While 44.1% of Wisconsin’s nurses had BSNs in 2012, only 9.1% had master’s degrees according to the Wisconsin Center on Nursing (WCN) survey. With a critical shortage of physicians expected in Wisconsin in the coming years, MSN-educated nurses such as APRNs will be essential to providing primary healthcare services, particularly in rural areas known for having a shortage of primary care providers. A 2013 report published by the WCN called for doubling the number of APRN graduates in Wisconsin by 2020.
The number of enrollees in APRN programs has been increasing dramatically in Wisconsin, although the levels are still not high enough to offset the projected shortage of physicians. Enrollment in Wisconsin’s advanced practice nursing programs almost doubled between 2010 and 2011 according to the WCN.
While APRNs can specialize as nurse anesthetists or nurse midwives, most of this growth was in the number of students enrolling in nurse practitioner programs.
MSN-Educated Nursing Salaries in Wisconsin
In addition to being critical to the efficacy of Wisconsin’s healthcare system, APRN specialists are paid extremely well for their expertise compared to staff RNs with ADN and BSN degrees. This difference in the salaries for advanced practice nurses versus staff RNs ranged from 36.6% higher for nurse practitioners to 336.9% higher for nurse anesthetists, according to salary information released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in 2013.
APRN specialties that require an MSN pay substantially higher salaries than staff RN positions, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The average annual salary for an experienced staff RN in Wisconsin was $70,990 in 2013, while the salaries for experienced APRNs were significantly higher:
- Nurse Anesthetist – $239,140
- Nurse Midwife – $100,320
- Nurse Practitioner – $96,980
Nurse Practitioner Salaries Throughout Wisconsin
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed the salaries of nurse practitioners throughout metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of Wisconsin. These professionals had the highest salary in the south central nonmetropolitan part of the state in 2013:
Salaries for Nurse Anesthetists in Selected Regions of Wisconsin
Salary information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that nurse anesthetists made more than $187,199 a year in several nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas of Wisconsin (2013):
Nurse Midwife Salaries in the Two Key Metropolitan Areas of Wisconsin
Nurse midwives earned significantly higher salaries in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area in 2013 than they did in the Milwaukee area according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: