Nursing Programs in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s programs in nursing are fueling a solid nursing field by providing all ranges of degree opportunities, from certificates to several doctoral degrees.

The best way to understand your options when it comes to nursing schools are to split programs into three categories: transition programs for people who are already nurses, graduate programs for nurses with a BSN who want to specialize their medical expertise, and direct-entry nursing programs for non-nurses that might be for any level of degree.

Transition programs are the first type, and they typically help LPNs reach RN status or RNs achieve their BSN — which provides quite a jump in terms of employment opportunity and pay grade.

Transition Programs

1. If you’re an LPN looking to become an RN, there are literally dozens of programs that will fulfill your needs, and some in just two semesters of class. These classes are available all over the state, so you shouldn’t have to travel.

2. Registered nurses who want to earn their BSN are confronted with nearly as many choices as LPNs in Wisconsin, and their online options are even better to boot. With this extra options of online classes, registered nurses shouldn’t have to leave their job to become BSN graduates, and they can still choose from the best universities.

Graduate Nursing Programs in the Dairy State

1. Several nation-leading MSN programs are available to registered nurses in Wisconsin. Those who want to become nurse educators, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists will all need an MSN to join these elite ranks, and thankfully Wisconsin offers great schools to attend while achieving that goal.

Among several programs — both online and in-class — that are available, a few stand out as exceptional, and these are Marquette University and University of Wisconsin. Marquette has been ranked 19th in our nation for nurse midwifery, and University of Wisconsin offers a dual degree MSN/Master’s of Public Health, which will prepare graduates for top positions in public health education and administration.

2. In addition to master’s programs, Wisconsin offers several doctoral programs — some of which are offered online. Most of these programs require a master’s degree for entrance, and will help students reach the pinnacle of expertise in their specialty.

University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee offers a selection of online PhD programs unrivaled by any other school in the state, and Marquette stands out as offering the widest variety of in-class programs for advanced specializations.

Direct-Entry Nursing Programs

Direct-entry nursing programs in Wisconsin are numerous, so students will have plenty of options. From associate’s degrees for LPNs to accelerated BSN and MSN programs, Wisconsin offers non-nurses plenty of paths to break into the industry.

However, students reading this will benefit greatly from looking at which schools have acceptable pass rates. Wisconsin boasts many world-class education opportunities, but it’s an unfortunate reality that accreditation doesn’t guarantee quality education. The best schools in the state have NCLEX pass rates above 90 percent, but they sit right next to schools where fewer than half of the graduates pass their licensing exams. Be smart, and collect your information before committing.

Job Outlook for Nurses in Wisconsin

The first fact to take note of is that Wisconsin’s overall job market is going through challenging times, although that shouldn’t be any deterrent to anyone pursuing a nursing job in the state.

Whether you’ve grown up in the state or you have other reasons to look for work in Wisconsin, you’re probably in for good news if you’re a nursing student, as many of the basic nursing professions are thriving here.

Registered nurses and nursing assistants are strongly employed in Wisconsin, which gives nursing students who are pursuing a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree a wide range of options. These widely available positions can even help a grad student by serving as employment while going to school.

If you’re pursuing a higher education in nursing and want to work in Wisconsin, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives enjoy a strong job market in the state, with employment rates rivaling the rest of the country even in an economy that’s giving many people a run for their money.

Becoming Licensed as a Nurse in Wisconsin

Licensure in Wisconsin requires a passing score on the NCLEX, as it does in all states. Nurses are subject to no additional requirements, however, and can become licensed as soon as they pass the NCLEX.

Income for Nursing Professionals in Wisconsin

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Nursing Instructors and Teachers
Employment: 1,520
LQ: 1.32
$39,820 $62,310 $92,350
Registered Nurses
Employment: 54,640
LQ: 1.01
$49,060 $62,990 $84,790
Nurse Anesthetists
Employment: 430
LQ: 0.62
$55,340 $172,520 – *
Nurse Practitioners
Employment: 2,050
LQ: 0.94
$67,300 $86,670 $110,160
Nursing Assistants
Employment: 37,230
LQ: 1.28
$20,080 $25,020 $33,480
Employment: 10,580
LQ: 0.72
$32,440 $42,090 $54,190
Nurse Midwives
Employment: 120
LQ: 1.02
$69,240 $98,410 $180,010

* Double dashes (–) indicate data not available.

Pennsylvania Nursing Programs

Nursing students in Pennsylvania can look forward to not only a selection of great learning institutions in the country, but also great post-graduate employment prospects.

LPN and RN programs are plentiful, with many schools offering options for online learning and flexible scheduling. Those with an LPN looking to transition to an RN have dozens of programs to look through, and they’re offered by some of the most prestigious schools in the country.

Any RNs looking for an extra boost in income can look forward to a bounty of options for RN-to-BSN programs, with over 30 accredited schools to choose from and some very appealing online options as well.

Pennsylvania’s options for doctorate degrees are also immensely impressive, with literally dozens of programs to choose from  – and keep in mind, most other states have just a few, if any PHD programs.

Many of them require an MSN for entry, so those who already have an advanced degree in nursing will be able to have more options. But anyone looking to complete their advanced education in Pennsylvania with more options than they would have thought possible.

What’s even more impressive about Pennsylvania’s doctorate degree programs is that many can be pursued online at schools like the University of Pittsburgh, which offers 8 options for online specialties in their nursing degree doctorate programs.

Job Outlook for Nurses in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania already employs a large number of RNs, but shortages still exist just as they do across the country. What this means for nursing students is that job prospects will continue to remain strong for the next few years.

In response to the shortages, Pennsylvania has set specific goals for how many RNs, LPNs, and advanced practice nurses it wants to bring into the workforce over the next few years. As the state puts into practice its goal-achieving measures, nursing students all across the state will benefit.

In addition to future measures to encourage growth in the nursing industry, the state already employs almost 130,000 RNs, which is above much of the rest of the country. Other careers with high employment in Pennsylvania include nursing assistants, who number over 70,000, and LPNs, who number over 35,000.

State salaries are above the national average as well, which combines well with Pennsylvania’s relatively low cost of living.

Although Pennsylvania’s demand for all kinds of RNs is high, those with BSN degrees will be in higher demand, and those students willing to invest a few extra years in their education will be more than rewarded for their effort.

As far as career opportunities for those seeking a master’s degree or above, advanced practice nursing is also looking at a boom in the near future, and for the same reasons. Among advanced practice nursing fields, nurse anesthetists have the best job prospects in Pennsylvania, as can be seen by the high relative rates of employment in the state compared to other jobs. (More information on relative rates of employment for nursing jobs in Pennsylvania is available in the tables below.)

Nurse practitioners can also look forward to good job prospects, as Pennsylvania has a low ratio of NPs to adult population in its rural areas. This is a problem that will need to be corrected in the near future.

Average Income for Nursing Related Jobs in Pennsylvania

The table below includes information on nursing jobs in Pennsylvania, with career options sorted roughly in order of the amount of schooling required.

If you want to obtain a job near the bottom of the list and earn more, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, and in many cases, graduate degree schooling.

We’ve also included the total employment and location quotient (LQ), which can be used to discern how concentrated a job is in a particular area. Your job’s LQ is a ratio of how many jobs are available in your chosen field compared to the total number of jobs in the area.

Compare an LQ to 100 to see if its concentration is more or less common than the US average.

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Nursing Assistants
$20,320 $26,850 $36,030
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPN / LVN)
$31,430 $42,130 $56,140
Registered Nurses
$45,480 $63,590 $88,880
Nursing Instructors and Teachers
$43,390 $68,400 $116,680
Nurse Practitioners
$43,180 $83,430 $116,260
Nurse Midwives
$55,930 $83,630 $110,040
Nurse Anesthetists
$125,810 $159,000 N/A

Nursing Programs in Rhode Island

Nurses in Rhode Island have several top-notch institutions to choose from, despite the state’s status as the smallest in our country. The schools available also cumulatively cover every level of education in nursing, so you can get a degree while staying in-state no matter what your goals are — whether you want to get a certificate, an ADN, a BSN, a master’s degree, or even a PhD.

Transition Programs to Consider

In a state where BLS data reports that RNs are employed at almost three times the rate of LPNs, it really makes sense to pursue a transition program to further your education, making sure that you end up with an ADN or BSN. And if you needed another reason to check out one of the transition programs listed below, RNs make about $20,000 more a year than LPNs, which pays for its own tuition costs in no time.

If you’re planning on staying in Rhode Island while you study, there won’t be a lot of options, but you’ll have some quality schools to choose from. University of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University, and the new England Institute of Technology are some top schools in the state, and they all offer transition programs with some kind of flexibility via an online option — so you can continue working.

Graduate Programs for Nurses in Rhode Island

Despite the fact that the state only has five nursing schools, Rhode Island’s graduate program selection is quite respectable. The state even has a well-respected school offering doctorate degrees in nursing — University of Rhode Island. Other common specialties in the state include gerontology and family nurse practitioner.

One specialty that only MSN-prepared nurses can fulfill is nursing education, which is a profession that’s highly needed in Rhode Island.

Job Outlook for Nursing Students in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate might not look great at first sight – 9.1%, according to the latest BLS data reports – but the state seems to be on an upswing, which is an encouraging sign. Employment rates have improved by 1.5 percentage points in just the last twelve months alone.

In addition to improving employment for the overall job market, the nursing industry seems to be pulling ahead of other sectors, providing more options for graduating students than you’d expect at first sight.

The best advice for nursing students pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree is to look for nursing assistant positions, as licensed practical nurses are under-employed by about half in Rhode Island while nursing assistants are employed at almost twice the rate of other states.

Another option is to stick it out for a four-year degree, which would help guarantee employment in one of the registered nurse positions that are doing very well in Rhode Island. In this case, the bachelor’s degree not only opens up more income opportunities and an easier employment seeking process — it also gives greater access to the field of registered nursing, which is doing much better than the LPN field.

Income Data for Rhode Island Nurses

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Nurse Practitioners
Employment: 370
$65,690 $97,770 $155,710
Nursing Instructors and Teachers
Employment: 190
LQ: 0.96
$50,690 $68,100 $95,400
Employment: 1,110
LQ: 0.44
$36,570 $52,490 $64,470
Nursing Assistants
Employment: 9,390
LQ: 1.90
$21,330 $27,760 $37,560
Registered Nurses
Employment: 11,840
LQ: 1.29
$52,760 $72,920 $94,130
Nurse Midwives
Employment: — *
LQ: –
$64,650 $82,370 $110,780

* Double dashes (–) indicate data not available.