, registration of nurse aides isn’t nearly as uniform. Because of this, transferring a CNA license from one state’s registry to another’s might not always be possible. Wisconsin sets higher basic requirements to appear on its CNA registry than Minnesota, so CNA licenses may not transfer directly from Minnesota to Wisconsin and CNAs might need to receive additional training to practice in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota CNA Requirements

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services requires that all CNAs receive 120 hours of training, including 32 clinical hours, to be listed on its CNA registry. Minnesota requires that its CNAs receive only 75 hours of training and has no requirement for training in clinical hours. Because of this, experienced CNAs may be licensed in Minnesota without meeting the minimum training requirements for a Wisconsin certification. Applicants who wish to transfer a licensure from Minnesota to Wisconsin should check with their training program to determine the amount of training they received.

Transferring Licenses

If a CNA's training exceeds the minimum for Minnesota licensing and qualifies for listing in Wisconsin, he may apply for out-of-state application to the registry. Applicants must provide the Department of Human Services their basic information such as name and address, as well as information on past nurse-related work experience and criminal history on the application. Applicants must also provide a transcript or certificate of completion from their Minnesota training program certifying that they received the required 120 hours of training.

Supplemental Training

If they only hold 75 hours of training, Minnesota CNAs must supplement their education in a Minnesota-based training program that meets Wisconsin’s requirements. The two preferred curricula, one developed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the other through the American Red Cross, provide only 75 to 100 hours of classroom training and clinical experience, so potential applicants might need to retrain in Wisconsin.

Retraining and Examination

CNAs who received only 75 hours of training to achieve certification in Minnesota can’t transfer their licenses to Wisconsin without additional training. Applicants may bypass cross-state transfer procedures if they enroll in a training program in Wisconsin audited by the Department of Health Service’s Division of Qualify Assurance. These programs are certified as providing adequate levels of training to qualify for the CNA registry exam. This route is akin to starting a career afresh as a CNA in Wisconsin.

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