Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Wisconsin

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In the nursing profession, current initiatives to raise the general level of college education means a number of things, including more demand for Registered Nurses (RNs), possibly higher average pay, and updated nursing school programs and learning technologies, amongst other positive results.

The initiative to raise the education level of professional RNs comes from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Their recommendation is that, by 2020, 80% of American RNs have at least a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree, a doubling from the starting point of 40 percent. Nursing programs in Wisconsin have taken heed to this effort. Programs across “American’s Dairyland” have stepped up to the plate to bring only the best of the best to future nursing students.

What kind of Nursing Degree in Wisconsin should you earn?

First thing’s first. We’re looking out for your budget. This particular list hones in on only the most affordable nursing degrees in Wisconsin. Why not maximize your return on investment and attend a quality school at a quality price?

Here’s another thing to keep in mind: The nursing schools who are aligning with the IOM initiative are often offering a traditional four-year BSN program for new nursing students, as well as catering to transfer students, second-degree / second-career students and currently licensed RNs who hold a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing.

Top 10 Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Wisconsin

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How much money can you make with a Nursing Degree in Wisconsin?

The state of Wisconsin currently has about 55,410 active RNs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These RNs earn a mean hourly wage of $32.66, which roughly translates into $67,930 per year.

The BLS also predicts that the RN profession will undergo an impressive 16% growth in job opportunities for RNs across the country, from 2014 to 2024. With great traditional four-year programs and affordable online options, now is a great time to jump into this career.

What are the Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Wisconsin?

According to data from the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics), 20 nursing schools in Wisconsin were offering BSN programs in the past academic year. We’ve taken that list and removed programs/ schools that are inactive or defunct. The final result is the most affordable BSN programs in Wisconsin, sorted by in-state tuition.

Our data and information comes from college and university websites, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, and U.S. News and World Report. Ready to take your nursing career to the next level? Read on!

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See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
    Location

    Oshkosh, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (UWO) is part of the public University of Wisconsin System, receiving institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Recognition for UWO includes ranking spots in college review lists by U.S. News World Report, Princeton Review, and others.

    Features

    UWO offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three entry/ completion paths. First-time undergraduates apply for the traditional track. New nursing students holding a non-nursing bachelors degree and a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certificate in their home state can apply for the accelerated track. The third track is for current Registered Nurses with an associates degree or diploma in nursing. Sample courses include:

    Adult Health Evidence-Based Practice Pathophysiology Legal and Ethical Nursing Care Practice

    Notables

    UWOs BSN degree requires 120 credits for graduation. The Traditional track is a five-semester option taken after completing 30 credits of prerequisite courses. It has primarily on-campus classes, with some being online or hybrid. The ABSN is an online track requiring 52 credits of nursing courses and is designed to be completed in 12 months. The RN track is mostly online and consists of 30 credits of nursing courses plus outstanding general education courses.

  2. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    Location

    Stevens Point, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) is a member of the public University of Wisconsin System. Undergraduate nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are delivered by the School of Health Care Professions (SHCP), which is housed in the College of Professional Studies (COPS). The campus, which is surrounded by woodlands and marshlands, earned a Gold rating in in both 2012 and 2015 from AASHE/ STARS for sustainability.

    Features

    UWSP offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is a post-licensure track, designed for currently licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) who have a diploma or associates degree in nursing (ADN). USWP does not have a traditional 4-year BSN. However, it does have a pre-nursing program in which students complete prerequisite courses necessary for both an ADN and BSN in University of Wisconsin System nursing schools as well as other institutions. Sample courses include:

    Professional Essentials Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice Chronic Care Management Research and Evidence-Based Practice

    Notables

    RN track students have a choice of on-campus, online or combined delivery of courses. The online delivery is part of the BSN@Home program, which is a collaboration of six UW System nursing schools, all of which participate in the teaching of classes. The curriculum for this track consists of 31 credits of upper division nursing courses, including a capstone. Pre-nursing track students spend 3-5 semesters to complete prerequisite courses.

  3. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
    Location

    Green Bay, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) is part of the public University of Wisconsin System. Undergraduate nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and offered by the Department of Nursing and Health Studies (NHS), which resides within UWGBs College of Health, Education and Social Welfare (CHESW). Recognition for UWGB includes rankings published by Sierra Club, Princeton Review, U.S. News World Report, and others.

    Features

    UWGB offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three entry/ completion paths. All three tracks are completion programs for current Registered Nurses holding a diploma or associates degree in nursing (ADN). One track takes place on campus, and the other two are online, divided between in-state and out-of-state students. Sample courses include:

    Chronic Care Management Research and Evidence-Based Practice Leadership and Management Information Management Healthcare Technology

    Notables

    UWGBs BSN degree requires 120 credits for graduation. Students in all three RN tracks will need to complete 30 credits of upper division nursing courses, plus up to 30 credits of general education/ support courses, as necessary. The remaining 60 credits are granted as transfer credits from prior coursework (ADN or diploma). Eligible students with a non-nursing bachelors degree are also accepted, and will receive a maximum of 90 transfer credits.

  4. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
    Location

    Eau Claire, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) is a member of the public University of Wisconsin System. Undergraduate nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are offered by the Department of Nursing (DON), within UWECs College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS). UWEC has received a number of honors on college review lists. This includes lists by Princeton Review, Victory Media, Military Times, U.S. News World Report, and more.

    Features

    UWEC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths one for new nursing students, the other for licensed Registered Nurses with an associates degree in nursing. The BSN degree requires 120 credits for graduation. Traditional students first complete prerequisite courses, and after completing 30 credits (one year), apply for admission to the BSN major. The RN track has a 1.5 year (average) timeline and consists of 60 total nursing credits. Sample courses include:

    Adults and Older Adults Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Community and Public Health Nursing Women, Infants and Families

    Notables

    For the traditional track, students have a choice between the main campus and the Marshfield location. Eau Claire offers nursing students a Learning Resource Centers and 12 full-body simulators and six clinical simulation rooms, complete with adult and child mannequins, for developing their practical skills. As well, there are partnerships with over 300 clinical sites for students clinical experiences. Around 99% of Eau Claire site BSN grads are employed or have continued on to graduate studies.

  5. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is a member of the public University of Wisconsin System. Undergraduate nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and are offered by UWMs College of Nursing (CON). UWM enjoys ample recognition for its overall offering in the form college ranking lists. Some of these are lists include those published by Victory Media (Military Friendly Schools), Princeton Review (Guide to Green Colleges), Campus Pride (Top 50 LGBT+ Friendly University), and others.

    Features

    UWM offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One is a traditional track for new undergraduates, the other for post-licensure Registered Nurses with an associates degree in nursing (ADN). Alternately, RN students might consider applying for the CONs RN to MSN program. UWMs BSN degree requires 124-127 credits for graduation, depending on track. Sample courses include:

    Professional Role I: Foundations of Professional Practice Concepts of Pathophysiology Health Assessment and Promotion in Nursing Practice Nursing Informatics and Technology

    Notables

    This BSN program prepares graduates for roles as generalists and nurse leaders. (It has a 95% job placement rate.) In addition to classroom learning, students gain clinical experience at some of over 160 clinical agencies. For post-licensure students, as with the other five University of Wisconsin System nursing schools, UWM offers the award-winning BSN@HOME option, a mostly online version of the RN track in which courses are taught by faculty from all participating nursing schools.

  6. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) is part of the public University of Wisconsin System. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through the School of Nursing (SON), and are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). UW has earned ranking spots on college review lists for its programs and overall offering. Some examples include Forbes, U.S. News World Report, Washington Monthly, Center for World University Rankings, and several more.

    Features

    UW offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One is a traditional pre-licensure but upper division track preceded with a pre-nursing program. (Eligible transfer and second-degree students accepted.) The other is a post-licensure track for Registered Nurses who have an associates degree in nursing (ADN). Sample courses include:

    Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice Chronic Care Management Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Community Health Nursing

    Notables

    UWs BSN degree requires a minimum 124 credits for graduation. Students in the traditional track start as pre-nursing majors and complete two years of prerequisites (applying for the major in 2nd year). Once admitted, two years of upper division courses follow, totaling a minimum of 53 credits. The RN track consists of 33 credits of nursing courses, plus any outstanding requirements, and takes 1.5-2.5 years. Some on-campus presence may be necessary for certain courses. Clinicals are part of both tracks.

  7. Maranatha Baptist University
    Location

    Watertown, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Maranatha Baptist University (MBU) is affiliated with the Baptist Church. Undergraduate nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are offered by the School of Nursing (SON). The university has received recognition for its programs. U.S. News World Report placed MBU in the top 3% in the country for online bachelors programs and Victory Media designated the university a Military Friendly School.

    Features

    MBU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path a traditional track for new nursing students. The BSN degree requires a minimum of 134 credits for graduation. Courses in the Nursing Major account for 62 credits, Bible Studies takes 24 credits, Science and Mathematics 22 credits, and Liberal Arts Core 26 credits. Some non-nursing courses are available only online. Sample courses include:

    Introduction to the Nursing Profession Medical Terminology and Calculations Pathophysiology Fundamentals of Medical-Surgical Nursing

    Notables

    Graduates of this BSN program have found a variety of careers, including home health care provider, hospice care facility nurse, medical-surgical nurse, nursing instructor, rehab nurse and more, in a variety of settings such as hospitals, home health centers and even village clinics in remote locations. The curriculum includes more than 1,000 hours of clinical experience. Students will be eligible and prepared to write the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam once they graduate.

  8. Bellin College
    Location

    Green Bay, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Bellin College (BC) receives its institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Undergraduate nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The college has delivered over 100 years of nursing education, and has since expanded to educate students in other healthcare professions as well.

    Features

    BC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with four entry/ completion paths. The options are based on a given students academic status, in terms of how many general education credits a student has completed. All four options are pre-licensure tracks. Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include: BSN Traditional Option, BSN Sophomore Transfer Option, BSN Junior Transfer Option, BSN 15-Month Option. Sample courses include:

    Adult Health and Illness Nursing Research Gerontological Nursing Pediatric Nursing Theory

    Notables

    This BSN program combines the concepts of nursing with the arts, sciences and humanities to produce nurses who can provide care, promote health as well disease prevention, function in leadership roles, and be lifelong learners. Upon graduation, students are eligible to write the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam, which certifies them as a Registered Nurse. Bellin graduates achieved a first-time NCLEX test pass rate of 95%.

  9. Viterbo University
    Location

    La Crosse, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Viterbo University (VU) is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Undergraduate nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are delivered by the School of Nursing (SON), which is part of VUs College of Nursing, Health, and Human Behavior (CNHHB). The university has a mission of preparing students for faithful service and ethical leadership, and incorporates Franciscan values into its programs. The campus is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

    Features

    VU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One is a traditional track for students new to nursing. The other is a post-licensure completion track for currently licensed Registered Nurses who have an associates degree or diploma in nursing. VUs BSN degree requires a minimum of 120 credits for graduation. The traditional track can be completed within either 4 or 4.5 years, depending on the study plan selected. Sample courses include:

    Pathophysiology Gerontology Pharmacology Maternal Newborn

    Notables

    The programs at the SON focus on nursing from a perspective of family, culture and community. The traditional track actually has two options direct admission or a pre-nursing major that precedes the nursing major. Study trips are available for some electives, along with summer research opportunities. Clinical opportunities are conducted at partnered healthcare facilities, and students can develop skills in the simulation learning center.

  10. Silver Lake College of the Holy Family
    Location

    Manitowoc, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Silver Lake College of the Holy Family (SLC) is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Institutional accreditation for SLC is provided by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission . Undergraduate nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). SLC has a student to faculty ratio of 7:1, with an average class size of eight. All full-time, first-time students receive some form of financial aid.

    Features

    SLC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths one for new nursing students (or transfer students), and the other for current Registered Nurses (or who will be within six months of application) with an associates degree in nursing (ADN). SLCs BSN degree requires 122 credits for graduation. Sample courses include:

    Professional Nursing Concepts Foundations of Nursing Practice Nursing Care of the Older Adult Psychosocial Concepts for Nursing

    Notables

    SLC incorporates Franciscan Catholic values into all of its programs, including nursing. The nursing department recently remodeled its nursing facility, with redesigned classrooms, two simulation labs and life-like manikins for patient-care simulations. Students will also have practical experiences at partnered healthcare settings in the region. Additional partnerships with the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the Wisconsin Technical College System ease the process for their associates degree graduates to complete a BSN at SLC.

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