Resource Center: The Complete Guide to Nursing in Wisconsin
Published: June 15, 2020
If you’re interested in becoming a nurse in Wisconsin—or if you’re looking for nursing resources in the state—you’re in the right place. This page lists everything you need to know about nursing in the Badger State, including job outlook, nursing organizations, scholarships and more.
Demand for Nurses in Wisconsin
The job outlook for nurses in Wisconsin is bright, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency projects that employment of registered nurses (RNs) in Wisconsin will grow 8% from 2016 to 2026 — faster than the average for all occupations — adding an estimated 3,460 jobs a year.
Wisconsin State Board of Nursing
Email: Valerie Payne, Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Board of Nursing, DSPS, PO Box 8366, Madison, WI 53708-8366
Wisconsin Licensing Agency for Nurses
Nursing Organizations and Scholarships in Wisconsin
Professional Organizations for Nurses in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals
The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals (WFNHP) is a labor union that seeks to provide professional development and desirable working conditions for its members. The WFNHP is affiliated with the nurses and health professionals of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Wisconsin Nurses Association
The Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA), together with the American Nurses Association (ANA), works to protect, promote and advance nursing in Wisconsin. The WNA offers professional development and networking opportunities for the 90,000 RNs it represents.
Wisconsin Nursing Coalition
The purpose of the Wisconsin Nursing Coalition is to unite nursing organizations and communicate relevant information throughout the state. The Wisconsin Nursing Coalition is part of the WNA, whose contact information is restated below.
Address: 2820 Walton Commons West, Suite 136, Madison, WI 53718
Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Leaders
The Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Leaders (WONL) is an affiliate of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONL). It aims to share relevant health care information and support Wisconsin nursing.
Specialty Nursing Organizations in Wisconsin
American Psychiatric Nurses Association - Wisconsin Chapter
The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) supports statewide efforts to promote mental health and mental illness recovery. To join the Wisconsin Chapter, you must be a member of the APNA.
Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists (WIANA) advocates for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and patient safety in Wisconsin. It offers various resources for CRNAs.
Wisconsin Student Nurses’ Association
The Wisconsin Student Nurses’ Association (WSNA) provides nursing students with scholarship opportunities, career resources and professional development events. The WSNA is a member of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA).
Nursing Scholarships for Wisconsin Residents
Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation Scholarships
The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation offers various scholarships for students planning to work in Wisconsin health care. Preference is given to medical students who are residents of Wisconsin, but there are also funds for students pursuing other health careers such as nursing.
Wisconsin Nurses Association Scholarships (WNA)
The WNA offers scholarships for nursing students. It awards four Mary Barker APRN Nursing Scholarships annually for a maximum of $2,000 each.
Wisconsin Student Nurses’ Association Scholarships (WSNA)
The WSNA offers two scholarships for Wisconsin nursing students, one of which is its $500 Annual Scholarship. The WSNA also has grant information on its website.
Additional Scholarship Resources
For additional scholarship and financial aid information, check out Purdue University Northwest’s scholarship listings and the Tuition and Financial Aid page.
How to Become a Nurse in Wisconsin
Here are the necessary steps to become a nurse in Wisconsin:
- Complete a nursing school program.
- Register for and pass the NCLEX examination.
- Obtain a Wisconsin nursing license.
- Procure a nursing job in Wisconsin.
Once you are a nurse in Wisconsin, you may choose to pursue a nursing specialty or earn an advanced degree. The following sections include more information about Wisconsin nursing licenses and nursing jobs in Wisconsin.
How to Apply for a Nursing License in Wisconsin
To apply for a nursing license in Wisconsin by examination, you must complete and submit an application. The application requires the following:
- Competed application: Finish the Wisconsin DSPS’ Application for Registered Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure.
- Application fee: NCLEX exam applicants must include an $88 fee.
- Statement of graduation or official transcripts: If you attend an in-state and Wisconsin Board-approved school, your school of nursing must submit a statement of graduation or completion. If you graduated from a nursing program outside of Wisconsin but within the U.S., your school of nursing must send your official transcripts to the Wisconsin Board of Nursing.
- NCLEX registration: Register for and pass the NCLEX examination. It’s recommended that you register for the NCLEX exam before your school sends your statement of graduation or official transcripts.
- Temporary permit: Exam applicants must submit a temporary permit request application and $10 fee. Your temporary permit will be valid for three months or until you are notified of failing the NCLEX exam.
- Authorization for release of FBI information: The authorization for release of FBI information must be submitted if you’re applying for a multistate license.
- Fingerprints: You’ll receive instructions regarding how to get digital fingerprints after the Wisconsin DSPS has received your authorization for release of FBI information.
If you attend an in-state or out-of-state nursing school approved by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, you can use the Online Licensure Application System (OLAS) to submit your Wisconsin nursing license application. Otherwise, you can mail your application to the Wisconsin State Board of Nursing.
Note that applicants who did not graduate from a U.S. nursing program have different requirements. For more information about how to apply for a Wisconsin nursing license, visit the Wisconsin DSPS page.
Continuing Education Requirements
There aren’t any continuing education (CE) requirements for RNs in Wisconsin.
Is Wisconsin a Member of the Nurse Licensure Compact?
Yes, Wisconsin is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC makes it easier to practice nursing in Wisconsin and other NLC states. When you have a multistate licensure, you can skip the hassle of paying multiple renewal fees and going through a lengthy application process each time you move to a new state.
Top Health Care Employers in Wisconsin
Below are some of the top health care employers in Wisconsin based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of the state’s largest employers. Explore each site’s career page to find nursing jobs in Wisconsin that interest you.
Hospitals and Medical Centers in Wisconsin
Earn a Nursing Degree in Wisconsin
Are you ready to further your nursing career? Purdue University Northwest (PNW) College of Nursing offers a flexible online RN-to-BSN and MSN program made to work with your busy schedule. If you want to expand your nursing skills and gain practical knowledge, request more information today.