Overview of Nursing Schools in Minnesota

  • There are 49 nursing schools in Minnesota. The CCNE accredits 22 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 23 schools in Minnesota.
  • On average, attending an RN program in Minnesota will cost you between $8,463.00 and $26,915.00 per year.
  • In Minnesota, the average undergraduate student borrows between $4,725.00 and $14,000.00 per year.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Minnesota ADN students is between 61.99% and 91.59%.
  • On average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Minnesota BSN students is between 61.88% and 95.65%.
  • The average annual salary for a registered nurse in Minnesota is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Minnesota can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

Online BSN Programs Liked by Registered Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

About Nursing Schools in Minnesota

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 Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org 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


Concordia - St. Paul’s

  • 1282 Concordia Ave., St. Paul, MN - 55104
  • (651) 641-8230
  • Grade: (A) 94.91%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor

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.


University of Minnesota, Baccalaureate

  • 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN - 55455-0213
  • (612) 625-5000
  • Grade: (A) 93.84%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

Alexandria Technical & Community College

  • 1601 Jefferson Streeet, Alexandria, MN - 56308
  • (320) 762-0221
  • Grade: (A) 92.85%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

St. Olaf College

  • 1520 St Olaf Ave, Northfield, MN - 55057-1098
  • (507) 786-2222
  • Grade: (A) 92.59%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

Winona State University

  • 8th and Johnson St, Winona, MN - 55987-5838
  • (507) 457-5000
  • Grade: (A) 92.26%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to MSN

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.


Inver Hills Community College

  • 2500 80th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN - 55076-3224
  • (651) 450-3000
  • Grade: (A) 92.19%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

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."


Concordia College at Moorhead

  • 901 S 8th St, Moorhead, MN - 56562
  • (218) 299-4000
  • Grade: (A) 91.84%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor

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.


Pine Technical College

  • 900 4th St SE, Pine City, MN - 55063
  • (320) 629-5100
  • Grade: (A) 91.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Bethel University

  • 3900 Bethel Dr, Saint Paul, MN - 55112
  • (651) 638-6400
  • Grade: (A) 91.41%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

Minnesota State University-Mankato

  • South Rd and Ellis Ave, Mankato, MN - 56001
  • (507) 389-1866
  • Grade: (A) 91.21%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

North Hennepin Community College

  • 7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN - 55445
  • (763) 424-0702
  • Grade: (A) 91.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

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.

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.

Online NP Programs Liked by Minnesota Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Minnesota  RN Licensing Requirements

Minnesota State Board of Nursing
2829 University Avenue SE
Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: (612) 617-2270

Website: http://www.nursingboard.state.mn.us/

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.
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.

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