Anoka Ramsey Community College Nursing Program Review

Located in Coon Rapids, Anoka County, the college has a history dating back to 1965. It started at an auxiliary wing of the Centennial High School until its relocation to the current main campus site in Coon Rapids. The college has undergone expansion in trying to reach the community by establishing a satellite campus at Cambridge.  As a community college, Anoka- Ramsey Community College (ARCC) offers certificate, diploma and two-year associate degree programs to over 10000 students annually

Anoka-Ramsey Community College Nursing Program

The nursing programs at Anoka-Ramsey Community College have been approved by the Minnesota Board of nursing and also fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. There are two options for the nursing programs that lead to the award of an associate in science with a concentration in nursing degree. The programs are explained below:

2-Year Nursing Program

This program has been specifically designed for students who have no prior nursing experience. Students enrolled in this program will be expected to take a total of 64 credits of which, 30 are general education and the remaining 34 are nursing credits. The learning mode is full time for both clinical and classroom instructions in a period of two years. Students can also take courses at both campuses in Cambridge and Coon Rapids. Basically, students are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam after successful graduation with the associate of Science in nursing degree.

LPN Mobility Program

The program is designed for career advanced needs of licensed practical nurses certified in Minnesota State. It takes students three semesters to complete the program after receiving the 12 advanced placement standing from the LPN license. Starting on the nursing courses for the associate degree does not require students to sit for a transition/ bridging exam. Instead, the transition courses are offered along with the usual nursing courses during the three semesters of study.

 In total, student being enrolled for the LPN mobility take fewer credits than fresh entry level nursing students. After exemptions, 22 nursing credits are taken at Anoka Ramsey community college as opposed to the 34 for the 2-year program students. Just like the first option, the program makes the students eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses.

ADN to BSN Opportunities

The college has made arrangement with other universities to allow ADN graduates to further their career by taking a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. On this note, students can finish a BSN right at the Cambridge campus of the college courtesy of the Bemidji State University or at Coon Rapids campus via direct articulation agreements between Anoka Ramsey and Metropolitan State University

On a further note, Anoka-Ramsey Community College has also formed articulation agreements with the following major universities and colleges to allow students transfer credits towards a BSN.

  • Winona State University
  • Augsburg College
  • Minnesota State University- Moorhead
  • Minnesota State University –Mankato
  • College of St. Scholastica
  • Bethel University

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
300 Spirit River Drive, South Cambridge,
MN 55008

Augsburg College Nursing Program Review

Augsburg College is a church college of the Lutheran church of America. As such, its history dates back to the 1870s when it served as a seminarian college in Wisconsin. The college later moved to its current city location but the needs of training personnel for a city necessitated the change of the seminary into a general education college alongside the seminary. At this period, the college started admitting female students and the seminary and the liberal arts college was separated. Since then, the college has grown tremendously to offering undergraduate, master and doctoral degrees in many academic fields.

Nursing at Augsburg College

The nursing programs of Augsburg College (AC) are offered at the main campus and the Rochester Lutheran church nursing division. The programs have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Minnesota board of Nursing. All programs are for advancement outlooks and do not take-in fresh nursing students but those seeking career advancing from registered nursing.

BSN Completion

Students are expected to take a total of seven nursing major courses which can be completed in either a part time of full time basis. Full time students can complete the program in about fifteen months if they have taken their liberal arts and general education course prior to admission into the program. The courses can also be taken during the weekends and evenings while clinical practicum must be taken during the day for part timers. The college has the sole mandate of deciding what courses from other colleges can be accepted towards completing the BSN at Augsburg.

Master of Arts in Nursing

This a unique master degree offered as an option for advanced nursing at Augsburg College. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is offered in both campuses of Augsburg College. Students are welcome to choose from two tracks of the MA namely:

  • Master of Arts in nursing-Trans-cultural Nursing Community Track
  • Master of Arts in Nursing-Transformational Leadership & Management Track

For both programs, students must take a total of 10 courses, five of which are directed to nursing tracks mentioned above. The programs are unique from the usual master of science in nursing in that it focuses on bringing nursing services to the population that are beyond the mainstream traditional care nursing . Students taking the Trans-cultural option will be eligible for certification as advanced community health nurses. On the other hand, students who choose the transformational leadership track receive classroom instruction from courses in master of business administration, Master of Arts in leader and from the nursing department.

Doctor on Nursing Practice

This terminal degree in nursing offers masters prepared students to undertake studies with a focus on trans-cultural nursing. The program is available as both a full time and part time commitment with a total of 10 courses. The part timers are expected to complete their program in three years while the full time basically runs for two academic years.

Augsburg College
2211 Riverside Avenue, South Minneapolis,
MN 55454

Bemidji State University Nursing School Review

In 1919, the history of a school that would become Bemidji State University started. It started off as a normal school training teachers but the scope was later re-organized to include diverse programs. The university has changed names thrice from its time of inception i.e. from a state teachers college to Bemidji State College and to the current name. The university’s name comes from its location; which is just at the shores of Lake Bemidji in Minnesota. It has a rich culture due to the large proportion of American Indian learners and the influence of urban life.

Bemidji State University Nursing- (BSU Nursing)

The department of nursing at Bemidji State University (BSU) is mandated to offer various nursing degrees. The two nursing programs offered by the university are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. They are also approved by the Minnesota Board of nursing and are follows:

Four year BSN Track Program

The 4-year Baccalaureate nursing track program at Bemidji State University focuses on molding professional nurses who are on their first nursing experience. The track requires students to take a minimum of 120 credits of both nursing and non nursing courses. Students start their freshmen year on general education credits and only take nursing courses starting from the sophomore year. Completion of the program awards the student a baccalaureate in nursing degree.

RN to BS Track

This track on nursing is older than the four year track at Bemidji. It specifically focuses on the advancement career needs of already registered nurses holding either diploma or associate degrees. Since the program is designed for working professionals, it is very flexible and includes both part time and full time study options.

The program is affiliated with Anoka-Ramsey Community College where some classes are offered in the colleges’ Cambridge campus.  The courses schedule is complex as senior and junior students never meet in the same campus at the same time. On this note, students only meet in campus as a whole for the first two weeks and consecutive classes are alternate- online and campus based.

Students at the junior level attend classes every 3-4 fours weeks on Mondays and Fridays at the Anoka Ramsey Community college Cambridge campus and the rest of the classes are offered online. Similarly, senior students attend classes every 3-4 four weeks at the department of nursing clinical resource centre in Bemidji State University with the rest of the classes being offered online.

The flexibility of the program also allows adult learners to choose their most convenient location for the clinical practicum mostly within their neighborhoods. The blended format of both online and campus instruction makes the program an attractive option for registered nurses seeking to complete a BSN. The program is very short and requires only 33 nursing credits to complete.

For students of Anoka-Ramsey Community College, this program from Bemidji State University guarantees them direct transition into completing the four year nursing BSN. Since the program is partially offered at their college, they are at a better chance to enroll for the program when starting off at Anoka.

Bemidji State University
1500 Birchmont Drive, NE Bemidji,
MN 56601

Bethel University Nursing School Review

For students who want to learn in an environment with an evangelical perspective, Bethel University (BU) offers that. The university was established in 1871 and was then called Baptist Union Theological College. It remained a seminary center, training ministers and pastors until 1989 when the first non-theological programs were introduced. Shortly afterwards, adult-targeted bachelor degrees were introduced which saw the change of the name from the initial name to Bethel University; a world class private university. It still maintains its initial seminary as one of its colleges alongside the recently introduced colleges.

Bethel University-Department of Nursing

The department of nursing at Bethel University offers undergraduate and master level nursing degree programs. The department maintains the mission and vision of the founder of the university which was to bring a Christ-like presence in the nursing profession. Due the strong affiliation to the Converge Worldwide church, students must take a curriculum that integrates Christian faith into nursing profession.

The curriculum has a huge percentage of liberal arts courses that emphasizes spirituality, caring, integrity, value for life. Three programs have been approved and accredited by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as outline below:

Pre-Licensure Undergraduate Degree (BS in Nursing)

The degree takes the form of the traditional four-year program of study. Students are expected to have full time commitment to the program for both the practical and classroom instructions. The program aims at preparing nurses who will be eligible to write the NLEX-RN as part of becoming registered nurses. It requires 125 credits to complete, with a good number having a Christian faith and liberal arts outlook.  The program also takes in transfer students from other colleges and universities who wish to complete their BSN.

