In our Minnesota RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Minnesota RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Minnesota, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Minnesota RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs2525
Average NCLEX Passing Rate81.98%85.04%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range61.99% to 91.59%61.88% to 95.65%
Average Net Price$12,185.24$19,283.76
Average Net Price Range$8,463.00 to $23,994.00$12,269.00 to $26,915.00
Average Student Loan$10,748.60$18,017.42
Average Student Loan Range$8,000.00 to $25,000.00$8,549.00 to $26,457.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Minnesota StateBSN Rankings for Minnesota State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Minnesota

Best Ranked RN Programs in MinnesotaTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Minnesota and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 24 ADN degree programs and 18 BSN degree programs in Minnesota. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Minnesota to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

MN Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
92.85 ADNAlexandria Technical & Community College1249 AlexandriaPublicCampusSee School Details
92.19 ADNInver Hills Community College2278 Inver Grove Heights

Inver Hills Community College is located in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.  They offer an ADN and a BSN degree.  Inver Hills Community College helped to develop the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) curriculum, which “encourages a deep understanding of key nursing concepts while addressing the changing health care environment.”

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.70 ADNPine Technical College3294 Pine CityPublicCampusSee School Details
91.00 ADNNorth Hennepin Community College4322 Brooklyn Park

North Hennepin Community College is located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.  They offer an ASN and an ASN – Advanced Standing.  The Advanced Standing is their LPN to RN program.  NHCC students may enroll in a partner school with the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education, which would enable them to complete three semesters post-graduation, allowing them to earn their BSN.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.34 ADNCentury Community College5347 White Bear LakePublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.42 ADNLake Superior College6417 DuluthPublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.94 ADNRidgewater College7439 WillmarPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.94 ADNNorthwest Technical College8477 BemidjiPublicCampus, OnlineSee School Details
86.93 ADNRochester Community and Technical College9478 Rochester

Rochester Community and Technical College is located in Rochester, Minnesota.  They offer an ADN degree.  There is not a separate LPN to RN program, but LPNs are given advanced placement based on their past education and licensure.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.42 ADNSouth Central College10495 North MankatoPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.30 ADNNormandale Community College11500 Bloomington

Normandale Community College is located in Bloomington, Minnesota.  They offer an ADN program.  While there is not a specific LPN to RN program, LPNs do take a separate transitions course in place of a 9 credit foundations course.  Normandale nursing students can also earn their BSN in conjunction with various partnerships with neighboring colleges.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.15 ADNHibbing Community College12502 HibbingPublicCampusSee School Details
84.00 ADNSt Cloud Technical and Community College13553 Saint CloudPublicCampusSee School Details
83.85 ADNCentral Lakes College-Brainerd14557 BrainerdPublicCampusSee School Details
83.54 ADNMinnesota State Community and Technical College15563 Fergus FallsPublicCampus, OnlineSee School Details
83.52 ADNRasmussen College16564 St. CloudPrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
83.28 ADNNorthland Community and Technical College17571 Thief River FallsPublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.73 ADNMinneapolis Community and Technical College18583 MinneapolisPublicCampusACENSee School Details
80.43 ADNMinnesota West Community and Technical College19623 Granite FallsPublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
79.35 ADNAnoka-Ramsey Community College20636 Coon Rapids

Anoka-Rapids Community College is located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  They offer a traditional RN track and an LPN to RN track.  They have articulation agreements with Minnesota State University – Moorhead, Minnesota State University – Mankato, and Winona State University.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
76.90 ADNRiverland Community College21660 AustinPublicCampusACENSee School Details
72.03 ADNMinnesota State College-Southeast Technical22689 WinonaPublicCampusSee School Details
63.41 ADNFond du Lac Tribal and Community College23706 CloquetPublicCampusSee School Details
94.91 BSNConcordia - St. Paul’s2148 St. Paul

Concordia University is located in St. Paul, MN.  They have a BSN program.  Beginning in 2016, they began an accelerated BSN (ABSN) program, allowing students with prior college credits to earn their BSN in 16 months.  A CNA license is required prior to entrance into either BSN program.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
93.84 BSNUniversity of Minnesota, Baccalaureate1197 MinneapolisPublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
92.59 BSNSt. Olaf College2247 NorthfieldPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
92.26 BSNWinona State University3258 Winona

Winona State University is located in Winona, Minnesota.  They offer a pre-licensure program (a BSN program) and an RN-BSN completion program.  They are proud to note that 96% of their 2012-13 graduates have job placement as RNs.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
91.84 BSNConcordia College at Moorhead4273 Moorhead

Concordia College is located in Moorhead, Minnesota.  They offer both a traditional BSN program and an accelerated BSN program; their accelerated BSN program is offered to students with a prior bachelor’s degree.  Their program is unique in that students occasionally get to travel abroad as a nursing outreach program.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
91.41 BSNBethel University5289 Saint PaulPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
91.21 BSNMinnesota State University-Mankato6297 MankatoPublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
90.21 BSNSt Catherine University7323 Saint PaulPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
89.66 BSNSaint Cloud State University8336 Saint Cloud

St. Cloud State University is located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota.  They offer both a BSN and an RN to BSN program.  St. Cloud State University is proud to note that they offer education to over 700 student veterans and active military servicemen and servicewomen.

