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Steps to Become an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber or Certified Nurse Midwife in Wisconsin

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wisconsin nursing

Get your Graduate Degree in Wisconsin
Earn your National Certification in Wisconsin
Apply for your APNP or CNM Certification in Wisconsin
Renewing your Certification in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing under the umbrella of the State of Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing and through the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (phone: 877-617-1565, DSPS@wisconsin.gov), grants approval for qualified registered nurses to work as either certified nurse-midwifes (CNMs), or as Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers (APNP). The Board recognizes three different types of Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse anesthetist (CNA)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

In Wisconsin, advanced practice nursing involves holding prescriptive authority as a matter of standard protocol. Only pursue APNP certification through the Wisconsin Board of Nursing if you wish to hold prescriptive authority.

Wisconsin Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in WI: $94,660
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Wisconsin: 88.1%
  • In 2016 Wisconsin Board of Nursing ruled that APRNs with prescriptive authority cannot prescribe Schedule I and II controlled substances
  • Wisconsin is projected to have a shortage of RNs of 10,500 by 2030
  • In 2015, there were 81,655 licensed RNs in WI
  • In 2015, there were 4446 licensed APRNs in WI

To be approved to work as an APNP or CNM, you must have a valid, unencumbered Wisconsin RN license. If you do not have an active RN license in Wisconsin, you can obtain one by completing one of the following steps:

Nurse Licensure Compact

Wisconsin is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Compact offers practice privileges for registered nurses in all compact states. Participating Nurse Licensure Compact states are Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The Compact privileges only apply to RNs and not to Wisconsin’s advanced practice nurses, including Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers and Certified Registered Nurse Midwives.

With your RN license, you can follow these steps to become an Advanced Registered Nurse Prescriber or Certified Registered Nurse Midwife in Wisconsin.


 

Step 1. Get your Graduate Degree

To qualify for APNP certification in Wisconsin, you must hold a master’s degree in nursing or a related health field from a college or university that obtained accreditation by a regional accreditation agency approved by the Board of Education in the state where the institution is located, or from a program that has received programmatic accreditation by the nationally recognized advanced nursing practice accrediting agencies. Review accreditation agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Regional accrediting agencies can be found under “Institutional Accrediting Agencies.” Nursing-specific programmatic accrediting agencies can be found under “Specialized or Programmatic Accrediting Agencies.

Course Requirements

The Wisconsin State Board of Nursing requires the following core courses for APNPs:

  • Pathophysiology (all general principles applicable across the human lifespan)
  • Advanced pharmacology (includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of agents)
  • Physical evaluation/assessment (includes assessment of all systems of the body, advanced assessment methods, techniques and concepts)

Prescriptive Authority Requirements

Within three years of applying for a national certificate, you must complete and submit proof of at least 45 contact hours in clinical pharmacology/therapeutics. The proof submitted must include the title of the course, the number of pharmacology hours per course, and the date you completed the course.

As an APNP who anticipates the need to prepare prescription orders for controlled substances in addition to medication, you must also register with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). You can contact the DEA at 1-800-882-9539 for more information.

CNM Education Requirements

To work toward a CNM certificate in Wisconsin, you must complete an educational program that results in a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nurse-midwifery. The program must be an American College of Nurse-Midwives accredited program.


Step 2. Earn your National Certification

After you complete your graduate education, you are then eligible to take an exam to become nationally certified in your nursing specialty:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

To be state-certified as an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, you must first hold national certification through one of these certifying bodies:

Clinical Nurse Specialist (acute and critical care)


Step 3. Apply for your APNP or CNM Certification

APNP Certification

To apply for your APNP certification in Wisconsin as a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CNA), or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), you must complete an application packet that includes the following forms:

  • Application for Certification as an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber. The following documentation must also be submitted:
    • Evidence of malpractice insurance coverage (copy of insurance card) or form #2157 if you do not carry personal liability insurance coverage
    • Verification of current national certification letters from all appropriate national certifying boards. To provide verification of your current national certification as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or certified nurse anesthetist, contact the appropriate national certifying board and ask them to send the verification directly to the Department of Safety & Professional Services, Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 53708-8935.
    • Copies of malpractice suits, with attached court documents, if applicable
    • Social Security form (page 6 of the application, Form #2124)
    • Current employment verification. Ask your employer to submit a letter directly to the Department of Safety & Professional Services, Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 53708-8935.
  • Application Form for Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers Who Do Not Carry Personal Liability Insurance Coverage (as applicable) (Form #2157). You should fill this form out if you are either: (a) covered under a group liability policy providing individual coverage; (b) covered under a group liability policy providing group coverage; or (c) if you are an advanced practice prescriber who practices as an employee of the state or governmental subdivision.
  • Application for Certification of Master’s Degree (Form #2367). This application should be completed and forwarded to the college or university where you received your graduate education. The college or university should then complete the form and return it directly to the Department of Safety & Professional Services, Wisconsin Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 53708-8935. Your application will be rejected if you send this information yourself.
  • Convictions and Pending Charges form (as applicable). Complete this form if you have been convicted of a crime or you have criminal charges pending against you and send it with your application. An additional fee of $8.00 is required to process this form. This form cannot be faxed.
  • Verification of License form (as applicable) (Form #741). This form must be completed if you are currently licensed or have ever been licensed in another state or country. Forward this form to the other state board(s) and ask them to return the form(s) directly to the Department of Safety & Professional Services, Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8395, Madison, WI 53708-8935.

Wisconsin Statutes and Rules Examination

All candidates for certification must pass a jurisprudence examination on Wisconsin Statutes and Rules relating to the practice of APNPs. This exam can be accessed after the Board has received your application. Once the Board receives your application and related fees, you will receive your exam access information (name, password, and applicant ID). You can then access and take this exam online.

