2023’s Best RN to BSN Programs in Minnesota (Online & Campus)

For those working as registered nurses, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can be a significant step toward more career opportunities. Learn how to become an RN with a BSN in Minnesota.

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Ellery Weil

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Ellery Weil is a historian and writer. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and University College London, and has worked in education, nonprofits, and the arts.

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Whether you want to work in a major hospital in the Twin Cities or advocate for patients in a local health center by the Canadian border, you will always find opportunities as a registered nurse (RN) in Minnesota.

These opportunities, however, can be even greater with your name attached to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). RNs who complete their BSN may be eligible for more prestigious, specialized, and higher-paid work in healthcare than RNs to only hold associate degrees.

However, transitioning from an RN to a BSN can be complex. Fortunately, to avoid having to complete a full four-year degree when you’ve already had significant nursing education, bridge programs exist for Minnesota nurses who want to take their careers to the next level by going from RN to BSN.

Nursing School Spotlights: Best RN to BSN Programs in Minnesota

Below are a few of the top accredited nursing school RN to BSN programs for Minnesota residents. Many factors make these programs “top”—not only the prestige and academic reputation of the program but also the flexibility, affordability, and resources available to students. These are only a few out of many programs, but to get you started on your RN to BSN search, have a look at three standout programs in 2023:

Minnesota State University—Mankato

Minnesota State University—Mankato is the most comprehensive and flagship member of the Minnesota State University system. Courses in the program are designed to fit into a working nurse’s schedule. Its program is described as “family-focused,” emphasizing patient care and public health, with many program graduates going on to work in public health and nursing.

They offer a fully online RN to BSN program, known as the RN Baccalaureate Completion Program, designed for students currently working in RN roles. To apply, students must be licensed RNs with a 2.8 minimum GPA in at least 30 college semester credits.

As a member of the Minnesota State University system, the baccalaureate completion program is fully accredited and recognized by employers throughout the state and the country. Further, as a state university program, Minnesota residents may be eligible for additional financial aid if they enroll.

Minnesota State University—Moorhead

Another member of the Minnesota State University system, Minnesota State University—Moorhead, offers a self-paced online RN to BSN program that boasts an impressive 100% employment rate post-graduation. Although the program is online, it includes practical and experiential components, which the university will assist in arranging for students within their home regions. Students will work with families and seniors to gain practical experience as part of their nursing education.

While there are no official admissions requirements beyond students being licensed as RNs, Minnesota State University—Moorhead advises that most admitted students have a GPA of 2.75 or greater. Further, students who hold an associate’s degree from one of Minnesota State University’s five “partner schools” community and technical colleges (Central Lakes College, Lake Superior College, Minnesota State Community & Technical College, North Dakota State College of Science, and Northland Community and Technical College) may be eligible for automatic acceptance under the dual acceptance program.

Augsburg University

Augsburg University, a private university in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a satellite campus in Rochester, Minnesota, has a Department of Nursing dedicated to RN to BSN education, an online RN to BSN program students can complete in as little as 12 months. Students at Augsburg University’s RN to BSN program must either hold an RN license or be actively working towards licensure in Minnesota. Classes meet in the evenings to allow students to continue their work as RNs during the day, and they can be completed in asynchronous, synchronous, or blended formats.

In addition to online courses via Zoom, Augsburg University students may also undertake practical community immersion experiences and have the opportunity to earn certification in public health. RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree may be eligible for Augsburg’s RN to MSN program.

FAQs About Minnesota’s RN to BSN Programs

How will an RN to BSN program in Minnesota prepare me for more opportunities?

When you enter an RN to BSN accelerated program in Minnesota, your prior nursing experience will enable you to hit the ground running. During your RN program, like the associate degree program in nursing at Minnesota’s Central Lakes College, you’ll likely have learned many of the fundamentals of nursing and related college-level courses, including microbiology, anatomy, and physiology.

Once you’ve entered the RN to BSN program, you can bypass introductory courses and go straight to more advanced science courses and specialized nursing courses, such as pediatric or geriatric nursing. In addition, you will be able to gain practical experience, in addition to your work as an RN, through clinical or volunteer work in your community.

How long does it take to complete an RN to BSN program in Minnesota?

RN to BSN programs in Minnesota can be completed in as little as a year, depending on the program—Augsburg University offers the opportunity to go from RN to BSN in 12 months. However, many RN to BSN programs in Minnesota is online-only and self-paced, meaning that the timeline to complete the program will depend greatly on the student’s schedule and preferred pace of learning. Further, some programs, like the one at Minnesota State University—Moorhead, are designed to be completed over as many as four years.

