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. Many programs also offer online courses. Students who prefer the convenience and flexibility of earning a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in nursing entirely online may opt for an online university such as Western Governors University.

Wisconsin School Facts:

  • 22 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 22 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 13 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • Highest graduation rate: The University of Wisconsin at Madison 82%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Mount Mary College 49%.1
  • Highest net price: Marquette University $30,452.1
  • Lowest net price: College of Menominee Nation $6,416.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Wisconsin with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $12,860 – $40,970.2
  • 4 schools in US News Best Nursing Schools (2011) Top 100: University of Wisconsin–Madison (21), University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (36), Marquette University (44), and Alverno College (99).

Following are the profiles of several undergraduate and graduate nursing programs available at Wisconsin’s colleges and universities.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs in Wisconsin

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 in Wisconsin

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

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

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. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?state=WI&sort=best