Entry Level ADN, BSN, & MSN Programs in Milwaukee, WI

The career outlook for registered nurses is particularly bright, with job opportunities expected to grow by 15 percent over the next several years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are a number of entry-level training programs that prepare students to take the NCLEX RN licensing exam and start their careers as RNs. In the Milwaukee area, program options include Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs and direct-entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs, as well as LPN to RN programs designed for licensed practical nurses who want to transition from practical nursing into an RN’s role.

LPN to RN Programs

If you are a licensed practical nurse and would like to become a registered nurse LPN to RN “bridge” programs are designed to help you become an RN more quickly by giving advanced placement credit for past LPN work experience. The LPN to RN program at Milwaukee Area Technical College allows LPNs to earn their Associate’s Degree in Nursing and prepares them to take the NCLEX exam and become licensed RNs.

ADN Programs

ADN programs are one of the most popular routes for becoming an RN. Offered at many community colleges and vocational schools, ADN programs include coursework in anatomy and physiology, patient care fundamentals, health and safety and are generally completed in around two years of study.  Waukesha County Technical College offers one of the top ADN programs as ranked by RegisteredNursing.org and students can take the program on a full-time or part-time basis.

Direct-Entry BSN Programs

BSN programs are becoming more popular choices for entering the nursing field, as BSN-educated nurses generally earn higher salaries and have more job opportunities than nurses with an associate’s degree. The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee offers a traditional BSN program that includes coursework in clinical nutrition, genetics, cultural diversity in healthcare, pathophysiology and pharmacology, and evidenced-based nursing practice.

Find out more about Wisconsin Accelerated BSN Programs

Direct-Entry MSN Programs

Another, less-common route to becoming an RN for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject is a direct-entry MSN program. These programs are ideal for students who want to transition careers into nursing and would like to earn an advanced degree. The direct-entry MSN program at Marquette University is a 19-21 month accelerated program that prepares students for careers as nurses through a blend of online coursework, hands-on laboratory simulations, and clinical experience opportunities.

Find out more about Wisconsin Accelerated MSN Programs

Top Ranked Accredited Nursing Programs in Milwaukee

Listed below are the top nursing schools in Milwaukee based on our RegisteredNursing.org RN program rankings for Wisconsin out of 42 other accredited programs offered in the state:

  • Alverno College - #20
  • Carroll University - #1
  • Marquette University - #19
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College - #4
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) - #17
  • Waukesha County Technical College - #6
  • Wisconsin Lutheran College - #11
SchoolContact Information

Alverno College

  • BSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Wisconsin Program: #20 of 42
3400 S 43rd St
Milwaukee, WI 53234
(414) 382-6381

Alverno College

4425 N. Port Washington Rd
Glendale, WI 53212
(414) 326-2330

Bryant and Stratton College

10950 W Potter Rd
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 302-7000

Cardinal Stritch University

6801 N Yates Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 410-4000

Carroll University

  • BSN Campus
  • Top Ranked Wisconsin Program: #1 of 42
100 N East Ave
Waukesha, WI 53186
(262) 524-7373

Concordia University Wisconsin

12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

Herzing University - Brookfield

555 S Executive Dr
Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 457-7624

Marquette University

530 North 16th Street, Clark Hall, PO Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-3812

Milwaukee Area Technical College

  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Wisconsin Program: #4 of 42
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 297-6282

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)

1025 N Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 277-7117

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3253 N Downer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-4173

Waukesha County Technical College

  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked Wisconsin Program: #6 of 42
800 Main St
Pewaukee, WI 53072
(262) 691-5400

Wisconsin Lutheran College

  • BSN
  • Top Ranked Wisconsin Program: #11 of 42
8800 W Bluemound Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 443-8800

RN to BSN/MSN Programs in Milwaukee, WI

Many nurses who hold an ADN and a valid RN license decide to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing in order to pursue new job opportunities and advance their careers. Many schools offer specialized RN to BSN or RN to MSN “bridge” programs that provide an accelerated pathway to this higher degree.

RN to BSN Programs

RN to BSN bridge programs are designed to help ADN-educated nurses earn their BSN. Some schools offer these programs in an online format, which provides additional flexibility and convenience to working students. One example of a school that offers RN to BSN programs is Cardinal Stritch University, which offers classes in online, six-week courses that allow students to earn their BSN in as little as 16 months.

Find out more about Wisconsin RN to BSN Programs

RN to MSN Programs

Some schools offer RN to MSN programs that allow nurses with their ADN the opportunity to go straight to master’s-level study of nursing after completing a set amount of bachelor’s-level courses. The RN to MSN program at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee prepares students to be certified as clinical nurse leaders following graduation.

Find out more about Wisconsin RN to MSN Programs

SchoolContact Information

Alverno College

3400 South 43rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53234
(414) 382-6277

Cardinal Stritch University

6801 North Yates Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 410-4000

Concordia University - Wisconsin

12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

Concordia University Wisconsin

12800 North Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-4246

Herzing University - Brookfield

15895 W. Bluemound Road
Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 457-7624

Herzing University Milwaukee

W140N8917 Lilly Rd
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Marquette University

1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-3812

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

3253 N Downer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211

APRN & Nurse Practitioner Programs in Milwaukee, WI

Advanced practice nursing programs prepare nurses who have their BSN for careers as clinical nurse leaders, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, administrators among other leadership positions in nursing. For nurses in Milwaukee, area schools offer traditional MSN programs, post-graduate certificate programs and doctoral programs in nursing.

MSN Programs

Traditional MSN programs are offered to experienced nurses with their BSN who want to become nurse practitioners, administrators, educators or clinical nurse leaders. Programs may be offered in online or on-campus formats, and usually allow students to choose a professional focus for their studies. For example, Marquette University’s traditional MSN program offers the following specializations: adult/gerontology acute care or primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric acute or primary care nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader or nurse midwifery.

Find out more about Wisconsin Nurse Practitioner Programs

Post-Master's Certificate Programs

Post-graduate certificate programs offer nurses with their MSN an opportunity to learn and become certified in a new specialty. These programs are ideal for nurses who want to transition to a new field of nursing and do not want to repeat master’s-level coursework. For example, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee offers a post-master’s certificate program in the family nurse practitioner role that can be completed in 12 months of study.

Find out more about Wisconsin Post-Master's Certificate Programs 

DNP & Ph.D. Programs

Doctoral programs in nursing, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), are designed for nurses who want to advance to the highest levels of leadership in their healthcare organizations. DNP programs prepare nurses for careers in advanced practice such as independent nurse practitioners, while Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs prepare nurses for careers in nursing research or academia. UW-Milwaukee offers a plethora of doctoral nursing degree options, including both DNP and Ph.D. pathways.

Find out more about Wisconsin DNP Programs

SchoolContact Information

Alverno College

3400 S 43rd St
Milwaukee, WI 53234
(414) 382-6000

Cardinal Stritch University

MSN Programs
6801 N Yates Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 410-4000

Concordia University Wisconsin

Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

Concordia Wisconsin Campus

12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

Marquette University

1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(800) 222-6544

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2442 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-1122
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