Nursing License Lookup - Wisconsin CNA Registry

License Lookup Information

The nurse license lookup tool for Wisconsin is a useful resource for both employers and the general public to verify the licensure of nurses operating within the state. This tool helps ensure that nurses have met all the necessary qualifications and are registered properly, adhering to Wisconsin's regulations and criteria for health care professionals. Here’s how you can use the nurse license lookup tool in Wisconsin:

Steps to Perform a Nurse License Lookup in Wisconsin

  1. Access the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Website:

    • Begin by navigating to the website of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, which is responsible for licensing and regulation of nurses.
  2. Select the License Lookup Option:

    • On the DSPS website, there will be a section or a direct link for ‘License Lookup’, ‘Check a License’, or ‘License Verification’. Click on this link.
  3. Enter the Required Information:

    • You can search using various criteria such as the first and last name of the nurse, license number, or by profession. To look up a nurse specifically, you might select ‘Nursing’ under profession or similar options depending on the specificity of the portal.
    • If you know the license number, entering it can provide more direct and accurate results.
  4. Search and View Results:

    • After entering the relevant details, submit your query. The results will typically show the nurse's name, license type, status (active, expired, etc.), and the license expiration date.
    • Some details might also include information on any disciplinary actions or restrictions.
  5. Verify the Details:

    • Ensure that the information matches what you expect and verify that the license status is active with no unaddressed disciplinary issues.

Regulations and Criteria Related to Nurse Licensure in Wisconsin

  • Education and Examination:

    • All practicing nurses must have completed an approved nursing program. Additionally, they must pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) specific to their level of nursing practice (RN or LPN).
  • Renewal:

    • Nursing licenses in Wisconsin need to be renewed periodically, typically every two years. The renewal process includes continuing education requirements to ensure nurses stay up-to-date with modern medical practices.
  • Professional Conduct:

    • Nurses are required to adhere to strict professional and ethical standards. Any breach in these standards can lead to disciplinary actions that might be reflected in the license verification process.
  • Special Licenses:

    • Some nurses might carry special licenses or credentials for specific areas of expertise (such as Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist), which should also be verified for validity and specialty endorsements.

Using the nurse license lookup tool is straightforward and helps maintain transparency in healthcare services, ensuring that only qualified and licensed professionals are in practice. It also serves as a safeguard for the public by providing an easy means to confirm that the healthcare professionals taking care of them meet all regulatory requirements in Wisconsin.

Registry Information

In Wisconsin, the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) registry is a crucial tool both for CNAs and their potential employers. It provides verification of a CNA's certification status and is maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Whether you are a CNA needing to prove your credentials, or an employer looking to verify the certification of potential hires, accessing and using the Wisconsin CNA registry is straightforward.

How to Access and Verify CNA Certification in Wisconsin

1. Online Verification:

  • You can verify a CNA's certification through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website. Look for the section dedicated to the Nurse Aide Registry.
  • Users can search by the CNA's name or their certification number. This tool will display the certificate's current status, its original issuance date, and its expiration date.

2. Contact the DHS:

  • If you need further assistance or more detailed information, you can also contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services directly, either via their website’s contact options or by phone.

Requirements and Procedures Unique to Wisconsin's CNA Registry:

Certification Renewal:

  • In Wisconsin, a CNA must renew their certification every two years. To be eligible for renewal, a CNA must have worked performing nursing or nursing-related services for at least 8 consecutive hours for pay under the supervision of a nurse in the last 24 months. This should be documented appropriately.

Training Programs:

  • To become a certified CNA in Wisconsin, candidates must complete a state-approved training program that includes both classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience.


  • After completing the training, candidates must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam, which consists of both a written (or oral) examination and a skills evaluation.

Registry Maintenance:

  • Once registered, CNAs must keep their registry information up to date. Any changes in name, address, or employment status should be reported to the DHS.

Registry Reactivation:

  • If a CNA's certification expires, they need to apply for reactivation. This might involve additional training and/or retesting, depending on how long the certification has been expired.

Using the Wisconsin CNA registry is essential for maintaining accountability and ensuring the quality of care provided by nursing assistants. It supports the integrity of the healthcare system by making sure that only qualified individuals are employed in these sensitive and crucial caregiving roles.

State-Specific Regulations

In Wisconsin, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and nurses must comply with specific state-set requirements to maintain their licensure and provide healthcare services legally.

For Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs):

  1. Education and Training: CNAs in Wisconsin must complete a state-approved training program. These programs typically involve at least 120 hours of training, including both classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience.

  2. Examination: After completing their training program, prospective CNAs must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination, which includes both a written (or oral) component and a skills demonstration component.

  3. Registry: Successful candidates are then listed on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry. This registry is crucial for employment, as employers must verify a candidate's status on the registry before hiring.

  4. Renewal: In Wisconsin, CNAs must renew their certification every two years. This typically requires proof of having worked at least 8 hours as a paid nurse aide over this period, along with completing 24 hours of in-service or continuing education training.

For Nurses (RN and LPN):

  1. Education:

    • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) require a diploma or certificate in practical nursing from an approved program.
    • Registered Nurses (RNs) need a diploma in nursing, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program.
  2. Licensure Examination:

    • LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
    • RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
  3. Licensure by Endorsement: Nurses who are licensed in another state can apply for licensure in Wisconsin by endorsement, provided they meet the state’s standards and have passed the NCLEX or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE).

  4. Renewal: Nursing licenses in Wisconsin must be renewed every two years. This process often requires completing continuing education, which varies in hours and topics according to current practice and developments in healthcare.

Recent Updates:

Wisconsin, like many states, periodically updates its requirements and procedures for CNAs and nurses to cope with changes in healthcare demands and medical advancements. For example, recent years have seen adjustments in continuing education requirements and renewal processes to facilitate compliance and ensure nurses remain competent in their professional practice.

Official Resources:

For the most authentic and updated information, individuals should refer to the following state resources:

  • Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS): This department oversees the licensing of nurses and CNAs. Their official website provides detailed information on application procedures, renewals, and state-specific regulations. Wisconsin DSPS

  • Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry: This is the official database where the status of CNAs can be checked. It is essential for verification of CNA credentials by employers.

These resources offer comprehensive guidance for both aspiring and currently working CNAs and nurses, ensuring they meet all regulatory requirements of the state of Wisconsin.