Nursing Schools in Wisconsin with Degree Overviews

There are more than 40 schools in Wisconsin that have nursing degree programs. Read an overview of 10 of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

In the state of Wisconsin, there are over 40 schools that offer nursing training programs. To gain admission into a nursing program, prospective students must often undergo a background check and submit proof of immunizations and health history. Students can pursue either undergraduate or graduate level degree and certificate programs related to nursing.

Career Requirements

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services regulates licensure of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). There are two ways to gain licensure as a nurse in the state of Wisconsin: by endorsement - for those who are licensed as RNs or LPNs in another state; or by exam - for those who are not licensed. Those who are pursuing licensure by exam must take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Licensure candidates must also have completed an approved nursing program prior to examination. Read further to learn about the 10 largest schools in Wisconsin offering programs in nursing.


Fox Valley Technical College

Appleton-based Fox Valley Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing, an LPN Refresher Certificate, an RN Refresher Certificate and a Technical Diploma in Practical Nursing. In the AAS program, aspiring RNs learn about nursing skills, caring for individuals with mental illness, clinical management and nursing pharmacology. They must complete multiple clinical experiences as well. The LPN refresher program consists of two courses - a review of theory and practical skills and a precepted clinical experience. The RN refresher option reviews the skills needed by RNs and includes a clinical experience. The 29-credit practical nursing diploma program covers nursing fundamentals, caring for individuals at every stage of life and clinical care management.

Madison Area Technical College

Based in Madison, Madison Area Technical College offers a 1-year practical nursing (PN) diploma program and a 2-year Associate in Applied Science in Nursing program. Students in the PN program learn about nursing skills, pharmacology, health promotion and clinical practice. The AAS program includes the same courses as the diploma program, in addition to courses in intermediate and advanced clinical practice.

Marquette University

Milwaukee-based Marquette University offers undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs. Students have multiple ways to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Students can choose between the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, BSN with a second major in psychology, honors BSN or BSN Reserve Officer Training Corps. The BSN program includes courses in pharmacology, nursing care for adults, community nursing and maternity nursing. The Honors BSN program also includes a capstone course where students show what they've learned while in school.

The MSN program features a variety of options, depending on a student's academic background. The RN direct-entry option is designed for nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing, while the standard direct-entry option is intended for those who don't have any previous nursing training but hold a bachelor's degree. Students who hold a BSN can enter the standard MSN program. The school offers part- and full-time plans, and some courses can even be completed online. Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing programs are also available for students who have completed a bachelor's or master's program in nursing.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

At Milwaukee Area Technical College, located in Milwaukee, students have the option of pursuing the AAS in Nursing, the AAS in Practical Nursing - LPN to RN or a Diploma in Practical Nursing. The AAS in Nursing program prepares students to take the NCLEX-RN and work as RNs in various health care settings. Students learn about nursing practice, nursing pharmacology, clinical management and nursing health promotion. In the LPN to RN program, incoming students who are already LPNs may receive up to 19 advanced standing credits upon completion of an entrance examination.

The PN diploma program covers nursing pharmacology, communication skills, nursing fundamentals, nursing health promotion and introductory clinical management. Graduates are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN and can also choose to continue their education through the LPN to RN option at the school.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

At the Green Bay campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing through a full- or part-time program of study. Throughout this 2-year program, students learn about nursing fundamentals, caring for patients across the lifespan and nursing management. The program also requires multiple clinical sessions. After completion of the second semester, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, and graduates can take the NCLEX-RN.

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

At Eau Claire's campus of the University of Wisconsin, students have two options to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The traditional BSN program begins with pre-professional coursework in the student's freshman year and moves into professional courses during the sophomore year. Students take courses in pharmacology and foundations of nursing practice, and they must complete practicum sessions in caring for children and families, leadership and nursing practice. In the BSN completion program, students complete 60 credits of coursework and can transfer credits from their previous studies. The university also offers a Master of Science in Nursing with focus options in adult-gerontologic health nursing or family health nursing. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program can lead to clinical leadership positions in the field and is only available to students who have completed a master's program.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Based in Madison, the University of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Nursing offers many program possibilities in the field of nursing. At the undergraduate level, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in the traditional format, as well as an RN to BSN program that's available on campus or online. Undergraduate students learn about health care systems, community nursing and patient assessment. In the RN to BSN program, students gain credit for experience and must have an associate's degree in nursing or have completed a 3-year nursing program.

Graduate students have a variety of nursing options, including a program that prepares them to become certified school nurses. This option is designed for bachelor's degree holders and only requires five courses. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is available in a 3-year format for full-time students who have a bachelor's degree and a 2-year format for part-time students who have obtained a master's degree. The PhD in Nursing program requires at least 52 credits of coursework and can be pursued by students who have a bachelor's or master's degree in the field.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's campus of the University of Wisconsin is another location where students can earn a degree in nursing. The university's College of Nursing allows students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Nursing, PhD in Nursing or DNP. Each degree program has different formats available to students; for example, bachelor's students who have no nursing background can enroll in the standard BSN program, while those who are already licensed RNs can pursue the RN to BS completion option.

In the Master of Nursing (MN) program, students can choose from the direct entry option, the RN to MN option or the traditional program. The direct entry option is a 3-year program intended for students who have a bachelor's degree outside of nursing, while the traditional MN program takes full-time students with a BSN two years to complete. These programs include courses in biostatistics, evidence-based care and leading and management in healthcare; a 300-clock-hour clinical practicum is required as well. The RN to MN option requires a total of 148 credits and consists of general education, undergraduate nursing and graduate nursing courses.

Students interested in the DNP program can complete it in two years if they hold a master's degree or three years if they only have a bachelor's degree. The PhD program takes four to six years to complete, depending on a student's academic background and if he or she attends on a part-time or full-time basis.

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

The Oshkosh campus of the University of Wisconsin offers three options for students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The first is the traditional 5-semester program, where students begin their nursing education courses in their sophomore year. Required courses include health assessment, pharmacology, community health theory and adult health. Students also participate in multiple clinical rotations. The second option is the accelerated online BSN program, which is designed for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree in a different field. Students will complete theoretical courses online and only come to campus three times throughout the 12-month program. Students who are already nurses can pursue the RN to BSN option, which is offered mostly online.

The school also features MSN and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, as well as an online certificate program for aspiring clinical nurse leaders.

Waukesha County Technical College

Based in Pewaukee, Waukesha County Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing through the college's School of Health. The 2-year degree program allows students to take the NCLEX-PN after they complete the second semester, followed by the NCLEX-RN after they graduate. Students learn about nursing skills, pharmacology and health promotion. The school has a variety of transfer agreements with other institutions, allowing students to continue their studies at the bachelor's level.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Fox Valley Technical College 2-year, public; midsize suburb LPN Refresher Certificate,
RN Refresher Certificate,
Technical Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
$4,565 in-state; $6,578 out-of-state*
Madison Area Technical College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; midsize city Technical Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
$4,407 in-state; $6,512 out-of-state*
Marquette University 4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
PhD in Nursing
$41,870*
Milwaukee Area Technical College 2-year, public; large city Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science In Nursing - LPN to RN
$4,589 in-state; $6,602 out-of-state*
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $4,479 in-state; $6,492 out-of-state*
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$8,820 in-state; $17,095 out-of-state*
University of Wisconsin - Madison 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
School Nurse Certification Program,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
PhD in Nursing
$10,555 in-state; $36,805 out-of-state*
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Nursing,
PhD in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$9,588 in-state; $20,867 out-of-state*
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science of Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Clinical Nurse Leader Certificate,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$7,621 in-state; $15,194 out-of-state*
Waukesha County Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $4,405 in-state; $6,271 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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