PRN Nursing Jobs in Wisconsin Ultimate Guide

Want to know more about working as a nurse or nursing assistant in the state of Wisconsin? This ultimate guide will help you learn the average salaries, job opportunities, nursing schools, and how to find PRN nursing jobs in Wisconsin.

Are you a nursing professional working in Wisconsin? Registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) can find PRN jobs in Wisconsin using Nursa.

Table of Contents

This guide will provide an overview of what the Badger State offers nursing professionals, including average wages, nursing schools, affordable cities, and how to find PRN nursing jobs.

RN, LPN, and CNA salary information throughout this guide comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and living wage information is from the MIT Living Wage Calculator (latest data as of January 2024).

Nursing Professional Mean Annual Wage Mean Hourly Wage
Registered Nurse (RN) $94,480 $45.42
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) $60,790 $29.23
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) $39,610 $19.04

How Much Do Nurses in Wisconsin Make?

Salaries in Wisconsin's nursing field fluctuate depending on your workplace and qualifications. Thriving healthcare hubs like Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay offer promising job opportunities, with CNAs, LPNs, and RNs finding competitive pay aligned with their roles.

In smaller towns and rural areas such as Beloit, Chippewa Falls, and New Richmond, the pace and environment shift, resulting in nursing salaries typically lower than in urban centers. Nonetheless, these regions can attract nurses seeking a close-knit community and a more serene lifestyle.

Across Wisconsin's cities, wages may also fluctuate. Locations like Waukesha and Waupun boast competitive compensation, reflecting their active healthcare sectors. Also, Prairie Farm and Reedsburg offer balanced wages that find harmony with living expenses, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle. From Oshkosh to Osseo, nursing salaries adapt to local demands, catering to both worker satisfaction and quality of life.

To find a balance with the diverse wages, many nurses in Wisconsin seek flexible PRN nursing jobs with high hourly pay. Luckily, Nursa connects clinicians with flexible, high-paying nursing jobs in Wisconsin, offering an avenue to boost their earnings while enjoying flexibility in various healthcare settings.

Which Are the Highest-Paying Cities in Wisconsin?

This table displays the average wages for nurses and nursing assistants across Wisconsin. It organizes cities in descending order, starting with the highest-paying locations for registered nurses, and provides average salaries for practical nurses and nursing assistants.

Metropolitan Area Mean RN Annual Wage Mean LPN Annual Wage Mean CNA Annual Wage
Madison, WI $91,880 $58,550 $42,460
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $88,230 $59,220 $41,040
Green Bay, WI $84,490 $54,150 $39,840
Racine, WI $84,290 $58,120 $41,270
Appleton, WI $83,780 $56,780 $39,930
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI $83,090 $54,570 $39,450

Wisconsin's urban centers, such as Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay, present lucrative opportunities for nursing professionals with competitive wages. However, cities like Wausau and Eau Claire also offer attractive compensation packages. In rural regions of Wisconsin, like Chippewa Falls and Ashland, salaries may be lower but are often met with a more affordable cost of living.

Explore PRN nursing jobs across Wisconsin to earn a higher annual income as a nurse or nursing assistant. 

Some of the Best Hospitals and Other Medical Centers in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to many exceptional hospitals and healthcare facilities, offering a wide array of jobs in areas like the emergency room (ER), intensive care unit (ICU), and medical-surgical (med/surg) departments. The state prides itself on a strong, innovative healthcare system that ensures the wellbeing of its residents.

Some of the most distinguished healthcare facilities in Wisconsin include:

  • University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics: This leading healthcare institution is renowned for its extensive research and education and for providing excellent patient care. It is located in Madison and offers a wide range of specialties and medical innovations.
  • Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin: This facility, based in Milwaukee, is known for its high-quality care in cancer, heart, and neurology services, among other areas. 
  • Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center: Also located in Milwaukee, it is famous for its advanced cardiac care programs and strongly emphasizes innovative treatment for its patient-focused care.
  • Marshfield Clinic: With locations spread throughout Wisconsin, Marshfield Clinic is recognized for its quality research, education, and patient care and offers a broad spectrum of services to address the health needs of Wisconsin communities.
  • Gundersen Health System: Based in La Crosse, Gundersen is a leading name in healthcare. It is known for its environmental initiatives and commitment to excellent patient care. Gundersen devotes itself to improving community health.

