Top Minnesota RN to BSN Programs

According to the Institute of Medicine, 8 in 10 nurses will be expected to hold BSN degrees by the end of 2020. Thus, forward-thinking ADN-educated nurses around the country are seeking out RN to BSN programs to up their clinical skills, increase their marketability, expand their earning potential, and position themselves for an advanced degree down the road. Colleges and universities have also responded to the need for more BSN-educated nurses by making it more convenient for RNs to earn their bachelor's degrees. These days, nurses can earn complete RN to BSN programs 100% online, in one or two years, while still working full-time as an RN. With many degree-granting institutions offering RN to BSN programs across Minnesota, however, deciding on the best program to attend can be a rather daunting task. To make your search to find the top RN to BSN program in Minnesota simpler and easier, we've compiled a list of the schools with the best programs.

How to Choose a Top RN to BSN Program in Minnesota

Choosing which institution you will pursue an RN to BSN at is a big decision. During your search for Minnesota's top programs, consider the following factors:

  • Student satisfaction rate
  • Class sizes
  • Program retention rate
  • Tuition cost and fees
  • Program acceptance rate
  • Percentage of graduates who found jobs
  • Program accreditation/recognition
  • How long the program has been operational
  • Internship opportunities at local hospitals
  • Instructor experience level
  • Cost of living in the area

Testing and Certification

ADN-educated nurses need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam before they're are licensed as RNs. Because of this, they're not required to take the exam again after finishing an RN to BSN program.

List of Top RN to BSN Programs in Minnesota

1. Winona State University

Situated along the Mississippi River, Winona State University represents the oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. WSU offers a 30 semester credit hour RN to BSN program at its campus in Rochester. The program, which is designed to be flexible for working nurses, can be taken in either full or part-time formats. For part-time students, two, three or four-year study plans are available, while full-time students can participate in a one-year study plan. Coursework can be completed online or in a blended in-class/online format, and includes classes like Holistic Assessment, Leadership and Management, and Issues and Trends in Managing Chronic Conditions, to name a few.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Winona Health
  • Community Memorial Health
  • Joseph's Hospital


To attend WSU's RN to BSN program, in-state students can expect to pay roughly $7,530 in tuition plus fees while most out-of-state students can expect to pay $13,680 plus fees. Tuition costs for students from Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota can be found here.

2. Minnesota State University Moorhead

Originally established in 1887, Minnesota State University Moorhead is a public university in the city of Moorhead that offers students a highly flexible, online RN to BSN bridge program that allows working students to complete coursework anytime day or night. MSUM's 31 semester credit hour program, which has been operating for decades now, is taught by highly qualified staff. During their studies, students will encounter courses like Applied Pathophysiology, Gerontological Nursing to Promote Successful Aging, Public Health Nursing, and more.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Sanford Moorhead Hospital
  • Essentia Health - Fargo
  • Fargo Veterans Affairs Medical Center


To attend MSUM's RN to BSN program, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin residents can expect to pay roughly $7,626 in tuition plus fees while the majority of out-of-state students can expect to pay $15,376 plus fees. Tuition costs for students from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio can be found here.

3. Saint Catherine University

Established in 1905 as one of the first higher learning institutions for women in the Midwest, Saint Catherine University is a private Catholic university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul. SCU offers students a flexible, 30 semester credit hour RN to BSN bridge program that can be completed in as little as a calendar year. Coursework students will tackle during the program include Population-Based Nursing Practice, Professional Nursing: Theories, Concepts, and Practice, as well as Empirical Foundations, just to name a few. Students can choose to complete the program in a hybrid online/in-class format with meetings one evening per week, or entirely online.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Abbot Northwestern Hospital
  • Children's Minnesota
  • Regency Minneapolis


For current tuition rates for Saint Catherine University's program, contact them at (651)-690-6000.

4. Southwest Minnesota State University

Located in the city of Marshall, Southwest Minnesota State University is a public university that was established in 1964. SMSU has designed a highly flexible, hybrid online/in-person RN to BSN program that's composed of 30 semester credit hours. In addition to the online coursework, which includes courses like evidence-based care, health assessment, and others, students are required to come to campus once a semester to meet their instructors and peers and to carry out clinical practice. New students are accepted into the program twice a year.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
  • Sanford Tracy
  • Granite Falls Mun Hospital


Students who enroll in SMSU's RN to BSN program can expect to pay approximately $8,868 in tuition plus additional fees.

5. The College of St. Scholastica

Situated in Duluth, The College of St. Scholastic is a private Benedictine college whose nursing school has been producing RNs for more than 100 years. CSS offers students a flexible, 42 credit hour RN to BSN program that can be completed entirely online, generally in the span of about one year. The program is perfect for working nurses because it allows them to study on their own schedule with an individualized completion plan.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Luke's Hospital
  • Essential Health St. Mary's Children's Hospital


Students attending CSS's RN to BSN program can expect to pay under $14,000.