Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Minnesota

One of the current “hot” professions in the United States is that of a Registered Nurse (RN).

Most Affordable Nursing Schools in Minnesota

Part of the increased demand is due to initiatives to raise the minimum level of college education completed by RNs. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is instrumental in one such initiative, aiming to double the number of RNs in the country (from 40% to 80%) who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020. Minnesota is a participating state in this initiative—and offers affordable options for students.

What kind of Nursing Degree in Minnesota should you earn?

In short, you’ll find that this list features largely Minnesota-based RN to BSN degrees at an affordable tuition. As a result of the IOM’s recommendation, many government health agencies now require a BSN degree as the minimum education for RN positions. Private industry is following suit. Nursing schools are updating their programs and facilities as well, and some are offering multiple study track options to maximize the number of students who will complete their BSN and many are offering affordable online learning choices. Affordability is something that we all prioritize. Why not find the best school for the best price?

How much money can you make with a Nursing degree in Minnesota?

Whether you have a BSN or an RN, your nursing education will pay off. In the state of Minnesota, there are about 61,830 active RNs. The current average hourly wage for RNs in Minnesota is $35.55. That levels out to roughly $73,940 per year.

You’re also essentially guaranteed to find a nursing job once you graduate. According to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be a 16% increase in demand for RNs in the country, between 2014 and 2024.

What are the Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Minnesota?

The NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) database indicates that 19 nursing schools in Minnesota offered a BSN program in the last academic year. If you are looking for an affordable BSN program from a nursing school in Minnesota, the list below will get you started. It presents the 10 most affordable BSN programs based on in-state tuition. Our data and information comes from college and university websites, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, and U.S. News and World Report. 

 

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

1

Metropolitan State University

Average Tuition: $7,566

Program Website

Overview

Metropolitan State University (MSU) is a member of the public Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System and gets its institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The university has won several awards from local organizations, including for teaching and community service.

Features

MSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One is a collaborative pre-licensure track for new undergraduates. The second track caters to Registered Nurses who have a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). MSU’s BSN degree requires 120 credits for graduation. The prelicensure track is a traditional four-year program, other than the fact that it can be completed at seven community colleges instead of MSU’s main campus, if preferred. Sample courses include:

  • Acute and Complex Care
  • Applied Pathophysiology for Nursing
  • Nursing Care of the Family
  • Epidemiology for Nursing

Notables

The MANE BSN program is a collaborative effort between MSU and the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education. The university partners with community colleges to increase access to BSN programs, thereby increasing the number of nurses with a baccalaureate degree. Students in either track can study at either MSU or a partnered community college. Traditional track graduates are eligible for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, to obtain certification as a Registered Nurse.

2

Saint Cloud State University

Average Tuition: $7,814

Program Website

Overview

Saint Cloud State University (SCSU) is part of the public Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System. Undergraduate nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are offered by the Department of Nursing (DON), which is part of SCSU’s School of Health and Human Services. As it turns out, St. Cloud, MN earned a #24 spot on Forbes magazine’s “Best Small Places for Businesses and Centers” ranking.

Features

SCSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry paths. Students new to nursing apply to the traditional track. Those who have a current Registered Nurse license and an associate’s degree in nursing apply for the completion track. The traditional track requires 68 credits of nursing courses beyond elective and prerequisite courses. Full-time timeline is four years, or less for students with a non-nursing associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Sample courses include:

  • Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Health, Healing, Harmony: Professional Nursing Practice
  • Holistic Health Assessment
  • Professional Nursing Skills

Notables

This BSN program places an emphasis on holistic nursing concepts, as well as on health advocacy, alternative healing methods and culturally appropriate care. The Human Patient Simulation Lab has five simulated hospital rooms, 19 beds, a home-care simulation room, several adult and child Manikins, video streaming, and other technology that aids students in developing practical skills. The DON is also partnered with healthcare agencies in the state, with whom nursing students can gain clinical experience.

3

Minnesota State University-Mankato

Average Tuition: $7,836

Program Website

Overview

Minnesota State University-Mankato (MSU) is a public member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System. It gets institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Recognition for MSU includes spots on college rankings: U.S. News & World Report (America’s Best Colleges: Best Value Midwest; most international students); Victory Media (Military Friendly School) and others.

Features

MSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry paths. One is a traditional pre-licensure track for new nursing students. The other is a completion track for currently licensed Registered Nurses who have an associate’s degree in nursing. Students in the Basic track of this BSN program will supplement classroom and lab learning with clinical experiences in nearby rural and urban areas. RN track students have the flexibility of online courses. Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology for Healthcare Professionals
  • Pharmacology for Healthcare Professionals
  • Relationship-based Care in Nursing Practice
  • Physiologic Integrity

Notables

MSU’s BSN degree requires 120 credits for graduation. Students in the basic track will complete 59 credits of nursing courses at all levels, with the remaining credits divided between nursing prerequisites and general education courses. This is a 4-year program on a full-time basis. Transfer students may require less time. The RN track requires 30 credits of nursing (100% online) and any outstanding prerequisite courses.

4

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Average Tuition: $8,096

Program Website

Overview

Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) is a public member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System, with institutional accreditation granted by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Nursing is one of MSUM’s top five largest majors. The university itself has recognition in various forms including college ranking from U.S. News & World Report. The campus has an overall sustainability rating of Silver from AASHE/ STARS.

Features

MSUM offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is a completion track for Registered Nurses who have an associate’s degree in nursing. This BSN program combines the concepts of nursing with the sciences, as well as arts and humanities. Students have the flexibility to study course materials at any time, as suits their work schedule, and at a personally convenient pace. The outcome is to add new skills and open up new career opportunities in care and nursing leadership. Sample courses include:

  • Family Health Nursing
  • Care of Diverse Populations
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice

Notables

MSUM’s BSN degree requires a minimum 120 credits for graduation. Courses in this program are fully online, with clinical experiences taking place in a student’s home region (with board of education approval). Completion for the BSN requires 31 credits of upper division nursing courses, plus any outstanding upper division electives or liberal arts courses as necessary. The university has a minimum 40-credit residency requirement, meaning students will need to complete at least nine credits of additional upper division courses.

5

Southwest Minnesota State University

Average Tuition: $8,336

Program Website

Overview

Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System and gets institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. SMSU’s Department of Nursing (DON) offers undergraduate nursing programs, which get special accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Awards and recognition for SMSU include college rankings from Victory Media, U.S. News & World Report, and more.

Features

SMSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one completion path. This is a completion track for Registered Nurses with an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. This BSN program combines courses covering topics in nursing and healthcare, science, liberal arts, as well as leadership and management, to produce graduates who can practice as generalist who can perform nursing roles in various healthcare environments, for patients and families, as well as communities. Sample courses include:

  • Transcultural Nursing
  • Chronic Illness in Rural Settings
  • Healthcare Policy and Informatics
  • Pathophysiology

Notables

This RN track requires 30 credits of upper division nursing courses (including one elective) and one course (three credits) in statistics. Students will receive credit for prior learning, towards the total credit requirements. Graduates of the program are eligible for Public Health Nurse certification in the state.

6

Bemidji State University

Average Tuition: $8,366

Program Website

Overview

Bemidji State University (BSU) is a public member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through BSU’s School of Nursing (SON) and are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Recognition for BSU includes appearances on several college rankings: National Collegiate Fitness Index, U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Victory Media, and others.

Features

BSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two completion paths. One is a pre-licensure track for new nursing students. The other is a post-licensure track for Registered Nurses holding a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). The basic track of this BSN requires 88 credits for completion and takes five semesters or longer, on campus. Students must have completed thirty or more lower division courses (at BSU or elsewhere) to be eligible. RN track courses are blended format (combination of on-campus and online) and can be taken at BSU and five partnered community colleges. Sample courses include:

  • Elements of ScholarlyPractice
  • Adult/ Gerian Health
  • Transcultural Nursing
  • The Childbearing Family

Notables

This BSN program prepares nurses who can provide care to people in different healthcare environments by providing a broad experience in nursing education. Simulation resources include interactive Manikins, software and other technology, to aid students in developing practical skills. Clinical experiences round out program.

7

Winona State University

Average Tuition: $9,047

Program Website

Overview

Winona State University (WSU) is part of the public Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System. It receives institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered by the Department of Nursing (DON), within WSU’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS), and are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Features

WSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/completion path. One track is designed for new nursing students, the other for current Registered Nurses with an associate’s degree in nursing. RN track students have a range of study plan choices, from one year (full-time) up to four years (part-time). Courses are online or blended/ hybrid. Sample courses include:

  • Leadership in Basic Nursing Practice
  • Caring for the Older Adult
  • Leadership in Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Psychosocial Adaption

Notables

This program focuses on producing nurses with a breadth of knowledge in health care in general, as well as the skills to provide care for patients during times of illness, at any age. Students have access to the DON’s Simulation Space and Designated Education Unit (DEU) to develop their practical skills in multiple areas of nursing: community health, geriatric, medical/ surgical, obstetrical, pediatric, public health. The DON partners with regional healthcare agencies, in order for students to have a variety of clinical experiences.

8

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Average Tuition: $13,790

Program Website

Overview

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN) is a public member of the University of Minnesota system, with institutional accreditation granted by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Its nursing programs have been ranked in review lists by U.S. News & World Report. Current and former faculty have won prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and others.

Features

UMN offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path: a traditional pre-licensure track for new nursing students. UMN’s BSN degree requires a minimum of 120 credits for graduation. Students complete one year of prerequisites before entry into the major, which takes an additional three years (full-time fall and spring). Practicums can take place at any time or day of week and may require personal transportation for more remote clinical locations. Transfer students study at the UM-Rochester campus. Sample courses include:

  • Informatics
  • Nurse as Collaborator
  • Ethical Sensitivity and Reasoning in Health Care
  • Stats for Clinical Research

Notables

For this BSN program, students have a choice of location—main campus or Rochester. A recently open simulation and teaching environment, the Bentson Center, boasts 38 cameras to record simulations and exercises, simulated environments, electronic health records, mobile record systems, telehealth technology and more. Simulations include acute care, ambulatory care, critical care, home care, surgical care.

9

Crown College

Average Tuition: $23,740

Program Website

Overview

Crown College (CC) is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, receiving institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered by the college’s Nursing Department and are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Recognition for Crown College includes ranking spots in review sites such as U.S. News & World Report, MONEY Magazine, and others.

Features

CC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path: a pre-licensure track for new nursing students. The college is also planning to reopen their RN-BSN completion program soon. The BSN degree requires 132 credits for graduation and includes religious studies. Nursing courses start in the fourth semester under a 4-year plan, and take primarily nursing courses in upper division years. Students can also choose a 5-year plan. Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Foundations of Professional Nursing
  • Physical Assessment
  • Pharmacology

Notables

This BSN program incorporates education for Christian leadership compassion to be applied in a professional nursing career. The curriculum combines nursing with the arts and sciences, and students supplement coursework with labs and off-campus clinical experiences—at clinics, hospitals, public health agencies and other healthcare providers.

10

University of Northwestern-St Paul

Average Tuition: $28,730

Program Website

Overview

University of Northwestern-St Paul (UNWSP) is a nondenominational Christian organization. UNWSP’s School of Nursing (SON) provides undergraduate nursing programs, which are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Recognition for UNWSP includes a #40 spot in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s top “Regional Universities Midwest” college rankings list.

Features

UNWSP offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. Both tracks are pre-licensure, for new nursing students. One is for new undergraduates (or transfer students), while the other is an accelerated track for students who have completed a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. UNWSP’s BSN degree requires 134-138 credits for graduation. Sample courses include:

  • Professional Nursing: Called to Serve
  • Assessment and Communication Strategies for Service
  • Foundational Adult Care Services
  • Infant Child Family Care Services
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Care Services

Notables

This BSN program integrates a Christ-centered perspective intended to teach about service from the aspect of professional nursing. There are three start dates yearly, but admissions are rolling. The school also offers study-abroad trips to nursing students. Past trips include Jamaica and Zimbabwe.