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The size of a school’s student body is an important factor for aspiring nurses to consider. Minnesota’s 100,000+ practicing nurses hail from a variety of institutions and programs, including short-term certificate programs, two-year associate’s degrees, four-year bachelor's degrees, and specialized master's and doctorate degrees.

Public universities typically have large student bodies numbering in the thousands. As a result, they often have vibrant school environments with many peer organizations, more affordable tuition, a diverse set of programs, and a greater number of renowned professors. In comparison, private schools are a better option for those who prefer small class sizes and more personal interactions with professors. Smaller schools may not offer the variety of courses that larger universities do, but a major advantage is the individual attention that these institutions provide.

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To draw the starkest contrast, the University of Minnesota has 65,000 students and offers nursing programs at the baccalaureate, graduate certificate, master's, and doctorate levels, with specializations like nursing administration and nursing science. Herzing University, on the other hand, is a small career-oriented private university that focuses all of its nursing resources on its sole bachelor's degree program. Students at these two institutions will enjoy very different experiences, even if pursuing the same degree type.

If you’re interested in finding your best-fit nursing program in Minnesota, check out our list of nursing schools below, ordered from largest to smallest.

Featured Schools

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Twin Cities metro area

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 170 students during the 2012 period
Hennepin Technical College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 153 students during the 2012 period
University of Minnesota
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 139 students during the 2017 period
Direct Entry MSN: 62 students during the 2017 period
North Hennepin Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 118 students during the 2012 period
Inver Hills Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 112 students during the 2012 period
Century College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87 students during the 2012 period
Normandale Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86 students during the 2012 period
St. Catherine University - Minneapolis
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85 students during the 2017 period
Bethel University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83 students during the 2017 period
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 74 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 43 students during the 2012 period
Anoka Technical College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 65 students during the 2012 period
Dakota County Technical College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 60 students during the 2012 period
St. Catherine University - St. Paul
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 59 students during the 2017 period
Direct Entry MSN: 37 students during the 2017 period
Saint Paul College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 54 students during the 2012 period
Globe University / Minnesota School of Business
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 50 students during the 2012 period
University of Northwestern
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 39 students during the 2017 period
Metropolitan State University
Direct Entry MSN: 26 students during the 2017 period
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 24 students during the 2017 period
Herzing University - Minneapolis
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 24 students during the 2012 period
Crown College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 20 students during the 2017 period
National American University - Bloomington
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 20 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
Anoka-Ramsey Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 170 students
Hennepin Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 153 students
University of Minnesota Bachelor of Science in Nursing 139 students
Direct Entry MSN 62 students
North Hennepin Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 118 students
Inver Hills Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 112 students
Century College Associate's Degree in Nursing 87 students
Normandale Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 86 students
St. Catherine University - Minneapolis Associate's Degree in Nursing 85 students
Bethel University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83 students
Minneapolis Community and Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 74 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 43 students
Anoka Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 65 students
Dakota County Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 60 students
St. Catherine University - St. Paul Bachelor of Science in Nursing 59 students
Direct Entry MSN 37 students
Saint Paul College Diploma in Practical Nursing 54 students
Globe University / Minnesota School of Business Bachelor of Science in Nursing 50 students
University of Northwestern Bachelor of Science in Nursing 39 students
Metropolitan State University Direct Entry MSN 26 students
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 24 students
Herzing University - Minneapolis Bachelor of Science in Nursing 24 students
Crown College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 20 students
National American University - Bloomington Bachelor of Science in Nursing 20 students

Other Minnesota cities

Rasmussen College - St. Cloud
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 290 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94 students during the 2012 period
College of St. Scholastica
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 165 students during the 2017 period
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 152 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 116 students during the 2012 period
Winona State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 148 students during the 2017 period
Lake Superior College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 119 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 33 students during the 2012 period
Rochester Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 113 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 32 students during the 2012 period
Minnesota State College Southeast
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 99 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92 students during the 2012 period
Ridgewater College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 98 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 79 students during the 2012 period
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 96 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 40 students during the 2012 period
Central Lakes College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 94 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 77 students during the 2012 period
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 78 students during the 2012 period
Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 87 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 76 students during the 2012 period
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 78 students during the 2017 period
St. Cloud State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 74 students during the 2017 period
Riverland Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 70 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 30 students during the 2012 period
Northwest Technical College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 66 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 51 students during the 2012 period
South Central College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 66 students during the 2012 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 27 students during the 2012 period
Pine Technical and Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 60 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 18 students during the 2012 period
Hibbing Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 55 students during the 2012 period
College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 52 students during the 2017 period
Northland Community and Technical College - Thief River Falls
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 47 students during the 2012 period
Alexandria Technical & Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 45 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 26 students during the 2012 period
Itasca Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 44 students during the 2012 period
Bemidji State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 42 students during the 2017 period
Concordia College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 38 students during the 2017 period
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 37 students during the 2012 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 17 students during the 2012 period
Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 36 students during the 2012 period
Gustavus Adolphus College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 30 students during the 2017 period
Presentation College - Fairmont
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 26 students during the 2012 period
St. Olaf College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 24 students during the 2017 period
School Program Class size
Rasmussen College - St. Cloud Diploma in Practical Nursing 290 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 94 students
College of St. Scholastica Bachelor of Science in Nursing 165 students
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 152 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 116 students
Winona State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 148 students
Lake Superior College Associate's Degree in Nursing 119 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 33 students
Rochester Community and Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 113 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 32 students
Minnesota State College Southeast Diploma in Practical Nursing 99 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92 students
Ridgewater College Associate's Degree in Nursing 98 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 79 students
St. Cloud Technical and Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 96 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 40 students
Central Lakes College Diploma in Practical Nursing 94 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 77 students
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 87 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 78 students
Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks Diploma in Practical Nursing 87 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 76 students
Minnesota State University, Mankato Bachelor of Science in Nursing 78 students
St. Cloud State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 74 students
Riverland Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 70 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 30 students
Northwest Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 66 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 51 students
South Central College Associate's Degree in Nursing 66 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 27 students
Pine Technical and Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 60 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 18 students
Hibbing Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 55 students
College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 52 students
Northland Community and Technical College - Thief River Falls Diploma in Practical Nursing 47 students
Alexandria Technical & Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 45 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 26 students
Itasca Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 44 students
Bemidji State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 42 students
Concordia College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 38 students
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 37 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 17 students
Mesabi Range Community and Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 36 students
Gustavus Adolphus College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 30 students
Presentation College - Fairmont Bachelor of Science in Nursing 26 students
St. Olaf College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 24 students