The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development identifies LPNs as the state’s eighth-most in-demand profession – with 3,240 job openings expected to be added from 2012 to 2022.
To accommodate the growing need for qualified practical nurses, the state’s regulating board has approved a large quantity of LPN programs throughout Minnesota. The majority of these can be completed in a year or less, making the barrier to entry to this profession minimal.
Keep reading to explore and compare Minnesota LPN schools, learn what it takes to become licensed in this state, and view the latest LPN salary and employment trends.
- Top LPN Programs in Minnesota
- Finding an LPN Program
- State Licensure Requirements
- Salary for LPNs
- LPN Employment Trends
- Resources for More Support and Info
Top 10 LPN Programs in Minnesota
|#1||Pine Technical and Community College Pine City, MN|
|#2||Mesabi Range College Virginia, MN|
|#3||Northwest Technical College Bemidji, MN|
|#4||Rainy River Community College International Falls, MN|
|#5||Ridgewater College Willmar, MN|
|#6||Northland community and Technical College Thief River Falls, MN|
|#7||Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, MN|
|#8||Riverland Community College Austin, MN|
|#9||Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN|
|#10||Hennepin Technical College Brooklyn Park, MN|
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Top LPN Programs in Minnesota
The top LPN programs listed in this state's ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including
- Student-to-faculty ratio
- In-state tuition
- Graduation rate
Additional details for each school were included:
- Count of programs available
- Public and not-for-profit schools
- Normalized on a 100 percent curve
The methodology used for tie-break is as follows...
- Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
- If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break
Explore LPN Degree Programs
How to Find an LPN Program in Minnesota
Campus-based LPN programs can be found from Rochester to Minneapolis to Thief River Falls. And with the added availability of online programs, LPN training can be completed just about anywhere in Minnesota. Prospective students can use this side-by-side comparison tool to make an informed decision about where to attend nursing school.
Licensure Requirements for Minnesota LPNs
Licensed practical nurses are tasked with providing patients with crucial care in a variety of settings, requiring them to be dedicated and knowledgeable professionals at all times. In order to ensure only the best and brightest are working in the field, the Minnesota Board of Nursing developed a set of requirements all candidates must fulfill before being licensed.
Before committing to the path of becoming an LPN, interested candidates should ensure they meet a few basic requirements. For individuals in Minnesota, these include:
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- Evidence of not engaging in conduct warranting disciplinary action
- A valid Social Security number
Education & Training Requirements
All applicants for practical nursing licensure must first show they’ve successfully completed an LPN training program. This is done by having the educational institution send official transcripts and a Confirmation of Program Completion form to the Minnesota Board of Nursing. After these have been received, candidates are eligible to register with their nearest Pearson Vue testing center to take the NCLEX. They will then receive an Authorization to Test notice, at which point they have a 90-day window to take the examination.
Students should note that a $105 fee will be due when the licensure application is submitted. If they are successful, candidates will receive their license within 10 days of passing the NCLEX.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
If students have met all the requirements above, they’re well on their way to being licensed. Some of the other mandates they’ll need to follow include:
- Holding a CPR card
- Completing regular continuing education credits
- Taking a refresher course for reregistration if the license lapses
LPNs in Minnesota must renew their licenses every two years by filling out an application, either online or on paper. Within this application, they must also include an affirming statement showing the mandated continuing education credits completed since the last renewal. When submitting a renewal application, candidates must include an $85 renewal fee.
Salary for LPNs in Minnesota
Although LPNs in metropolitan areas can expect to make more than their rural counterparts, LPNs as a whole earn comfortable annual wages in Minnesota. Aside from location, the biggest factor affecting salaries is level of experience. The following tables highlight both of these variables to help new and experienced LPNs better understand their earning potential.
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Top Paying Metropolitan Areas
Minnesota LPN Employment Trends
Minnesota offers LPNs ample choice for where to base their careers. While the state as a whole is projected to experience significant growth of LPN roles, the following table highlights the regions set to see the highest rates of expansion.
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI||8,930|
|Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||2,260|
|Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||1,300|
|Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||1,270|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||320|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Employment of LPNs in Minnesota
2012 - 17,420
2022 - 20,660
Average Annual Openings 750
Source: Projections Central
Resources for LPNs in Minnesota
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, 65
Council 65 serves as the voice of government-employed LPNs in Minnesota, helping ensure these professionals are treated fairly, receive ample wages, and have good working conditions.
Approved Practical Nursing Programs
This list, compiled by the Minnesota Board of Nursing, provides students with plenty of options when it comes to selecting a state-approved practical nursing program.
LPN License Status
LPNs who have recently completed the NCLEX and submitted a licensure application can check the status of their case via the MBN portal.
LPN License by Endorsement
LPNs who were previously licensed in another state or territory will need to receive license by endorsement if they plan to work in Minnesota. The MBN provides an application and relevant guidelines for individuals following this path.
Minnesota Board of Nursing
The first stop for all LPN candidates, the MBN website provides information for licensees, applicants and the public, as well as details about upcoming public meetings.
Minnesota Licensed Practical Nurses Association
This professional organization serves as the official voice of LPNs in Minnesota, providing advocacy efforts, continuing education, meetings, and resources for members.
Minnesota’s LPN Workforce Report
Presented by the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, this intensive report offers an in-depth profile of LPNs throughout the state, including data about location, work experience, demographics, and future plans.
Minnesota Nurses Association
This large professional group offers a variety of services and support to its members throughout the state, including legislative representation on important nursing related-issues, updated reports up relevant news within the industry, and regular member meetings.
Requirements for Licensure by Examination
Provided by the MN Board of Nursing, these requirements apply to all LPN candidates applying for licensure for the first time.
Verify an LPN License
Looking to ensure an LPN license is current? This website allows users to easily lookup an existing license to verify its validity.