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