Minnesota Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

    The following guide is designed to provide you with key information on the many nursing programs available in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota’s colleges and universities allow students to earn an undergraduate or a graduate degree through a variety of formats, with concentrations in nursing education, pediatric nurse practitioner, and adult gerontology nurse practitioner. If you need a more flexible option for earning a nursing degree, you may want to consider an online program.

    Quick Facts

    • 52 schools with nursing programs in Minnesota are in our database (see below).
    • 30 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees or certificates in nursing.1
    • 22 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.1
    • 11 colleges and universities offer master’s or advanced degrees in nursing.1
    • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Nursing Majors in 2018.3
    • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s programs.4
    • 3 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.4

    Top-Ranked Schools with Nursing Programs in Minnesota

    Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

    • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#23 in-state, #10 out-of-state)

    *Institution-wide ranking.

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s

    • St. Catherine University (#190 tie)
    • Minnesota State University-Moorhead (#201 tie)

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#26 tie)
    • College of St. Scholastica (#136 tie)
    • Metropolitan State University (#149 tie)

    Read below where you will find more in-depth information about the nursing programs available in Minnesota.

    NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Minnesota

    The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Minnesota nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Minnesota Board of Nursing (https://mn.gov/boards/nursing/).

    SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accred.*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**# TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate^# TakingNet Price^^
    Alexandria Technical & Community CollegeYesNoNoNo85.45%5575.86%29$13,723
    Anoka-Ramsey Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A78.22%202$10,974
    Anoka Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo89.29%56N/AN/A$12,930
    Augsburg CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$25,760
    Bemidji State UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A90.24%41$13,798
    Bethel UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A74%81$27,963
    Central Lakes CollegeYesNoNoNo77.36%5368%75$9,879
    Century Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A91.89%111$8,184
    College of St. Benedict/St. John’s UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A90%50$26,185
    College of St. ScholasticaNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A85.08%181$22,719
    Concordia College MinnesotaNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A88.57%35$23,426
    Crown CollegeNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A86.67%15$22,426
    Dakota County Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo87.76%49N/AN/A$11,678
    Fond du Lac Tribal & Community CollegeYesNoNoNo36.84%1951.52%33$8,704
    Gustavus Adolphus CollegeNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A89.29%28$23,552
    Hennepin Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo73.58%106N/AN/A$13,728
    Hibbing Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A92.19%64$9,041
    Inver Hills Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A87.50%80$11,437
    Itasca Community CollegeYesNoNoNo79.17%24N/AN/A$11,106
    Lake Superior CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%2693.02%86$12,384
    Mesabi Range Community & Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo81.82%33N/AN/AN/A
    Metropolitan State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A73.91%23$14,625
    Minneapolis Community & Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN66.67%384.3%121$12,752
    Minnesota State College SoutheastYesNoNoACEN55.17%2961.70%47$14,662
    Minnesota State Community & Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo91.67%8482.86%105$10,098
    Minnesota State University-MankatoNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A76.54%81$13,515
    Minnesota West Community & Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN95.56%4573.75%80$9,707
    Normandale Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A84.91%106$12,328
    North Hennepin Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A79.84%124$10,036
    Northland Community & Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN86.18%12384.42%77$10,758
    Northwest Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo100%968.75%80$10,359
    Pine Technical & Community CollegeYesNoNoNo85.37%4173.08%26$10,295
    Presentation CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A83.33%24N/A
    Ridgewater CollegeYesNoNoACEN90%10085.53%76$11,186
    Riverland Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN91.3%2376.92%39$9,535
    Rochester Community & Technical CollegeYesNoNoACEN90.32%3191.67%96$14,455
    St. Catherine University (ADN)YesYesYesACENN/AN/A76.29%97$23,614
    St. Catherine University (BSN)YesYesYesACEN/CCNEN/AN/A87.18%78$23,614
    St. Catherine University (MSN)YesYesYesACENN/AN/A96.88%32$23,614
    St. Cloud State UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A87.01%77$12,935
    St. Cloud Technical & Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN95.92%9891.84%49$8,667
    St. Mary’s University of MinnesotaNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$20,131
    St. Olaf CollegeNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A91.30%23$26,183
    St. Paul CollegeYesNoNoACEN79.31%58N/AN/A$12,725
    South Central CollegeYesNoNoNo90%2080%40$10,807
    Southwest Minnesota State UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$14,838
    University of Minnesota (BSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A84.78%134$15,371
    University of Minnesota (MSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A100%20$15,371
    University of Northwestern St. PaulNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$24,621
    Winona State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A86.90%145$16,524

    *The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.5,6
    **NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    ^NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    ^^The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

