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.
Nursing Program Stats
- 23 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
- 21 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- 10 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
- 3 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: College of St. Scholastica (#151, MSN; #113, DNP), St. Catherine University (#188, MSN; DNP not ranked), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#13, MSN; DNP not ranked).
- Highest graduation rate: St. Olaf College 87%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: Metropolitan University 40%.1
- Highest net price: Bethel University $27,963.1
- Lowest net price: Century College $8,184.1
- Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Minnesota with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $12,464 – $28,019.2
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/).
|School||ADN or LVN Program||BSN Program||Graduate Nursing Program||ACEN/CCNE Accredited*||NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**||Number Taking||NCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate***||Number Taking||Net Price****|
|Alexandria Technical & Community College||Yes||No||No||No||85.45%||55||75.86%||29||$13,723|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||78.22%||202||$10,974|
|Anoka Technical College||Yes||No||No||No||89.29%||56||N/A||N/A||$12,930|
|Bemidji State University||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||90.24%||41||$13,798|
|Central Lakes College||Yes||No||No||No||77.36%||53||68%||75||$9,879|
|Century Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||91.89%||111||$8,184|
|College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||90%||50||$26,185|
|College of St. Scholastica||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||85.08%||181||$22,719|
|Concordia College Minnesota||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||88.57%||35||$23,426|
|Dakota County Technical College||Yes||No||No||No||87.76%||49||N/A||N/A||$11,678|
|Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College||Yes||No||No||No||36.84%||19||51.52%||33||$8,704|
|Gustavus Adolphus College||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||89.29%||28||$23,552|
|Hennepin Technical College||Yes||No||No||No||73.58%||106||N/A||N/A||$13,728|
|Hibbing Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||92.19%||64||$9,041|
|Inver Hills Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||87.50%||80||$11,437|
|Itasca Community College||Yes||No||No||No||79.17%||24||N/A||N/A||$11,106|
|Lake Superior College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||100%||26||93.02%||86||$12,384|
|Mesabi Range Community & Technical College||Yes||No||No||No||81.82%||33||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Metropolitan State University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||73.91%||23||$14,625|
|Minneapolis Community & Technical College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||66.67%||3||84.3%||121||$12,752|
|Minnesota State College Southeast||Yes||No||No||ACEN||55.17%||29||61.70%||47||$14,662|
|Minnesota State Community & Technical College||Yes||No||No||No||91.67%||84||82.86%||105||$10,098|
|Minnesota State University-Mankato||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||76.54%||81||$13,515|
|Minnesota West Community & Technical College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||95.56%||45||73.75%||80||$9,707|
|Normandale Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||84.91%||106||$12,328|
|North Hennepin Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||N/A||N/A||79.84%||124||$10,036|
|Northland Community & Technical College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||86.18%||123||84.42%||77||$10,758|
|Northwest Technical College||Yes||No||No||No||100%||9||68.75%||80||$10,359|
|Pine Technical & Community College||Yes||No||No||No||85.37%||41||73.08%||26||$10,295|
|Riverland Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||91.3%||23||76.92%||39||$9,535|
|Rochester Community & Technical College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||90.32%||31||91.67%||96||$14,455|
|St. Catherine University (ADN)||Yes||Yes||Yes||ACEN||N/A||N/A||76.29%||97||$23,614|
|St. Catherine University (BSN)||Yes||Yes||Yes||ACEN/CCNE||N/A||N/A||87.18%||78||$23,614|
|St. Catherine University (MSN)||Yes||Yes||Yes||ACEN||N/A||N/A||96.88%||32||$23,614|
|St. Cloud State University||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||87.01%||77||$12,935|
|St. Cloud Technical & Community College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||95.92%||98||91.84%||49||$8,667|
|St. Mary’s University of Minnesota||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$20,131|
|St. Olaf College||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||91.30%||23||$26,183|
|St. Paul College||Yes||No||No||ACEN||79.31%||58||N/A||N/A||$12,725|
|South Central College||Yes||No||No||No||90%||20||80%||40||$10,807|
|Southwest Minnesota State University||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$14,838|
|University of Minnesota (BSN)||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||84.78%||134||$15,371|
|University of Minnesota (MSN)||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||100%||20||$15,371|
|University of Northwestern St. Paul||No||Yes||No||CCNE||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$24,621|
|Winona State University||No||Yes||Yes||CCNE||N/A||N/A||86.90%||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.4,5
**NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.6 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, 2016.6 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
Hibbing Community College
Hibbing Community 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 Hibbing Community College is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
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 first complete the requirements for an associate’s degree in nursing at Ridgewater College and then 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
Minnesota College in Richfield
Minnesota College in Richfield features a three-year 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). Prospective students can register for and attend a free nursing education seminar at the college.
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 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 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.
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
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
Student Review: “At St. Catherine University, I was in the Social Work program and I enjoyed it. The component of the program that I learned most from is the field placements that we had to complete. This is when we go out in the field to work as a social worker to get that experience and see what type of work we want to go into. This has also been a challenging part of the program, because it requires being in the professional field, which can be tough at first but you get more comfortable over time. I was also thankful that we talked about micro level work as well as macro level. Overall, learning about the importance of social justice was the most meaningful part of the program.” – Student at St. Catherine University
Winona State University-Rochester
859 30th Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904
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. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
3. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=MN&major=nursing&sort=best
4. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
5. American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/accredited-programs
6. Minnesota Board of Nursing: https://mn.gov/boards/nursing/education/education-statistical-data/