Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Minnesota
| Staff Writers
Minnesota has one of the highest concentrations of registered nurses in the country, but that doesn’t mean new grads in the state can’t find work. The number of jobs in the field is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2014 to 2024 due to an aging population and chronic health problems. The outlook for advanced practice nurses is even rosier. To keep pace with demand, the number of approved nursing programs in the state continues to grow. Future nurses shouldn’t be hard-pressed to find the education they desire. This guide provides information on nursing schools in Minnesota and walks future graduates through the licensure process.
To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:
Accredited at the institutional level
Private nonprofit or public school
Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools
Schools were then scored on factors such as:
Cost & Financial Aid
Number and variety of program offerings
Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
Placement and support services offered
Academic/Career counseling services
Loan default rates
These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.
The Minnesota Board of Nursing is the licensing board for all practicing RNs. It sets the standards for nursing educational programs and is charged with regulating licensure and practice. Get an overview of the specific licensure requirements for nurses in Minnesota.
Licensure in Minnesota
Complete a professional nursing program that’s approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing or the board of another state
Fill out an application with the state, and pay a $105 fee
Arrange for the nursing program to confirm you have completed the program
Register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE, and pay the $200 exam fee
Receive an authorization to test (ATT), and schedule to take the NCLEX within 90 days
Pass the NCLEX and wait to receive a license
Students who do not pass the NCLEX on the first attempt have eight months to request to retake the exam and one year to retake it. If they wait longer, they will have to reapply with the state. Regardless of when they retake the exam, they will be required to pay another $200 fee to Pearson VUE.
Practicing nurses who hold a license in another state and would like to practice in Minnesota must apply for licensure by endorsement. This process involves:
Having your most recent employer authenticate your employment
Renewing Your MN Nursing License
Initial licenses last for between six and 29 months, depending on the nurse’s birthday and registration date. After that, they must be renewed every two years, which can be done via the MBN’s online services. Reminder postcards are mailed to licensees three months before a license is set to expire. Email notifications are also sent if a current email address is on file. To renew their licenses, nurses must do one continuing education contact hour for every month of registration on their current license — 24 contact hours in all for all non-initial renewals. Applicants do not need to submit any documentation for continuing education unless specifically asked to do so or in the case of an audit. The Board advises nurses to keep CE documentation for two years. The cost to renew is $85.
Advanced Practice Nurses in MN
In 2015, Minnesota began requiring advanced practice registered nurses to become licensed. To get an APRN license in Minnesota, nurses must do the following:
Hold a Minnesota RN license or be eligible for one
Graduate from a master’s program in an APRN specialty — clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner or registered nurse anesthetist
Be nationally certified in their APRN specialty
Have no disciplinary actions against them
Fill out and mail an application packet for the specific APRN specialty with $105 to the Minnesota Board of Nursing
Because, as of 2016, the state was still working to establish an online application and renewal system for APRNs, it is best to frequently check in with the Minnesota Board of Nursing to find current licensure information and processes for APRNs.
MN Nursing Stats: RNs and Beyond
The average Minnesota RN, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or nurse anesthetist earns above the median national average for those professions. And the expected growth rate for each is only slightly less bullish than national projections. To see the salary breakdown in finer detail, take a look at the visuals below.
Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Minnesota
Hourly Median Wage
Annual Median Wage
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI
Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area
Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area
Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area
Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Minnesota vs. National Numbers
Minnesota Resources for RNs and APRNs
Minnesota Board of Nursing The Minnesota Board of Nursing is the government agency charged with providing and renewing nursing licenses. It is the most reliable source for information affecting the state’s nurses.
Minnesota Holistic Nursing Association For practicing nurses who want to take a more holistic approach, the Minnesota Holistic Nursing Association began in 1987 to support nurses in this effort. It keeps an active calendar of presentations covering everything from qigong therapy to epigenetics.
Minnesota Nurses Association The Minnesota Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United, is dedicated to supporting registered nurses in the state. As a union, it takes a stand in state and local issues and is proud to advocate for good working conditions for nurses.
Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing MOLN’s membership is comprised of nursing executives in the state. It helps leaders in the industry formulate a collective voice for advocacy, collaboration and communication.
Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.