Established in 1909, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing is known as the first continuously operating nursing program on a university campus. The school’s first baccalaureate degree program began in 1919 while the master’s degree route was initially offered in 1950 and the Ph.D. was introduced in 1983. Dr. Richard Olding Beard, a professor of physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School helped create the University of Minnesota School of Nursing after recognizing the value of nursing and professional education for women.

Today, there are many nursing schools in Minnesota as well as nurses throughout the state. Nurses in the North Star state can be found enjoying fulfilling careers in a variety of settings including doctors’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, schools, intensive care units, and patient homes.

Best Nursing Schools in Minnesota

To create two separate rankings of the best nursing schools in Minnesota, NursingDegrees.com used data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or IPEDS. One ranking is designed for undergraduate students while the other one is a resource for graduate students. For more information about our ranking methodology, visit the bottom of this page.

Our rankings can help prospective nurses understand the acceptance rates, tuition and fees, and other factors of each school. With this information, they can make an educated decision on a nursing school in Minnesota. Here are our rankings for undergraduate and graduate nursing schools in Minnesota:

01
St Catherine University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$31,042
Undergraduate graduation rate
59%
Undergraduate retention rate
81%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
02
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$12,546
Undergraduate graduation rate
78%
Undergraduate retention rate
93%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
82%
03
Bethel University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$35,010
Undergraduate graduation rate
76%
Undergraduate retention rate
88%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
04
South Central College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,788
Undergraduate graduation rate
26%
Undergraduate retention rate
61%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%
05
Northland Community and Technical Colleg...
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,900
Undergraduate graduation rate
38%
Undergraduate retention rate
56%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
90%
06
Minnesota State Community and Technical ...
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,824
Undergraduate graduation rate
36%
Undergraduate retention rate
63%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
85%
07
Bemidji State University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$7,360
Undergraduate graduation rate
46%
Undergraduate retention rate
72%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
90%
08
Northwest Technical College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$5,138
Undergraduate graduation rate
39%
Undergraduate retention rate
48%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
84%
09
St Cloud Technical and Community College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,720
Undergraduate graduation rate
33%
Undergraduate retention rate
53%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
84%
10
University of Northwestern-St Paul
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$29,100
Undergraduate graduation rate
63%
Undergraduate retention rate
83%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
01
Winona State University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
11
Graduate Tuition
$6,720
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
9
02
The College of Saint Scholastica
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
10
Graduate Tuition
$11,160
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
03
Bethel University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$9,630
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
04
Minnesota State University-Mankato
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$6,849
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
05
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$6,480
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
06
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$16,240
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
07
Metropolitan State University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$7,185
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
08
St Catherine University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$14,076
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
09
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$8,100
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
10
Augsburg College
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$12,778
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Minnesota

There are several reasons it’s important for prospective nurses in Minnesota to attend an accredited nursing program. By attending an accredited nursing program, their credits are more likely to transfer and they may be eligible for federal financial aid.

An accredited nursing program can also make nursing students more competitive in the job market. The major nursing school accreditation agencies in Minnesota are:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Minnesota Nursing Licensure

To become a licensed practical nurse or LPN in Minnesota, students must earn their LPN degree, which usually involves one year of courses and hand-on practice. Then, they need to apply for licensure with the Minnesota Board of Nursing, obtain a CPR card, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. RNs are required to complete an associate’s degree in nursing or ADN or a bachelor of science in nursing or BSN. Once they have graduated from one of these two programs, they must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. To become nurse practitioners or NPs, registered nurses are required to earn a graduate degree and pass the national NP certification exam.

Continuing education requirements in Minnesota are 12 hours for LPNs and 24 hours for RNs every two years. NPs must maintain their national certification. For more information on continuing education requirements for Minnesota nurses, visit this resource.

Minnesota Nursing Organizations

In Minnesota, there are several professional nursing organizations that can benefit nursing students and working nurses. These organizations include:

  • Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA):

    MNA consists of 20,000 dedicated RNs and other healthcare professionals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Its members promote the professional, economic, and personal well-being of nurses through collective action.

  • Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing (MOLN):

    MOLN was incorporated in 1984 and is now committed to providing quality healthcare for Minnesotans. This organization also focuses on the professional development of nurses and advancement of nursing profession. Chief Nursing Officers, nursing directors, managers, educators, and all nurse leaders are all members of MOLN.

  • Minnesota Nurse Practitioners (MNNP):

    MNNP’s vision is to promote the interests of nurse practitioners in Minnesota.

Hospitals in Minnesota

Entry-level nurses can gain valuable nursing experience and care for patients from all walks of life in a hospital setting. There are a number of hospitals in Minnesota that are always on the lookout for nurses. The three largest hospitals in the state are:

  1. Mayo Clinic Hospital – Saint Mary’s Campus (Rochester): Mayo Clinic Hospital – Saint Mary’s Campus contains 1,265 hospital beds and 55 operating rooms. Its Level One Trauma Center and computer-assisted neurosurgery and heart transplant are a few examples of its cutting-edge services.
  2. University of Minnesota Medical Center – East Bank (Minneapolis): University of Minnesota Medical Center – East Bank offers a variety of hospital and clinical services including primary care, emergency care, and the delivery of thousands of babies each year.
  3. Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis): Known as the largest private hospital in the Twin Cities, Abbott Northwestern Hospital serves more than 200,000 patients and their families.
Sources & Methodology
  1. School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Accessed August 2018, https://www.nursing.umn.edu/about/history
  2. Minnesota Board of Nursing, Accessed August 2018, https://mn.gov/boards/nursing/licensure/continuing-ed/
  3. Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing, Accessed August 2018, https://moln.org/
  4. Minnesota Nurses Association, Accessed August 2018, https://mnnurses.org
  5. Minnesota Nurse Practitioners, Accessed August 2018, https://www.mnnp.org/
  6. Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, Mayo Clinic, Accessed August 2018, https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/clinic-hospital-buildings/mayo-clinic-hospital-saint-marys-campus
  7. American Hospital Directory, Accessed August 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  8. East Bank Hospital, University of Minnesota Medical Center, University of Minnesota Health, Accessed August 2018, https://www.mhealth.org/locations/buildings/east-bank-hospital-ummc
  9. Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health, Accessed August 2018, https://www.allinahealth.org/abbott-northwestern-hospital/

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