Becoming an LPN in Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin provides ample opportunity for aspiring licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to complete their education and find employment after graduation. In addition, the Bloomington, Wisconsin metropolitan area is one of the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country with the highest employment levels of LPNs, according to the BLS. An aging population has led to an increase in jobs across the country, and in Wisconsin has led to aspiring nurses to seek state-approved schools for licensure. There are more than 8 community colleges, vocational programs, and private schools across the state of Wisconsin that offer LPN programs. Wisconsin LPNs earn around an hourly wage of $20.74 or annual salary of $43,140, which is roughly $890 less per year than national average.

 Details on Wisconsin LPN Schools & Classes

With more than 8 practical nursing programs around the state to choose from, nursing students in Wisconsin have several options to consider. Many practical nursing programs can be completed in one to two years depending on whether a student attends classes on a full- or part-time basis.

A typical course load for an LPN program in Wisconsin includes classroom and clinical learning experiences. Coursework may include the following:

  • Introduction to Clinical Care Practice
  • General Anatomy & Physiology
  • Nursing Fundamentals
  • Nursing Skills
  • Nursing Pharmacology
  • Clinical Care Across the Lifespan
  • Developmental Psychology

Accreditation

One of the most important criteria when choosing a practical nursing program should be program accreditation. A program’s accreditation signifies its high quality and is held to high standards through agencies such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Nursing students in Wisconsin can check with the Wisconsin Board of Nursing for a listing of state-approved practical nursing programs.

Admission Requirements

Before applying to any LPN program, it is critical to make sure you meet or exceed all entrance requirements. While specific entrance requirements may fluctuate slightly from school to school, they often include:

  • Completion of high school or GED program (including transcripts)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 in all relevant coursework including prerequisite courses
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses, such as college-level Math, English I and Basic Physiology & Human Anatomy
  • Standardized Test Scores, such as the ACT or TEAS V exam
  • Personal interview
  • Background check, drug screen and proof of required immunizations
  • Submission of completed application and associated fees

Tuition and Costs

Cost can be an important factor to consider when choosing a practical nursing program. All schools will have their own unique set of fees, so it is important to understand the full range of costs associated with your education before you apply. In general, costs for a practical nursing program include tuition, mandatory college and course fees and supplies (including textbooks). In addition, students should factor in the costs of housing and/or commuting to classes into the total price tag. Financial aid, loans, and scholarships are options for those who need assistance covering the costs of their LPN program.

To provide an example, the tuition cost for the 2-year Associate Degree Nursing program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is estimated at $10,430. This does not include additional materials costs, which are estimated anywhere from $250 - $2,500 per semester depending on coursework.

Wisconsin LPN Licensing Requirements

To become an LPN in Wisconsin, individuals must be complete a state-approved nursing program. Once that is complete, he or she must sit and pass the NCLEX-PN exam—the required state-test to show proficiency.

In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the state of Wisconsin, including:

  • Official transcript from state-approved nursing program
  • Proof of passing score of the NCLEX exam
  • Fingerprints submitted digitally to the state
  • Authorization for release of FBI information form to check criminal history

Wisconsin LPN licenses expire April 30th of every odd-numbered year and require nurses to complete a Nursing Workforce Survey and Report State of Primary Residency form with the state in order to renew.

NCLEX Exam Information

Before a practical nursing program graduate can receive licensure, they must first sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN examination. LPN program coursework should adequately prepare students for this important exam. To read more about the NCLEX-PN exam, please visit our overview page here. In addition, the NCLEX-PN practice test is available to help students prepare and study.

LPN Reciprocity and eNLC

Wisconsin is a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which allows nurses to work in multiple states that are in the compact area without additional licensing. The LPN does, however, have to register Wisconsin as a primary state of residency. LPNs can apply for licensure by endorsement by submitting proof of current licensure and having passed the NCLEX.

In addition, applicants must also submit:

  • Fingerprints submitted digitally to the state
  • Authorization for release of FBI information for criminal background check

Wisconsin allows foreign applicants with LPN equivalent background to apply for licensure in the state, but he or she must first submit approval from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) following a completed course-by-course transcript review and English proficiency testing results. The applicant must also sit for and pass the NCLEX exam if he or she hasn’t already.

LPN Salary in Wisconsin By Area

The table below lists career information retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Wisconsin. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Milwaukee, Waukesha, West Allis2,180$22.18$46,140
Madison1,060$22.04$45,850
Green Bay670$18.97$39,450
Eau Claire300$18.77$39,050
Racine290$20.68$43,010
Fond du Lac280$20.22$42,050
Sheboygan240$19.61$40,780
Appleton240$20.78$43,230
Oshkosh, Neenah230$19.12$39,760
La Crosse, Onalaska180$20.13$41,870
Janesville, Beloit170$21.45$44,620
Wausau140$19.61$40,780

For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Wisconsin LPN to RN/BSN programs page.

LPN Programs in Wisconsin

ProgramDetails
College of Menominee Nation
2733 S. Ridge Road, Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 965-0070 Visit Homepage
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Fox Valley Technical College
1825 N. Bluemound Drive, Appleton, WI 54912
(920) 735-5600 Visit Homepage
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Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144
(262) 564-2200 Visit Homepage
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Herzing University
555 South Executive Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 457-7624 Visit Homepage
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Lakeshore Technical College
1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI 53015
(920) 693-1000 Visit Homepage
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Mid-State Technical College
500 32nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
(715) 422-5300 Visit Homepage
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Moraine Park Technical College
700 Gould St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
(920) 887-1101 Visit Homepage
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Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI 54307
(920) 498-5400 Visit Homepage
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Western Technical College
400 7th St N, La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-9200 Visit Homepage
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