Minnesota Nursing Programs with School Overviews

Minnesota has more than 40 colleges that offer nursing degree programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

In Minnesota, 2 and 4-year schools and universities offer nursing programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can prepare to become a licensed practical nurse (L.P.N.) or registered nurse (R.N.). Bridging programs and graduate programs are also available. Graduate degrees typically offer specializations.

Nursing programs may be offered part time, in the evenings, on weekends or online. Students complete practicums and clinicals to gain hands-on knowledge. Students may also need to complete research, a project or a thesis.

There are more than 40 schools and universities that offer nursing programs in Minnesota. Read on to learn about ten of the largest schools in the state, their program offerings and tuition information.


Anoka-Ramsey Community College

In Coon Rapids, students can pursue an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Nursing or an Associate of Science in Nursing with a focus on mobility, which is specifically tailored to licensed practical nurses. In the A.S. in Nursing, students learn about health assessment techniques, holistic nursing and nursing interventions. The A.S. in Nursing Mobility Option includes the same courses as the general option, along with LPN-specific courses, like LPN transition to RN and 12 credit hours in LPN advanced standing courses. At the end of these courses, students may be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Metropolitan State University

Saint Paul's Metropolitan State University offers a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree completion program and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The RN to BSN program is structured for part-time study over five semesters, including summer sessions. In this program, students explore community nursing, family health nursing and nursing informatics and complete a practicum to gain hands-on experience.

The MSN program offers four possible focus areas: leadership and management, nurse educator, public health nursing leadership or the MSN only. Classes are held in face-to-face, online or hybrid formats, and can be completed in as little as two years. The Entry-Level MSN is designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing and includes the study of modeling and role modeling, leadership in healthcare and multiple intensive practicum sessions.

Minnesota State University - Mankato

At the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University, students can pursue nursing degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels through the College of Allied Health and Nursing. As an undergraduate, students can earn a BSN that includes coursework and clinical rotations at hospitals, nursing homes and local facilities. Graduates can take the NLCEX-RN to obtain certification as registered nurses, as well as public health nurses and school nurses in Minnesota. The BSN-RN completion program is meant for registered nurses with associate's degrees who want to earn bachelor's degrees. This program can be completed in three to five semesters and includes courses in nursing safety, family nursing, gerontological nursing and communication skills for RNs. Individuals can pursue a MSN designed for a family nurse practitioner or nurse educator, or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

The Moorhead campus of Minnesota State University offers an RN to BSN degree program and a MSN program for aspiring nurses. Students in the RN to BSN program must have a RN license before applying. Students must also complete a nurse preceptorship and related seminar. In the MSN program, students with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts and a current license as an RN can begin the program, but must complete within seven years. The program focuses on advanced nursing practices, especially nursing education. Students take advanced practice courses, clinical rotations and complete a master's project or master's thesis.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Students at Fergus Falls-based Minnesota State Community College can pursue an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Practical Nursing, a Diploma in Practical Nursing or an Associate of Science in Nursing with generic or advanced options. The A.A.S. in Practical Nursing includes classes in health promotion, psychosocial nursing, nursing roles and clinical sessions related to a variety of classroom-based courses that focus on theory. Students also complete a practicum to gain hands-on professional experience. In the diploma program, students learn about nursing pharmacology, principles of intravenous therapy, nursing roles and maternal child health and complete clinical and practicum experiences.

The A.S. in Nursing with generic option includes courses in nursing fundamentals, nursing leadership, basic and advanced intravenous therapy and multiple clinical experiences in order to put the theoretical learning into practice. The A.S. in Nursing advanced standing option is designed for individuals who hold an LPN certification and wish to have an RN. This program includes many of the same courses as the generic option, in addition to courses focusing on the role transition from LPN to RN, study of reproductive disorders and restorative nursing. All of these programs require that students have their own laptop.

