Becoming a Nurse in Wisconsin
Students interested in pursuing a career in nursing have the opportunity to find job stability due to the critical need for skilled nurses in the state. Attending nursing programs in Wisconsin is the best way to ensure a seamless transition to become a licensed professional.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's 2022 survey reveals that the state currently has a nursing workforce of 67,900, and shortages — ranging from 3,000 to 22,900 nurses — are projected to occur by 2040.
Individuals graduating from one of the accredited nursing programs in Wisconsin will have the opportunity to go on to work as different types of nurses, including a certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). There are several accredited nursing schools in Wisconsin that can provide individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in these fields.
Can I Take a Nursing Course Online?
There are plenty of nursing schools in Wisconsin that offer online degrees. In order to become a licensed nurse, students must complete a nursing degree online or in person.
Online nursing programs in Wisconsin are supported by a school's learning management system (LMS), which allows for remote studying through digital tests, video lectures, and discussion forums. Students can choose from large public universities to small technical colleges. Each institution offers different nursing bridges, such as an LPN to RN online degree in Wisconsin that is designed to set students up for specific careers.
Beyond nursing degrees, professional nurses may seek an online nursing certification to solidify their expertise in a given area and expand their job opportunities.
How To Get CNA Certification in Wisconsin
CNAs provide essential hands-on care to patients, including bathing, feeding, dressing wounds, repositioning and turning patients, and more. Working under the supervision of RNs and LPNs, they help provide dignified care to patients.
To be eligible to work in Wisconsin, all CNAs must first complete a CNA training program that has been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Health and the Division of Quality Assurance. Approved nurse aide training programs provide students with comprehensive instruction on the requirements to work in all types of licensed health care facilities — such as nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, and hospitals.
To be certified and placed on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry, an individual must take and pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam within one year of completing their training program. This test consists of two parts: (1) a written or oral portion and (2) a skills demonstration portion.
CNA Certification Renewal
CNA certification is renewed every 24 months; to maintain eligibility to work in a federally-certified nursing home, intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities, home health agency or hospice, federal regulations require a nurse aide to do the following:
Work at least eight hours in a 24-month period
Be in a paid position providing hands-on care
Work under the supervision of an RN or LPN
How To Get an LPN License in Wisconsin
LPNs in Wisconsin provide a range of medical care to patients. Working alongside RNs and doctors, LPNs perform an array of duties — from taking vital signs and inserting catheters to assisting with tests and procedures. The State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) regulates LPN licensure in the state.
Individuals applying for a Wisconsin LPN license must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).
The NCLEX evaluates an individual's knowledge and skills in several areas, including health promotion and maintenance, safe effective care environment, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity.
Individuals are required to register for the exam online. Before sitting for the examination, an applicant may receive a temporary permit. Completion of a temporary permit form and payment of $10.00 are required to receive a permit.
Other requirements for becoming an LPN include the following:
LPN License Renewal
LPN licenses expire on April 30 of odd-numbered years. It's possible to renew an LPN license completely online.
How To Get an RN License in Wisconsin
Online RN programs in Wisconsin are available to train individuals in managing a range of responsibilities, including administering medications, monitoring sick patients, assisting during medical procedures, and even managing other nurses. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Nursing Board regulates RN licensure in the state.
Graduating from a nursing program that has been approved by the Wisconsin nursing board is the first step to becoming a licensed RN.
RNs in Wisconsin must hold an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited program.
After graduating from an accredited nursing program, individuals must take the NCLEX-RN. Individuals are responsible for registering online to take the exam. They must also have a Statement of Graduation form submitted directly to the board by their board-approved school.
Before sitting for the examination, an applicant may receive a temporary permit. To receive a permit, individuals must meet all requirements, submit an application form, and pay a $10.00 fee. The temporary permit allows the applicant to practice under the direct supervision of an RN for a period of up to three months. A temporary permit is valid for a period of three months or until the holder receives notification of failing the NCLEX, whichever may occur first.
Other requirements for receiving a Wisconsin RN license include the following:
RN License Renewal
RN licenses expire on February 28 of even-numbered years. For RN license renewals in Wisconsin, nurses can update them online.
How To Get an APRN License in Wisconsin
An APRN is a registered nurse who holds a master's degree in nursing (MSN) or doctoral degree from an accredited program approved by Wisconsin's Board of Nursing. An APN in Wisconsin must receive national certification in one of the following specialties: nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist. APRNs are eligible in the state to be certified as an advanced practice nurse prescriber; this gives them the authority to prescribe medications and medical devices.
To receive initial certification as an advanced practice nurse prescriber, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Submit an application form and fee
Provide evidence of holding a current license to practice as a professional nurse
Provide evidence of current certification by a national certifying body as a nurse practitioner, certified nurse‚ midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist
Provide evidence of a master's or doctoral degree in nursing or a related health field
Provide evidence of completion of 45 contact hours in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics within five years preceding the application for a certificate
Provide evidence of passing an examination for advanced practice nurse prescribers
Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber License Renewal
Advanced practice nurse prescriber licenses expire on September 30 of even-numbered years. Sixteen contact hours in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics are required for renewal. These hours need to (1) be relevant to the advanced practice nurse prescriber's area of practice and (2) include two hours in which the individual is responsible for prescribing controlled substances. In addition, individuals must provide evidence of current certification by a national certifying body as a nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist.