Wisconsin Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

The following guide to nursing programs in Wisconsin provides important information, including several profiles, of the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs offered in the state. Wisconsin’s colleges and universities often allow students to tailor their degrees to their specific interests such as family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, nursing education, and nursing administration. Students may also benefit from the convenience and flexibility of earning a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in nursing entirely online.

Nursing Program Stats

  • 19 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 20 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 14 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • 6 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: Alverno College (#136, MSN; DNP not ranked), Concordia University Wisconsin (#147, MSN; #97, DNP), Marquette University (#63, MSN; #62, DNP), University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (#115, MSN; #79, DNP), University of Wisconsin-Madison (MSN not ranked; #26, DNP), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#67, MSN; #52, DNP).

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate: University of Wisconsin-Madison 85%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Marian University 43%.1
  • Highest net price: Marquette University $33,678.1
  • Lowest net price: College of Menominee Nation $5,233.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Wisconsin with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $3,818 – $32,900.2

Following are profiles and additional information about the many nursing programs available at Wisconsin’s colleges and universities.

NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Wisconsin

The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Wisconsin nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing (https://dsps.wi.gov/pages/BoardsCouncils/Nursing/Default.aspx).

SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accredited*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**Number TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate***Number TakingNet Price****
Alverno CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A92.38%105$15,553
Bellin CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A93.75%96$28,058
Blackhawk Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%2195.74%47$8,602
Cardinal Stritch UniversityNoYesYesACEN/CCNEN/AN/A82%50$18,417
Carroll UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A93.75%64$23,744
Chippewa Valley Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN95.59%6882.78%180$8,888
College of Menominee NationYesNoNoACENN/AN/A83.33%6$5,233
Columbia College of Nursing-Mount Mary College ConsortiumNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A77.19%57$16,741
Concordia University WisconsinNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A95%40$24,148
Fox Valley Technical College (PN)YesNoNoACEN95.91%49N/AN/A$9,125
Fox Valley Technical College (ADN)YesNoNoACEN98.41%10695.40%87$9,125
Gateway Technical CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A95.28%106$8,660
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/A$12,545
Lakeshore Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN97.50%4066.67%42$7,975
Madison Area Technical College (ADN)YesNoNoACEN100%4480.10%186$13,152
Maranatha Baptist UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A83.33%6$18,767
Marian UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A76.25%80$20,310
Marquette UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A82.25%169$33,678
Mid-State Technical CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A93.85%65$8,893
Milwaukee Area Technical College (PN)YesNoNoACEN100%2N/AN/A$8,934
Milwaukee Area Technical College (ADN)YesNoNoACEN100%4695.15%103$8,934
Milwaukee School of EngineeringNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A85.71%63$23,178
Moraine Park Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%4788.30%94$9,480
Nicolet Area Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%1592.86%14$7,788
Northcentral Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%3888.16%76$9,919
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (PN)YesNoNoNo93.33%15N/AN/A$9,282
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (ADN)YesNoNoACEN94.08%15288.73%204$9,282
Silver Lake CollegeNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$20,215
Southwest Wisconsin Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN88.64%4482.93%41$8,121
University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A85.05%107$13,281
University of Wisconsin-MadisonNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A89.26%149$16,060
University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A81.33%255$13,808
University of Wisconsin-OshkoshNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A94.68%188$12,117
Viterbo UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A90.91%110$18,829
Waukesha County Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%2393.51%77$9,746
Western Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN93.55%3181.44%97$8,896
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN96.92%6578.31%83$9,353
Wisconsin Lutheran CollegeNoYesNoCCNE90%20N/AN/A$19,748

*The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.4,5
**NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
***NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
****The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

