Becoming an RN in Wisconsin
In May of 2011, Wisconsin’s nursing organizations held an exciting summit: “The IOM Report: Building the Future of Nursing in Wisconsin”. IOM goals include increasing the education level of nurses, and helping them practice to the extent that their education allows.
- Earn your RN-to-BSN online from Capella University
- Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
How can you help build Wisconsin’s future? You can enter the health care field or, if you’re already there, you can take your education to the next level. Registered Nurses usually enter the field with an ADN or BSN degree, though second degree students sometimes enter with a master’s. Nationwide, there is a push toward higher levels of education for professional nurses. Wisconsin is somewhat ahead of the norm, having more state-approved BSN programs than ADN ones.
Nurses who want to enter the workforce quickly do have the option of completing an associate’s degree in nursing now and enrolling in a BSN completion program (RN to BSN) later. BSN students typically spend the first two years doing general studies and prerequisites. Prerequisites include rigorous physical and life science courses. Math aptitude is expected. During the final years of the programs, students complete clinical rotations in health care facilities.
Before licensure, graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. It is also an option to work under a temporary permit for up to three months in Wisconsin. This ceases to be an option if a person fails the exam even once. The Wisconsin Board of Nursing does recommend that students take the licensing exam soon after graduation.
RN Entry Pathways
Your previous experiences may help you fast track your nursing education. If you have a bachelor’s in any field, you can enroll in an accelerated second degree nursing program. A CNA license may be required as well. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, for example, requires certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and prefers, but does not mandate, work experience as a CNA. It is one of only a few programs in the nation that can even be loosely termed CNA to RN. Part of the rationale is that the CNA program itself provides students with experiences they need to go through an accelerated one-year program. Students should be aware that, although most of the program is completed online, the first clinical rotation is done in Oshkosh and requires two weeks on-site.
If you are already licensed as an LPN, you can opt for an LPN to RN bridge program. No other degree is necessary to enroll.
Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Wisconsin
Nationwide, there has been a temporary slowing of hiring due to the recession. Some nurses have chosen to increase the number of shifts they work while others have delayed retirement. Wisconsin will need many new nurses over the coming years, though, due in part to a rapidly aging nursing workforce. 19% growth was projected for the 2008 to 2018 decade. An AACN survey of BSN and entry-level MSN programs reported that 73% of Wisconsin nursing students had a job offer upon graduation. 91% did four to six months later.
As workforce demographics change, Wisconsin will be well prepared to plan for them and to issue reports. 2009 legislation requires nurses to fill out a survey when renewing their license.
Nursing School Application Process
Nursing programs vary in their admission standards. Some programs are highly selective. One example is the accelerated bachelors to BSN program at Oshkosh. Candidates will be screened on the basis of TEAS scores, recommendations, and work experience. They should be prepared for an internet interview, and possibly a phone interview as well.
At the ADN level, the process is a little less involved, but academic standards are still high. There may be prerequisite courses in biology and other sciences. Some schools give greater weight to biology scores than to scores in other subjects. If you get a B or higher in courses in anatomy and physiology, you may be given priority over students who don’t. Some Wisconsin schools do ask you to write an essay as part of the application process. Surprisingly, you may have to do it right there.
Approved ADN Programs in Wisconsin
Bryant and Stratton College
Cardinal Stritch University
Chippewa Valley Technical College
College of Menominee Nation
Blackhawk Technical College
Gateway Technical College
Herzing University Madison
Fox Valley Technical College
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College
Lakeshore Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Mid-State Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Moraine Park Technical College
Nicolet Area Technical College
Northcentral Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College
Western Technical College
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Approved BSN Programs in Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The nursing programs are CCNE accredited.
Programs Offered: RN-to-BSN, BSN, RN-to-MSN, MSN, MSN/MBA, Post-Master’s Certificate, BSN-to-PhD, DNP. Specialty areas for applicants of all Masters programs: Adult CNS, Community Health CNS, Family NP, Health Professional Education Certificate, Maternal/Child Health CNS, Nursing Systems CNS, Psych/Mental Health CNS
Bellin College of Nursing
Columbia College of Nursing/Mount Mary
Concordia University Wisconsin
Maranatha Baptist Bible College
Marquette University College of Nursing
|Milwaukee School of Engineering|
1025 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3109
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
|The University Of Wisconsin Oshkosh|
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901