Minnesota Nurse Programs

Minnesota is ranked one of the healthiest states in the country. In addition to pursuing more active lifestyles, residents also have access to a network of superior health facilities, including the award-winning Mayo Clinic.

Students looking for quality nursing programs will have 56 schools to choose from, including the highly ranked University of Minnesota Medical School. Many programs are offered in brick-and-mortar institutions, and there are several online nursing programs available as well. Technical and two-year colleges like Alexandria and Century can help high school grads become LPNs and beyond. Advanced programs at colleges such as Minnesota State and Bethel can assist RNs in earning BSN degrees. If seeking a Master’s, the state offers those programs as well, at Saint Mary’s, the Mayo Clinic, and more. No matter what level of education you are seeking, you’re covered; however, if clinical research is of particular interest then Minnesota should be at the top of your college search.

Nursing Jobs and Education in MN

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the field of Healthcare is estimated to grow 33% by the year 2020.  Nurses, in particular, will play a very large role in that percentage, with job growth estimated at 26%.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate of 5.5% is much lower than the national average–meaning jobs are being filled. Job growth is occurring, but at a slower pace than new graduates might hope. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul will have the largest concentration of jobs—though caregivers specializing in subjects such as Geriatrics and advanced care needs may do well in Greater Minnesota. It is important to note that Minnesota is taking heed of the Institute of Medicine’s report which advises, by 2020, 80% of all RNs should hold Baccalaureate degrees.

So what does this mean for nursing students eyeing an education and possible employment in Minnesota? If planning on doing just the minimum required to become an RN that can be done anywhere. If aiming for advanced education and to ultimately excel in a specialized field or in clinical research, then Minnesota would be a very good choice for both school and work.

Average Salaries for Nursing Jobs in Minnesota

Data from BLS 2011 10th Percentile 25th Percentile 50th Percentile
Registered Nurses $50,250 $60,030 $72,330
Licensed Practical Nurses $31,560 $34,540 $39,570
Nursing Aides/Orderlies $20,590 $22,650 $26,240
Home Health Aides $17,850 $20,280 $22,440

Licensing for Nurses in Minnesota

In order to work in Minnesota Registered Nurses and Practical Nurses must be licensed within the state. To become licensed, LPNS must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) and RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Minnesota does not adhere to the Nurse Licensure Compact so nurses registered in other states may not practice in the state. However, there are some exceptions when a nurse not licensed in Minnesota may practice in the state if they are:

  • Practicing in Minnesota as part of their formal nursing studies
  • Assisting during an emergency
  • Practicing in a US government agency

For a full list of exceptions and licensing information please refer to the Minnesota Board of Nursing website.