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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Wisconsin

Updated: Aug 21, 2022




Let us help you land on your dream job here in Wisconsin! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Wisconsin, and more!

 

Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Wisconsin

  • Popular hospitals in Wisconsin

  • Nursing associations in Wisconsin

  • Contact details

 

Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. You can also visit the Wisconsin licensing page for more details.


As a nursing compact state, Wisconsin lets nurses hold multi-state licenses.

*Fees may change without any notice.

**A background check is required in most states, but prices are not usually stated.

 

Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Wisconsin Board of Nursing website. Wisconsin has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Before your license expires, make sure that you have completed the requirements for continuing education.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Wisconsin Board of Nursing. You may check on the RN Renewal; LPN Renewal; APRN Renewal page for more specific information. Be reminded that if your Primary State of Residency is not Wisconsin, you can not apply for a licensure in Wisconsin because it is a compact state. You must declare that Wisconsin is your Primary State of Residency to be able to do so.


 

Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Wisconsin.

  • For RN/LPN, there is no CEU requirement.

  • For APRN, you are required to obtain 16 contact hours biennially in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics related to the advanced practice nurse prescriber’s area or practice, including a minimum of 2 contact hours in responsible prescribing of controlled substances.

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.

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Licensing and Certification


Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. Roughly you will spend 4-5 years to earn this degree. For those who already have ADN, there are certain programs that lead you to BSN and it will only take you 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. The said programs will let you save a bunch of money and time and you can easily take chances to be on your dream job.


Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.


Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.

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Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Wisconsin

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. Currently, the average annual salary is $76,850.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Wisconsin is the right place for you.

 

Popular Hospitals in Wisconsin

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Wisconsin or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Wisconsin. Here are some of them:

  • University of Wisconsin Hospitals – (Madison, WI):

  • Regionally ranked #1 in Wisconsin and in Madison

  • Nationally ranked in 7 adult specialties and 1 pediatric specialty

  • Rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 17 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Gynecology (#13 in the nation), Orthopedics (#15 in the nation), and Geriatrics (#34 in the nation)

  • Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin – (Milwaukee, WI):

  • Regionally ranked #2 in Wisconsin and #1 in Milwaukee

  • Nationally ranked in 3 adult specialties

  • Rated high performing in 4 adult specialties and 15 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties include Ear, Nose & Throat (#43 in the nation), Rehabilitation (#44 in the nation), and Diabetes & Endocrinology (#50 in the nation)

  • Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center – (Milwaukee, WI):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Wisconsin and #2 in Milwaukee

  • Rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 15 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Geriatrics, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

  • Mayo Clinic Eau Claire – (Eau Claire, WI):

  • Regionally ranked #4 in Wisconsin

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 14 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Colon Cancer Surgery, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Kidney Failure, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

  • Aurora Medical Center-Grafton – (Grafton, WI):

  • Regionally ranked #5 in Wisconsin and #3 in Milwaukee

  • Reated high performing in 13 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Kidney Failure, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.

 

Nursing Associations in Wisconsin

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Nurses Association “Nursing profession advancement and healthcare improvement in the state is the commitment of this institution.”

Wisconsin Association of Licensed Practical Nurses “This organization is dedicated to advocate for best quality nursing care and highlight sustainable competence by providing education and certifications.”

Kenosha Visiting Nurse Association “The main goal of this group is to give compassionate healthcare and improve the lives of its community members.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


 

Contact Details

Wisconsin State Board of Nursing

Phone: (307) 777-7601

Website: https://wsbn.wyo.gov/home

130 Hobbs Ave

Suite B

Cheyenne, WY 82002



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