Every year, an estimated 200 babies are born in Wisconsin with hearing impairment. Early identification of hearing loss is associated with better language development. This study describes the prevalence of newborn hearing screening at Wisconsin hospitals. Ninety-six percent of all 107 acute care hospitals with newborn delivery services responded to a mailed survey. In 1997, 10% of newborns in Wisconsin had hearing tested. In 1997 and 1998, two and then seven hospitals, respectively, established universal hearing screening programs. Nurses performed hearing tests on most newborns using automated auditory brainstem response equipment. Universal newborn hearing screening can be done by nurses or other personnel at community hospitals prior to discharge.