    Schools in Minnesota with Nursing Degrees

    Associate’s in Nursing Programs

    Minnesota North College
    Minnesota North College’s Associate in Science in Nursing program offers a track for traditional, first-time nursing students as well as an advanced standing track for currently licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Courses in the curriculum include Foundations of Leadership, Care of Women and Children, and Care of the Client Affected by Acute Stressors. Students also complete clinical practicums in a variety of settings to gain real-world experience. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for registered nurse licensure. The nursing program at Minnesota North College is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

    Ridgewater College
    Ridgewater College offers an associate degree in nursing program that includes dual enrollment in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Metropolitan State University. In this full-time program, students complete the requirements for an associate’s degree in nursing at Ridgewater College and are encouraged to continue study towards the bachelor’s degree. Students can complete the associate’s degree in five semesters, after which they are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination. The BSN can be completed in an additional three semesters, and all courses towards the BSN are offered on the Ridgewater College campus. Ridgewater College’s nursing program is a member of the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) consortium.

    Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

    Southwest Minnesota State University
    Southwest Minnesota State University features an undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Students will be introduced to a diverse menu of topics encompassing care of children, holistic care, leadership and management, behavioral health care, and nurse as a provider of care. Labs, which feature mannequins and role-playing, allow nursing majors to gain hands-on experience from different perspectives. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

    Bethel University
    Bethel University provides current registered nurses with the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through the 39 credit RN to BSN program. The 20-month program runs in a cohort format with classes available both online and in a hybrid format (a combination of online and on-campus classes). On-campus classes generally meet once a week and are offered at four locations: Bloomington, Arden Hills, Pine Technical College, and North Hennepin Community College. Both online and hybrid formats require students to take one class at a time. Coursework is diverse and consists of ethics, nursing leadership, nursing informatics, the professional nurse, and public health nursing.

    Master’s in Nursing Programs

    St. Catherine University
    Graduate students in St. Catherine University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program opt for one of three concentrations in nursing education, pediatric nurse practitioner, or adult gerontology nurse practitioner. The 36 credit nurse education concentration spans two years and requires students to complete a minimum of 480 hours in a practicum. A capstone course is also mandatory. The 39 credit pediatric nurse practitioner concentration generally takes a year and a half to complete with coursework covering health promotion, alterations in health, and chronic illness and specialty health. Students opting for the adult gerontology concentration will also take 39 credits, over a year and a half on a full-time basis, to fulfill degree requirements.

    University of Minnesota
    The University of Minnesota features a Master of Nursing (MN) geared toward students who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The graduate program prepares graduates to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and for certification in Public Health Nursing in Minnesota. Students must commit to the 53 credit program, which runs for 16 months, on a full-time basis. Coursework focuses on adults and elders, children and childbearing families, nursing research, and science of nursing intervention. Clinical practicums, which allow for hands-on experience, are also required. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree and submit GRE scores and two letters of recommendation.

    Student Reviews

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    St. Catherine University
    2004 Randolph Ave
    St Paul, MN 55105
    (651) 690-6000

    Student Review: “I am very happy I got to experience nursing at St. Catherine University. It’s the first school, in a long time that I truly enjoy. Nursing school was a challenging and very rewarding experience. How hard it was for each individual varied, but we had a mix of students. We had young students straight out of high school and we had adults who were married with children. St. Kate’s did well to accommodate to those with full-time jobs and parents by providing evening classes. One thing that was challenging was the lack of organization. Sometimes I felt like it was all over the place and honestly, sometimes I felt like we could have learned the material ourselves by reading the books. These were bad days, however. Otherwise, I truly loved it there and recommend it especially to parents with kids.” – Student at St. Catherine University

    Winona State University-Rochester
    859 30th Ave SE
    Rochester, MN 55904
    (507) 285-7100

    Student Review: “This college is very geared toward Nursing as most the students who start plan for the Nursing major. However, the GPA cut off for the preferred status for acceptance into the program after 3 Semesters is 3.5. I love the Rochester campus because we do our clinical experience at the Mayo Clinic which is experience parallel to none. Our class in Rochester is about 55 so we all get to know each other and the teachers know us by name which is excellent when thinking about letters of recommendation for scholarships. Overall it is a great community and fun environment for one of their most stressful times in my life.” – Student at Winona State University-Rochester

    1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
    2. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. New York, Penguin Random House, 2018.
    4. US News Top Graduate Nursing Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools
    5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
    6. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
    7. Minnesota Board of Nursing: https://mn.gov/boards/nursing/education/education-statistical-data/