Two nursing students practicing skills on a dummy

Students who already have a bachelor’s degree or higher and are interested in making a career change to nursing can apply to enter this fast-track professional program to earn the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) in just 12 months.

It is an intense, rigorous program with students completing approximately 1 credit a week, for a total of 49 credits over 12 months. This equates to an average of 50 classroom-based, clinical, and out-of-class hours each week.

Tuition is a flat rate of $45,000 for Wisconsin residents (including reciprocity for MN residents), $60,000 for nonresidents, plus fees and other program-related expenses.


Following are the requirements to be eligible to apply for the Accelerated BSN program:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field from an accredited institution, completed by the program start date. Students anticipating spring graduation can apply the prior fall; proof of timely progress is required.
  • Admission to UW–Madison as a post-undergraduate degree-seeking student (separate application required)
  • Minimum college-level cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Completion of the prerequisites listed below with a grade of C or better in each course and a minimum combined GPA of 2.75. The first four prerequisites (science courses) must be completed by the application deadline and within seven years of the program start date. All prerequisites must be complete before the program start date. Prerequisite equivalency information is available on the BSN Prerequisite Course Equivalencies page.
    1. Chemistry w/Lab
    2. Microbiology
    3. Human Anatomy
    4. Human Physiology
    5. Psychology (introductory)
    6. Sociology (introductory)
    7. Human Growth and Development

Note: Anatomy and physiology may be satisfied by one semester of anatomy and one semester of physiology or by A&P I and II. With the latter option, students must complete both courses at the same institution.


Applicants must also complete the following university-wide General Education Requirements. At least two must be completed by the application deadline, and all prerequisites must be completed before the program start date.

  1. Communications Part A: Literacy Proficiency
  2. Communications Part B: Comm-B requirement is waived for students pursuing the Accelerated BSN degree only.
  3. Quantitative Reasoning Part A: QR Proficiency
  4. Quantitative Reasoning Part B: Enhanced QR Proficiency
  5. Ethnic Studies


The program requires two applications: one to UW–Madison, plus a supplemental application to the School of Nursing for the Accelerated BSN program. Both applications open September 1 and the deadline is October 1. In-person interviews occur in November. Admission decisions are released in December and students must submit their intent to enroll by March 1.


An unofficial transfer credit evaluation to check for completion of the nursing prerequisite courses and the university’s General Education Requirements will be completed by the School of Nursing prior to the decision release date. Admission is contingent upon official verification by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Applicants will be required to submit proof of enrollment at the time of application for any prerequisites not yet completed. If enrollment has not opened for a particular course, students will be asked to submit a statement of intent to register that lists the course, institution, dates of instruction, and enrollment date.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

School of Nursing Requirements

The Accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is a 49-credit curriculum comprised of 17 didactic and experiential learning (i.e., clinical) nursing courses. The program builds on the coursework Accelerated BSN students completed in their prior undergraduate and/or graduate degree(s) and the prerequisite coursework, including the university's General Education Requirements, completed in preparation for admission to the program.

Major Requirements

During the 12-months in the Accelerated BSN program, students complete 49 credits of required nursing coursework, including classroom-based active learning courses and experiential learning courses in the clinical environment. This nursing coursework will include Pathology and Pharmacology.


NURSING 313 Foundations of Nursing Practice2
NURSING 314 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Across the Lifespan3
NURSING 315 Professionalism in Nursing Practice1
NURSING 316 Foundations of Nursing Practice: Experiential Learning5
NURSING 317 Pharmacology Essentials for Nursing Practice2
NURSING 318 Pathophysiology Essentials for Nursing Practice3
NURSING 323 Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals and Families4
NURSING 324 Meeting the Psychosocial Health Needs of Individuals, Families, and Communities3
NURSING 326 Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals and Families: Experiential Learning I2
NURSING 327 Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals and Families: Experiential Learning II2
NURSING 434 Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals, Families, and Communities4
NURSING 436 Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals, Families, and Communities: Experiential Learning2
NURSING 437 Social Justice in Local and Global Settings2
NURSING 443 Advanced Concepts in Complex Nursing Practice5
NURSING 446 Advanced Concepts in Complex Nursing Practice: Experiential Learning5
NURSING 447 Scholarship for Evidence-Based Practice2
NURSING 448 Leadership in the Profession of Nursing2
Total Credits49

University Degree Requirements 

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Promote health and manage illness by providing safe, client-centered, culturally congruent care across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings.
  2. Employ professional nursing leadership concepts to address patient care and system needs to promote quality health care outcomes and health equity for all.
  3. Make effective use of technology for patient care, education, and management of health information.
  4. Understand the roles and scope of practice of disciplines of the health care team and practice as an effective, collaborating member of the interprofessional team.
  5. Use knowledge sources effectively to provide evidence-based care.
  6. Identify health disparities and advocate for basic essential health services for all.
  7. Allocate health care resources to maximize the health care benefit to clients, families, and community.
  8. Assume fiscal and ethical responsibility for clinical practice.
  9. Function as a member of the nursing profession within the community and the world.

The Accelerated BSN program is for second-degree candidates and is a 49-credit program completed over 12 months. There is not a four-year plan for this program. Please refer to the Requirements tab for more about the curriculum and program plan.

academic advising

The Office of Academic Affairs provides comprehensive academic advising services to students in the Accelerated BSN program. 

Career Advising

The school offers career advising services to provide resources and strategies for career planning and placement. This includes workshops and job/internship fairs, resume review, job search resources, and licensure information. Visit Career Advising and Student Success for more information.

Office of Academic Affairs


Linda D. Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Dean and Professor

Lisa C. Bratzke, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor

Katie Bleier

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs (Academic Dean)

Dana O'Brien, PhD, MSN, MHA, RN, CNE

Undergraduate Program Director, Associate Professor

Advising and Student Services

Darby Sugar

Director of Advising and Student Services

Molly Censky

Assistant Director of Advising and Student Success, Pre-Nursing Advisor

Maisee Her

Pre-Nursing Academic Advisor

Leigh Arora

Pre-Nursing Academic Advisor & BSN@Home Program Coordinator

Tracey Maloney

Advisor for Admitted Nursing Students (TBSN)

Kelli Richards

Career Development & Learning Support Manager

Admissions and Recruitment

Clinical placement

Ann Johnson

Undergraduate Clinical Placement Coordinator

Rikki Klassy

Undergraduate Clinical Placement Coordinator

Student Information and technology

John Coutley

Data Reporting Specialist

Amy Corridon

Curricular & Technology Specialist

Earning the bachelor of science in nursing degree is the first step toward becoming a Registered Nurse. Graduates must also take and and pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to receive their nursing license and begin their careers as nurses in hospitals, community health and mental health agencies, industrial health centers, nursing homes, family planning centers, crisis care centers, and beyond. A nursing license gives an individual permission to practice nursing, granted by the state where he or she met the requirements.

The School of Nursing works with students as they complete graduation requirements and the two-step process to register for the NCLEX. Specifically the school verifies graduation and assists students as they register for the exam. Most students take the NCLEX within three months of graduation. More than 90 percent of School of Nursing graduates pass the NCLEX on first attempt.


National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX-RN

Year of Exam UW-Madison Graduates: First Attempt National: First Attempt  
April-September 2021 81% 72%
April-September 2020 93% 79%
April-September 2019 89% 86%

Note: UW-Madison BSN Graduates pass rate reflects all UW-Madison Bachelor of Science-Nursing graduates who tested during the April-to-September test period for the first time, including recent and previous graduates.

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:

The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands

The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

California, New York

The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, American Samoa, Puerto Rico

Signe Skott Cooper Hall

In fall 2014, the School of Nursing moved to the new Signe Skott Cooper Hall. This $53.3 million nursing building features world-class technology and innovative educational spaces that will allow the nursing school to address health care’s new standard of excellence—high-tech and high-touch methods and practices that result in better patient outcomes and greater satisfaction with care.

Advising and Student Services

office of Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs is the undergraduate dean's office for the School of Nursing. Staff members interpret school regulations, policies, and program requirements; make exceptions around requirements and deadlines; advise prospective and current students; monitor students having academic difficulties; coordinate compliance; facilitate the program's admissions process; and maintain the official files of students in the school.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is an essential component of undergraduate education. The primary advising mission in the School of Nursing is to help students identify and clarify their academic pathways and educational goals, and to help them develop meaningful plans to ensure academic success. Advising is an ongoing, caring, and collaborative relationship between advisor and student that provides meaning, guidance, and support throughout the educational process. Every pre-nursing (PRN) and nursing (NUR) student is assigned a professional advisor in the nursing school. Advising is offered in individual appointments, group advising, and graduation checks for seniors.

Career Advising

In addition to professional academic advisors, the School of Nursing has career advising available to help students prepare for a successful career in nursing. Services include resume and job search assistance, online job postings, information sessions, and nursing career fairs.

Academic Support Services

Career & Student Success Academic Support has a mission to develop the next generation of nurse leaders by providing holistic, culturally congruent student support across four dimensions: academic support, leadership and connection, career development, and wellness throughout the student experience.  Students can gather with other like-minded, focused, and enthusiastic students to improve not only their understanding of the course material but of their own learning styles. Sessions are designed to assist pre-nursing and nursing students in weekly small-group study formats. Current courses supported include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology, as well as courses in the nursing curriculum. Workshops and other sessions help students with test preparation, study skills, time management, etc.

Student Organizations

The School of Nursing encourages and supports students to pursue their interests and form social networks. In addition to numerous associations available to students on the broader campus (including the Aspiring Nurses Association [ANA] for pre-nursing students), there are a number of student-run groups established specifically for current nursing students. These include the Student Nurses’ Association, the Multicultural Student Nurses’ Organization, the Nurse’s Christian Fellowship, the Global Health Interest Group, the Holistic Nursing Group, the Perinatal Interest Group, and the Student Geriatric Interest Group. The purpose of these groups is to give students the opportunity to enhance their experiences related to professional development, social circles, political action, community service, and academic achievement, as well as foster connections between faculty, staff, and students.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Nursing awards more than $400,000 in scholarships each year to admitted undergraduate nursing students. Awards are based on both academic merit and financial need. Students are invited to apply to nursing specific scholarships, as well as campus-wide or non-nursing scholarships, through the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub or WiSH.


Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2029–2030.