These facilities exemplify Wisconsin's dedication to healthcare excellence, integrating cutting-edge technology and comprehensive services to meet the health needs of its diverse population.

What Are the Best Nursing Schools in Wisconsin? 

If you're considering a career in nursing, Wisconsin is an exceptional place to start, with its vast array of nursing programs accredited by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing. The state offers many licensure options to cater to your career goals in nursing, from foundational programs to advanced practice roles. Wisconsin's commitment to excellence in nursing education is evident in its institutions, which are renowned for their quality of education and dedication to meeting the community's healthcare needs.

Prominent nursing schools in Wisconsin and their notable programs include:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison: This institution is a pillar in nursing education, offering a wide range of programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which lays the groundwork for a nursing career, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for those looking to step into advanced practice roles, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) designed to develop leaders in clinical care.
  • Marquette University: Known for its rigorous nursing curriculum, Marquette offers a BSN program that integrates clinical practice with academic excellence, an MSN program for nurse leaders and educators, and a DNP program focusing on innovative and evidence-based nursing practice.
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: This university stands out for its research-focused MSN program, which prepares nurses for roles in administration, education, and specialized clinical practice. It also offers a DNP program focusing on leadership in health policy and system improvement. 
  • Viterbo University: Located in La Crosse, Viterbo's BSN program combines a solid liberal arts education with professional nursing training. It also offers a DNP program emphasizing leadership and advanced clinical practice.
  • Edgewood College: In Madison, Edgewood College offers a BSN program emphasizing holistic care and community health and an MSN program focused on leadership and education.  

These institutions reflect Wisconsin's dedication to nurturing skilled, compassionate, and knowledgeable nursing professionals who are equipped to address the state's evolving healthcare needs.

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing is the go-to resource for those looking to apply for a nursing license in Wisconsin. Additionally, for healthcare professionals seeking to verify their status, the national database Nursys offers a convenient nursing license lookup, where you can verify your license as an LPN or RN in Wisconsin.

Many choose to work as nursing assistants in Wisconsin before advancing their nursing careers. This path provides some experience and a competitive income, with opportunities available across the state. Nursa offers flexible shifts for nursing assistants, facilitating essential hands-on experience.

What Are the Cheapest Cities in Wisconsin?

a hand holding a credit card while typing on a laptop
Wisconsin nurses can take advantage of the low cost of living while making higher pay.

In Wisconsin, while urban areas like Milwaukee and Madison are known for their vibrant lifestyles and higher living costs, numerous cities combine affordability with a high quality of life, making them appealing to clinicians seeking that work-life balance. 

  • Beloit: Situated near the southern border of Wisconsin, Beloit offers affordability with a cost of living lower than the national average. The city provides public transportation services, including bus lines facilitating local travel. About 70 miles from Milwaukee, Beloit offers a blend of small-town charm and proximity to metropolitan amenities.
  • Chippewa Falls: Known for its beautiful parks and recreational areas, Chippewa Falls is another city where living costs are manageable. Well-structured roadways meet limited public transportation. The city is roughly 90 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota, offering serene living with access to a major urban center.
  • Manitowoc: Located along Lake Michigan, Manitowoc is celebrated for its maritime heritage and affordable living. The city has a public transportation system that includes bus services connected to the city. Approximately 80 miles north of Milwaukee, Manitowoc has a peaceful coastal lifestyle suitable for those who enjoy the tranquility of lakeside living.
  • Wisconsin Rapids: This city is notable for its welcoming community and reasonable living costs. Public transportation is available. Situated in the heart of Wisconsin, it is about 100 miles from larger cities like Madison and Milwaukee, offering a quiet, community-focused environment.
  • Richland Center: Set in the scenic driftless area of Wisconsin, Richland Center boasts both affordable housing and a lower cost of living. While public transportation options are modest, they are decent, given the town's size. Located approximately 60 miles from Madison, this city offers a blend of rural beauty appealing to those who appreciate nature and peaceful living.

These cities in Wisconsin provide diverse living experiences, from lakeside tranquility in Manitowoc to the historic charm of Beloit, all within the parameters of affordability. Each city, with its unique characteristics, contributes to Wisconsin's appeal as a state that balances economical living with access to excellent healthcare services, cultural richness, and nature.

Health Insurance in Wisconsin

Healthcare professionals in Wisconsin should be well aware of the financial challenges associated with medical care and emphasize the value of health insurance coverage. Many benefit from employer-sponsored insurance plans, while those in self-employment or freelance positions might not have this advantage.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers guidance on securing individual or family health insurance plans for those not covered by employer plans and who do not qualify for Medicaid. This avenue provides an essential safety net, ensuring more Wisconsinites access necessary healthcare services without uncomfortable costs.

a waterfall with coloful trees and a cloudy sky
PRN nurses can have an adventurous career while making higher pay and exploring all Wisconsin offers. Nursa connects nursing professionals to per diem jobs throughout the state.

What Are Some Fun Things to Do in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is a place with tons of engaging activities and stunning natural beauty, offering endless fun for residents and visitors alike:

  • Altoona & Antigo: Altoona is a riverside gem for water sports, while Antigo is a northern escape for hunters and snowmobilers. Both are brimming with local festivities and outdoor charm.
  • Cuba City & Darlington: Cuba City showcases presidential pride, and Darlington offers riverfront charm and a festive spirit, embodying small-town Americana.
  • Dousman & Fredonia: Near Kettle Moraine, Dousman is an outdoor lover's dream, while Fredonia offers peaceful countryside escapes. Both host vibrant annual events.
  • Durand & Germantown: Durand features tranquil river views, and Germantown celebrates German culture with festivals, combining scenic beauty with a rich heritage.
  • Hayward & Janesville: Hayward is a fishing paradise, and Janesville is famed for its botanical gardens, offering lush outdoor experiences for park explorations.
  • Kewaunee & Lancaster: Kewaunee's lakefront and lighthouse contrast with Lancaster's architectural charm, highlighting maritime history and beautiful architecture. 
  • Luck & Mauston: Luck is known for its festive atmosphere, and Mauston offers scenic river adventures that are perfect for nature lovers. 
  • New Glarus & New Holstein: New Glarus delights with Swiss festivities and brews, while New Holstein celebrates dairy culture and German heritage, offering cultural feasts.
  • New Lisbon & Rib Lake: New Lisbon is a cute fishing spot, and Rib Lake attracts hikers to the Ice Age Trail, showcasing Wisconsin's natural beauty.
  • Richland Center & Sauk City: Richland Center offers Wright's architectural legacy and Sauk City features riverside eagle watching, blending history with natural beauty.
  • Sister Bay & South Milwaukee: Sister Bay is a coastal jewel with dining and shopping, and South Milwaukee offers parkland beauty, highlighting Wisconsin's diverse landscapes.
  • Spooner & Spring Valley: Spooner's railway history and Spring Valley's geological wonders offer adventures from historic train rides to cave explorations.
  • Stoughton & Superior: Stoughton's Norwegian heritage and Superior's lakeside location offer cultural and natural explorations, from Scandinavian festivals to maritime adventures.
  • Thorp & Tomahawk: Thorp's agricultural charm and Tomahawk's water sports provide a taste of rural and lakefront Wisconsin life, celebrating community and nature.
  • Two Rivers & Viroqua: Two Rivers offers coastal beauty and maritime history, while Viroqua is known for its arts scene and organic farming. Together, these two cities showcase Wisconsin's ecological and cultural diversity.
  • Wauwatosa & West Salem: Wauwatosa blends historic urban charm with West Salem's countryside serenity, offering architectural wonders and quiet retreats.
  • Woodville: Woodville is the essence of small-town Wisconsin, with its welcoming community and serene parks, perfect for peaceful exploration.

How to Find Per Diem Jobs in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's rich tapestry of communities relies on the dedication and skill of nurses and nursing assistants, who are paramount to the state's health and wellbeing. Recognizing these professionals' critical roles, Nursa offers a seamless connection to PRN nursing jobs across Wisconsin. With Nursa, nursing talent in the Badger State can begin to discover positions aligning with their lifestyle and professional aspirations while benefiting from competitive compensation. By embracing Nursa, Wisconsin's nursing professionals can access many roles and facilities that value flexibility and offer appealing hourly wages, thereby helping contribute towards an enriching career. 


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