Schools in Wisconsin with Nursing Degrees

Associate’s in Nursing Programs

Madison Area Technical College
Madison Area Technical College’s Associate Degree in Applied Science in Nursing offers career-focused training for prospective registered nurses. Both full- and part-time study options are available. Students have access to modern laboratory equipment, including a fully functional trauma room, and digital classrooms; select courses may even be completed online, depending on availability. Nursing courses include Nursing Health Promotion; Clinical Care Across Lifespan; and Nursing Management and Professional Concepts. Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and, following licensure, are equipped to work in a variety of healthcare environments. Madison Area Technical College’s nursing program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services and holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) offers an associate degree nursing program that can be completed on the Green Bay, Marinette, or Sturgeon Bay campuses. The curriculum combines academic, lab and simulation, and on-site clinical experience to professionally prepare students for registered nursing careers. Core courses in the nursing program include Nursing Pharmacology, Nursing Health Alterations, and Nursing Advanced Skills. NWTC also offers nursing assistant certificate and technical diploma programs, as well as a technical diploma program in practical nursing. All students at NWTC can receive one-on-one support through the school’s academic and career advising and coaching departments.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

Bellin College
Bellin College’s four-year, 128 credit nursing program leads to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Students will complete 64 general education credits and 64 nursing credits. Nursing coursework encompasses gerontological nursing, pediatric nursing theory, adult health and illness, nursing research, and community and public health nursing. Several practicums – in such areas as leadership, community, and adult health – are also necessary to fulfill degree requirements. Students, who have already completed the general college requirements, may opt for an accelerated path to the BSN through the nursing department’s 15-month option. The 15-month option begins in January and June and allows students to complete their degree in a little over a year.

University of Wisconsin at Madison
The University of Wisconsin at Madison confers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students who successfully complete the four-year, 124 credit program. The first two years of the program are dedicated to completing general college coursework in math, science, and communication with nursing majors focusing predominately on the nursing curriculum, including participating in mandatory practicums, in the junior and senior years. Nursing coursework consists of between 52 and 59 credits and focuses on human responses to health and illness, community health nursing, legal and social forces in nursing, essentials of gerontological nursing, and advanced concepts in nursing practice.

Master’s in Nursing Programs

Marquette University
Graduate students in Marquette University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program choose from such concentrations as adult-older adult acute care, adult-older adult primary care, adult-older adult clinical nurse specialist, pediatrics primary care, pediatrics acute care, nurse midwifery, clinical nurse leader, or systems leadership and healthcare quality. Courses are offered on a rotational basis with classes scheduled in the late afternoons and evenings. All graduate students must complete clinical practicums, which are arranged by the nursing department, and must take such core courses as theoretical foundations of nursing, ethics in health care, creating nursing care systems, and nursing research design and methodology.

Concordia University Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program permits graduate students to study on a full-time or on a part-time basis. Concentrations are offered in family nurse practitioner, adult gerontology nurse practitioner, and nurse educator. All MSN courses are available online and on campus, although students must be present on campus to complete the health assessment course. All graduate students must complete 19 credits of core courses in bioethics, health care in context, nursing research, and advanced health assessment. A thesis or a scholarly project is mandatory. The program generally takes between two and four years to complete.

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Moraine Park Technical College
235 N National Ave
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
(920) 922-8611

Student Review: “I attended the Moraine Park Technical College Nursing program full-time from the summer of 2010 through the fall semester of 2012. It was a very challenging and rewarding program that set me on my way to becoming the nurse that I am today. However, I think that it should be noted immediately, that there is no possible way to complete the program in 2 years as advertised. I completed the program going full-time the entire way, graduated at the top of my nursing class, had upwards of 25 credits that were accepted from a previous university (8 classes), and still went for 3 years including summers. The program will definitely give you your money’s worth, and prepare you for your career, just be prepared for it to take a little longer than advertised.” – Student at Moraine Park Technical College

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-2400

Student Review: “My experience at the UW-Madison nursing school was mixed. I was unfortunately attending at a transition time where the school was shifting from traditional (lecture) education to active learning. This involved lots of self-learning activities and not as much direct instruction. This made it more difficult to learn and retain important information. However, clinical experiences were very well planned. Being at an academic medical center allowed enriching clinical experiences with nurses who knew how to best teach. Professors were also approachable and willing to meet outside of office hours. Also, the career center in the school had multiple occasions to network and expand job horizons. I feel like the school somewhat helped to prepare me for my career, but also made me rely on my own a lot as well.” – Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
3. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/
4. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
5. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
6. Wisconsin Board of Nursing: