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

wisconsin nursing

1Get your Graduate Degree in Wisconsin
2Earn your National Certification in Wisconsin
3Apply for your APNP or CNM Certification in Wisconsin
4Renewing 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.

Nurse Practitioner Salary

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Appleton
180
99010
Eau Claire
150
108400
Fond du Lac
60
109300
Green Bay
260
112740
Janesville-Beloit
110
120510
La Crosse-Onalaska
80
116860
Madison
430
110410
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
2240
111910
Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
350
119190
Northwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
80
111990
Oshkosh-Neenah
140
118240
Racine
90
114440
Sheboygan
60
120070
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
200
109780
Wausau, WI
140
115970
Western Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
110
124940

Registered Nurse Salary

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Appleton
1990
69720
Eau Claire
2210
66890
Fond du Lac
1130
63750
Green Bay
3970
68860
Janesville-Beloit
1620
71780
La Crosse-Onalaska
3020
76270
Madison
9170
82330
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
21420
76750
Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
4410
68180
Northwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
960
71210
Oshkosh-Neenah
1700
72400
Racine
1290
72360
Sheboygan
960
69000
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
3110
73790
Wausau
1790
70080
Western Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
2670
74780

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area Name
Employment
Annual median wage
Green Bay
70
71210
Madison
180
82360
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
350
72350
Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
30
74680
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
40
72860

Nurse Administrator Salary

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

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Appleton
140
113530
Eau Claire
210
103490
Fond du Lac
40
119210
Green Bay
300
115980
Janesville-Beloit
90
140670
La Crosse-Onalaska
230
94310
Madison
820
125200
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
1800
130970
Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
400
102030
Northwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
140
102070
Oshkosh-Neenah
110
108500
Racine
80
105310
Sheboygan
70
107800
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
290
109650
Wausau
160
123660
Western Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
270
113320

Nurse Anesthetists Salary

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Green Bay
70
239140
Madison
90
203020
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
260
224210
Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
NA
251060
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area
NA
256230

Nurse Midwives Salary

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
40
111760

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2020. 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.

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