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2024’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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WRITTEN BY: Ellery Weil
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

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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. Take the first step by checking out our list of premier programs for the 2023-2024 school year.

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS. 

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted. 

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Minnesota State University MoorheadMoorhead, MN Public $ 1

Minnesota State University-Moorhead's nursing program offers a competitive hybrid BSN program, an online RN to BSN program, and online graduate nursing degrees. A unique aspect of MSUM's nursing college is the opportunity for students to study abroad and gain experience among different populations, environments, and healthcare systems. Students that pursue the hybrid BSN program will attend school year-round for 8 semesters, which allows them to complete their degree in just under 3 years.

Program Highlights:

Bachelors of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 8 semesters
  • Cost: $285.80/credit
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
76%
2 Bemidji State UniversityBemidji, MN Public $ 1

For licensed RNs living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or North Dakota, Bemidji State University offers a fully online accelerated RN to BSN program which can be completed in as little as one year. The program is offered with year-round start dates, and can be completed through full-time or part-time study. You will have the opportunity to choose electives in subjects ranging from health statistics to ethics of medicine. Applicants must, in addition to residing in either Minnesota, Wisconisin, or North Dakota, hold an unencumbered RN license, a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and complete a free online application.

Program Highlights:

Nursing B.S. (RN to B.S.)

  • Credits: 12-18
  • Length: 1-2 Years
  • Cost: $313.55/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
60%
3 St Catherine UniversitySaint Paul, MN Private not-for-profit $$$ 1

The Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at St. Catherine University (also known as St. Kate's) is offered in a hybrid format, with a mix of online coursework, in-person training at the St. Paul, Minnesota campus, and hands-on experience at hospitals in the Twin Cities area. The program emphasizes a holistic, multiculutral approach to healthcare alongside traditional clinically-approved medicine and science-based healthcare. The program is designed for working adults, with classes available during traditional working hours, nights, and weekends. RN to BSN applicants may be restricted by state of residence; check with your state before applying.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Credits: 50
  • Length: 21 Months
  • Cost: $525/credit
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
9/1
Online
Student %
52%
4 Southwest Minnesota State UniversityMarshall, MN Public $ 1

The RN to BSN program at Southwest Minnesota State University is a fully-online 30-credit program designed to be flexible. This program, for transfer students who already hold an RN license, consists of evidence-based college-level core nursing courses, including prevention and public health as well as best practices in cross-cultural nursing, and a variety of optional electives, including healthcare for rural populations and mental health nursing. Students may study full or part-time at their own pace, meaning time to graduate will vary. Applicants must hold a GPA of 2.3 or higher from their previous undergraduate coursework before applying.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN Program (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $305/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
24%

Nursing School Spotlights: Popular RN to BSN Programs in Minnesota

Below are a couple of the most popular accredited nursing school RN to BSN programs for Minnesota residents. Many factors make these programs popular—not only the prestige and academic reputation of the program but also the flexibility, affordability, and resources available to students. Have a look at these two programs for 2024:

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.

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.