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Registered Nurse Certification in Wisconsin

Registered nurse certification in Wisconsin empowers nurses to successfully carry out their responsibilities such as counseling severely ill patients, regarding maintenance of health and prevention of illness, executing medical schedules, treating patient’s unique responses, etc. The certification in the state is issued by the Department of Safety and Professional Services, which aims to ensure the safe and knowledgeable practice of licensed professionals.

Requirements for Acquiring RN Licensure in Wisconsin

1. Examination

The requirements to obtain RN license by examination includes:

  • Complete the licensure application.
  • Submit appropriate fee in the form of check which must be made payable to the “Department of Safety and Professional Services.”
  • Successfully complete graduation from a Board approved nursing education program. You may download the form which verifies the completion of graduation using the following link. this form to your nursing school and request them to return it back directly to the Board office address.
  • All foreign graduates, including those from Canada must complete the “Statement of Foreign Nursing Education” form and forward it to their board of nursing.
    Request your nursing school to return it directly to the Board office address.
  • All foreign graduates are required to submit a valid CGFNS certificate. You can contact the CGFNS (Commission of Foreign Nursing Schools) at:3600 Market Street, Suite 400,
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-2651
    Phone: 215-349-8767Note: If you have completed your graduation or nursing education from any English speaking nursing school in Canada, you are not required to submit this certificate.

2. Endorsement

In addition to the above requirements, the applicants are required to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Provide verification of your RN certification from every U.S. state or territory, in which you have ever been licensed regardless of active or inactive license status.
  • Complete graduation from a board-approved professional nursing school. If you have not graduated from an approved nursing school, then you must meet the following:
    • Complete graduation from a professional nursing school in a foreign country or from any school in this country which is not approved by the board;
    • If you are originally licensed in a foreign country, you are required to successfully pass any of the following licensure examination in a foreign country: state board test pool examination for registered nurses, or NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses), or any other examination which is accredited by the board;
    • Provide a proof of a minimum of two years of full−time or an equivalent practice as an RN during the past five years;
    • Verifies proficiency in the English language;
    • No disciplinary action has been taken against a license in any of the territories, states, countries or provinces, in which the candidate has ever held an RN license;
    • You have not been terminated from any employment pertaining to nursing in any other province, territory, state or country for reasons of carelessness or lack of skills.
    • If you are originally licensed in any other U.S. state, province or territory, submit proof that the requirements for licensure in that particular state, province or territory were significantly equivalent at the time of original licensure to the licensure requirements in this state.

Procedure to Obtain RN License

1. Examination

You may obtain RN license in the state of Wisconsin by following the below steps:

Step 1: Complete the examination application for licensure by using any of the following methods:

  • Online at:
  • Paper ApplicationDownload the application form using the following link:
    After completing the important details in the form, mail it with the appropriate fee of $90 (includes $75.00 as initial license fee and $15.00 as contract exam fee) and the supporting documents to the following address:U.S. Postal Service
    Department of Safety and Professional Services
    Board of Nursing
    P.O. Box 8935
    Madison, Wisconsin- 53708-8935Expedited Delivery Services (i.e. Fed Ex, UPS, etc.)
    Department of Safety and Professional Services
    Board of Nursing
    1400 East Washington Avenue
    Madison, Wisconsin- 53703

Step 2: You may take a glance at the examination instructions prior filling the application. These instructions may be viewed by using the following link:

Step 3: Enroll yourself with Pearson VUE before or immediately after submitting the licensure application form, in order to be eligible to take the licensure exam. To complete the registration process, you may use any one of the following methods:

  • Online at:
    Select “Register” option after clicking on the above link. The registration fee of $200 can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
  • By mail
    You may ask the Board of Nursing office to mail you a NCLEX registration form. After finishing the necessary details of the form and including a money order or cashier’s check of $200.0 (made payable to the NCSBN), mail it to the following address:NCLEX Operations
    Post Office Box 64950,
    St. Paul, Minnesota- 55164-0950.

Step 6: Once all your required papers are accepted, the Board will update the Pearson VUE, making you eligible to give the NCLEX-RN.

Step 7: Pearson VUE will send you an ATT (Authorization to Test) on the address or via email submitted by you while completing the process of registration.

Step 8: As soon as you receive the ATT, get in touch with the Pearson VUE, and fix an appointment to take the licensure test.

Step 9: The results of the exam will be received by you from the Board of Nursing, in approximately 4 weeks succeeding the exam.

Step 10: Upon final approval, a license will be issued by the Board, so that, you can start nursing practice in the state of Wisconsin.

2. Endorsement

The procedure for obtaining an RN license by endorsement in the state of Wisconsin is as follows:

Licensure by Retake Examination

Candidates who have already taken the licensure examination in the state of Wisconsin before and are reapplying for taking the exam are required to meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the registered nurse retake application form for licensure by examination. Download the application using the following link:
  • Return the application directly to the below given Board of Nursing address including retake exam fee of $15.00.Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
    P.O. Box 8935
    Madison, Wisconsin- 53708-8935
  • Re-register with the Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX exam online at and follow all the registration instructions.

Verification of RN License

To verify your license in the state, you may use any of the following verification methods:

Temporary Permit

All candidates applying for RN licensure by examination or endorsement may receive a temporary permit with a validity of 90 days, if the following documents are submitted to the Board office:

  • A completely filled licensure by endorsement or examination application.
  • Evidence of successful completion of graduation provided from a board-approved professional nursing school.
  • Additional temporary permit fee of $10 which must be submitted to the board office prior granting the permission for temporary permit.

Use the following link to download the temporary permit application:

After completing the essential details of the form, mail it to the above mentioned Board office address (Refer step 1 of procedure to obtain RN license by examination).

Renewal of RN License

All RN licenses in Wisconsin expire on 28th or 29th February of every even numbered year. At present, the state requires 24 hours of continuing education through NAB.

Renewal Requirements:

In order to renew license, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Provide application fee of $86.
  • Submission of certificate of legal status (CLS), which is included in both paper as well as on-line renewal form.
  • Signature confirming the successful completion of continuing education.

Renewal Methods:

License Lookup

To search for an RN license, you may use the following link:

Using the above link, you may search for the following:

  • Organizational licenses/credentials
  • Trades license/credential
  • Multiple credential
  • Business/health individual license/credential

Application Status

If you have freshly applied for licensure in the state, you may use the following link to check the status of your application:

You may search by entering any of the following fields:

  • Application Number
  • Name
  • Organization

Re-registration of RN License

For re-registering an RN license, follow the below procedure or instructions:

  • Download the application for re-registration of registered nurse license using the following link:
  • Enclose re-registration fee of $107 which includes re-registration fee of $82.00 and late renewal fee of $25.00. The fee should be paid in the form of check made payable to the “Department of Safety and Professional Services.”
  • Provide your social security number.
  • Provide verification of licensure from all the states where you have been ever licensed since your Wisconsin license has been expired (includes both inactive and active licenses).
  • Submit copies of any malpractice suit(s). You may provide court papers indicating accusations and settlement (if applicable).
  • Mail the application, fee, and supporting documents to the address mentioned above in step 1 of procedure to obtain RN license by examination section of this article.
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