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In Minnesota, there are a number of different opportunities in the nursing field, and aspiring nurses can choose from various career paths. It is important to consider which career path is right for you before deciding upon an education program. Below, you can find out a little more about some of the major roles in nursing.

The quickest way to enter the nursing profession is to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). CNAs are charged with frontline patient care and responsible for basic healthcare tasks. CNA programs are affordable and typically only take a few weeks to complete. The next level is the licensed practical nurse (LPN). LPNs have more responsibility than nursing assistants, but still report to registered nurses and physicians. Those interested in becoming an LPN must complete a 12- to 18-month program. With even more responsibility, registered nurses (RNs) provide for a very high level of patient care. Aspiring RNs can pursue either a two-year associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). The highest-level nurses pursue master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees and can specialize in a number of subfields.

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Job availability should be a key consideration in choosing which role is right for you, so it is important to research potential jobs and employers in the Twin Cities metro area. RNs, for example, are much more common and in higher demand than other roles. Some of the largest healthcare employers in the metropolitan area include the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Allina Health System.

Overall career prospects are strong for nursing professionals in the Twin Cities metro area. The annual median salary is about $28,000 per year for certified nursing assistants; $43,000 per year for licensed practical nurses; over $70,000 per year for registered nurses; and between $96,000 and $150,000 per year for advanced practice registered nurses such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists.

To facilitate your research, we've compiled below a comprehensive list of nursing programs and careers in the Twin Cites metro area.

Featured Schools

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Twin Cities metro area nursing schools by NCLEX score

St. Catherine University - St. Paul
2004 Randolph Avenue | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.6% NCLEX pass rate (2016 through 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 81.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • DNP: Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nurse Educator
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Northwestern
3003 Snelling Avenue North | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55113
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 98.1% NCLEX pass rate (2014 through 2017)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Anoka Technical College
1355 US Highway 10 West | Anoka, Minnesota 55303
  • Diploma in Practical Nursing: 95.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Inver Hills Community College
2500 80th Street East | Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota 55076
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.4% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Normandale Community College
9700 France Avenue South | Bloomington, Minnesota 55431
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
North Hennepin Community College
7411 85th Avenue North | Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Globe University / Minnesota School of Business
1401 West 76th Street | Richfield, Minnesota 55423
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
11200 Mississippi Boulevard NW | Coon Rapids, Minnesota 55433
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Dakota County Technical College
1300 145th Street East | Rosemount, Minnesota 55068
  • Diploma in Practical Nursing: 92.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
University of Minnesota
100 Church Street SE | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
  • Direct Entry MSN: 91.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • DNP: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificates
Metropolitan State University
700 East Seventh Street | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106
  • Direct Entry MSN: 89.7% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
1501 Hennepin Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
  • Diploma in Practical Nursing: 89.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Hennepin Technical College
9000 Brooklyn Boulevard | Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445
  • Diploma in Practical Nursing: 88.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Century College
3300 Century Avenue North | White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.8% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Crown College
8700 College View Drive | Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota 55375
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Bethel University
3900 Bethel Drive | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55112
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Administration
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Herzing University - Minneapolis
5700 West Broadway Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55428
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.3% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2012)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN/Paramedic-to-BSN Bridge Program
Saint Paul College
235 Marshall Avenue | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
  • Diploma in Practical Nursing: 82.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
St. Catherine University - Minneapolis
601 25th Avenue South | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 78.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
National American University - Bloomington
7801 Metro Parkway, Suite 200 | Bloomington, Minnesota 55425
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 66.7% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
American Indian OIC
1845 East Franklin Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Augsburg University
2211 Riverside Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Concordia University, St. Paul
1282 Concordia Avenue | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
National American University - Brooklyn Center
6120 Earle Brown Drive, Suite 100 | Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55430
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
National American University - Roseville
1550 West Highway 36 | Roseville, Minnesota 55113
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Rasmussen College - Bloomington
4400 West 78th Street, Sixth Floor | Bloomington, Minnesota 55435
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
School Program NCLEX score Time period
St. Catherine University - St. Paul Direct Entry MSN 98.6% 2016 to 2017
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 81.2% 2009 to 2017
DNP: Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
DNP: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Doctor of Nursing Practice
MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Nurse Educator
MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Northwestern Bachelor of Science in Nursing 98.1% 2014 to 2017
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Anoka Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 95.9% 2009 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Inver Hills Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.4% 2011 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Normandale Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.2% 2009 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
North Hennepin Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.8% 2009 to 2012
Globe University / Minnesota School of Business Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.0% 2009 to 2012
Anoka-Ramsey Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.5% 2009 to 2012
Dakota County Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 92.5% 2009 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
University of Minnesota Direct Entry MSN 91.9% 2009 to 2017
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.2% 2009 to 2017
DNP: Nurse Anesthesia
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
MSN: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Post-Master's Certificates
Metropolitan State University Direct Entry MSN 89.7% 2010 to 2017
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.1% 2009 to 2017
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Minneapolis Community and Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 89.6% 2009 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.4% 2009 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Hennepin Technical College Diploma in Practical Nursing 88.7% 2009 to 2012
Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Century College Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.8% 2011 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Crown College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.9% 2009 to 2017
Bethel University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.9% 2009 to 2017
MSN: Nursing Administration
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Administration
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Herzing University - Minneapolis Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.3% 2012 to 2012
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN/Paramedic-to-BSN Bridge Program
Saint Paul College Diploma in Practical Nursing 82.4% 2009 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
St. Catherine University - Minneapolis Associate's Degree in Nursing 78.8% 2009 to 2017
National American University - Bloomington Bachelor of Science in Nursing 66.7% 2011 to 2012
American Indian OIC Nursing Assistant Certificate
Augsburg University Doctor of Nursing Practice
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Concordia University, St. Paul RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
National American University - Brooklyn Center RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
National American University - Roseville RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Rasmussen College - Bloomington Accelerated Second Degree BSN