Nurse Practitioner Programs in Wisconsin: Facts & Figures

In 2005, the Wisconsin Center for Nursing (WCN) was created to address the nation’s impending nurse shortage. Initiatives were put in place to accelerate nursing degree programs in a variety of specialties and concentrations. Many accredited schools in Wisconsin prepare students to work in administration, advanced nursing practice, education, and research. For students interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, the Board currently recognizes three different types of nurse practitioners:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Nursing Licensure in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Board of Nursing is part of the Department of Safety and Professional Services. The Board “approves all nursing education programs, and has the legal authority to establish minimum standards for schools for professional nurses and licensed practical nurses.”

To work as a nurse in Wisconsin, you must fulfill the following eligibility requirements [PDF]:

  1. Has a current active license to practice as a professional nurse in this state.
  2. Is currently certified by a national certifying body approved by the board as a nurse practitioner, certified nurse mid-wife, certified registered nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist.
  3. Has completed at least 45 contact hours in clinical pharmacology/therapeutics within three years preceding the date of application for a certificate to issue prescription orders.
  4. Has passed a jurisprudence examination for advanced practice nurse prescribers.

It’s important to note that each state licenses advanced practice nurses differently. Your area of specialty will determine what steps are required to maintain your eligibility.

Average Nursing Salaries in Wisconsin

All salary data is as of May 2011.

In 2011, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average annual wage of $64,800 in Wisconsin, about $4,300 under the national average of $69,110. However, Madison, — the state’s capital city — reported higher than average earnings, with an average annual salary of $72,820. The table below provides the top five largest areas in the state and the average salaries of RNs as of May 2011:

Area Registered Nurses Average Salary
United States 2,724,570 $69,110
Wisconsin 56,430 $64,800
Duluth, MN-WI 4,140 $70,390
Madison, WI 8,530 $72,820

Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division 7,360 $72,750
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 18,710 $64,610
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 33,270 $75,970

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