Established in 1909, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing is recognized as the first continuously operating nursing program on a university campus. Dr. Richard Olding Beard, a professor of physiology, helped create the School of Nursing after recognizing the value of nursing and professional education for women. 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.

With nursing degrees widely available at all levels of higher education, nursing schools have become prominent all across Minnesota. The nurses they have taught have gone on to aid patients in a variety of settings: from doctor’s offices to nursing homes, from schools to hospitals, from intensive care units to patient homes.

Best Nursing Schools in Minnesota

To help prospective nurses in Minnesota find the right school for their education, we have created these two rankings of the best nursing schools in the North Star State. One ranking is oriented towards undergraduate students, while the other one is a resource for graduate students. Our rankings can help you compare the tuition, acceptance rate, percent of students awarded financial aid, and other relevant factors of each school. This information can help you make an educated decision about which Minnesota nursing school you should attend.

To create these rankings, we at NursingDegrees.com used data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For more information about our ranking methodology, visit the bottom of this page.

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 why accreditation is important. Students who enroll in accredited schools and/or accredited programs have an easier time transferring credits from one school to another, and they may be eligible for various forms of state or federal financial aid that students at unaccredited schools are not.

Here are some of the major nursing school accreditation agencies to look for as you research nursing schools in Minnesota:

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

Minnesota Nursing Licensure

To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Minnesota, students must complete an LPN program, which usually involves one year of courses and hands-on practice. Then, they need to apply for licensure with the Minnesota Board of Nursing, earn a CPR card, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

Registered nurses are required to complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). With a degree from one of these two programs earned, they must then pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

To become nurse practitioners (NPs), a person must first become an RN, as described above. After doing so, the candidate in question must earn a graduate degree — either a master’s or a doctoral degree should suffice — and pass the national NP certification exam.

Minnesota Nursing Organizations

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

  • Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA):

    MNA is made up of 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 committed to providing quality healthcare for Minnesotans. This organization also focuses on the professional development of nurses and the advancement of nursing profession.

  • Minnesota Nurse Practitioners (MNNP):

    MNNP works to promote the interests of nurse practitioners in Minnesota. Not only does the organization lobby for nurse-positive legislation and representation, but it offers opportunities for education, volunteering, mentorship and more for its members.

MINNESOTA-SPECIFIC CONTINUING EDUCATION

Continuing education requirements in Minnesota are 12 contact hours for LPNs and 24 contact hours for RNs every two years. NPs do not have specific hour or course requirements, but are expected to maintain their national certification.

For more information on continuing education requirements for Minnesota nurses, visit the Minnesota Board of Nursing. Requirements for continuing education can change suddenly, so it is always best to double-check with the state requirements before committing to a program or course.

Hospitals in Minnesota

Whether you’re an entry-level nurse or a long-established nurse with years of experience, there’s always something new that can be learned in a hospital setting. As the largest employer of nurses in the United States according to the BLS, hospitals can be an excellent place for nurses to earn experience and hone their skills. The three largest hospitals in the state are:

  • Mayo Clinic Hospital – Saint Mary’s Campus (Rochester): Mayo Clinic Hospital is made up of several different facilities that together form one integrated medical center, and the Saint Mary’s Campus is the largest. A single administrative team coordinates these different facilities, helping areas such as neurosurgery, the epilepsy monitoring unit, the rehabilitation centers and the Level One Trauma Center to work together as one.
  • University of Minnesota Medical Center – East Bank (Minneapolis): Between partnerships with the University of Minnesota medical school and University of Minnesota Physicians, this medical center is able to expose nurses to developing techniques, treatment, trials and therapies. The facility maintains a Resource Center and Library with print and electronic materials that are available for public use.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis): A collaboration of multiple Minnesota healthcare organizations, the first of which was Northwestern Hospital in 1882, Abbott Northwestern is a nonprofit hospital and a regional medical center. It offers continuing education for staff nurses, including an internal medicine residency program.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we ranked 6,758 United States institutions with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list and our graduate list. Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. (Schools that did not provide data for all 11 criteria were disqualified from the ranking.)

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  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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