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Do you work in Wisconsin as a registered nurse (RN), or are you considering a move? This guide to RN salaries in Wisconsin can help you compare and negotiate your RN salary. Keep reading to find out about typical salary ranges, the places where RN salaries in Wisconsin are highest, and how to factor in cost of living.
- Average Wisconsin RN Salary: $76,850 (Ranks NUMBER among all states)
- Hourly Wisconsin RN Salary: $36.95
- Projected Wisconsin RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 7.8%
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Average RN Salaries in Wisconsin
The average annual RN salary in Wisconsin is $76,850, the 22nd highest among all states. The median RN salary in Wisconsin is $76,560, below the national median annual salary of $82,750, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average hourly RN salary in Wisconsin is $36.95.
The top 10% of annual RN salaries in Wisconsin reach $98,970 or higher, and half of all nurses in Wisconsin earn between $62,650 and $80,100. For comparison, Michigan RNs earn an average annual RN salary of $75,930, just below Wisconsin RN salaries.
|Percentile||Average Annual RN Salary||Average Hourly RN Salary|
Wisconsin RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living
The cost-of-living index takes the prices of standard goods and services, such as housing, transportation, food, and clothing, and compares it to the national average. The U.S. average cost-of-living index is 100. This basis lets you easily compare the real value of salaries. Because Wisconsin's cost-of-living index is 93.2, that means an RN salary in Wisconsin has 6.8% more purchasing power than overall RN salaries across the country.
With this adjustment, the average RN salary in Wisconsin is worth $82,076. This makes RN salaries in Wisconsin the 15th highest among all states, instead of the 22nd highest, when factoring in cost of living.
- Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $82,076 (Ranks 15th among all states)
- Cost of Living Index (RPP): 93.2 (6.8% less than the U.S. average)
Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin is one of the top employers in Madison and hosts one of the eight Magnet hospitals in the state. William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is another Madison-based Magnet hospital. Milwaukee is home to three Magnet hospitals: Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Children's Wisconsin, and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Froedtert Hospital.
The La Crosse metropolitan area, such as Madison and Milwaukee, hosts a University of Wisconsin branch, as well as Gundersen Health System and Franciscan Skemp Medical Center. Janesville - Beloit, while smaller, also offers two Magnet providers, Mercyhealth and Mercy Health System Ambulatory Care, Physician Practice, Home Health, Hospice. Racine, which has the fifth highest RN salaries in Wisconsin, is near both Milwaukee and Chicago, and is home to several Ascension Health facilities.
|City||Average RN Salary|
|Milwaukee — Waukesha — West Allis, WI||$78,180|
|La Crosse — Onalaska, WI-MN||$77,080|
|Janesville — Beloit, WI||$76,390|
Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Wisconsin
While all but the top RN salaries in Wisconsin fall below six figures, the average advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) salaries reach $116,990 and higher. Nurse anesthetists can earn even more, at $235,550 and above.
Becoming a nurse midwife or a nurse practitioner requires a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree, and becoming a nurse anesthetist requires a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). This can make graduate school a very promising investment for Wisconsin healthcare workers looking to earn even more than the average RN salary in Wisconsin.
- Nursing Assistants: #33,870
- LPN/LVNs: $49,850
- Nurse Midwives: $117,170
- Nurse Practitioners: $116,990
- Nurse Anesthetists: $235,550
Methodology and Sources
Registered nursing salary data by state is collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, released on March 31, 2022. Data reflects RN salaries as of May 2021. The highest-paying cities and states for RNs are ranked by average annual salary.
Cost-of-living data is collected from the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis real personal income for states and metropolitan areas, released on December 14, 2021. RN salary adjusted for cost of living is calculated by multiplying each state's RN salary by its regional price parity (RPP). RPP measures differences in the cost of goods and services in a region compared to national prices.
Projected employment growth data by state is collected from Projections Central.
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