Selecting the best nursing school in Wisconsin can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 20 nursing schools in Wisconsin by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 42 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/).

Wisconsin is supporting the upward trend of further learning by offering flexible learning schedules and supplying many jobs for aspiring registered nurses. Approximately 1,900 job opportunities per year are projected over the next 5 years, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the median salary for a nurse in Wisconsin is approximately $71,470 annually. With Wisconsin area schools graduating roughly 3,000 nurses a year (according to the Wisconsin Center for Nursing), becoming a registered nurse in the state is more convenient than ever.

For RN bridge programs visit:

ADN Programs in Wisconsin

There are over 20 schools in the state that offer an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN). At just 2 years in length, an ADN is a great way to become a registered nurse without having to go through too much schooling.

Wisconsin has many different types of schools that can provide your ADN, including community colleges and technical colleges of all different sizes.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Wisconsin

With the variety of ADN programs in the area, you'll want to choose wisely. Focusing on a school that is committed to preparing you for your licensure exam should be a top priority. Other important items to consider when choosing a school include:

Accreditation

There are a few main entities that can provide legitimate accreditation to an ADN program. Some of these include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), but you will also want to look for schools that hold accreditation from the Wisconsin Board of Nursing.

Licensing

You will want to ensure that upon completing the ADN program at your preferred school that you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse (NCLEX). Of the nearly 3,520 people who took the NCLEX exam in Wisconsin for the first time in 2015, 87.3% received licenses.

Program Outcomes

It is wise to inquire about the statistics regarding your school's ADN program. The following are all good indications of the school's reputation:

  • Graduation rate
  • Licensure exam pass rate
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rate

The Milwaukee Area Technical College, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a great example of a school that offers an accredited ADN program in the state.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Wisconsin

While different schools may have their own set of specific requirements, here is a sampling of requirements to enter an ADN program:

  • Completed Academic Skills Assessment test (Accuplacer or ACT) with mandatory benchmark scores
  • Completed pre-requisite classes (including Chemistry and Biology) with grades of C or higher
  • Submit required immunization documentation
  • Completed caregiver background check

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Wisconsin

Tuition fees tend to vary from program to program. It's important to remember that tuition is just one portion of what you'll be paying for. Textbooks, fees, and uniforms are all examples of costs you may incur, and these may or may not be included in the price of your school's tuition. As an example, the estimated program cost for the 2-year ADN program at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is $13,307 including tuition, fees, and books.

Advantages of ADN Programs

The advantage of going through an ADN program is the sheer amount of schools in the state that offer it, in addition to the shorter length of the program at just 2 years. These perks make it a snap to find a great program and get started with a rewarding nursing career very quickly.

LPN to RN Programs in Wisconsin

For Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Wisconsin, there are specialized programs designed to bridge the gap to registered nursing. Known as LPN to RN programs, they credit students for certain nursing courses that have already been completed in their prior coursework. This means that students can earn an RN degree in a fraction of the time.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

LPN students who wish to advance have the option of earning an ADN or a BSN degree through their transition program. The LPN to ADN is the basic option, leading to an RN degree in less than a year. Appleton's Fox Valley Technical College offers a full-time LPN to RN program that allows up to 19 credits of prior coursework. For those wanting a higher-level RN degree, the LPN to BSN option culminates in the ever-popular bachelor's degree. Herzing University offers an LPN to BSN program that can be completed in just 28 months.

LPN to RN programs in the state will typically require one or more of the following to be eligible for admission:

  • Transcripts from high school/colleges attended
  • Proof of current LPN licensure
  • TEAS exam scores
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses

BSN Programs in Wisconsin

Whether you are already a registered nurse looking to further your career or are just interested in a more advanced nursing degree from the get-go, a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a great choice. A bit lengthier than an ADN program, a 4-year BSN program offers increased nursing career choices and earning potential. Larger universities tend to offer BSN programs. Roughly 20 schools all around the state offer BSN programs.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Wisconsin

Because so many schools offer a BSN program in the area, there are many choices to consider. This makes it especially important to do the research and choose the right school and program for you. You'll want to assure that your school of choice has proper accreditation, is equipped to prepare you for your licensure exams, and has positive program outcomes. If you are already a registered nurse, you'll want to see if the school offers an RN to BSN program.

A great example of a school that offers an accredited BSN program in the state is Edgewood College located in Madison, Wisconsin.

BSN Program Length in Wisconsin

A traditional BSN program is 4 years in length. However, it tends to be shorter if you are doing an RN to BSN program or an accelerated program. Inquire with your school of choice about the program options available.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Wisconsin

While each BSN program in will have its own unique set of requirements, here are a few requirements for admission that you might encounter when checking out schools in the area:

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 and a minimum 2.75 GPA for all science and math courses
  • Must complete a faculty interview
  • Curricular, extracurricular, community service and personal activities are also strongly encouraged to be a good candidate for the program

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Wisconsin

The state boasts a wide variety of BSN programs, all with their own tuition fees. As with ADN and other nursing programs, you may also have to pay additional fees for textbooks, uniforms, CPR certification, health records, and more. At Columbia College of Nursing, located in Glendale, Wisconsin, full-time tuition costs roughly $27,016 annually, not including the $50 application fee, a $200 tuition deposit, and a $114 graduation fee, among other fees.

Advantages of BSN Programs

Earning your BSN is an excellent way to further your career if you are already a registered nurse, and is a great career opportunity if you are looking to start working in the nursing field. Whether you choose the RN to BSN route or start out with a traditional BSN, you cast a wide net of advancement options and earning potential.

MSN Programs in Wisconsin

With close to 15 schools in the state that offer a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN), the opportunity to earn a post-graduate degree in nursing is practically at your fingertips. This advanced degree can lead to nursing jobs including Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, among other specialties. You must already hold a BSN if you want to move on and earn an MSN.

MSN Program Length in Wisconsin

An RN to MSN program can last roughly 3 years, depending on the school and the previous coursework the student has taken. This program usually tries to accommodate the busy schedule of a working registered nurse. Some programs offer options to take full-time classes, part-time classes, or even online coursework.

MSN Admission Requirements in Wisconsin

Depending on your school of choice, requirements may vary slightly. Here is an example of some of the requirements you might face in a typical MSN program:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Must submit official transcripts and a copy of current Wisconsin nursing license
  • Must provide resume/CV and write a reflective essay
  • Complete a personal interview with a graduate nursing faculty member

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Wisconsin

MSN program costs can vary from school to school. The MSN program at Rasmussen College, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is approximately $21,795 including tuition and fees.

For NP programs visit:

Getting a Wisconsin Nursing License

Wisconsin State Board of Nursing regulations for obtaining licensure are as follows:

Obtaining licensure through the examination process:

  • Completed application - with fees paid
  • Verification of education - Graduation or Completion form or official transcripts, sent directly to the Board via the institution attended
  • NCLEX Registration - passing score upon completion

Obtaining licensure through the endorsement process you must include the above information, as well as the following:

  • Verification of licensure from originating state

Learn more about WI RN license requirements at the State of Wisconsin - Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Wisconsin

Working toward your degree, while working in your career can be a difficult task, but there is a bridging program offered by a couple of Wisconsin colleges that could help in obtaining your career goals. This program gives candidates the opportunity to pursue the program while working and gives candidates up to 5 years to complete the requirements. Accelerated BSN programs are also offered as an option and can be completed in 12 to 15 months. All prerequisite courses will add to the overall time frame and total cost of completing the programs. Tuition is based on the rate charged per credit hour required.

Latest Wisconsin NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • Total Number of State Approved Schools: 42
  • 2019 Average Statewide Wisconsin NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.5%

2020 Best RN Programs in Wisconsin

#1

100 N East Ave, Waukesha, WI 53186 (262) 524-7373

The nursing program at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin is based on knowledge, theory, and research. Students enrolled in the school's BSN pathway are given the tools to explore interdisciplinary options to further their success in nursing.

