Students pursuing an RN license in Minnesota through a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program are in high demand among employers at hospitals and clinics throughout the state. In fact, the Minnesota Hospital Association predicts that the state will need 7,706 new registered nurses by 2021 and that baby boomers’ complex health care needs will require nurses with bachelor’s-level preparation.
Such demand occurs in conjunction with a trend noted in the Wall Street Journal where mid-level healthcare positions are increasingly being eliminated as nurses move into highly skilled RN positions that require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
These trends, combined with one of the lowest rates of BSN prepared nurses in the country according to a 2011 article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, means that RNs with a BSN degree are better suited to meet Minnesota’s healthcare needs than their ADN-educated counterparts.
Students considering a BSN degree program as a pathway to RN licensure in Minnesota can also take advantage of scholarships and grants offered by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing and the Minnesota Nursing Association Foundation. These scholarships range from two to ten thousand dollars, and many are devoted exclusively to students pursuing baccalaureate education as a path to licensure.
Enrolling in a BSN Pre-Licensure Degree Program in MN
In addition to flexible online and evening program options for those making a career change, students in Minnesota can choose from campus-based BSN degree programs in the following cities:
- St. Paul
- St. Joseph
- St. Bonifacius
- St. Peter
- St. Cloud
Upon selecting a program, prospective students typically encounter some of the following enrollment requirements outlined by their school of choice:
- Fill out the school’s application and pay the application fee
- Submit a letter of recommendation
- Submit SAT or ACT scores
- Submit transcripts from high school and universities attended, if any
- Maintain a minimum GPA in prior college coursework, if any
BSN Program Course Outline and Clinical Experience
After satisfying these prerequisites and enrolling, students take lower-division general education and upper-division nursing courses. Some programs admit students to the nursing program upon admission to the school as a whole, while others require students take general education coursework and complete a second nursing major application afterward.
Programs typically require 120 credits to graduate, in courses such as:
- General Chemistry
- General Psychology
- General Biology
- Freshman Writing
- Human Nutrition
- Anatomy & Physiology
Professional Nursing Courses:
- Nursing Care of Adults
- Nursing Informatics
- Community-Based Family Care
- Ethical Sensitivity and Reasoning in Health Care
- Public Health Nursing
- Statistics for Clinical Research
- Adults in Acute Care
- Nursing Leadership: Professional Practice in Complex Systems
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs also include clinical experience requirements. Some programs allow students to complete a portion of this requirement through online simulations, however more typically students complete a rotation at a hospital or clinic in partnership with their program. Among such facilities are:
- Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis
- St. John’s Northeast in Maplewood
- Regions Hospital in St. Paul
Entering the Nursing Field in Minnesota as a BSN-Educated RN
Before practicing, BSN graduates who want to work as Registered Nurses must also obtain an RN license from the Minnesota State Board of Nursing. To do so, a student must submit licensure application with a $115.50 fee and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Taking the NCLEX-RN Exam
These are steps applicants must take to register for and complete the exam:
- Apply for a license with the Minnesota State Board of Nursing and pay the application fee
- Submit fingerprints with application
- Register with the testing company for the NCLEX-RN exam and pay the $200 fee.
- After receiving an authorization to test, schedule an examination.
- Take the NCLEX-RN exam
- Candidates should receive their state RN license 10 days after taking the exam provided they pass. If a candidate does not pass they will receive retake information instead.
Residency and Career Opportunities After Graduation
To ensure workforce competency and a smooth transition to practice, multiple facilities in Minnesota offer nurse residency programs for BSN prepared graduates with an RN license. Among such programs are those at:
Mayo Clinic in Rochester – Mayo’s yearlong program is available only to graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs and offers monthly learning sessions, active learning simulations and group evidence-based practice projects. These opportunities in conjunction with support from peers and program leaders help new nurses become competent professionals in their field.
CentraCare Health in St. Cloud – Residents in CentraCare’s First Year Residency Program attend hospital and nursing classroom orientation, clinical orientations and gain hands-on experience from expert preceptors. On top of the program’s strong clinical focus, residents also develop professional skills in delegation, communication and critical thinking.
In addition to these exclusive residencies, BSN degree program graduates are also eligible for more highly skilled nursing positions than their ADN-qualified counterparts. A few such positions are:
- Director of Nursing at Ecumen in North Branch
- Community Health Nurse at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis
- Psychiatric Nurse Clinician at North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale