Nursing is a challenging and rewarding career for those interested in hands-on healthcare. An online nursing degree allows students to earn an education within a flexible learning environment that complements a busy schedule. Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts national employment growth for RNs will rise at a rapid rate of 15% between 2016 to 2026. Nursing is a lucrative career in Minnesota, where an entry-level RN located in Minneapolis averages an annual income of $51,412 – $76,147. Critical care, labor and delivery, psychiatric, and cardiac monitoring nursing positions pull in the highest salaries within the state.
Opportunities to train and work in nationally recognized hospitals like the Mayo Clinic make attending nursing school in Minnesota even more appealing. Nursing students in the state also have the opportunity to work at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and St. Cloud Hospital. All of these hospitals boast excellent nurse staffing, a high high nurse-to-patient ratio. Minneapolis-St. Paul area (together with nearby Bloomington, Wisconsin) employs 36, 540 nurses, making it the ninth-highest employer of nurses in the country. Those interested in pursuing this exciting career should consider one of the online RN programs in Minnesota.
How to Become a Nurse in Minnesota
Nurses in Minnesota follow the same process as their counterparts in other states, but with some differences relating to procedures and licensing costs. The Minnesota Board of Nursing allows nurses to receive their licence through either examination or endorsement. New nurses must take an examination after they complete nursing school in Minnesota. Nurses who received their licence from bordering states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Iowa) may practice with their home state’s licence if they do not plan to work in a non-healthcare agency such as a school or correctional facility.
Choosing the correct nursing program in Minnesota depends on personal career goals and financial resources. Nursing in this state requires at least an LPN certificate to practice, through limited opportunities exist with this title. Most nurses earn either an ADN or BSN before earning their license. There are many online RN to BSN programs in Minnesota for those who already hold a nursing license that want to earn a bachelor’s degree. For students wanting an advanced degree in nursing, an on-campus or online MSN program in Minnesota ensures steady career growth and higher pay. The MSN degree also provides a foundation for students who want to become a nurse practitioner (NP). For students looking to teach nursing or reach top leadership positions, the DNP degree helps achieve this goal. The PhD in Nursing provides another option, and focuses more on scholar-based inquiry and research, with a required teaching component.
Online nursing degrees provide an excellent option for working students who need a flexible learning format. Common prerequisites for an online nursing schools in Minnesota include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and statistics. Online BSN programs in Minnesota often take four years to complete or less if the program is accelerated. Advanced online nursing degrees like an MSN take two to three years to finish. DNP students graduate in tan average of three to six years, depending on the program.
The two main components of achieving a nurse licence include passing the nationwide NCLEX-RN board exam (or NCLEX-PN for LPNs), and then receiving licensure within the state the student wishes to practice in. The NCLEX-RN requires a $200 registration fee. The exam gives students up to six hours to complete it, including a short tutorial and two optional breaks. Minnesota’s licensure fees for LPNs and RNs cost $105. The exam focuses on four main topics taught in RN programs in Minnesota, including safe effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, preventative healthcare, and psychosocial integrity. The NCLEX-RN pass rate for first-time test takers in 2016 was 83.59%.
Nursing Licensure in Minnesota
In order to get a RN nurse license, students must pass the NCLEX-RN after earning an on-campus or online nursing degree. This exam tests nursing students’ knowledge of four key areas: hygiene and infection containment, preventative healthcare, mental health for both nurses and their patients, and standard nursing procedures. The exam consists of 90% multiple choice questions, broken down into three levels of questions ranging from basic to challenging.
Once a student passes, they receive a nursing licence in the mail that allows them to begin practicing. Nurses need to receive a new license if they move states, although in Minnesota a bordering states exception allows nurses moving from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, or Wisconsin to practice without a Minnesota licence.
For nurses who pass the NCLEX-RN in another state and plan to move to Minnesota, the state allows them a licence through endorsement. This requires nurses to show proof of all previous state licenses and diplomas. The Minnesota Nursing Board is the state’s official licensing board, and provides information and resources for those attending nursing school online in Minnesota.
RN and LPN App. $105
Verification of Scores $20
Career Outlook for Nurses in Minnesota
According to the BLS, there are 61,830 active nurses and 3,430 nurse practitioners in Minnesota. Nurse practitioners act as a liaison between doctors and nurses, assess and diagnose patients, and create treatment plans. There are also 1,690 nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in Minnesota. A career as a CRNA provides one of the highest salaries for graduates of nursing schools in Minnesota, with an average of $179,480 per year. The U.S. Department of labor projects that with a rapidly aging population, the need for nurses in Minnesota will increase 11.8% within the next decade.
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Biggest Hospitals in Minnesota
The hospitals in a particular state directly reflect the opportunities for nurses wanting to practice in this area. States which have large medical facilities, provide a wide range of job opportunities for recent graduates from nursing schools in Minnesota, no matter their concentration. Plenty of nursing positions at state-of-the art facilities exist, including in labor and delivery and psychiatry. States with larger hospitals usually offer more internships and fellowships for nursing students looking for quality hands-on experience. Below are two of the largest hospitals in Minnesota.
- Mayo Clinic: Ranked as one of the top hospitals in the nation, the Mayo Clinic prides itself on top-notch medical care and research. Thousands of patients each year come from around the world to receive treatment at this renowned medical clinic. The Minnesota branch of the Mayo clinic employs more than 34,180 healthcare workers.
- Abbott Northwestern Hospital: Located in Minneapolis, Abbott Northwestern serves 36,297 patients each year. As the Twin Cities’ largest private teaching hospital, nurse staffing is top level, allowing nurses to give exceptional care to their patients. U.S. News and Report ranks this hospital second in the state.
Additional Nursing Resources in Minnesota
Minnesota Nursing Board
The nursing board is the official governing body for nursing licensure, education, and practice within the state. This site provides detailed information about things like RN licensure, board-approved online nursing degree programs, and in-depth explanations of state regulations within this field.
Minnesota Organization of Registered Nurses (MNORN)
This local branch of the American Nurses Association provides nurses in the state support in the form of advocacy, leadership, mentorship, and education. Members include recent online nursing degree graduates and long-term nurses who have been in the field for decades. This organization allows nurses to get involved by running for MNORN elected office.
Minnesota Chapter of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
This state chapter of NAPNAP provides excellent resources for pediatric nurse practitioners. The website includes information on the state’s policies surrounding pediatric nursing and ways to develop leadership skills within their field. This MN Chapter of NAPNAP provides job postings, local events, awards, and community news.
Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE)
An alliance of nursing schools in Minnesota, MANE has created an eight-semester BSN program to provide the best possible education to nursing students. This program does not require an RN licence for admission. MANE provides community college students the chance to complete their BSN degree at their school or Metropolitan State University.
Minnesota Center for Nursing
This nonprofit organization advocates for nurses, especially in the areas of education, retention, and recruitment. The Board of Directors consist of a diverse group of nurse advocates from around the state. Online state resources include how to obtain a nurse licence, leadership skills, financial aid resources, and workforce reports.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Minnesota
The following database provides information about online nursing schools in Minnesota and whether they are accredited through ACEN or CCNE. Online programs listed include ADN, RN to BSN, and BSN programs in Minnesota. For students interested in graduate online nursing degrees, the database also lists MSN and DNP programs.