How To Become A Nurse In Wisconsin

Despite the recent recession, new nurses in Wisconsin are finding work and there are predictions of an even heavier demand for nurses in the future in the Great Lakes state.

An American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) survey reports that 73 percent of Wisconsin nursing students had a job offer after graduation. Within four to six months 91 percent of the graduates had offers of employment.

Nursing licenses are issued by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, which also takes applications for licensure testing, provides information on nursing practice, and handles license renewal. To be eligible for licensure, a prospective nurse must pass the standard NCLEX (National Council Licensure) examination for registered nurses (RNs) or licensed professional nurses ( LPNs).

Licensed Wisconsin Nurses Can Practice in Other States

Wisconsin is one of many states across the nation participating in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), an agreement that allows nurses the chance to practice in states other than their home state. Iowa is Wisconsin’s nearest adjoining state in the compact.

Nationwide, there has been a temporary slowing of hiring due to the recession. Due to economic reasons, some nurses have delayed retirement. Wisconsin will need many new nurses over the coming years, though, due in part to a rapidly aging nursing workforce. A growth of 19 percent more nurses has been projected through 2018.

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics latest data, the average salary of a registered nurse in the United States is $67,720, but RN salaries across Wisconsin are slightly below the national average. A staff nurse in Milwaukee, the largest city in the state, makes about $66,028 a year and LPNs earn $39,638.

State Offers Range of Nursing Education Programs

Anyone looking into nursing schools should be sure the school or program they are considering meets the state requirements so they can become fully licensed once they graduate.

One program is the associate’s degree in nursing, tailored for those who prefer to get a degree and RN license as quickly as possible, and get to work. The program typically takes about two years to complete.

A bachelor’s in nursing degree is designed for those who are seeking long-term careers in nursing and takes approximately four years to complete.

Registered registered nurses with associate’s degrees or baccalaureate degrees in nursing are in such high demand in Wisconsin that some get sign-on bonuses.

Nursing Schools in Wisconsin

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  • Are you an RN seeking a degree while still going to work? GCU's 100% online RN-BSN program could be for you!
  • Designed for registered nurses with an associate's degree or diploma in nursing who are looking to further their education and to maximize their career potential in the health care setting.
  • Learn From Leaders – At Grand Canyon University, classes are taught by industry leaders and subject matter experts.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
  • Academic Excellence – Quality academic programs provide the essential knowledge and skills needed to be effective in today's complex health care world.

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Nursing School Locations

Concordia University
1280 North Lake Shore Drive
Mequon,WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
PO Box 413, East Kenwood Boulevard
Milwaukee, WI 53-210-0413
(414) 229-1122

Viterbo University
900 Viterbo Drive
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 769-3000

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