Normandale Community College

At Bloomington-based Normandale Community College, aspiring RNs can pursue an Associate of Science in Nursing, while current LPNs can pursue an Associate of Science in Nursing with Advanced Standing. In the A.S. in Nursing standard program, students learn about the role of professional nurses, patient assessment and caring for individuals with acute or chronic conditions. The A.S. in Nursing Advanced Standing option includes a course in transitioning from an LPN to an RN, including the shifts in duties, as well as courses in caring for individuals and families across the lifespan.

North Hennepin Community College

Brooklyn Park's North Hennepin Community College offers two associate of science degrees in nursing, a Standard Option RN and a Mobility Option geared toward LPNs. The A.S. in Nursing requires students to complete courses that include patient care, pharmacology in nursing practice and clinical experience. The A.S. in Nursing Mobility Option program has a daytime or evening and weekend attendance option to offer working LPNs flexibility in their studies. The program includes the study of concepts related to nursing practice, patient assessment and clinical experience.

University of Minnesota -Twin Cities

Located in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities offers students a range of nursing-related degree programs. At the undergraduate level, students can pursue a 4-year BSN, including courses on genetics in nursing, patient-centered care, nursing care of families, public health nursing, human anatomy and ethical action in health care. Students complete clinical internships at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester or the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.

A Master of Nursing is available for students with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. Students interested in a research-related career may choose between a Ph.D. in Nursing, which focuses on preparing nurses for a career in research, or the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which focuses on improving nursing practice along with research. A Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing is also available.

St. Cloud State University

At St. Cloud State University, in Saint Cloud, aspiring nurses can pursue a BSN that prepares them to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. Courses include the foundations of nursing practice, role of the professional nurse, nursing informatics and a variety of theoretical classes with clinical components. Students also complete courses in cross-cultural nursing, research in nursing practice and a capstone course and practicum in nursing leadership and management.

Winona State University

Winona's Winona State University offers a BSN with generic option, for individuals who are not licensed professional nurses or registered nurses, along with an RN-BSN degree program, a MSN, a DNP and a graduate certificate program. The four year generic BSN program includes courses in therapeutic applications of nursing health and health assessment, pharmacology and psychosocial adaptation. In the BSN to RN degree program, students have the option to complete the program in either full or part-time study. Required courses include concepts in professional nursing, evidence-based leadership and management, care of the adult client and population based healthcare.

The MSN program can be completed in two to three years and includes specialties in adult/gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult/gerontology clinical nurse specialist, adult/gerontology family nurse practitioner, nurse educator or nursing and organizational leadership. The DNP program is available for students who have either a BSN or MSN. Each option has its own requirements.

Career Requirements

The state of Minnesota requires that individuals obtain a license to work as a registered nurse, practical nurse or public health nurse. Aspiring nurses must complete an approved education program and complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Degree Programs/Certificates Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Anoka-Ramsey Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Science in Nursing,
Associate of Science in Nursing LPN-RN
$5,022*
Metropolitan State University 4-year, public; large city RN-BSN,
BSN-MSN,
Entry-Level MSN (ELMSN)
$7,566 (in state); $14,394 (out-of-state)*
Minnesota State University Mankato 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
RN to BSN,
BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice
$7,836 (in state); $15,580 (out-of-state)*
Minnesota State University - Moorhead 4-year public; midsize suburb RN to BSN,
Master of Science in Nursing
$8,096 (in state); $15,232 (out-of-state)*
Minnesota State Community and Technical College 2-year, public; remote town Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing,
Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate of Science in Nursing with generic or advanced options
$5,338*
Normandale Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Science in Nursing
Associate of Science in Nursing Advanced Standing
$5,736*
North Hennepin Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Science in Nursing Standard Option,
Associate of Science in Nursing Mobility Option
$4,383*
University of Minnesota -Twin Cities 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Nursing,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$13,790 (in state); $22,210 (out-of-state)*
Saint Cloud State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Nursing $7,814 (in state); $15,732 (out-of-state)*
Winona State University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Generic Option,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
Graduate Certificate
$9,047 (in state); $14,744 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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