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Best 24 Nursing Schools in Wisconsin in 2021

August 19, 2021 | Staff Writers

Nursing Schools in Wisconsin
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The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development projected even before the pandemic that Wisconsin will have at least 5,327 new nursing positions between 2021 and 2023.

That’s 5,000 openings for nurses who don’t have to wait for another nurse to move out of the job. And that’s on top of the state’s 52,000 positions for nurses that have to be filled as nurses are promoted or otherwise leave the job.

Nursing Schools in Wisconsin

Rank School Location
1University of WisconsinMadison, Wisconsin
2Marquette UniversityMilwaukee, Wisconsin
3University of WisconsinEau Claire, Wisconsin
4University of WisconsinOshkosh, Wisconsin
5Edgewood CollegeMadison, Wisconsin

The median salary of an RN in Wisconsin is $65,510 per year. Salaries for Wisconsin nurses range from $49,930 to over $90,000 per year.

And there are many sources of scholarship money for nursing students in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Higher Education Grant offers scholarships of $250 to $3000 per year for up to 10 semesters for students of nursing in public colleges and universities. The Wisconsin Tuition Grant offers higher amounts to help with private college tuition.

The Wisconsin Nursing Student Loan Program offers loans of $250 to $3000 to students studying nursing in Wisconsin. Up to half of the loan can be forgiven if you begin your nursing career in Wisconsin.

There are also scholarships funded by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Wisconsin and the Wisconsin League for Nursing, as well as the Wisconsin Medical Society.

Wherever you choose to study nursing in Wisconsin, there will be multiple ways to pay for your tuition, books, fees, and living expenses — so why not apply to the best nursing schools in Wisconsin that are the best match for your career goals?

That’s what this list is about. We list accredited nursing programs in Wisconsin from most attractive down the list to schools that still have great nursing programs, but may be more of a specialized match to student career goals than the programs we rank higher on our list. We have also compiled a list of the fastest BSN programs.

Our list of the 25 best nursing programs in Wisconsin

In these listings:

  • Net price refers to annual tuition plus fees.
  • SAT and ACT scores are intended to give you an idea of what’s acceptable at this college. Sometimes other exceptional qualifications will overcome low test scores, and sometimes having a very high test score doesn’t make you a good match for the program.
  • The NCLEX pass rate is included to give you an idea of how well the program prepares nurses for the exams that are critical for getting a license.

We are listing programs that train nurses to be RNs unless otherwise noted.

1

University of Wisconsin

  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

At any given time there are about 1,000 RN, BSN, MSN, and doctoral (both DNP and PhD) students of nursing enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, making it the largest nursing program in the state. There are four certificate programs for graduate nurses:

School nurse,
Clinical nurse specialist,
Psychiatric/mental health nurse, and
Nurse educator.

The School of Nursing’s new facility at Signe Skott Cooper Hall has the latest simulation labs and research facilities.

School Overview

Net Price: $14,169
SAT Scores: 1280 to 1450
NCLEX Pass Rate: 85 to 93%
Visit School Website
2

Marquette University

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

Marquette University has about 350 students in BSN, MSN, post-master’s certificate, and PhD nursing programs. The university maintains a very low 8:1 student-faculty ratio in all clinical settings. Nursing students are trained in Emory T. Clark Hall, which houses the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Center for Clinical Simulation.

School Overview

Net Price: $33,081
SAT Scores: 1150 to 1320
NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
Visit School Website
3

University of Wisconsin

  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

Every year the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire graduates between 100 and 150 new BSNs, nearly all of whom will become RNs after taking the NCLEX. The university also has MSN, PhD, and DNP programs. Nearly 100% of graduates are placed into jobs within six months of graduation.

School Overview

Net Price: $13,940
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
Visit School Website
4

University of Wisconsin

  • Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

The University of Wisconsin provides hands-on training for nurses in developing world settings in South America and India. The university offers a mostly-online accelerated programs for a BSN to nurses who already have an RN.

School Overview

Net Price: $12.810
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 92 to 97%. The school has had a 100% pass rate on the Commission on Nurse Certification CNL certification exam since 2012.
Visit School Website
5

Edgewood College

  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

Edgewood College only graduates about 100 nurses with BSNs every year, but it has excellent outreach to about 70 clinics and hospitals in south-central Wisconsin for training, including American Family Children’s Hospital, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and UnityPoint Health  — Meriter Hospital. The college also offers MSN and doctoral degrees in nursing.

School Overview

Net Price: $26,398
SAT Scores: 970-1280
NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%
Visit School Website
6

Bellin College

  • Bellevue, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

Bellin College in Green Bay specializes in training nurses to assist in medical imaging. It’s a desirable choice for undergraduates who decided they wanted to become nurses after pursuing other career options. Undergraduate nursing students can transfer in as juniors and seniors, or take an accelerated 15-month option, or take a more traditional path to getting their nursing licenses. Bellin College also offers an MSN with family nurse practitioner and  nurse educator options.

School Overview

Net Price: $27,889
SAT Scores: Admissions committee is looking for a minimum GPA of 3.0.
NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
Visit School Website
7

Viterbo University

  • La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

Viterbo offers traditional BSN, MSN, and DNP programs to about 600 nursing students taught by 35 full-time faculty members. The university has service programs in Korea, Guatemala, Belize, and Japan. The university also has an RN-to-BSN program.

School Overview

Net Price: $20,721
SAT Scores: 1040-1400
NCLEX Pass Rate: 91%
Visit School Website
8

University of Wisconsin

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 40%

As the largest College of Nursing in Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing has developed a tradition of excellence. Dedicated to providing academic programs of the highest quality at the forefront of nursing and widely recognized. UW-Milwaukee has over 1500 students in programs such as BS in Nursing, RN to BSN completion, Master of Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, PhD in Nursing, and many certificate options, including AGACNP. CNS, PMHNP and more!

School Overview

Net Price: $14,555
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 86%
Visit School Website
9

Concordia University Wisconsin

  • Mequon, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

Concordia University Wisconsin is one of only a few universities to offer a graduate certificate in parish nursing. The School of Nursing’s MSN program has specialty tracs for family nursing practitioners, gerontology specialists, and nurse educators. For undergraduates, Concordia University Wisconsin offers RN-to-BSN, accelerated BSN, and traditional BSN programs with an unusually heavy preparation in liberal arts.

School Overview

Net Price: $24,803
SAT Scores: 898-1156
NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
Visit School Website
10

Columbia College of Nursing

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

The Columbia College of Nursing has been associated with Columbia Hospital in Glendale. The college only teaches nursing. Students can complete their first 60 semester hours at another accredited college and transfer into either the traditional BSN program or an accelerated BSN track. There are also an 11-month accelerated BSN program and a 17-month MSN program. The MSN program focuses on preparing charge nurses and includes 400 hours of clinical practice.

School Overview

Net Price: $29,950
SAT Scores: At least 1080
NCLEX Pass Rate: 83%
Visit School Website
11

Maranatha Baptist University

  • Watertown, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

Maranatha Baptist University is the only college affiliated with the Independent Fundamental Baptist denomination to offer a nursing degree. The small, close-knit program graduates about 20 nurses a year, but has one of the state’s best rates for passing the NCLEX. Students have multiple opportunities for gaining skills on international service trips.

School Overview

Net Price: $17,794
SAT Scores: 1040-1220
NCLEX Pass Rate: 95%
Visit School Website
12

Carroll University

  • Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

The program at Carroll University is for students who know that nursing is what they want to do when they graduate from high school. Nursing courses and lab simulations begin the freshman year. As students progress through the program, they can focus on specific areas of nursing such as psychiatric nursing, palliative care, pediatric care, or ICU work.

School Overview

Net Price: $23,370
SAT Scores: 1050-1230
NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%
Visit School Website
13

Milwaukee School of Engineering

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

For more than 25 years, the MSOE School of Nursing has been at the center of compassion and care. In addition to engineering, business and mathematics, Milwaukee School of Engineering offers several nursing degrees that feature direct entry to the nursing program and guaranteed clinicals:

B.S. in Nursing

  • Traditional BSN
  • Accelerated Second-Degree BSN

M.S. in Nursing

  • Traditional MSN for those with a BSN
  • Direct Entry (earn a BSN and MSN)
  • Leadership and Management Track
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Certificates

  • Gerontology
  • Post-Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

School Overview

Net Price: $24,337
SAT Scores: 1190-1370
NCLEX Pass Rate: 96%
Visit School Website
14

Wisconsin Lutheran College

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

Wisconsin Lutheran College has a nursing program that focuses on serving diverse populations. The nursing program is science-heavy to prepare students to keep up with changes in technology. Their maximum cohort size is 32 students, admitted once per year. The program is a traditional 4 year bachelor of science degree in nursing. They do not have an online nursing program. In recent years, 100% have been employed within one month of graduation.