PublicCampusCCNESee School Details
88.43 BSNHerzing University-Minneapolis9365 MinneapolisPrivate For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
87.90 BSNCollege of St Benedict/St John's University10381 Saint JosephPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
87.90 BSNGustavus Adolphus10381 Saint PeterPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
87.58 BSNCrown College11394 Saint Bonifacius

Crown College is located in Bonifacius, Minnesota.  It is a private Christian College offering a BSN degree.  The BSN program is a biblically-based nursing education, including a Christian core of classes, in addition to nursing classes and other core classes.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
83.36 BSNMetropolitan State University12460 Saint PaulPublicCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
83.34 BSNRasmussen College13461 St. CloudPrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
83.01 BSNThe College of Saint Scholastica14463 DuluthPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
75.97 BSNBemidji State University15510 Bemidji

Bemidji State University is located in Bemidji, Minnesota.  They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  They also offer a study abroad program in May, where students have the ability to travel to South Africa, in conjunction with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

PublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Minnesota

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Minnesota

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Minnesota offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties: Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Minnesota  RN Licensing Requirements

Minnesota State Board of Nursing 2829 University Avenue SE Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55414 Phone: (612) 617-2270 Website: Fees: Initial licensing fee, RN: $115.50 License renewal (every two years), RN: $93.50 Continuing Education Requirements: RNs: 24 contact hours every renewal period LPNs: 12 contact hours every renewal period A candidate is required to complete a professional nursing program that has been approved in Minnesota or the board in one of the other 50 states. As of 2016, nursing programs in Minnesota will be required to hold programmatic accreditation or candidate status. There are several resources available to nurses who are looking for the best nursing program possible. One resource is the Minnesota Student Nurses Association and membership is not required.

RN Licensure by Exam

Before a candidate can apply for the NCLEX exam, he/she must submit a Registered Nurse Licensure by Examination Application and submit the necessary non-refundable fee. Candidates must also provide evidence that they have not engaged in conduct, which warranted disciplinary action. The school must submit a completed Confirmation of Program Completion from a nursing program. When these steps have been completed, register to take the NCLEX through the Pearson VUE website and schedule a test when an authorization to test has been received. This authorization is valid for 90 days.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Registered nurses who have obtained licensure in one of the other 50 states may obtain licensure in the state of Minnesota by endorsement. In order to be granted licensure by endorsement, candidates must complete the following:
  • Submit a Licensure by Endorsement Application form and fee
  • Verification of Licensure
  • Confirmation of Nursing Employment for Licensure by Endorsement

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

In some cases, nurses can gain licensure after being trained in a foreign country. In order to do so, the following tasks must be completed:
  • Pass an approved English proficiency test such as TOEFL unless the candidate has graduated from a nursing education program in an English-speaking country
  • Successfully pass the NCLEX exam
  • Acceptable non-refundable application fee

RN Salaries in Minnesota

There are many options available to nurses who have obtained a bachelor’s degree. Some of the options include: long-term care facilities, hospice, occupational, public health departments, clinics, schools, and home health. This degree will prove to be worth the time and hard work that are used in obtaining a bachelor’s degree. There are currently more than 57,000 registered nurses working in Minnesota earning a mean average income of $67,930 annually. Salaries are dependent on years of experience, education, and specialization area. The management positions tend to pay a higher salary.

Minnesota Registered Nursing Salaries

The Minneapolis metropolitan area has the largest amount of registered nurses employed than any other area. However, the St. Cloud metropolitan area has the highest hourly mean wage and annual median wage.
Area nameEmploymentHourly median wageAnnual median wage
Duluth, MN-WI3,430$30.98$64,430
Mankato-North Mankato, MN1,470$25.93$53,940
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI33,410$36.21$75,330
Rochester, MN6,720$29.85$62,090
St. Cloud, MN2,320$38.89$80,900
Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area3,680$31.74$66,020
Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area940$29.25$60,840
Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area2,250$28.50$59,270
Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area2,240$27.13$56,430
Source:, 2014 Data