CNM Certification

To apply for your CNM certification in Wisconsin, you must complete an application packet that includes the following forms:

  • Convictions and Pending Charges form (as applicable). Complete this form if you have been convicted of a crime or you have criminal charges pending against you and send it with your application. This form cannot be faxed.
  • Request for a Temporary Permit for Nurse-Midwife (as applicable). The Board may grant you a temporary permit if you are awaiting national certification verification. A temporary permit is granted for a six-month period, but must be renewed after three months. If the Board determines hardship, you may extend your temporary permit up to 12 months. An additional fee of $10 is charge for a temporary permit, and all applicable forms must be completed, along with the appropriate documentation. Once you receive a temporary permit, you must practice under the supervision of a certified nurse-midwife or physician and can use the title “Graduate Nurse-Midwife,” or GNM.
  • Verification of National Certification – You must request the American College of Nurse-Midwives to send verification of your certificate. The ACNM must send the verification directly to the: Board of Nursing, Department of Safety and Professional Services, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 53708-8935.

Application Status and License Look-up

Upon receipt of your application, the Board will send you a check sheet that will include your identification number. This number will allow you to check on the status of your application online by clicking on the “applications status” link). An application is not complete until the Board receives all the required documents and fees. Once your certificate application is processed, you can look up your official credential number and grant date by clicking on the “license lookup” link.

Application Fees

Once you have completed all applicable forms, mail your packet, along with the following fees:

  • $75.00 initial credential fee (applicable to ARNPs and CNMs)
  • $75.00 state law exam fee (applicable to ARNPs)
  • $10.00 temporary permit fee (as applicable to CNMs)
  • $8.00 convictions and pending charges fee (as applicable)

You should make the check payable to the “Department of Safety & Professional Services” and mail it, along with your completed applications and forms, to: Department of Safety & Professional Services, Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 57308-8935.


Step 4. Renew your Certification

APNP Certification Renewal

As an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber classified as a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CNA), or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), your APNP certification must be renewed before September 30 of every EVEN-numbered year. You can expect to receive a renewal application in the mail about six to eight weeks before the renewal date.

The renewal of your APNP certification is a separate action from the renewal of your professional nurse license, and requires an additional fee of $82.00 (if late, the fee is $107).

You can also renew your professional nurse license and APNP certification online through the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services online application system.

CNM Certification Renewal

Your CNM certification in Wisconsin must be renewed before March 1 of every EVEN-numbered year. You can expect a renewal application in the mail about six to eight weeks before the renewal date.

The renewal of your CNM certification is a separate action from the renewal of your professional nurse license, and requires an additional fee of $86.00 (if late, the fee is $111).

You can also renew your professional license and CNP Certification online through the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services online application system.

Malpractice Insurance Verification

All APNPs must submit proof to the Board of Nursing every year by October 1 of their malpractice insurance coverage for prescriptive authority. Send a copy of your insurance coverage to: Department of Safety & Professional Services, Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 57308-8935.

Continuing Education

To continue practice as an APNP in Wisconsin you must provide documentation for the completion of at least eight contact hours each year in clinical pharmacology/therapeutics in your area of practice. You must provide your continuing education documentation on a schedule that is consistent with the continuing education requirements of your national certifying body.

You are required to provide evidence to the Board of your continued education for a minimum of five years. Send proof of your continued education requirements to the: Department of Safety & Professional Services, Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, WI 57308-8935.

There are no continuing education requirements for CNMs in Wisconsin.

Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber Associations in Wisconsin

There are a number of professional organizations that support APNPs and CNMs in Wisconsin:


Wisconsin Nurse Practitioner Salary

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reported in their National NP Compensation Survey of 2011 that NPs practicing in Wisconsin earned an average base salary of $88,140 and a total average of $93,812, including benefits and bonus. According to the results of the 2011 Advance for NPs and PAs salary survey, NPs in Madison and Milwaukee earned an average of $73,000 and $80,429 respectively. NPs working in Green Bay earned some of the highest salaries in the state, with an average yearly income of $88,573.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Appleton WI
1610
58890
Duluth MN-WI
3690
71000
Eau Claire WI
1740
63680
Fond du Lac WI
790
59650
Green Bay WI
3130
61560
Janesville WI
1370
62690
La Crosse WI-MN
2200
55090
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI Metropolitan Division
6820
71900
Madison WI
6940
74940
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI
17670
63990
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI
34060
75810
Oshkosh-Neenah WI
1660
59430
Racine WI
1420
63340
Sheboygan WI
720
64390
Wausau WI
1180
62130
Eastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
2480
58700
West Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
3780
64650
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
2090
64750
Southwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
1080
64300
Northern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
1200
61500

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Green Bay WI
Estimate Not Released
83700
Madison WI
70
67760
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI
Estimate Not Released
66690
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI
Estimate Not Released
76680

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Duluth MN-WI
Estimate Not Released
55680
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI Metropolitan Division
60
60940
Madison WI
250
60560
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI
440
68450
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI
770
66390
Eastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
55220
Northern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
58820

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Appleton WI
140
78550
Duluth MN-WI
420
91810
Eau Claire WI
150
90960
Fond du Lac WI
80
88430
Green Bay WI
310
82880
Janesville WI
110
78680
La Crosse WI-MN
250
87600
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI Metropolitan Division
Estimate Not Released
96440
Madison WI
790
91310
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI
1840
103890
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI
3740
104530
Oshkosh-Neenah WI
180
79730
Racine WI
160
82850
Sheboygan WI
120
96230
Wausau WI
100
83110
Eastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
250
79660
West Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
290
86400
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
200
80850
Southwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
100
83510
Northern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
100
76000

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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