Score: 98.66| Programs: BSN
#2

745 W Main St, Watertown, WI 53094 (800) 622-2947

Maranatha Baptist University's BSN program seeks to prepare compassionate Christian nurses. The curriculum aims to give students the knowledge and skills to care for patients in a variety of settings and fosters both spiritual and professional growth.

Score: 98.33| Programs: BSN
#3

1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton, WI 54912 (920) 735-5645

The ADN program at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin emphasizes collaboration, critical thinking, hands-on experience, and a supportive environment for the success of their graduates. Students are prepared to become leaders in the nursing field by providing excellent patient-centered care.

Score: 98.18| Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
#4

700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233 (414) 297-6282

Simulations, practical situations, clinical experiences, and theoretical components are all aspects of Milwaukee Area Technical College's comprehensive nursing curriculum. MATC's ADN pathway prepares graduates to become sought-after nursing professionals.

Score: 98.00| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#5

6004 S County Road G, Janesville, WI 53546 (608) 757-7710

Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wisconsin is home to an acclaimed associate degree nursing program. With principles including evidence-based practice, patient advocacy, and quality of care, BTC's nursing program deftly prepares students for the rigors of registered nursing.

Score: 97.90| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#6

800 Main St, Pewaukee, WI 53072 (262) 691-5400

Evidence-based practice and patient-centered care are the core values of the 65-credit associate degree nursing program at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee. Students learn to become leaders in the holistic well-being of patients.

Score: 97.82| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#7

2600 W 5th St, Marshfield, WI 54449 (715) 387-2538

Mid-State Technical College's Marshfield campus offers a quality two-year associate degree program in nursing. Enrolled students utilize classroom learning, projects, labs, and clinical experiences to become exemplary registered nurses.

Score: 97.77| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#8

3201 Eaton Rd, Green Bay, WI 54311 (920) 433-6699

Performance, employability rates, and reputation all speak to the excellence of the nursing programs offered at Bellin College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BSN program graduates are welcomed into the nursing profession in a variety of medical settings.

Score: 97.74| Programs: BSN
#9

800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI 54901 (920) 424-1234

Newly renovated space at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - College of Nursing brings about state-of-the art simulation labs, practice labs, and nursing tech suites. BSN graduates are given all the tools and faculty support needed to be at the top of the field.

Score: 97.57| Programs: BSN
#10

1000 W Campus Dr, Wausau, WI 54401 (715) 675-3331

Students enrolled in Northcentral Technical College's 70-credit associate degree in nursing program are taught through an innovative curriculum that emphasizes patient-centered care, leadership, and effective communication. NTC's program offers maximum flexibility with full-time and part-time options as well as night and weekend classes.

Score: 96.43| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#11

235 North National Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI 54936 (800) 472-4554

Moraine Park Technical College is located in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, which is situated at the base of Lake Winnebago. Nurses graduating from MPTC are confident in the values of evidence-based practice, caring advocacy, and quality of care. Graduates enter the field as respected professionals.

Score: 96.28| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#12

2406 S Alverno Rd, Manitowoc, WI 54220 (920) 686-6175

Manitowoc's Holy Family College (formerly Silver Lake College) offers a BSN program that prepares students for immediate nursing practice or for further nursing studies. This traditional 4-year program challenges students to swiftly and effectively respond to patient care needs in a variety of medical settings.

Score: 96.10
#13

1000 Edgewood College Dr, Madison, WI 53711 (800) 444-4861

Edgewood College's Henry Predolin School of Nursing offers BSN pathways that include unmatched faculty support; in fact, the clinical faculty-to-student ratio is just 7 to 1. With a robust student nurses association, international travel opportunities to experience medically underserved areas, and high-tech clinical simulations, Edgewood College attracts top nursing students.

Score: 95.91| Programs: BSN
#14

701 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53706 (608) 263-5200

The University of Wisconsin - Madison prepares exceptional RNs through its traditional BSN program. Students complete nursing prerequisites in the first 2 years of the program, followed by 2 years of nursing core. This selective program gives students the skills needed to excel in fast-paced medical environments that range in niche and scope.