BS in Nursing (RN to BS)

The program is meant for already registered nurses as it aims at building on prior nursing experience. Students are enrolled in a cohort and move on as so to the completion of the program. Students who hold associate and diplomas in nursing are the targets of the 12 courses program.  Since most of the admitted students are adults, the classes are designed to be flexible to cater for working RNs. In this case, students meet in either Arden Hills or Bloomington campuses or the North Hennepin Community College. Classes happen in the evenings only once for four hours per week for a duration of 20 months for which 37 credits are covered.

M.A. in Nursing

This program at Bethel University welcomes both BS in nursing students and other non-nursing baccalaureate holders. For the BS in nursing graduate, the curriculum is short and they graduate with a Master of Arts in Nursing with concentrations in either Nursing Education or Nursing Healthcare Leadership. The other group of students graduates with two parallel degrees, a BS in Nursing and a Master of Arts in nursing with options of the same specialties as above. The latter option, also known as a combined degree option takes 3 and 4 years to complete for the Education and Leadership concentrations respectively.

Bethel University
3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul,
MN 55112

Century College Nursing Program Review

Century College came into existence after a bill was passed to merge two state colleges; Northeast Metro Tech College and Lakewood Community College. This happened in 1996 and resulted to the now Century College. The college is dedicated to offering affordable high quality education in the Ramsey and South Washington counties among others in Minnesota and beyond. It is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities System (MnSCU) system

Nursing Programs at Century Community and Technical College

Century Community college has four nursing programs under its health care careers division. Three of the four lead to an associate degree and one is a certificate program. The college has also a number of continuing education courses for Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses who want to keep abreast with changing trends or for license renewal contact hours. All programs at Century are fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing

Associate Degree Nursing Program

This program has three career pathways all leading to the award of an associate degree in nursing as outlined below:

  • Traditional Track Nursing

The first option of the associate degree is the traditional track that takes four semesters to complete.  64 credits in the ratio of 34 to 3o are required for the nursing and general education course requirements. The candidates for this program are fresh nursing students who no prior nursing experience.  Completion of the program places the students in a position to sit for the NLCEX-RN to become registered nurses.

  • LPN Mobility Track

This track is meant for candidates who hold licenses as practical nurses. The programs total number of credits is equivalent to those of the traditional track only that here, students receive advanced standing for their LPN licenses.  Students take 23 nursing credits at Century and receive 11 advanced standing credits after passing an assessment of LPN skills and Knowledge. An additional 30 general education units are needed to complete the 64 credit associate track. Completion is after three semesters; a summer for the LPN assessment and a fall and spring semester for the nursing courses.

  • Paramedic Mobility Track

This enables licensed paramedics to make the transition to registered nursing. Just like the LPN mobility track, paramedics receive 11 advanced standing credits after assessment of their paramedic skill and knowledge. 23 credits are then taken at Century in three semesters, with the same mode as the LPN track. After completion of the 64 credits, paramedics are usually in a position to write the NCLEX-RN and become registered nurses.


The three tracks of the associate degree are delivered in either day or a hybrid of day and online modes for the nursing courses.  All general and prerequisites can be completed in day, evening or online modes on part time or full time basis. The traditional track starts at fall and spring semesters while the LPN and Paramedic Mobility start only in the summer semester.

Nursing Assistant

The nursing assistance certificate program is a 4-credit program that enables students to be entered in the States’ Registry of Nursing Assistants. The program has admission in all three semesters year round and is available in daytime or evening schedules.

Continuing Education

On this segment of Century Community & Technical College, nurses and LPNs have access to a number CEUs.  Courses are CPR training, nursing cont’ Ed, Nursing assistant, phlebotomy and other health related technician courses.

Century College
3300 Century Avenue North,
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

College of Saint Benedicts & Saint John’s University Nursing School Review

A wonderful and unique partnership it is, the college of Saint Benedicts (CSB)- for Women and Saint Johns’ University (SJU)- for men, two distinct yet parallel colleges. The college and the university are deeply rooted into the catholic faith; the base of their foundation. The two schools offer liberal arts programs and are ranked among the top liberal colleges in the United States. Peculiar though, the two in one schools offers the same academic programs yet retain their individual identities in matters of campuses, traditions and other extra curriculum programs.

Department of Nursing at CSB/SJU

The department of nursing offers only one fully accredited and approved four-year baccalaureate program. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Minnesota Board of Nursing has accredited and approved the program and has been offered in the schools for about thirty years. The program is taken by female and male students from the respective schools hence, it is a co-ed program.

The Nursing Major

Is it the only nursing program from the CSB/SJU and runs for a period of four years. The program takes the form of a full time program and students are expected to take courses from both the College of St Benedicts and St Johns’ University. The curriculum of the program is highly inclined to nursing courses with a view of the catholic Benedictine setting. Each nursing course has this element and students are expected to base their nursing practice from those teachings.

The program takes a holistic approach to nursing and most of the liberal arts courses focus on training nurses who will cater for patients of all ages. During the freshman year, students take liberal arts and general education credits. These run for three consecutive semesters until the fall of the sophomore year.

Starting from the fall of second year, students start on the nursing majors which run for five consecutive semesters. 55 nursing major credits must be completed for eligibility to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.  The program prepares student for state licensure exam in their pursuit to become registered nurses.

As part of the program completion norm, students are sent- out on a short- study abroad experience. In this case, students can either travel to S. Africa, Ecuador or Mexico to complete the study abroad experience.


Transfer and Early Admission Information

Students from other colleges and universities are welcome to apply for the transfer of credits to college of St. Benedict / St. John University. However, the transfer policy decides the number of students to take on a competitive basis. Students wishing to transfer their credits to the nursing program should be aware that they will only be accepted if there is available space left. Priority to admission is given to students who have completed pre-requisite courses at the school.

There is also a chance for students to apply for an early admission into the nursing program using the most recent ACT or SAT scores at the time of application. Students who get enrolled via this route must pass exceptionally well to be allowed in the liberal and general education course at first-year level to be allowed to progress into the major.

College of Saint Benedicts
37 South College Avenue,
St. Joseph, MN 56374


Saint John’s University
2850 Abbey Plaza,
Collegeville, MN 56321

St. Catherine University Nursing School Review

St. Catherine University, previously known as College of Saint Catherine (CSC) is an school with a catholic identity whose history started back in early 1900s. The university was started under the leadership of Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet and named after an Egyptian martyr. By then, it had the name College of St. Catherine which was changed recently to Saint Catherine University (St. Kate’s, SCU).  Prior to the renaming, the college merged with St. Mary’s School of Nursing and as such, nursing in the university has a long history of excellence. It is located in the Twin cities and has one extended campus location.

Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

The Henrietta Schmoll School of Health leads the stewardship of nursing programs at Saint Catherine University. The school has numerous programs of study ranging from associate degrees to doctoral programs, all which have been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.  The nursing programs available in an ascending order are:

Associate Programs

  • Nursing: Associate of Nursing

The program is a co-ed program that trains pre-nursing students to become professional nurses. The curriculum is designed to run for two-three years of full time study upon which, students are in a position to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and become RNs. Students start off with liberal arts courses and then progress to nursing courses. Courses are offered only at the university’s Minneapolis campus.

  • Nursing: LPN to RN Mobility Program

The program gives licensed practical nurses a chance to become registered nurses. LPNs receive advanced standings from the LPN certificate and complete the program in one academic year. Courses are offered at the Minneapolis campus on an evening/ weekend study mode. Students graduate with an associate of science in nursing degree and become ready to write the state RN licensure exam.

Baccalaureate Majors

  • Nursing: Baccalaureate Day

The program is offered on a full time day schedule at the main campus at St. Paul. Basically, student nurses are prepared to sit for the NLCEX-RN exam for licensure as registered nurses in addition to the award of a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree (BSN).

  • Nursing: RN to Bachelor’s

This program is also offered during weekends at St Paul’s campus and is designed for registered nurses stepping up to the bachelor’s level. It accepts transfer students and takes about two to three years to complete depending on the acceptable number credits accepted for transfer.

Master of Arts in Nursing (MA in Nursing)

The Master of Arts in nursing program is offered at the main campus with classes being scheduled in the evening and weekends only. Two concentrations: Nurse Educator and Nurse Practitioner are available for students to choose from. Further, students can choose from three functional roles under the Nurse Practitioner concentration i.e.

  • Neonatal option
  • Adult Gerontological option
  • Pediatric option

Generally, students must complete 37 credits for the education track and up to 40 credits for the practitioner track depending on which option is chosen.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

This terminal nursing program at Saint Catherine University is meant for Masters degree prepared students. It is an evidence based program where students are expected to cover 9 clinical credits and 19 theory credits.  The curriculum is delivered on a part time basis and students only come to campus to campus once monthly for face to face instructions.

St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Ave, St. Paul,
MN 55105

College of St. Scholastica Nursing Program Review

The College of St. Scholastica (CSS) was founded by a group of the catholic identity sisters; sisters of Benedictine. It was initially a women only university but later evolved to a co-ed centre offering courses to both men and women. The college is located in Duluth, Minnesota where its mains campus is but has other satellite campuses at Rochester, St. Paul, St Cloud and Brainerd. It neighbors the nearby Lake Superior and has a serene learning environment set on 186 acres of land.

School of Nursing

Twenty years after its founding, the College of Saint Scholastica started their first baccalaureate nursing programs which run for five years. Since then on, the colleges has designed and seek approval and accreditation of master and doctoral degrees in addition to variations of the Bachelor of Science in nursing. The programs have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

BS Nursing

This is a nursing program that leads to the award of a Bachelor of Science degree with a nursing major. The curriculum is delivered on a full time basis and students are expected to complete a minimum of 117 credits. It prepares nurse on holistic nursing practice approach and strictly adheres to the Catholic/Benedictine setting in curriculum delivery. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure as registered nurses.

RN to BS online

The program is specially designed to cater for the advancing education needs of already registered nurses. In this case, it is a bachelor’s completion program that takes in associate or diploma prepared registered nurses. The most appealing aspect of this program is that it is offered exclusively online. This gives adult learners a chance for them to continue with their education without giving-up their jobs or families. Completion leads to the award of a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

Post Baccalaureate Nursing

The College of St. Scholastica welcomes interested students who hold non nursing degrees to start their path into professional nursing.  There are two tracks which students can take towards their Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. On the first track, students take a full time day study from the main campus in Duluth and students must study in cohorts. On the second option, students can study on hybrid online and face to face instruction where the classroom instructions are taken at St. Clouds Campus grounds. Classes are accelerated and run to about 15 to 16 months for both tracks. On this note, students are advised to give-up their day jobs due to the fast pace

Master of Science in Nursing

The college of nursing has six nursing specialties at master level for students to choose from. They all require BSN-prepared nurses and mainly target students who are from underserved and rural areas on N. Minnesota.  All the programs have options of part time or full time study formats hence, are quite flexible. Most classes are offered during weekends, evenings or on a full day/per week format while some selected courses are taught online.  Students can take 2 to 7 seven years depending on the learning mode chosen. Tracks are:

·         Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program

·         Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Program

·         Gerontology Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist

·         Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Program

·         Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Family Program

·         Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Adult Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The program welcomes both BSN and Master prepared students who are intrested in evidence based advanced nursing practice in all the master level tracks above (for the BSN candidates). The program is offered online and students only visit campus on a few occasions. The BS to DNP is has more campsus visits as comapred to the Post-masters option.

College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Ave, Duluth,
MN 55811

Concordia College Nursing Program Review

Concordia College, part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was dedicated to providing higher education to the residents of Minnesota, N. Dakota and Montana from 1891. It was an idea conceived by Norwegian missionaries who were settling in Minnesota and started off with about 12 students offering English and Piano Classes. The college later advanced to offering liberal arts courses and a fully functional departmental system of the college was formed in 1913. Since then, it has been academic advancement all the way to the big College of the Lutheran Heritage.

Nursing at Concordia College

The department of nursing at Concordia College offers two programs; leading to the award of Bachelor of Arts in nursing degrees.  The two programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved to do so by the North Dakota and Minnesota Boards of Nursing.

Degree in Nursing

The program aims at training nurses at entry level wishing to become professional nurses. Students are expected to take four years of study to complete the program just like the usual Bachelor of Science degree program. Students take prerequisite courses for the first year after admission in Concordia. Students who have completed the prerequisites are expected to apply for the competitive selection criteria in the nursing major.

All nursing major courses start off during the spring semester of each year. Unlike most church affiliated colleges that offer Christian courses as part of the prerequisites courses, Concordia College does not follow that tradition. Usually, the prerequisites are general education courses ranging from Science, biology, anatomy among others. Successful completion of a total of 86 to 90 credits lead to the award of the Bachelor of Arts in nursing degree in addition to the eligibility to write the NCLEX-RN exam.

Accelerated Nursing

Admission to the accelerated program at Concordia College requires students who have already completed a baccalaureate program from another non-nursing field from a recognized school. It takes 18 months to complete the nursing majors inclusive of one semester to fulfill prerequisites courses. Intake is in May every year running through to December of the next year. A total of 48 nursing credits are needed for the award of the second major in nursing and eligibility to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse.

Parish Nursing Certification

This program is meant for those who wish to serve in their congregation as nurses. The program aims at shaping nurse educators, counselors, volunteers and integrators of faith at the church level. It is in this program where Christian teachings are incorporated into the nursing curriculum. Students wishing to graduate with this certificate apply for additional credits related to religion and Christian teachings. It is not a distinct program but one which the regular second majors or the traditional Bachelor of Arts students apply for during their final year.  Completion of the additional certificate credits leads to students graduating with the arts baccalaureate degree and parish nurse certificate.

Concordia College- Moorhead
901 8th St, S. Moorhead,
MN 56562

Crown College Nursing Program Review

Established in 1912 as ministerial school, Crown College has outgrown that small name into a big regional college it is today. St Paul’s Bible Institute it was but expanded its curriculum to include other non theological majors. This expansion led to the change of the name and the outlook of the college to Crown College, offering degree programs beyond its initial capacity on all major academic fields. The private co-ed higher education center is dedicated to serve and bring education that follows the teachings of Christ to residents of West Minneapolis and Minnesota at large.

Nursing at Crown College

Nursing programs at Crown College (CC) are offered under the department of nursing. The department together with the two nursing programs has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The two nursing programs lead to the award of a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

Bachelor of Science Nursing Pre-licensure

The department of nursing offers this program for new students who have never had any prior nursing experience. The curriculum of this program consists of Christian studies as one of the core courses to provide biblically based nursing education. The program also incorporates a strong aspect of missionary nursing hence, takes a cross cultural perspective. The curriculum also incorporates a hybrid format of study where some selected courses are offered online.

A total of 66 credits are taken during the freshman and sophomore years. Christian studies and doctrines including intensive study of the New and Old Testament comprise of 18 credits out of the 66. At the junior and senior years, students start on the nursing and some few biblical courses which total up to 56 credits. Out of these, 9 are directly based on the bible and Christian teachings. The program prepares students for the first licensure into registered nursing by taking the NCLEX-RN exam. Precisely, it is inevitable to get transformed into Christianity after taking their nursing program.

Nursing, Bachelor of Science Completion

This program from Crown College aims at building on prior nursing experience by admitting already registered nurses or those who have completed a two-year or a nursing diploma. Just like the earlier nursing program, courses integrate faith into evidence based nursing practice. The program is excellent for those who do not wish to lose their day jobs during the period of study. This is because the curriculum is delivered in flexible online and classroom instructions. Most of the courses required for completion of the program are offered online.

Unlike the traditional BSN, this nursing program targets adult students and is offered by the department of nursing with collaboration with the adult and Graduate Studies section of the college. The program does not demand a lot of commitment from students to campus visits. It is also the program that accepts transfer students from community colleges or other universities. Crown College boasts to have one of the top ten online nursing programs among Christian universities and colleges.

Crown College
8700 College View Drive, Saint Bonifacius,
MN 55375

Inver Hills Community College Nursing Program Review

Dating back to 1970, Inver Hills Community College (IHCC) offers a serene learning environment in the 90-acre wooded-hill campus. As a community college, Inver Hills is dedicated to offering its education services to the locals but also welcomes students  from nearby states.

One fascinating old fact about Inver Hills is that close to half of its students, in any given time, are part-time or adult learners who attend college for evening, weekend or part time classes. It is therefore an excellent college for working professionals who wish to work and study at the same time.

Nursing Programs at Inver Hills Community College

IHCC offers a number of nursing programs all of which are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The nursing programs focus on a philosophy of holism, healing and health as the core points of practical nursing. Top on the list of the programs offered is the traditional 2-year Associate of Science degree in Nursing (AS in Nursing). Also offered are mobility/ advanced placement options for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) & Paramedics and a short Certificate in Nursing Assistant (CNA) course. Together with Metropolitan State University and 6 other community colleges, IHCC offers its nursing programs under a consortium. This consortium; the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) allows students to complete the Associate degree and later on, complete the curriculum for the baccalaureate nursing degree.

Associate of Science in Nursing

The AS in nursing is a 75-credit program designed to take two years; 1 semester of a sequence of liberal arts courses and 3 semesters of nursing coursework. A Certificate as a Nurse Aide is a prerequisite for admission to this track. Upon completion of the 4 semesters of required coursework, students become eligible to write the NCLEX exam to become Registered Nurses.  This track falls under the MANE program and as such, offers interested students Dual Enrollment with Metropolitan State University. The dual enrollment option: rolled out in the fall of 2013/2014 academic year, enables a student to complete the associate degree, earn the RN license and continue to take additional courses for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. This program forms the objective of the MANE program which is to make baccalaureate nursing education accessible to all across the state.

Licensed Practical Nurse/ Paramedic Mobility Track

These advanced placement programs are designed for those interested in becoming registered nurses. Candidates must have an active LPN status from any state in the US or a Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician for the case of paramedics. Additionally, applicants of these accelerated tracks must meet other nursing admission requirements which include state registration as a Nursing Assistant and completion of the NLN Pre-Admission Exam. Classes for these two tracks start in the summer semester where students take the Transition to Professional nursing course prior to starting the AS in Nursing Curriculum. In addition to courses waivered in lieu of former qualification, students must complete a total of 75 credits to be eligible for graduation. Graduates are also welcome to take the MANE option and complete the baccalaureate in nursing degree.

Nursing Assistant Certificate

Besides being a prerequisite requirement for admission to the Associate degree in nursing program, the CNA course is designed to offer employability skills to entry-level learners. It is a short 5-credit curriculum inclusive of 24-hour supervised practical experience in long term care facilities. Upon completion, graduate become eligible to apply entry in the State’s CNA Registry.

Inver Hills Community College
2500 East 80th St, Inver Grove Heights
MN 55076

Globe University/ Minnesota School of Business Nursing School Review

As the name suggests, Globe University/ Minnesota School of Business is truly a global university. The university has a very diverse local and international network. With over 11 satellite campuses in Minnesota alone and additional campuses in Wisconsin and South Dakota, the university has actually strived to have a global outreach. The university started as Minnesota business School, one of the oldest business schools in the state. Back in 1885, a German scholar conceived the idea of the business college which later evolved to the current Globe University; offering an array of bachelors, master and associate degree programs besides business.

Globe University Nursing

Approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the only nursing program at Globe University lead to a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The Program is offered at the auxiliary section of the university: Minnesota School of Business at its Richfield campus.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Globe University is a pre-licensure program, open to new students entering the nursing profession. The curriculum is delivered from the Minnesota School of Business at Richfield campus. The program takes a holistic approach to nursing practice in molding nurses who are able to serve beyond the hospital walls.

The curriculum focuses on major nursing courses in addition to the underserved nursing concepts, philosophies and end of life nursing skills.  Usually, the program takes the form of an accelerated study mode where, the four year curriculum is covered in three academic years or thirty six months. The relatively short period is attributed to the fact that the courses are offered all year round in three semesters.

Admission to the program requires all applicants to show prove of having attended a nursing assistant class within the last five years. As such, the program allows students to start on experiential and co-operative in health agencies around the twin cities from as early as the last quarter of the freshman year. Admission to the program is on two occasions annually; semesters starting January and July.

Successful completion leads to the award of a Bachelor of Science in nursing and eligibility to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse.

Important Notes

Globe University was offering an online program of an RN to BSN completion program. The program was offering a chance to already registered nurses to advance to a bachelor’s degree in a flexible and convenient way. However, the university has suspended offering that program and the reason for halting admissions into the program is review of the curriculum. This was the program that used to accept transfer students and on this note, Globe University is not currently accepting nursing transfer credits. Students willing to get into this program are advised check regularly with the university’s academic register on the possible re-instatement dates for this program. But the university does not guarantee the re-instatement of the said program.

Globe University/ Minnesota School of Business
80 South, Minneapolis,
MN 55402

Gustavus Adolphus College Nursing Program Review

Gustavus Adolphus College (GAC) is a church college deeply rooted and maintaining the values of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Its history started unfolding in 1862, hence has a decade and a half of higher education services to the people. It is a Christian, private co-ed institution which is guided by the Swedish and Lutheran heritages.

Nursing at Gustavus Adolphus College

Nursing at Gustavus Adolphus College is through a consortium with other colleges in Minnesota. It is a baccalaureate program that takes a minimum of four years to complete. Accreditation is through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Nursing Program Structure

The nursing program is offered by two colleges; Gustavus Adolphus and St. Olaf College. The Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium ensures students receive the experience of learning in two distinct campuses towards the same goal. Students take nursing and general education courses on a predetermined sequence from Olaf and Gustavus.

During the first year, student nurses take prerequisites courses and general education courses. These courses also continue for the whole of the sophomore year. At the junior and senior year, students start on nursing courses together with liberal arts courses. The program takes a holistic approach to nursing and liberal arts make-up a substantial percent of the junior and senior year’s courses.

Twenty courses must be completed for students to be eligible to graduate with a Bachelors degree from the college. The breakdown of the courses results to 11 upper division nursing and liberal arts courses, 8 prerequisite courses and 1 supporting course.  Even though the program is via a consortium, students must first apply to the program from their mother college ie Gustavus Adolphus College and the rest follow smoothly.

It is also important to note that, the college does not accept transfer students coming out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium. Transfer students can only be taken from either Gustavus or Saint Olaf College and  students who have completed prerequisites courses outside these two are advised not to apply. Most students in the nursing program complete an interim- study abroad program. For students who choose international programs, nursing courses may not be completed in the set four years and additional time maybe required to complete the program

Concurrent Majors

Students may also apply for special consideration to earn another major program alongside the nursing major. This consideration is for highly performing students and leads to graduation with two bachelor degrees.  In this case too, students must be ready to commit about five to six years in college.

Similarly, students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree from another major from Gustavus may also apply for a Second Major in Nursing. It is easier to get the second major in nursing at Gustavus Adolphus since the almost all prerequisites courses of the earlier major will be recognized by the admissions office of the nursing department. This plan in both cases is referred to as double majors; only applicable to students of Gustavus and not those of St. Olaf College.

Gustavus Adolphus College
800 West College Avenue, St Peter,
MN 56082

Metropolitan State University Nursing School Review

Metropolitan State University (Metro State) does not have a very long history; as it was started in early 1970s. The need to bring higher education to the communities led to the legislature of the State to vote towards its founding. The university, set in the urban area of the Twin cities, started off serving communities from many areas including other colleges as a university without walls until it got its own grounds. Currently, the university has four campuses in St Paul, Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis and Midway in Minnesota. It is a member of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) .

Nursing Programs at Metropolitan University

Nursing programs at Metro State University are under the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. They range from completion baccalaureate to doctoral nursing programs. They have been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and the baccalaureate accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Nursing (RN-BSN)

This program is meant to build on prior nursing experience for RNs who already hold a diploma or associate degree. The same curriculum is delivered in the main campus at St Paul and in other five locations in community colleges.  Students can therefore take classes at North Hennepin CC, Anoka Ramsey CC, Normandale CC, and Inver Hills CC or at Century CC. All nursing courses are taken on a part time format in all locations for five semesters. Learning is through cohorts that meet once weekly for all semesters.

 Master of Science in Nursing

The college of nursing and health sciences at Metro State University offers BSN prepared nurses a path to become advanced practice nurses. There are two tracks from which students can choose i.e. Nurse Educator or Nurse Leadership & Management tracks. Both programs can be completed in either full time or part time study modes. For full times students, the programs can be completed in two years and additional summer semester. On the other hand, part times students are expected to complete the programs in about three academic years and two summer semesters.

Curriculum delivery of a hybrid nature, including web enhanced courses, online instructions and face to face classroom instructions. The master programs have been accredited separately by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

MnSCU Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice

The university, together with other four state universities in Minnesota has come together to offer this consortium of DNP. The participating universities are Metropolitan state university and Minnesota State universities- Moorhead & Mankato and Winona State University. This collaborative program is specifically meant for masters prepared students.

On a further note, the university has plans underway to introduce an independent DNP program within its mandate. As such, the program will have two routes towards the DNP. On the first option, a curriculum that helps BSN students to get a Doctor of nursing practice has been developed. Students will have to take the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration as a master level nurse specialty.  The second route will be for the usual MSN prepared students who took specialties in nurse leadership concentrations.  In view of this, the first cohort of students at the independent Metro State University DNP program kicked off in the fall 2012.

Metropolitan State University
1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis,
MN 55403

Minneapolis Community and Technical College Nursing Program Review

Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is a metropolitan based college right in the heart of Minneapolis. It is a relatively young public two-year community college founded in 1996. The coming to life of the college was a result of mergers between an open enrollment college and a technical vocational institute. The college is dedicated to providing career entry programs as well as transfer programs for those aspiring to proceed to four year universities. Continuing Education courses and lifelong learning also make a good part of the college commitment to bring higher education closer to the community.

Nursing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Despite the recent founding of the college, there are quite a number of nursing programs that have been developed. Two of the programs lead to the award of an associate degree, one diploma and one certificate program. The five nursing programs have been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Program offerings are fully expounded below:

Nursing Mobility Program

i)        Practical Nursing Diploma

As the name suggests, this is a career mobility program that has two distinct portions. This mobility program carries three of the nursing programs offered at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. To start with, students enroll for the nursing mobility and are expected to finish one year of 25 nursing and 11 general education credits. After successful completion of this section of the program, students can exit and by so doing, earn a Diploma in Practical Nursing. Students who wish to exit at the first year level are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam to become licensed practical nurses in Minnesota.

ii)      Option A: Nursing Mobility A.S Degree

Progression into the second year leads to the second portion of the program, which basically lead to the award of an associate of Science in nursing. During the second year of progression, first year LPN students (unlicensed) of MCTC take an additional 37 credits to complete the requirement for the associate degree. Completion of the whole mobility program makes the students eligible to write the NCLEX-RN and (or) PN exam for double licensure.

iii)    Option B: Nursing Mobility A.S. Degree

The second option of the mobility program enables licensed practical nurses from any other college to complete the curriculum towards becoming registered nurses. In this option, students receive 22 advanced standing nursing credits and up to 11 general education credits from the PN diploma. Students get into the program at the second year level and take the remaining nursing and general education credits needed for the AS degree at MCTC. Two LPN to RN transition courses must be taken prior to starting on the nursing courses at MCTC.

Nursing Assistant/ Home Health Aide

Minneapolis Community and Technical College also trains students who wish to get into nursing as nurse aides/ nursing assistants.  Three options of the nursing aide certificate exist namely:

  • Nurse assistant certificate requiring one course of five credits
  • Nursing Assistant Extended Hour Certificate requiring one course of six credits
  • Nursing Assistant- Acute care option requiring three credits

Continuing Education Course for Nurses

The college also offers four continuing education courses for nurses including a nursing refresher for RNS and LPNS.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College
1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis,
MN 55403

Minnesota State University – Mankato Nursing School Review

From the humble begging as a Normal School, Minnesota State University (MSU) has come a long way to its current state. 1868 was when the history of this state university starting unfolding. Two and three year programs were introduced to the Mankato Normal School which warranted the change of name to Mankato State Teachers College.  Further in 1956, the school started offering four-year degrees changing name again to Mankato State College. By the year 1999, the school finally settled to the current name. The university is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU).

College of Allied Health and Nursing- Minnesota State University Mankato

The college of Allied health and Nursing is mother to the school of nursing at Minnesota State University Mankato (MSU, MSU-M, Minnesota State Mankato).  Programs under this school range from undergraduate to the terminal doctorate degree in nursing. Accreditation for the program is by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing education and they are also approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. A full description of the nursing programs offered in the university is given below.

Basic Nursing Program

This program leads to the award of a Bachelor of Science with a nursing major degree. The Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pre-licensure students who do not have any nursing experience. Students take a total of 120 credits 59 of which are for the nursing major portion while the remaining are prerequisites and general education bracket. 

The curriculum for the program requires four traditional academic years of full time study. During the first and sophomore year, students take the general education courses while nursing major course are only offered at the sophomore 2nd semester onwards. Transfer students from community colleges and other smaller colleges are also welcome to apply for the program. For them, only two years are required to complete the program on a full time basis. Students have a great experience of preparing for the NCLEX-RN exam in their journey to becoming registered nurses.

RN Baccalaureate Completion Program

The Bachelors degree in nursing for RNs targets RNs who consider completing a Bachelors degree. Although the program is designed for full time study, students wishing to take part time classes must apply to the school of nursing for consideration, although the school does not guarantee part time classes. Students from other BS or BA programs can also progress into a second nursing degree under this program.

Master of Science in Nursing

Under the graduate nursing programs, there are two tracks for those who want to get into advanced practical nursing. The two tracks are Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator tracks. The Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum consists of 53 nursing credits while the Nurse Educator option require 52 credits for completion. Both programs take 9 semester of year round study i.e. fall, spring and summer semesters. However, the Nurse Educator students have the option of completing the program in eight semesters although the 9 Semester plan is the basic plan of study. Two post-masters Certificate programs are also available for each of the two concentrations

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Under the terminal nursing degree program, students have two entry options. On the first option, Master prepared students who have nursing specialties as Nurse Midwives, Nurse Anesthetist and Nurse practitioner, and Clinical Nurse Specialists are welcome to enroll. On the Second option, BSN prepared students can enroll to undertake the DNP but the completion period is prolonged. It is a distance learning program and courses are delivered using online and web based modalities.

Minnesota State University – Mankato
122 Taylor Centre, Mankato,
MN 56001

Minnesota State University – Moorhead Nursing School Review

Minnesota State University- Moorhead (MSUM) started as a normal school training teachers in Red River County. That was back in 1988 after a bill was passed by the legislature of Minnesota to establish an institution of higher education in Red River. The college started awarding bachelor degrees in education and hence became Moorhead State Teachers College. Expansion of the catalog led to dropping of the name “teachers” to Moorhead State College. The name changed again to Moorhead State University and finally to Minnesota State University- Moorhead in the year 2000.

Nursing at Minnesota State University- Moorhead

Nursing at the university is under the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership. The school offers undergraduate and graduate nursing programs which are approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. They are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students should note that the nursing programs at the university are completion degrees hence do not take in fresh/ pre licensure students.

RN to BSN Track

This program is a completion program that admits only registered nurses who wish to complete a baccalaureate program in nursing. Students must have completed a total of 21 liberal arts credits from another school to be eligible for admission. After transfer courses are taken into account, the remaining 30 nursing majors must be completed in Moorhead. A total of 120 credits are required to complete the program hence, 80 of them are of the Minnesota Transfer curriculum, and prerequisites courses.

It is good to note that the RN to BSN program from Minnesota State University- Moorhead is an exclusive online program and all courses are delivered in an online version.

Master of Science in Nursing

A master of science with a major in nursing is available at Minnesota State University- Moorhead. This graduate program takes in BSN or BAN prepared nurses from programs that have been accredited by either CCNE or National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and prepares RNs to become advanced practice nurses. Applicants must also show prove of an active registered nurses licenses and proof of recent working experience. There are two tracks for which students can choose towards getting the Master of Science in nursing namely:

  • Master of Science in Nursing- Nurse Educator
  • Master of Science in Nursing- Adult Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist

The program, just like the RN completion program is offered online and can be completed in either a full time and part time basis. Usually, the full time program takes 2 years to complete while the part timers can proceed for a maximum of seven years. As an online program, the students can chose their location for the clinical sessions at locations near their neighborhoods.

Minnesota State University- Moorhead Master of Science in nursing accepts transfers students for as long as the transfer credits are for the two nursing specialties offered. A maximum of 12 MSN credits can be accepted from other accredited universities towards the two nursing programs. The applicable credits must however have a minimum of a grade B.

Minnesota State University- Moorhead
1104 7th Ave South, Moorhead,
MN 56563

Normandale Community College Nursing Program Review

Normandale Community College (NCC) was established in 1968 to bring the mission of community colleges. It is a two- year college that serves the communities around the southwest parts of the Minneapolis and St. Paul’s twin cities. As a community college, Normandale offers career entry programs and transferable programs to four years universities.  It also fosters the mission of community colleges of offering continuing education and lifelong non-credit courses to the community it serves.

Normandale Community College Nursing

The nursing department at Normandale offers two nursing tracks leading to the award of associate degree in nursing as well as certificate program in nurse assistant. The three programs have been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and also have accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.

AS- Nursing

The AS- nursing at Normandale Community College is designed to meet the educational needs of students as an entry level in nursing. Students who do not have prior nursing experience are the candidates for this program. Students are admitted in cohorts each fall semester. A total of 61 credits, which are designed to be covered in four semesters of two academic years, must be completed. Precisely, students take 32 credits of nursing courses and 31 credits of general education courses on a full time basis. Completion of the program makes the students eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam and licensure to become a registered nurse besides graduating with an Associate of Science in nursing degree.

AS- Nursing PN Mobility

The requirement for this program is different from the traditional AS nursing program. Unlike the AS program, students get admission in the summer semester preceding the fall semesters of the traditional AS. During this period, students take 12 credits of a PN mobility Transition course. After completion of this transition course, students join the other traditional class at the fall semester. The merge is at the second year class of the associate program and the program continues for another one year to completion.

The candidates for the program are Licensed Practical nurses who hold active Minnesota LPN licenses. There is advanced standing of up-to 25 credits in recognition of the LPN license. Completion of this mobility program awards the student an associate of science in nursing degree in addition to having eligibility to write the NCLEX-RN exam.

Certificate-Nursing Assistant

This certificate program trains nurses to work in long term care facilities and other health care agencies as a nurse aide. One nursing course is required to complete the program whereby, students are placed on the nursing assistant registry after passing the National Nursing Assistant Training and Competency Test.

Metropolitan State University RN to BS Partnership Program

Normandale Community college has a partnership with Metropolitan State University to allow students take the RN-BSN nursing program. The program is a direct transition from Normandale to Metro University- St Paul’s Campus. The partnership allows students to take nursing major courses towards the completion of a BSN from their College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Normandale Community College
9700 France Ave South, Bloomington,
MN 55431

North Hennepin Community College Nursing Program Review

North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) is a Co-ed two year college that serves the people of the North Hennepin and Minnesota at large. It opened its doors for higher education in 1966 as a junior state college. After starting on two years degree programs, the college changed its name to the current name to reflect the community college it is today. The college has undergone tremendous development in terms of programs offered, college locations and infrastructural development.

Nursing- North Hennepin Community College

North Hennepin Community College has nursing programs that lead to the award of an associate degree in nursing. The Associate degree is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. The programs details are explained below:

Nursing – Two Year Option (AS)

This standard nursing program leading to an associate degree in nursing is one of the two nursing programs at North Hennepin Community College. It is specially designed for students who have never had any nursing experience. It trains students to become professional nurses by preparing them to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

The curriculum for this program includes a total of 64 credits which have a 50-50 share between liberal arts courses and nursing courses. The good news is that this program is available in both day and evening/weekends options. For the day option, students attend nursing courses classes throughout the week Monday through Friday full day. Clinical classes are not predictable and may be scheduled outside the normal day hours.

On the other hand, the weekend-evening program is designed for the working or busy students. All courses are offered for two days in a week during the evening hours. For the clinical experience, students go to health agencies only on weekends i.e. Saturday and Sunday. Students must note that it is not possible to change between the two options and the student should follow the option they choose from the beginning to the end.

The weekend-evening attendance option students can also take their nursing courses from St Cloud Hospital in an online version. Clinical sessions are held on Saturday and Sunday at the hospital premises 9 hour per day.



Nursing Program- Mobility Option (AS)

The mobility program takes in licensed practical nurses from Minnesota and all other LPNS from other states as long they hold active licensure from their states. Prior to admission to the program, students must take a five weeks transition course from North Hennepin Community College during the summer preceding the start date.

Following admission to the program, students will take 32 liberal arts courses and 20 credits for nursing courses. Just like the standard associate degree program, students have three options of completing the program; the day option at Brooklyn Park campus, the evening-weekend option at Brooklyn Campus and the St Cloud’s Hospital online option for theory and hospital attendance for clinical sessions.

RN-BSN Completion Programs

Graduates of the North Hennepin Community College have the chance to transfer to a four year nursing baccalaureate program, thanks to articulation agreement with the following 7 universities:

  • Bethel University
  • Minnesota State University- Bemidji
  • Minnesota State University- Moorhead
  • Minnesota State University- Mankato
  • Metropolitan University
  • University of Wisconsin- Green Bay
  • Winona State University

North Hennepin Community College
7411 85th Avenue, North Brooklyn Park,
MN 55445

Ridgewater College Nursing Program Review

Ridgewater College has experienced many twists from 1961 when it was founded. The college has had numerous changes in name, quite a number of mergers, growth of programs, methods of education delivery and many more. Ridgewater College serves the community in Hutchinson and Willmar in the capacity of a technical and community college. It has many higher education opportunities from career entry programs to transfers options and technical training opportunities.

Nursing at Ridgewater College

Nursing programs at Ridgewater College (RC, or RWC) have been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The three nursing programs have also been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. Two of the programs are certificate awarding programs and one lead to an associate degree in nursing. The associate degree is a mobility degree and allows students to transfer to any Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Nursing- Associate Degree

The program is an occupational degree that welcomes first time nursing students and trains them to become registered nurses and practice professional nursing immediately. The curriculum prepares students to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This career entry program requires 64 credits to complete and is offered in both Willmar and Hutchinson campuses of Ridgewater College.

Nursing Mobility- AS Degree

The nursing mobility is meant for licensed practical nurses who wish to advance their nursing to bachelors’ level.  It allows LPNS to receive 22 credits as advanced standing for the LPNs licenses.  To be eligible for transfer, students must complete two courses comprising of 6 credits for the states transfer curriculum. After admission to the nursing program, students complete 46 nursing credits to complete the associate degree requirement. In total, students take 73 credits inclusive of the advanced and bridging courses to earn the ADN via the mobility program.


At Ridgewater College, students can take an exclusive transfer curriculum to enable them transfer to a four year nursing program within Minnesota. The Program takes two years to complete and includes pre nursing courses required for a Four year nursing degree. Students taking this program from Ridgewater must be aware that there are no nursing courses offered at this point. Courses included here are psychology, biology, philosophy, chemistry and math and are offered only in Willmar campus. A student is not able undertake any nursing activity after completion of the 64 credit program; it is just a way of completing the first two years of baccalaureate nursing program.

Nursing – Practical Nursing

Completion of this 37 credits program makes students eligible to write the NCLEX-PN exam to become licensed practical nursing. The program awards a diploma in practical nursing and courses are offered in Hutchinson and Willmar campuses.  Students who complete the program can choose to go directly into nursing practice and there is a chance for Ridgewater College LPN graduates to continue to the Nursing Mobility Program. Special and smooth transition consideration is given to graduates of Ridgewater during selection of the entrants to the nursing mobility program.

Nursing Assistant

This program trains students to become home health aides by taking one nursing assisting course which focuses on nursing assistance in long term nursing care facilities.

Ridgewater College
2 Century Avenue, SE Hutchinson,
MN 55350

Riverland Community College Nursing Program Review

Riverland Community College (RCC), founded in 1996 was born by a merger of numerous older colleges and vocational institutes including South Central Technical and Riverland Technical Colleges. Since establishment of the community college, it has acquired three campuses in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna in its mission to bring higher education to the community. Riverland Community College offers two year programs as occupational entry programs and transfer programs. Diploma and Certificate programs are also offered in addition to lifelong learning and continuing education opportunities.

Nursing at Riverland Community College

A total of five nursing programs are available at Riverland Community College under the department of nursing. One program is a mobility program that encompasses two nursing programs i.e. a one year diploma and a progression option for the same to an associate degree. An entry level program for new students leading to an associate program is also available in addition to two certificate nursing programs.

Professional Nursing

This program at Riverland Community college is a two in one upwards nursing mobility program. This means that the program has two exit points; one for a diploma and a progression to an associate degree as outlined below:

  • Practical Nursing

This is the starting point of the upward mobility program. During the first year of this two-year program, students take 38 credits and have three options. First, they can decide to exit the program and sit for the NLCEX-PN exam for licensure to practice as practical nurses. Secondly, students may take the NCLEX-PN exam and still continue with a second year of the upward mobility program. Thirdly, students may decline to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and continue directly and flawlessly into the second year.

  • Associate Nursing

The program is a continuous program from the practical nursing. It takes only graduates of the first year portion who wish to progress into professional nursing. To fulfill the requirements for the associate degree, students take extra 32 credits to reach the 72 required for the Associate. Upon successful completion of the second year, the student will be in a position to write the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses.

PN Mobility

Licensed practice nurses who are not graduates of Riverland Community College may enroll for the PN mobility program to become registered nurses. Candidates for the program must have active and current practical nursing licenses for the state of Minnesota. LPNs receive advanced standing in recognition of their LPN licenses and must have completed 30 general education credits before starting on the nursing courses of the associate degree. A total of 72 credits including the advanced standing credits must be completed within one year to be eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Nursing Assistant/ Home Health Aide

This program consists of 2 lecture and 2 lab sessions of 4 nursing assisting credits. Focus is on nurse assisting in long term care facilities and home health care. Upon completion, a certificate is awarded and eligibility to take the Nurse Aide Competency exam, hence being placed on the States nursing Assistant Registry.


All nursing programs at Riverland Community College are offered in a hybrid format of web-based, online and at Austin Campus.

Riverland Community College
2200 Riverland Dr, Albert Lea,
MN 56007

Rochester Community and Technical College Nursing Program Review

Following a merge of a number of state community colleges and technical colleges, Rochester Community College came into being. The college has been offering two year programs from 1996 under its new name and status as a community and technical college. It serves higher education needs for students in Minnesota but more so to Rochester; the third largest metro city of Minnesota. Areas of study include credit and non credit programs, which are can be used for career entry, transfer or career development purposes.

Nursing Programs at Rochester Community College

Three nursing programs are available at Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC); an associate program, a diploma and a certificate program. The three programs have been accredited by the National Leagues for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. Details of the programs are given below:

Nursing- Associate Degree Program

The program admits cohorts every spring and fall semesters. Candidates must complete a total of 64 credits in a four-semester plan spanning two years of full time study. Of these, 30 credits are general education courses required for transfer by the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. The remaining 34 are nursing courses taken during the second year of the program.

Completion of the 64 credits leads to the award of the Associate of Science in nursing and eligibly to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses. Rochester Community and Technical College has a unique articulation agreement with Winona State University for the nursing program to allow students transfer into their BSN program. This program is known as the “Path to Purple “and ensures the smoothest transition into a four-year BSN.

Nursing- Practical Nursing Program

The practical nursing diploma program from Rochester comprises of 39 credits; 12 general education and 27 practical nursing credits. The general education courses can be completed on a full time or part time basis. Basically, the program is designed to be completed in one year if students take all the 39 credits on a full time basis. Completion of the program leads to a diploma in practical nursing besides attaining eligibility to sit for the NCLEX-PN to become a licensed practical nurse.

Nursing- Nursing Assistant Program

The college offers this program to help entry students start their journey into nursing. The program accepts several admissions of student to this certificate program including summers offered several times hence, there are always no waiting lists. Courses include nursing assisting theory and clinical and home health aide nursing assistant credits.

Additional Program/ Degree Options for Nursing

Rochester Community and Technical College has an option for students to take all the nursing programs in an upward career mobility mode. On this note, students can take a career path that starts at the Nursing Assistant program. Students completing the nursing assistant program may exit or continue with the practical nursing diploma. A choice of exiting is also available or a progression to finish the 64 credits for the associate program and finally, students can get into the ‘Path to Purple’ program to complete a BSN at Winona State University.

Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Avenue SE, Rochester,
MN 55904

St. Olaf College Nursing Program Review

Saint Olaf College (SOC) is a church college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America founded in 1874. It has programs grounded in a vibrant faith tradition which fosters development of a holistic person in terms of mind, body and spirit alongside academics. Despite is affiliation to the church; the college accepts students from all walks of life without discrimination in regards to religion and creed.  The college offers four- year degree programs with each curriculum having a substantial number of liberal arts as lower division credits.

Saint Olaf College Nursing Program

Nursing at Saint Olaf College is offered as a collaborative effort between St. Olaf and Gustavus Adolphus College. Programs are delivered in both colleges and students have great learning opportunities by interacting with students from another college. Students attend classes offered by faculty professors of the two colleges; blending to one goal of nurse training. The nursing program is under the Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium and is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

The Nursing program

The program leads to the award of a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing is offered by both Gustavus and St. Olaf Colleges of the Lutheran church. Before progression into the nursing majors, students must complete prerequisite and general education course during the freshman and sophomore year.

Nursing courses are taken starting from the junior year. As church colleges, liberal arts courses take a good portion of the upper division courses. In this case, students take the liberal arts courses alongside the nursing major courses in the junior and senior years. For clarification, the lower division courses are offered in respective colleges while the upper division courses are delivered by faculty of both colleges.

Registered nurses holding diplomas or associate nursing degrees are also welcome to apply to this program and as such, must complete at least eight general education one supporting course at St. Olaf. Credits eligible for transfer to St Olaf will be evaluated by the nursing department recognized towards the Bachelor of Science degree.




Special Nursing Programs

  • Study Abroad

Study abroad semesters are available for willing students of both colleges. The semesters are taken during the junior or senior years and may delay the usual program time needed for completion. In this case, students must add additional time to cover-up for the time spent abroad for the nursing majors.

  • Second Majors in Nursing

A second majors program is also available for students wishing to graduate with double majors. Students from another major program can apply for consideration for the double majors program after approval by both the incoming department and the nursing department.  Earning a second major mean that student will need extra time to cover the majors for both programs.

The second major in nursing is also open for already graduated students of St. Olaf College. These students can come back to college, take a few prerequisite courses prior to being enrolled for the nursing major. Enrollment chances will depend on performance from the prior major.

Saint Olaf College
1520 St. Olaf Ave, Northfield,
MN 55057

Saint Paul College Nursing Program Review

Saint Paul College (SPC) opened its doors as a small Boys Vocational training centre in 1910. Fifty six years down the line, the college expanded its mission and academic programs and this followed the change of name to Saint Paul college; a two year college offering associate of science and arts degrees as a way of getting into professional careers and also a starting point for the transfer to four year baccalaureate degree programs. Certificate and diploma programs are also part of the program catalog at St. Paul College; a community and technical college.

Nursing at Saint Paul College

The Health and Services division offers the nursing programs at Saint Paul College. The programs have been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. There are two nursing certificate programs and one practical nursing program that has both a diploma and an associate in applied science in practical nursing component.

Practical Nursing AAS Degree

The rather unusual program leading to an associate applied in science degree in practical nursing requires 63 credits to complete. Students take about 25 general education credits and 38 practical nursing and health core credits. The program is aims to cover most of the general education credits usually required in a nursing mobility program, hence the unusually high number of credits as compared to the usual practical nursing diploma.

Courses can be offered in a full time day option and a flexible part time option which is done during the evening. However, students must note that a number of courses for the evening program can be offered during the day. On completion, students are eligible to write the NCLEX-PN exam and become practical nurses.

Practical Nursing Diploma

The diploma takes the same number of practical nursing credits like the practical nursing AAS degree. The only variation between the two is the number of general education credits needed. The practical nursing AAS is geared to offset the general education workload needed for a nursing mobility transfer but this option is meant to career entry. On this track, students take 13 general education credits as compared to 25 of the former program.  The mode of study is similar ie full time and part time with completion leading to eligibility to write the NCLEX-PN exam besides awarding the Diploma in practical nursing.

Nursing Assistant/ Home Health Aide Certificate

This is a certificate program that meets the educational needs of students who wish to have an entry point in nursing. The program comprises of two courses; nurse assistance course in home health aiding carrying four credits and a nursing assistance for clinical experience equivalent to one credit. Completion of the five credits makes the student eligible to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment program and be entered in the state’s Nursing Assistant Registry.

Nursing Station Technician Certificate

This certificate program is a kind of advanced program that includes all the five nursing assisting credits and an additional 19 credits including three general education credits. The outcome of the program is to prepare a nurse technician who can work as a nurse aide, health unit coordinator, one who can process physician’s orders and one who understands diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Saint Paul College
235 Marshall Avenue Saint Paul,
MN 55102

St. Cloud State University Nursing School Review

St. Cloud State University (SCSU), located along the Mississippi river in Minnesota is a public institution of higher learning serving Minnesota and US as a whole. It has an intriguing history from when it started in1869 as a small normal school giving training to teachers. The university received its current status in 1975 and journey of numerous academic opportunities for its students. It boasts to be the second largest university in the state and one among the top universities with the highest number of international students.

Nursing Programs- St. Cloud State University

The nursing department at Saint Cloud University has two programs for offer to interested candidates. Both programs lead to the award of a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing. The department is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. It is worth noting that St Cloud does not have a master or doctoral program in the nursing department. However, there is a master of science in gerontology offered by a different department of the university. A detailed view of the nursing programs is given below:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing-Generic / Traditional Program

The traditional baccalaureate in nursing program at St Cloud is a four year program that admits both new and transfer students from other colleges. New students must have applied to St Cloud and completed the set of general education and prerequisites courses. There is double admission each year in spring and fall semester. After successful completion of this portion, students can apply to be admitted into the nursing major program.

