Like many other states, Wisconsin is on the verge of a primary care shortfall. Healthcare experts predict an eight percent shortage of primary healthcare providers by 2020. By 2030, that number is expected to increase to 14 percent. Nurse practitioners, it is hoped, will help ease the burden by providing primary care services to some of the state's residents.
Nurse practitioners in Wisconsin are allowed to diagnose and treat patients; they are also allowed to prescribe medications - in face, nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses are legally called "advanced practice nurse prescribers" in Wisconsin. NPs must have a collaborative relationship with a Wisconsin physician in order execute their full scope of practice.
Wisconsin's almost 3500 nurse practitioners earn, on average, $84,000 to $89,000 annually. The Wisconsin Nurses Association Advanced Practice Nurse Forum is the professional organization for Wisconsin NPs.
Wisconsin nurses who want to advance their education and become nurse practitioners can attend an online school, such as Georgetown University, or one of these in-state schools:
- Marquette University. U.S News and World Report ranked Marquette's graduate-level nursing programs in the top 10 percent nationwide. The school has an RN-to-MSN options for nurses without bachelor's degrees who wish to become NPs; it also has a direct-entry MSN program for non-nurses who want to become NPs. Students can choose from different NP tracks such as: acute care, adult, pediatric - acute, pediatric - primary care, and older adults. A DNP program is also available.
- University of Wisconsin at Madison. UW-Madison offers different master's-level NP tracks such as: acute care, adult, gerontology, pediatric, psychiatric-mental health and women's health. Students can also choose the nurse educator/pediatric nurse practitioner dual degree option.
- Viterbo University. Located in LaCrosse, Viterbo offers master's-level preparation for family nurse practitioners and adult/gerontological nurse practitioners. These demanding programs requires a lot of hard work and focus; school leaders recommend restricting your work hours in the last semester of the program.