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 $76,850 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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Cities in Wisconsin

2024 Best RN Programs in Wisconsin

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 36 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/).


745 W Main St, Watertown, WI 53094

Score: 100.00

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (800) 622-2947

1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton, WI 54912

Score: 99.70

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
  • Phone: (920) 735-5645

8800 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226

Score: 99.20

Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Lutheran College is home to an excellent BSN program that incorporates Christian values into the curriculum. Students are taught through a mix of classroom, lab, and clinical learning. Grads are well prepared to deliver safe, high-quality patient care.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (414) 443-8800

2600 W 5th St, Marshfield, WI 54449

Score: 98.54

Mid-State Technical College offers a quality two-year associate degree program in nursing, available through its campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point, or Wisconsin Rapids. Enrolled students utilize classroom learning, projects, labs, and clinical experiences to become exemplary registered nurses. They also gain confidence in their new skills in a state-of-the art Healthcare Simulation Center.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (888) 575-6782

105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Score: 97.85

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (715) 836-5287

700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233

Score: 97.76

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (414) 297-6282

800 Main St, Pewaukee, WI 53072

Score: 97.72

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (262) 691-5400

400 7th St N, La Crosse, WI 54601

Score: 97.26

Western Technical College's nursing program equips students with the skills and knowledge needed for successful careers in healthcare. Through comprehensive coursework and hands-on training, students develop expertise in patient care

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (608) 785-9200

1000 Edgewood College Dr, Madison, WI 53711

Score: 97.15

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (800) 444-4861

100 N East Ave, Waukesha, WI 53186

Score: 96.77

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (262) 524-7373

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 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 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 $15,128 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.

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 the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the 12-month accelerated BSN program will run students roughly $46,500 including course software and the NCLEX-RN prep course.

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 non-nurse practitioner MSN program at Rasmussen College, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is under $15,000 including tuition and fees. For the MSN Nurse Practitioner tracks, tuition is estimated at just over $46,000.

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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: 36
  • 2022 Average Statewide Wisconsin NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.3%

Continued List of All RN Programs in Wisconsin

Here is a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs.

Green Bay, WI 54311 | Phone: (920) 433-6699
Programs: BSN
Oshkosh, WI 54901 | Phone: (920) 424-1234
Programs: BSN
Madison, WI 53706 | Phone: (608) 263-5200
Programs: BSN
Fond du Lac, WI 54935 | Phone: (800) 262-7426
Programs: BSN
Madison, WI 53704 | Phone: (608) 246-6100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Wausau, WI 54401 | Phone: (715) 675-3331
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Milwaukee, WI 53202 | Phone: (414) 277-7300
Programs: BSN
Janesville, WI 53546 | Phone: (608) 757-7710
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Milwaukee, WI 53233 | Phone: (414) 288-3800
Programs: BSN
Green Bay, WI 54307 | Phone: (920) 498-5444
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Fond du Lac, WI 54936 | Phone: (800) 472-4554
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Cleveland, WI 53015 | Phone: (920) 693-1000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Fennimore, WI 53809 | Phone: (608) 822-3262
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Eau Claire, WI 54701 | Phone: (715) 833-6200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Williams Bay, WI 53191 | Phone: (262) 245-5531
Programs: BSN
La Crosse, WI 54601 | Phone: (888) 526-2626
Programs: BSN
Kenosha, WI 53144 | Phone: (800) 247-7122
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Phone: (715) 365-4410
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Mequon, WI 53097 | Phone: (262) 243-5700
Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
Green Bay, WI 54303 | Phone: (920) 593-8400
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Milwaukee, WI 53234 | Phone: (414) 382-6381
Programs: BSN
Wausau, WI 54401 | Phone: (715) 841-8000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Milwaukee, WI 53211 | Phone: (608) 263-5200
Programs: BSN
Wauwatosa, WI 53226 | Phone: (414) 302-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Kenosha, WI 53140 | Phone: (262) 551-8500
Programs: BSN
Rice Lake, WI 54868 | Phone: (800) 243-9482
Programs: Associate in Nursing

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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