Score: 95.35| Programs: BSN
#15

2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI 54307 (920) 498-5444

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College of Green Bay provides an associate degree in nursing pathway with flexible formats available. As of Fall 2020, the program will be delivered in 8-week courses, which include Nursing Pharmacology, Nursing Health Promotion, and much more.The school boasts a 96% graduate employment rate.

Score: 95.28| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#16

105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701 (715) 836-5287

The University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire focuses not just on academic excellence in the classroom, but also on providing the support needed to prepare nurses to become outstanding, compassionate, and skilled nursing professionals. BSN graduates learn to solve real-life problems confidently and accurately.

Score: 94.97| Programs: BSN
#17

1025 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 277-7300

MSOE University offers two distinctive BSN program pathways - the traditional option as well as the accelerated second-degree option. Both programs utilize classroom and laboratory learning to give students a well-rounded foundation in the art and science of nursing. MSOE is proud to report that 98% of their 2018-19 nursing grads are employed, enrolled in a master's program, or enlisted in the military upon graduation.

Score: 94.70| Programs: BSN
#18

5364 College Dr, Rhinelander, WI 54501 (715) 365-4410

Rhinelander's Nicolet College offers a flexible ADN program that can be completed online or on-campus. The curriculum focuses on responsibility, integrity, ethics, and evidence-based practice to train students to deliver safe and competent nursing care with a patient-centered approach.

Score: 93.38| Programs: Associate in Nursing
#19

1250 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233 (414) 288-3800

Marquette University of Milwaukee offers innovative nursing program pathways. Their undergraduate offerings include a traditional BSN, BSN-ROTC programs, and multiple honors options. In addition to classroom, lab, clinical and simulated experiences, Marquette students can also participate in study abroad experiences and/or government internship programs.

Score: 92.98| Programs: BSN
#20

3400 S 43rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53234 (414) 382-6381

Earning a BSN through Alverno College's JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Professions can set students on a course of lifetime nursing success. As one of the largest nursing departments in the state, Alverno has the ability to offer students expert faculty, clinical placements, and other state-of-the-art resources.

Score: 92.75| Programs: BSN

Continued List of All RN Programs in Wisconsin

RankedProgramScoreWebsite
#21
900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601
(888) 526-2626
Programs: BSN
92.73
#22
1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI 53015
(920) 693-1000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
92.65
#23
620 W Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701
(715) 833-6200
92.42
#24
1705 Hoffman Street, Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-6100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
92.14
#25
400 7th St N, La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-9200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
91.51
#26
12800 N Lake Shore Drive, Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700
Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
91.35
#27
1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
(608) 822-3262
Programs: Associate in Nursing
90.59
#28
505 Pine Ridge Drive, Shell Lake, WI 54871
(715) 394-6677
Programs: Associate in Nursing
90.50
#29
10950 W Potter Rd , Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 302-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
90.47
#30
3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144
(800) 247-7122
89.83
#31
4425 N. Port Washington Rd, Glendale, WI 53212
(414) 326-2330
Programs: BSN
89.81
#32
1101 Westwood Dr, Wausau, WI 54401
(715) 841-8000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
88.00
#33
45 S. National Ave., Fond du Lac, WI 54935
(800) 262-7426
Programs: BSN
87.26
#34
6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 410-4000
Programs: BSN
85.85
#35
555 S Executive Dr, Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 457-7624
Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
85.05
#36
1921 E. Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211
(608) 263-5200
Programs: BSN
84.24
#37
904 South Taylor Street, Green Bay, WI 54303
(920) 593-8400
Programs: Associate in Nursing
81.79
#38
5218 E Terrace Dr, Madison, WI 53718
(608) 249-6611
Programs: Associate in Nursing
69.55
#39
8800 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 443-8800
Programs: BSN
-
#40
W140N8917 Lilly Road , Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
(180) 059-6072 x4
-
#41
350 Constance Blvd, Williams Bay, WI 53191
(262) 245-5531
-
#42
2001 Alford Park Drive , Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 551-8500
-

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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