Registered nurses interested in earning their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in Wisconsin have a wealth of program options. RNs who have completed their Associate's Degree or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing can choose from full-time or part-time MSN programs as well as in-person or online classes, putting an MSN degree within reach for nurses across the state.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Wisconsin

Nurses considering applying to an RN to MSN program in Wisconsin will likely face the following admissions requirements:

  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or professional letters of recommendation
  • Application forms that may include a personal statement or essay
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses; for instance the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh requires completion of an approved statistics course within 5 years of application to the MSN program

RN to MSN Courses

Most schools offer two kinds of RN to MSN programs: a version for ADN-educated RNs, which allows them to earn a BSN simultaneously, and a version for those who already hold a BSN and now want to complete the MSN portion. MSN students often have the option of moving into a specialized track that leads to a particular advanced nursing career once they have completed their general education courses. These specialties may include Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and others.

As part of their RN to MSN program, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • Comprehensive Assessment of Health
  • Evidence Based Care Management
  • Advanced Pharmacology: Application to Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Outcomes and Quality Management
  • Information Systems for Clinical Decision Making

Online RN to MSN Programs in Wisconsin

RNs in Wisconsin who are looking for the flexibility of online courses have a few options that allow them to take courses at their own pace while working full- or part-time. Convenient and often affordable options, online programs usually also include a clinical requirement that can be completed in the student's local area.

Featured Online School

The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh offers a CCNE-accredited, fully online MSN program. There are two different ways to earn an MSN through the school; for RNs with an ADN, the RN to BSN to MSN program offers the opportunity to complete a BSN as well as an MSN. RNs that have already completed their BSN degree can enter the MSN program, which offers two specialties: Clinical Nurse Leader Emphasis and Nurse Educator Emphasis.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program varies depending on both the school and the student. Full-time or part-time study, online or in-person courses, and specialization chosen can all impact how quickly the coursework can be completed. For example, the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader emphasis at University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh is offered in a two-year full-time option or a three-year part-time option.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of an RN to MSN program in Wisconsin varies from school to school. For instance, the graduate level tuition at Marquette University is $1,100 per credit hour, and the cost for the MSN program at Concordia University Wisconsin is $682 per credit hour. These tuition costs do not include additional course fees, or expenses like books and course materials. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so make sure to check on the latest costs with your school of choice at the time of application before making your final program decision.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Wisconsin

An MSN degree can open the door to a wealth of career advancement opportunities for nurses in Wisconsin. From management positions to educator roles, the MSN-educated nurse has a number of career paths to choose from. The following are just a few nursing careers that require an MSN:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Educator
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nurse Practitioner

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

In addition to career advancement opportunities, completing an MSN degree delivers increased earning potential for Wisconsin-based nurses. The mean annual wage for MSN-educated nurse practitioners in Wisconsin is around $98,250. That is a significant increase over the mean annual wage for a registered nurse in Wisconsin: around $67,930. In Wisconsin, there are dozens of other pathways for MSN-educated registered nurses, all with salaries that are significantly higher than an AND- or BSN-educated nurse.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Wisconsin offers the RN to MSN program in more than 5 different colleges throughout the state and with varying degrees of accessibility; for example, these programs are offered full-time, part-time, online and combination learning style. Working while earning your degree is a definite possibility with a number of these programs because of the flexibility of delivery methods. Upon graduation from one of these programs, you could find yourself working in clinical administration, nurse educator or possibly the mental health field.

Concordia University Wisconsin
Online Campus
School of Nursing
12800 North Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-4246
Marquette University
College of Nursing
1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-3812
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
College of Nursing
3253 N Downer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
College of Nursing
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901