Welcome to the Land of Cheese! Try some cheese curds at one of the many cheese factories. Buy yourself a cheese head at Lambeau Field. Some of the other top attractions are the Harley-Davidson Museum, the beautiful Wisconsin Dells, and, well, more cheese factories. Charcuterie boards await.
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a Wisconsin nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in Wisconsin
- Top hospitals in Wisconsin
- Nursing organizations & associations in Wisconsin
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Wisconsin whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Wisconsin from another state. For more information visit the Wisconsin licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX exam fee: $200
- Application fee: $72 (RN/LPN)
Licensing fees by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fee: $57 (RN/LPN)
- Temporary permit: $10
License renewal fee:
- Application fee: $57 (RN/LPN/APRN)
Additionally, Wisconsin is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
Steps for renewing a Wisconsin nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page in order to confirm your license.
- Complete your Wisconsin nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires
You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
- Go to the Wisconsin Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application
Visit the following pages for specifics: RN Renewal; LPN Renewal; APRN Renewal. Wisconsin is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in Wisconsin unless you are declaring Wisconsin as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
APRN: 16 contact hours every 2 years in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics relevant to the advanced practice nurse prescriber’s area of practice, including at least 2 contact hours in responsible prescribing of controlled substances.
Earn your CEUs free
Our easy online CE courses are ANCC-accredited and 100% free for nurses.
Job & salary outlook for nurses in Wisconsin
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031. The national average salary is $82,750.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Wisconsin is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Wisconsin ]
Top hospitals in Wisconsin
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Wisconsin will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals – Madison, WI: This hospital is nationally ranked in 7 adult specialties and 1 pediatric specialty and rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 17 procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Gynecology (#13 in the nation)
- Orthopedics (#15 in the nation)
- Geriatrics (#34 in the nation)
- Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, WI: This teaching hospital is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is nationally ranked in 3 adult specialties and rated high performing in 4 adult specialties and 15 procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Ear, Nose & Throat (#43 in the nation)
- Rehabilitation (#44 in the nation)
- Diabetes & Endocrinology (#50 in the nation)
- Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center – Milwaukee, WI: This hospital is rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 15 procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery
- Pulmonology & Lung Surgery
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations & associations in Wisconsin
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Wisconsin:
Wisconsin Nurses Association – “The Wisconsin Nurses Association is committed to nurses advancing our profession to improve health for Wisconsin.”
Kenosha Visting Nurse Association – “We are committed to providing quality, compassionate health care services to improve the lives of our community members and ensure the best possible health outcomes for those we serve.”
Wisconsin Association of Licensed Practical Nurses – “The Mission of the National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. is to foster high standards of nursing care and promote continued competence through education/certification and lifelong learning, with a focus on public protection.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
Expert advice from nurses like you
Wisconsin Board of Nursing
Phone: (608) 266-2112
Email: [email protected]
Board of Nursing
PO Box 8366
Madison, WI 53708-8366
4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 53705
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