Wisconsin Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: CRNP License, APRN Licensure, WI APNP License


by NursePractitionerLicense.com Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Wisconsin

Wisconsin license for nurse practitioners is called Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP) license. The following are the specific requirements for qualifying for this license. Rules can change and should also be verified through the Wisconsin DSPS.

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Wisconsin.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Wisconsin requires nurse practitioner (NP) candidates to hold an unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license. If you have yet to hold a license, you’ll obtain an RN license by examination. However, if you have a license from another state, you can become an RN by endorsement. Let’s take a closer look at both processes.

Licensure by Examination

You have to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing to qualify for your RN license. While either will work, it’s a good idea to earn a bachelor’s degree to put you on the path to a Masters degree program – a requirement for the Wisconsin Nurse Practitioner (NP) license.

After completing your degree, you must:

You will also need to submit your application via the new LicensE system along with the $72 fee. If you wish to pay by credit card, fill out Form #3071 to include with your application. If you decide to mail the application and supporting documents, send to the following:

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708-8935

Licensure by Endorsement

Do you currently have a valid RN license? If so, you can transfer it to Wisconsin by obtaining licensure by endorsement.

You’ll begin the process by verifying your existing RN license. First, use the Nursys verification tool to see if your state is available. If Nursys provides verification from your state, have it sent to Wisconsin. Then Nursys will send the state a QuickConfirm report to verify your RN license.

However, not all states are part of the Nursys verification program. If your state isn’t listed, you’ll need to contact the board of nursing in the state where you currently hold a license. Then the board can email the confirmation to DSPSCedNursing@wisconsin.gov or mail it to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Then provide authorization for the FBI to conduct a background check. You’ll also need to submit fingerprints as part of the process.

You can then apply for your license by endorsement by completing your application on the LicensE system and paying the $57 fee. However, you might want to apply for a temporary permit so you can work while waiting for the official license. This is especially important if you couldn’t verify your license through Nursys. It takes longer when states have to verify licenses outside of the system, so this will allow you to work while waiting for the official license. You can fill out and submit the permit, along with a $10 fee.

Once you gather the paperwork and fees, send everything to:

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708-8935

Advanced Education Requirements

You will need to complete a master’s degree (MSN) or higher to become an NP in Wisconsin. The state is full of board-accredited master’s degree programs that focus on various populations, such as families, pediatrics, and geriatrics.

You can also use the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ NP Program Search to find a school. First, choose the state, degree, and population focus. Then it will provide you with a list of programs approved by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing. You’ll also notice that the results provide a breakdown of in-person and distance education. This can be helpful if you need to continue working as an RN full-time while pursuing your master’s degree. It’s much easier to fit online classes into your schedule.

You can then apply for the program and work toward your master’s degree. If you can attend as a full-time student, you can complete your degree in as little as two years. However, it takes three years or longer if you are a part-time student.

National Certification

Once you graduate with your master’s degree, you will need to obtain national certification in your population focus area. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners lists the certifying bodies and the types of CNPs each certifies.

For instance, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board certifies family, adult-gerontology primary care, and emergency nurse practitioners. However, the National Certification Corporation certifies neonatal and women’s health care nurse practitioners.

These are just two of the various options, so use the website as a resource to find the proper certification board based on your population focus. You can then visit the certifying board’s website to go through the steps necessary to gain national certification.

Gaining Final Authority to Practice As an NP in Wisconsin

You must register and complete your application online through the LicensE system to become a licensed nurse practitioner in Wisconsin. Additionally, you’ll need to provide the $132 fee with your application.

The state also requires supporting documentation when applying for your license. First, you’ll need to email the following documents to DSPSCredNursing@wisconsin.gov:

After the state processes your information, you’ll need to take the Jurisprudence Exam online. Additionally, you must obtain malpractice insurance coverage if you intend to prescribe independently. Finally, you must have proof of 45 contact hours in clinical pharmacology or therapeutics within the last five years to get your license approved. If you are short on hours, consult with your national certifying body about opportunities.