Top Nursing Schools in Minnesota

Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Pine Technical Community College 96.50 $$$$$ 17:1 1 27%
2 Northwest Technical College 94.50 $$$$$ 17:1 1 36%
3 Minnesota State Community and Technical College 94.00 $$$$$ 21:1 1 33%
4 Ridgewater College 93.75 $$$$$ 21:1 1 42%
5 Lake Superior College 93.50 $$$$$ 22:1 1 27%
6 Alexandria Technical & Community College 93.50 $$$$$ 23:1 1 58%
7 Minnesota West Community and Technical College 93.25 $$$$$ 20:1 1 50%
8 Northland Community and Technical College 93.25 $$$$$ 20:1 1 35%
9 South Central College 93.25 $$$$$ 18:1 1 24%
10 Riverland Community College 93.00 $$$$$ 20:1 1 35%
11 Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical 93.00 $$$$$ 16:1 1 30%
12 Central Lakes College – Brainerd 91.75 $$$$$ 25:1 1 40%
13 Inver Hills Community College 91.50 $$$$$ 24:1 1 19%
14 North Hennepin Community College 91.50 $$$$$ 24:1 1 15%
15 Anoka-Ramsey Community College 90.75 $$$$$ 28:1 1 19%
16 Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College 90.00 $$$$$ 29:1 1 19%
17 Rochester Community and Technical College 90.00 $$$$$ 21:1 1 20%
18 Minneapolis Community and Technical College 89.75 $$$$$ 24:1 1 14%
19 Century College 89.50 $$$$$ 24:1 1 14%
20 Normandale Community College 86.75 $$$$$ 26:1 1 19%
Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Bethel University 93.50 $$$$$ 12:1 6 74%
2 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 93.25 $$$$$ 17:1 4 78%
3 St Catherine University 92.75 $$$$$ 11:1 3 59%
4 The College of Saint Scholastica 92.50 $$$$$ 14:1 1 61%
5 Gustavus Adolphus College 92.50 $$$$$ 11:1 10 81%
6 St Olaf College 92.50 $$$$$ 11:1 10 89%
7 Concordia College 92.00 $$$$$ 12:1 10 72%
8 Augsburg College 92.00 $$$$$ 12:1 6 63%
9 College of Saint Benedict 92.00 $$$$$ 12:1 10 81%
10 Saint Johns University 91.75 $$$$$ 12:1 10 80%
11 Winona State University 91.25 $$$$$ 20:1 2 57%
12 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 90.75 $$$$$ 16:1 9 65%
13 Metropolitan State University 90.25 $$$$$ 17:1 8 34%
14 Minnesota State University-Mankato 89.75 $$$$$ 23:1 5 50%
15 University of St Thomas 89.75 $$$$$ 15:1 10 72%
16 Crown College 89.00 $$$$$ 18:1 10 57%
17 Saint Cloud State University 88.75 $$$$$ 22:1 10 45%
18 Bemidji State University 88.50 $$$$$ 22:1 10 46%

Evaluating Nursing Schools in Minnesota

Colleges and universities in Minnesota have responded to the growing need for nurses by offering a range of quality education programs to prepare students for not only the NCLEX but also the nursing occupation as a whole. Use the search tool below to find an accredited nursing school in Minnesota that matches your criteria and goals.

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Obtain a Minnesota Nursing License

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:

  • Filling out the form and paying a $105 fee
  • Verifying licensure, which can usually be done via www.nursys.com
  • 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

Area Hourly Median Wage Annual Median Wage
St. Cloud $38.89 $80,900
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI $36.21 $75,330
Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area $31.74 $66,020
Duluth MN-WI $30.98 $64,430
Rochester $29.85 $62,090
Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area $29.25 $60,840
Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area $28.50 $59,270
Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area $27.13 $56,430
Mankato-North Mankato $25.93 $53,940

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Minnesota vs. National Numbers

Salary
  • Minnesota
  • National
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment
Total Employment (2014)
2022 occupational outlook
Avg. annual openings (2012 – 2022)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

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.

Minnesota Organization of Registered Nurses

Affiliated with the American Nurses Association, MNORN serves its members through advocacy, leadership development, mentorship and education.