How affordable are RN to BSN programs in Minnesota?

As with any form of higher education, RN to BSN programs in Minnesota can be expensive, with most costing several hundred dollars per credit. Total costs for the program as a whole will generally lead to five figures. Depending on the program and your pace of learning, you may be able to spread this over several years. Loans and scholarships can help ease the burden, but here are some costs for top-quality Minnesota RN to BSN programs to give you some concrete ideas of what you might expect:

Is there financial aid available to Minnesota RN to BSN students?

Nursing students in Minnesota can be eligible for various financial aid programs, including government-supported grants and loans and private funding opportunities. When applying to RN to BSN programs in Minnesota, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online to qualify for government-subsidized loans and grants.

In addition, you may be eligible for private aid, including scholarship opportunities specific to nursing opportunities in your state. There are also scholarships available for graduates of particular high schools, members of minority groups, members of clubs or organizations, and more, so be sure to do your research when applying for financial aid.

What are the admission requirements for RN to BSN programs in Minnesota?

When applying to an RN to BSN program in Minnesota, one stand-out requirement must be addressed before anything else: as the program name suggests, applicants to an RN to BSN program must be qualified as RNs. While some programs, like Minnesota State University—Mankato, require licensure as an RN, others, like Augsburg University, accept applicants who have completed an RN associate’s degree or diploma and are working towards licensure.

Other common admissions requirements may include the following:

  • An associate’s degree in nursing
  • GPA requirements (which can range from 2.5 up)
  • Completion of 30 credit hours or more of college coursework

In Minnesota, what should I look for in a quality RN to BSN program?

Whether you’re pursuing an online, hybrid, or in-person RN to BSN program in Minnesota, you must ensure that the ACEN or CCNE accredits your program. This ensures that your qualifications are legitimate and will be recognized when you apply for jobs. You should also ensure that the program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing, which will grant your license to practice nursing after graduation. Finally, check the program’s NCLEX-RN pass rates—higher pass rates mean the program is more likely to be of higher quality.

Inside Look at RN to BSN Online Degree Programs in Minnesota

Online and hybrid RN to BSN nursing programs are plentiful in Minnesota—in fact, the Minnesota State University system’s RN to BSN programs are offered exclusively as online programs. This makes sense for students and the university since RNs are generally employed, and an online RN to BSN can be structured alongside full-time employment. Further, enrolling in an online program does not require students to relocate, saving them the time, expense, and personal stress of moving before their program begins.

Online RN to BSN programs often hold classes in the evening to accommodate students employed during traditional business hours in Minnesota. However, some programs are self-paced, meaning students can complete lectures and assignments in a way that best suits their schedules. Further, although the online RN to BSN program classes are done through video services like Zoom, students will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience, both through their work as RNs, and through projects and volunteer and immersion experiences through their degree program.

What is the Path to Becoming an RN with a BSN Degree in Minnesota?

The State of Minnesota requires all nurses to be licensed through the Minnesota Board of Nursing. However, only two types of licensure are available in Minnesota—RN (Registered Nurse) and LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). As an RN, you will already have passed your NCLEX exam and obtained an RN license through the Minnesota Board of Nursing before beginning your RN to BSN program.

With that in mind, you will need to complete the following before working as a BSN nurse in Minnesota:

  • Graduate from an accredited RN to BSN program.
  • Ensure your licensure is valid and up to date.
  • Apply for nursing jobs in Minnesota, specifically focusing on jobs that require a BSN.

RN to BSN Career Outlook for Minnesota

While nursing education can be rewarding for personal fulfillment, going from an RN to a BSN can significantly improve your job and salary prospects. Check out what going from an RN to one with a BSN can mean for your career outlook in Minnesota.

How much more can I make going from an RN to BSN in Minnesota?

While nursing can be a well-paid profession for RNs and BSNs alike, going from an RN to BSN with an accredited program in Minnesota can lead to a substantial increase in salary. While RNs in Minnesota make a comfortable average of $67,189 per year, Minnesota nurses with a BSN make $91,520 per year on average, representing an increase of more than $14,000 annually.

Further, as seen below, nurses with a BSN can make well into six figures per year in Minnesota, particularly in the higher-earning metropolitan areas, including Rochester and the Twin Cities.

Location 10th Percentile Median 90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

What is the job outlook for BSN nurses in Minnesota?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing is growing at a rate of 6% nationally—about as fast as average. Further, Minnesota is a particularly strong state for the nursing profession, with some of the most nurses and nursing jobs per capita, and the highest wages for nurses, in the nation as of 2021.