The nursing major portion requires 71 credits to complete for students to graduate with a BSN degree. Completion of the nursing major program takes about two and half academic years. The first portion of 41 liberal arts credits takes about three to five semesters bringing it to a total of about 4 to 5 years.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing- Accelerated Nursing Program

This program is designed for students with non nursing degrees from recognized universities and colleges. It is an intense- highly paced program that takes only 16 months to complete with admission a single admission annually. The curriculum includes a rigorous combination of theory and clinical experience. Curriculum delivery is via a blended mode of both online and classroom instructions.

Students graduating from this program are awarded a second degree bachelor of science in nursing degree. Graduates are also well prepared and eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses. It is a great fast track opportunity for career shifters from other fields to get into professional nursing.

Master of Science in Gerontology

Although the program is not offered through the department of nursing, it is a common master specialty in the nursing field. The department of Gerontology delivers the curriculum in full time and part time study formats. Students are expected to work in health agencies or any other facilities working with the elder populations. It is therefore recommended that students who would wish to get a Master of Science in Nursing-Gerontology from St Cloud to consider taking the MS- Gerontology.

St. Cloud State University
720 4th Avenue South St. Cloud,
MN 56301

University of Minnesota Nursing School Review

The University of Minnesota (U of M) is set in a completely urban area of the twin Cities and has four satellite campuses located within St Paul and Minneapolis.  The University has a long history and has offered higher education and professional workforce in metro Minnesota from 1851. It is a public co-ed university heavily involved in research within an environment rich in culture, diversity and experiential learning. University of Minnesota Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Crookston are the other major campuses of the flagship university in Twin Cities.

Nursing Programs in University of Minnesota

The school of nursing offers the nursing programs in University of Minnesota. The programs have full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Programs offered are bachelor, master and PhD programs and classes held are in both University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Rochester campuses.

BSN Program

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is meant for first time nursing students who to get into professional nursing. The program prepares students to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses. It is a full time day program delivered in the main and Rochester campuses. Students start with prerequisite courses in the freshman year and progression from the sophomore year with nursing majors. A minimum of 120 credits of general education and nursing credits and extensive clinical practicum at Mayo Clinic and the university based medical centre are required for students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

MN Program

The Master of Nursing degree is a rather peculiar one as it only takes in non-nursing Bachelor of Science graduates. Unlike most common master of nursing programs, University of Minnesota does not take BSN prepared candidates. On this note, the curriculum includes the essentials of a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree in addition to graduate studies.

The program is taken on a full time mode incorporating web based, online and classroom instructions curriculum delivery methods. It is an accelerated direct entry program with a curriculum completion time of 16 months of four semesters. A total of 54 credits are required to graduate and the number is increased by the incorporation of the BSN essentials into the curriculum. As part of achieving the advanced practice nurse status, students take Public Health Nursing as a master’s level concentration.

PhD Program

The PhD program is the highest nursing program at University of Minnesota. It is available in both full time; taking three years and a part time option taking a maximum of six years. Candidates for the program can either be BSN or MSN prepared.

Continuing Professional Development

As part of lifelong learning, the university offers a number of nursing professional development courses. These courses are accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Centre and can be used towards fulfilling contact hours required for license renewal. Some of the courses include:

Minnesota Emergency readiness education and training

Leaders in nursing

Tele-health nurses presenter

Nursing informatics

Children with special healthcare needs

University of Minnesota
231 Pillsbury Drive, S.E. Minneapolis,
MN 55455

Walden University Nursing School Review

Walden University is one of the universities in the world which has a global outreach. It has excelled exceptionally well to become the best online university globally. Walden University has evolved from a one program university in 1970 to the respected virtual university it is today.  It has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to offer undergraduate, master, and doctoral programs; most of which are delivered online.

Nursing at Walden University

The School of nursing at Walden is under the College of Health Sciences. Nursing programs under the school range from bachelor to doctoral degrees and post-masters certificates.  Because the programs are offered in an online version, the best candidates for the nursing programs are those who already have some nursing experience, hence registered nurses.  Accreditation is by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program

Completion of the RN to BSN program requires 180 quarter credits and students can apply up to 50 credits in recognition of their associate or diploma in nursing. Candidates for this program must also have active RN licenses and relevant current experience. Of the 180 quarter credits, students can be allowed up to 135 from general education, elective and lower-division courses. However, it is mandatory to finish the last 45 nursing major courses at Walden University.

Due to the flexibility of this online program, students can finish the curriculum after a minimum of two years but the exact completion time depends on the number of credits transferred from the Associate or Diploma.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Master of Science in Nursing at Walden University (WU) is Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) -accredited. All the programs are offered online and as such, students receive flexible curriculum schedules. They are best suited for working nurses who wish to keep their day jobs as they study. The master’s program features two tracks depending on the student’s prior experience as follows:

  • BSN to MSN

This track is specifically designed for BSN-prepared registered nurses who want to gain advanced practice nursing.

  • RN to MSN

This, on the other hand, is meant for registered nurses who hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing. It is also the track that allows students with other bachelor’s degrees other than the BSN to become advanced practice nurses and get a master of science in nursing. For BSN-prepared nurses, 35 credits are needed while the RNs and non- BSN candidates take 59 credits. Regardless of the track, students pick one of the three areas of concentrations below:

  • MSN Nursing Informatics
  • MSN Education
  • MSN Leadership and Management

Postmasters certificates are also available for each of the MSN concentrations listed above.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This online terminal nursing degree is meant for advanced practice nurses who hold any nursing specialty. It takes 47 to 53 credits with each practical nursing credit carrying an equivalent of 72 practicum hours. Practicum hours can be completed at the students’ location of choice with supervision by the university’s appointed supervision/ preceptor. The same case (for clinical locations)  applies to all the other nursing programs.

Walden University
100 Washington Avenue South
Suite 1210
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

Winona State University Nursing School Review

An evolution from Winona Normal school to a State teachers College, a state College and finally to Winona State University is what makes-up the university history. Back in 1958, the university opened its doors to the first small group of students who wanted to become teachers. A long history in between resulted to the highly diverse state university with five distinct colleges and three campuses namely Winona, Rochester and Winona West Campuses.

Nursing and Health Sciences College- Winona State University

The college of Nursing and Health sciences is one of the five well structured colleges in Winona State University (WSU). Programs are offered at both the main campus in Winona and its large graduate campus at Rochester.  Two tracks that lead to a bachelor of science in nursing are offered, six master level nursing tracks and one Doctorate program. Accreditation of the programs has been granted by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  The baccalaureate programs have also been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science With a Major in Nursing- Generic Option

The program admits fresh nursing candidates who want to have an entry point into professional nursing. Students are admitted in two semesters per year; the fall admission takes students to study in both Winona and Rochester campuses. The spring group is only admitted to the main campus at Winona. General education courses kick off in the freshman and sophomore years while nursing major courses start at the junior year. 59 nursing major credits must be completed during the 3rd and 4th years to be eligible for graduation and to write the NCLEX-RN to become registered nurses. All courses are offered full time within a period of four years.

  • RN to BS Completion Program

This program requires candidates who hold active licenses from any of the US states. The Program is available in part time and full time options only in Winona State University- Rochester.  Following admission to the program, students receive 24 credits in recognition of their RN diplomas or associate degrees.  For nurse graduates from non- accredited schools, a nursing competency test must be passed before admission. Inclusive of the transferred credits, nurse must take the total number of credits equal to those of the generic option.

Graduate Programs

Graduate nursing programs at Winona State University are offered at Rochester campus only. Six areas of master level advanced practice nursing are offered namely:

  • Nurse Educator Program -48 credits
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program-54 credits
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program- 52 credits
  • Nursing and Organizational Leadership Program- 43 credits
  • Adult-Gerontology or Family Nurse Practitioner Program-56 credits

Two plans of study can be followed full time option taking two years and a part time option taking three years. In addition, post-master nursing certificates at available for all the six master tracks listed above.

RN to MS Pathway

RNs can complete a Masters degree without necessary having a BSN during admission. Students who opt for this pathway must complete a total of 128 credits, some of which will be transferred from the RN status. An additional 40 to 49 credits must be completed for the advanced practice nursing package.  Part time and full time options can be chosen to complete this RN to MS pathway program.

Important Note- Doctor of Nursing Practice

Winona State University had been offering the DNP program under a consortium of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in Rochester campus. However, the program was suspended in late 2011 for reasons of developing a Winona State University independent program that will have both BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP pathways. This is a promising program and interested students should keep checking on when the program will start being offered exclusively at the university.

Winona State University
175 West Mark Street, Winona,
MN 55987