Madison College School of Nursing Partners With DSPS on Accelerate Wisconsin Initiative


The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) announced its new workforce Accelerate Wisconsin initiative on Wednesday, while also honoring the institutions, including Madison College, partnering in the initiative.

The announcement was made at Madison College-Truax campus on May 8, 2024.

DSPS Secretary Dan Hereth joined the deans from the colleges of nursing at Madison College, UW-Madison, and Edgewood College to announce a collaboration with participating nursing schools across the state to offer their students a faster path into the Wisconsin workforce.

“Through this partnership with state nursing schools, students are offered a pathway for taking their required national nursing exam, the NCLEX, before graduation. Starting with this graduating class,” Hereth explained at the announcement. “Think of it like the Fast Pass at an amusement park. For those students who are approved and ready to test early, this will ensure they are licensed within three business days of graduation.”

Madison College faculty and staff at the Accelerate Wisconsin announcement
Madison College nursing faculty and students celebrate the Accelerate Wisconsin announcement on May 8 at Madison College Truax campus. 

In a time of healthcare workforce shortage, be it days, weeks, or months, moving our nursing graduates efficiently into the workforce benefits all Wisconsin communities,” said Kerri Kliminski, Dean of the Madison College School of Nursing, which hosted the announcement. “We appreciate and applaud DSPS and the Wisconsin Board of Nursing for creating a pathway to early NCLEX testing and licensure.”

The partnership provides students an option to take the NCLEX early. It is not required, and participating schools of nursing can set their standards and eligibility requirements for which students are approved to test early.

The Accelerate Wisconsin Initiative encompasses multiple new DSPS efforts to streamline the path to licensure in various professions, keeping an emphasis on safety while speeding up the transition from classroom to job sites across Wisconsin. Like the partnership with nursing colleges, all Accelerate Wisconsin efforts involve reimagining historic processes, using novel collaborations and technology to get professionals into the workforce as quickly and safely as possible.

“Gov. Evers and DSPS are focused on ensuring that Wisconsin has the highest-skilled, most safe workforce in the world,” Hereth said.

While any nursing student at participating schools could take their NCLEX early, Dean Kliminski detailed some specific circumstances where this option could be especially beneficial, including military students scheduled to deploy shortly after graduation and part-time students who complete their coursework midway through the semester and would historically have had to wait until they officially graduate at the end of a semester.

“Also, students who have secured employment early. In the past, they would have to go through a process to apply for a three-month temporary license rather than expediently moving into testing and quickly becoming a fully licensed practical or registered nurse,” Kliminski said.

To provide certainty to prospective employers, DSPS is providing eligible students with a letter informing employers that the students have met all licensing requirements except for graduation and that upon certification of graduation by their school to DSPS, they will be licensed within three business days.

At the announcement, Sec. Hereth also presented separate proclamations from Gov. Tony Evers to representatives from the Universities of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Wisconsin Technical College System, declaring it Nurses Week in Wisconsin.

Read the DSPS press release (PDF).