School Overview

Net Price: $30,850
SAT Scores: Average SAT is 1152
NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%
Visit School Website
15

Marian University

  • Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

Marian University offers a nursing program completely integrated into its liberal arts curriculum. Students may take courses such as nursing ethics, healthcare promotion, and legal aspects of practice. The university also offers an RN-to-BSN bridge program and an MSN with specializations for nurse educators and nurse practitioners.

School Overview

Net Price: $21,175
SAT Scores: 900-1190
NCLEX Pass Rate: 81%
Visit School Website
16

University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point

  • Stevens Point, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

The nursing program and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point welcomes students who have earned their associate’s degree at a community technical college. There is a 1+2+1 nursing partnership program in conjunction with Mid-State Technical College, Northcentral Technical College, and Nicolet College.

School Overview

Net Price: $13,559
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 81%
Visit School Website
17

Cardinal Stritch University

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Cardinal Stritch University has a program in nursing that collaborates with the Wisconsin Technical College System to allow ADN (associates in nursing) students from the technical college system to keep their credits as they work toward a BSN.

School Overview

Net Price: $17,774
SAT Scores: 870-1020
NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%
Visit School Website
18

George Williams College of Aurora University

  • Williams Bay, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

George Williams College started its nursing program in 2017 to help alleviate the shortage of nurses. The BSN program is a traditional four-year curriculum with innovative technology for teaching. Students train on high-fidelity medical simulation manikins that respond in real-time to the care they are given. The program also offers extensive clinical hours at local hospitals and community service organizations.

School Overview

Net Price: $24,800
SAT Scores: At least 1130 on the SAT or at least 23 on the ACT.
NCLEX Pass Rate: 93%
Visit School Website
19

Alverno College

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 40%

Alverno College has been graduating nurses since 1932. Students have guaranteed clinical placements as well as opportunities to practice in the simulation labs. There are also five certifications offered to graduates without having to get an MSN degree.

School Overview

Net Price: $18,824
SAT Scores: 770-1050
NCLEX Pass Rate: 89%
Visit School Website
20

Carthage College

  • Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Carthage College has a very new nursing program that puts students in clinical settings in their freshman year. The program schedules 1,200 hours of clinical work over the four years needed to get a BSN. The college has partnerships with nearby clinical sites including  Ascension Health System, Kenosha Brookside Care Center, and Milwaukee VA Medical Center.

School Overview

Net Price: $45,100
SAT Scores: 1020-1250
NCLEX Pass Rate: Pending (college has not been operating long enough for first class to take the test).
Visit School Website
21

Moraine Park Technical College

  • Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Moraine Park Technical College offers a two-tiered program that gives students an opportunity to leave with an LPN after just two semesters or to continue another year to get an RN.

School Overview

Net Price: $4,440 for Wisconsin residents, $5,880 for others
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 94%
Visit School Website
22

Lakeshore Technical College

  • Cleveland, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

Lakeshore Technical College offers full-time, two-year and part-time, three-year programs for earning a BSN to students who have their foundation courses out of the way. There are evening classes and two start dates each year.

School Overview

Net Price: $4,341 for Wisconsin residents, $6,481 for others,
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%
Visit School Website
23

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

  • Fennimore, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College offers an LPN-to-RN program for students who already have an ADN and who passed the NCLEX-P.

School Overview

Net Price: $4,333 for Wisconsin residents, $6,481 for others
SAT Scores: Not Required
NCLEX Pass Rate: 91%
Visit School Website
24

Western Technical College

  • La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

You can’t get a BSN at Western Technical College, but you can earn both a LPN and an RN with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in three years. Classes at Western Technical College are small, with about 100 graduates from the program every year.

School Overview

Net Price: $4,440 for Wisconsin residents, $6,480 for others.
SAT Scores: Not Required.
NCLEX Pass Rate: 91%
Visit School Website

How We Computed Our Rankings

We only considered schools that have ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing) or CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) accreditation. We evaluated each nursing program on three factors:

  • The college’s prestige and perceived value.
  • The number of nursing programs involved.
  • Student success on the NCLEX exam.

We then weighted these three factors for a combined score and ranked the colleges by descending score.

Would you like more information about nursing programs in Wisconsin?

Please contact us with your questions! And if you have graduated from any of the programs we listed here, please feel free to share your experiences.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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