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 10 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 39 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 (

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 ext 5 years, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the median salary for a nurse in Wisconsin is approximately $66,440 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.

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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:


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 Department of Safety and Professional Services Board of Nursing.


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 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 the 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 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

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.

Best RN Programs in Wisconsin


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 in this program are encouraged to explore interdisciplinary options to further their success in nursing.

Score: 98.21| Programs: BSN

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

Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wisconsin is home to a well-acclaimed nursing program. With evidence-based practice, caring advocacy, and quality of care, BTC graduates are a welcome addition to the healthcare workforce.

Score: 97.96| Programs: Associate in Nursing

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: 97.52| Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN

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. Graduates are given all the tools and faculty support needed to be at the top of the field.

Score: 96.97| Programs: BSN

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

Simulations, practical situations, clinical and theoretical components are all ways that Milwaukee Area Technical College in Wisconsin prepare their nursing graduates to become renowned, sought-after nursing professionals.

Score: 96.81| Programs: Associate in Nursing

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

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

Score: 96.17| Programs: BSN

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

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

Score: 96.01| Programs: Associate in Nursing

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. Graduates are welcomed into the nursing profession as equals and given opportunities upon graduation.

Score: 95.91| Programs: BSN

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

Located in Marshfield, Mid-State Technical College's 65-credit associate degree program in nursing utilizes classroom learning, projects, labs, and clinical experiences to train excellent RNs.

Score: 95.69| Programs: Associate in Nursing

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: 95.26| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Continued List of All RN Programs in Wisconsin

8800 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 443-8800
Programs: BSN
1000 W Campus Dr, Wausau, WI 54401
(715) 675-3331
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI 54307
(920) 498-5444
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1000 Edgewood College Dr, Madison, WI 53711
(800) 444-4861
Programs: BSN
701 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-5200
Programs: BSN
900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601
(888) 526-2626
Programs: BSN
105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701
(715) 836-5287
Programs: BSN
1025 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 277-7300
Programs: BSN
3400 S 43rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53234
(414) 382-6381
Programs: BSN
5364 College Dr, Rhinelander, WI 54501
(715) 365-4410
Programs: Associate in Nursing
12800 N Lake Shore Drive, Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700
Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
530 N. 16th St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-3800
Programs: BSN
400 7th St N, La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-9200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
620 W Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701
(715) 833-6200
1705 Hoffman Street, Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-6100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
(608) 822-3262
Programs: Associate in Nursing
3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144
(800) 247-7122
1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI 53015
(920) 693-1000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
505 Pine Ridge Drive, Shell Lake, WI 54871
(715) 394-6677
Programs: Associate in Nursing
10950 W Potter Rd , Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 302-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
4425 N. Port Washington Rd, Glendale, WI 53212
(414) 326-2330
Programs: BSN
6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 410-4000
Programs: BSN
555 S Executive Dr, Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 457-7624
Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
1101 Westwood Dr, Wausau, WI 54401
(715) 841-8000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
45 S. National Ave., Fond du Lac, WI 54935
(800) 262-7426
Programs: BSN
1921 E. Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211
(608) 263-5200
Programs: BSN
904 South Taylor Street, Green Bay, WI 54303
(920) 593-8400
Programs: Associate in Nursing
5218 E Terrace Dr, Madison, WI 53718
(608) 249-6611
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2406 S Alverno Rd, Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 686-6175

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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