As the health care industry goes through the biggest changes it's seen in generations, Wisconsin's health care needs are evolving as well. The state needs more nursing professionals that are interested in educating future classes of nurses, who want to research new developments in nursing care, and who want to take a more direct role in patient care. If you have a BSN and you want to take the next step in your nursing career, there are many schools in Wisconsin with Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs to help you get started.
Contact the schools you find on our site that offer graduate nursing programs in Wisconsin to learn more about your program options. Earning your Master’s degree now can position you for several different nursing jobs in WI, as well as positively impact the state of local healthcare in your area.
Wisconsin residents' access to primary care practitioners is in jeopardy, and that isn't expected to change for several years. The Green Bay Press-Gazette notes that the state is putting measures in place to attract and retain physicians and primary care providers in the state. Since nurse practitioners perform many essential primary care functions in Wisconsin, according to the AANP, earning an MSN can give you the chance to help bridge the gap between shortage and services in Wisconsin.
Nurse education is also an incredibly important field in Wisconsin. SWIFT, the State of Wisconsin Initiative to Fast Track Nurse Educators, is a Job Training Initiative that offers educational support to those who want to become nurse educators. If you're willing to work where you are needed in the state, you may be able to get grants or loan repayment assistance. This may be due to the fact that, according to Wisconsin WorkNet, nursing is the fifth fastest-growing profession in the state.
Wisconsin nursing professionals can take advantage of many nursing organizations throughout the state. The Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives hosts events and provides educational resources to nurse administrators. If you want to go into clinical practice as a nurse anesthetist, consider joining the Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists. There are multiple organizations for nurse practitioners all over the state, like Metro Milwaukee Nurse Practitioners.
A typical Masters level nursing program is a 30 to 45 credit degree that builds on the knowledge and experience you have as a Bachelor's-level registered nurse. If you plan on attending school full-time to earn this degree, you may be able to complete your MSN in about two years. Typically, however, nursing students tend to continue working while in school, which means you may want to plan on taking at least three years to earn your degree.
Many of the classes you take as a graduate student are decided by the specialty you choose, whether it's in a nurse practitioner, nurse educator or other specialty. However, each curriculum has a core set of courses that all graduate nursing students must complete. Wisconsin schools may require courses like Nursing Research, Global Perspectives in Nursing, Health Care in Context, and Nursing Theory.
After you choose your specialty, you should get familiar with your curriculum and your clinical requirements. Nurse practitioner students often take classes like Family Development, Pharmacotherapeutics, and Advanced Clinical Nursing. In a nurse education track, you may find yourself in classes like Student Learning & Motivation, Curriculum Development, and Evaluation & Testing in Nursing.
Since those who go into advanced clinical nursing may have lots of patient responsibilities upon graduation, clinical hour requirements tend to be very high. If you choose an administrative specialty, you may need to complete fewer clinical hours. Requesting information from the schools you are interested in is the best way to learn about exact program requirements and expectations.
Wisconsin has many organizations, associations, and employers that offer nursing scholarships. The Wisconsin League for Nursing awards the LaVerne Foster Memorial Scholarship, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Scholarship, and other grants. The Wisconsin Nurses Association awards scholarships to research students, nurse practitioner students, and nurse education students. Scholarships are also available through the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council. Each scholarship is worth $1,000.
Across the board, expected job growth rates in Wisconsin are fairly positive. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects a 20 percent increase in nurse anesthesia jobs. In this time period, a 30 percent increase in nurse education jobs is expected (O*Net, 2012).
Salaries for high-level nursing jobs in Wisconsin tend to be fairly similar to the national average. Per O*Net, the average salary for a nurse educator in this state is $64,000 per year. Wisconsin's nurse anesthetists claim a median salary of $187,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
If you are ready to expand your career options through education, investigate your options and reach out to the schools you are interested in today.