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.

    Quick Facts

    • 44 schools with nursing programs in Wisconsin are in our database (see below).
    • 21 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees or certificates in nursing.1
    • 25 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.1
    • 18 colleges and universities offer master’s or advanced degrees in nursing.1
    • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Nursing Majors in 2018.3
    • 5 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s programs.4
    • 5 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.4

    Top-Ranked Schools with Nursing Programs in Wisconsin

    Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison (#13 in-state, #19 out-of-state)

    *Institution-wide ranking.

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s

    • Marquette University (#82 tie)
    • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#91 tie)
    • Concordia University (#146 tie)
    • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (#146 tie)
    • Alverno College (#201 tie)

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison (#28 tie)
    • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#61 tie)
    • Marquette University (#66 tie)
    • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (#97 tie)
    • Concordia University (#142 tie)

    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 Accred.*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**# TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate^# 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.5,6
    **NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.7 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, 2016.7 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 healthcare, 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. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. New York, Penguin Random House, 2018.
    4. US News Top Graduate Nursing Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools
    5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
    6. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
    7. Wisconsin Board of Nursing: https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/Professions/NursingSchools.aspx