Nursing Schools in Milwaukee, WI with Degree Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Milwaukee, WI, Nursing Schools

Degrees at all levels are available through the many nursing schools in Milwaukee, WI. This article looks at three of these institutions, all within 15 minutes of downtown, and the nursing degree programs they offer. Prospective students can learn more about the schools through a table of information that includes facts on total enrollment, tuition, school type, graduation rates, and the percentage of first-year students who receive financial aid. A brief paragraph is provided at the end of the article listing a few more Milwaukee-area schools that offer nursing programs.

  • About two miles from downtown, Marquette University offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in nursing as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College, also nearly two miles from the city center, prepares students for registered nursing (RN) certification through an associate's degree program.
  • Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in nursing are available at the University of Wisconsin, along with a DNP degree. The university is around three miles from downtown Milwaukee.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals who are deciding on a school for their nursing education need to consider many factors. This table presents important information about these three institutions.

Marquette University Milwaukee Area Technical College University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2019) 11,819* 14,482* 25,731*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $43,936* $4,658 in-state;
$6,706 out-of-state*
$9,526 in-state;
$21,168 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2018-2019) 100%* 79%* 78%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2019) 83%* Open admissions* 77%*
Retention Rate for 1st-Time Students (2018-2019) 90% full-time;
100% part-time*
58% full-time;
49% part-time*
76% full-time;
40% part-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 82% (students began Fall 2013)* 16% (students began Fall 2016)* 44% (students began Fall 2013)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Marquette University

Marquette University features nursing degrees at several levels. Also available are post-master's certificate programs to become a nurse practitioner. Most programs offer chances for specialization, including the opportunity to explore faith community nursing through an optional course.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Undergraduate nursing students at Marquette are admitted directly into the nursing program. The BSN program options include an honors program; students can also participate in ROTC or minor in an area of study such as Spanish. During the 4-year program, training consists of lectures, seminars, labs, simulated learning exercises, and clinical experiences. Learning areas include nursing in the Jesuit tradition, anatomy, pathophysiology, psychology, pharmacology, nursing practices through the life span, leadership, philosophy, and theology. Through electives, students can join a study abroad program or complete a government internship in Washington, D.C.

Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN program is open to nurses with a BSN and features several advanced practice specialization options, including pediatric primary or acute care, adult/older adult primary or acute care, and nurse-midwifery. All specialties share a core curriculum that focuses on nursing theory, healthcare ethics, development of nursing care systems, and nurse research. Additional training is tailored to the individual specialty. Program length varies, but all of the programs must be completed within six years.

Nurses with an associate's degree in nursing can pursue this degree through a direct entry MSN for ADNs nursing program. Students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing can earn an MSN through the direct entry program for non-nursing majors, which includes earning an accelerated BSN.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP prepares nurses with at least a BSN for advanced nursing practice. Specialties include most of those available in the master's program, as well as nurse anesthesia. Topics explore epidemiology, health care informatics, applied statistics and patient safety. Students may take classes full- or part-time. Those with a BSN need 63-69 credits, while students with an MSN must earn 30 credits.

PhD in Nursing

The PhD in Nursing emphasizes research and teaching with a focus on reducing health inequalities for at-risk populations. Core learning involves nursing science, teaching, research, and statistics, as well as a dissertation. Students entering with an MSN degree must complete 51 post-MSN credits. Full-time studies can be completed in two years, while part-time studies take three years; in either scenario, additional time is needed to complete the dissertation. Those with a BSN need 69 post-BSN credits and can also attend full- or part-time.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College offers an associate's degree in nursing. After finishing the first year of the 2-year degree program, students can take the national examination for practical nursing. The nursing program is taught at the downtown campus and also at the college's Mequon campus.

Associate in Applied Science in Nursing

Students are admitted to the associate's degree in nursing program through a petition process that requires them to complete core courses prior to admission. They must have taken a year of high school biology and chemistry and pass a skills assessment test. In the 70-credit nursing program, students explore topics such as pharmacology, complex health conditions, and various types of nursing, including mental health care and the treatment of patients of all ages. They practice their skills in school labs and gain hands-on experience through clinical placements in local healthcare facilities. Required general courses include anatomy/physiology, microbiology, psychology, and economics. Graduates are eligible for the national RN licensing exam.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee offers nursing degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with programs catering to many scheduling needs and specialty areas. Nursing study abroad is available through the Center for Global Health and Equity, with short-term trips to countries such as Ireland, Malawi and Mexico.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee offers a traditional 4-year BSN program for entry-level students. Pre-nursing requirements include courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and introductory nursing topics. Training in nursing practices, health assessment, and pharmacotherapeutics makes up the last two years of school, along with clinical practicums at local facilities.

The school also has an RN-BSN completion program for nurses with diplomas or associate's degrees. The BSN can be earned with full- or part-time study, and all courses except the capstone course can be taken online through the BSN at Home program.

Master of Nursing

The direct entry MN program for students with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field calls for 86 credits that can be taken full or part time; completing the degree qualifies the student to take the clinical nurse leader certification exam. Students who already have a BSN complete between 33 and 36 credits. RNs with associate's degrees or nursing diplomas can enter the RN-to-MN program, which allows them to earn a BSN and a master's degree in nursing. This program requires the completion of 42 credits. Students take courses including biostatistics, evidence-based practice, pharmacotherapeutics, care management, epidemiology, and clinical outcomes.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP is the highest academic level in clinical nursing. Specializations include family nurse practitioner, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist in pediatrics, childbearing, or adult. Non-clinical tracks are offered in systems leadership and community health. UWM features a 64-credit BSN-DNP program for nurses who have a BSN, while nurses who hold an advanced practice nursing master's degree can earn an online DNP. The part-time, 28-credit program includes a 460-hour clinical residency requirement. A dual DNP/Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree that prepares graduates for roles in healthcare administration and nursing leadership is offered jointly through the nursing and business colleges. DNP/MBA students must have a BSN and a current RN license.

PhD in Nursing

Nurses who want careers as educators or scientific researchers can pursue a PhD in Nursing. This traditional program is also open to students with MNs and can be taken full- or part-time. UWM also offers a BS-to-PhD program. Finally, there is an option to earn the PhD online. All PhD pathways require a dissertation.

Other School Options

Other schools in Milwaukee with nursing degrees include Cardinal Stritch University, a Franciscan school about seven miles from downtown. It offers a bachelor's degree and master's degree programs. Alverno College, a private Catholic school about five miles southwest of downtown Milwaukee, offers BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. Another private school is the Milwaukee School of Engineering, which is located in the heart of the city and provides a BSN program.

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