Become a Registered Nurse in Wisconsin - WI

How to Become an RN in Wisconsin

More than 2.5 million registered nurses work in the United States, earning a mean annual wage of just over $65,000 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Today, there are just fewer than 52,000 nurses in Wisconsin earning just over $62,000 a year average salary.

The LaCrosse region (including both Wisconsin and Minnesota) has the third highest concentration of RNs (Rochester, home of the famous Mayo Clinic, has the highest). The area employs more than 2,700 RNs at an average salary of more than $63,000 a year.

Becoming a Licensed Registered Nurse in Wisconsin

To be licensed as a registered nurse by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing (a division of the State of Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing), you must have no arrest or conviction record and hold both a high school diploma as well as a diploma from one of the accredited online or campus based Wisconsin RN programs.

You must fill out the licensing application and submit the fee, then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This exam, by the National Council for State Boards of Nursing, is a computer-based test offered in testing centers all over the country. You do not need to be in Wisconsin to take the exam.

Wisconsin is a member of the multi-state NURSYS compact, which allows you to practice nursing in Wisconsin without applying for a license if you are already licensed in another NURSYS state where you live. Should you choose to make Wisconsin your permanent residence, however, you must apply for a Wisconsin RN license.

Wisconsin Organizations for Registered Nurses

Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA)

Affiliated with the American Nurses Association, the Center for American Nurses and other groups, this organization helps nurses broaden their professional horizons, keep on top of changes in laws and regulations regarding the health care community, and offers professional journals, conferences job hunt help and educational opportunities. Through the Wisconsin Nurses Political Action Committee (WINPAC), the WNA seeks to affect health-related legislation coming out of Madison.

Wisconsin Nurses Association
6117 Monona Dr # 1
Monona, WI‎ 53716
(608) 221-0383

Wisconsin Student Nurses Association (WSNA)

Founded in 1949, this group of Wisconsin university students majoring in nursing is part of an affiliate of the National Student Nurses Association. The group offers scholarships and makes charitable contributions and provides educational programming to its members.

Wisconsin Student Nurses Association

Wisconsin Association of School Nurses (WASN)

An affiliate of the National Association of School Nurses and a member of the Wisconsin Nursing Coalition, the six-district WASN seeks to support school nurses as leaders in their field and help build healthier Wisconsin schools to create an environment more conducive to learning.

Registered Nurse Schools