Top LPN Programs in Minnesota

Last Updated/Verified: October 6, 2021

LPN programs in the state of Minnesota offer extensive training for students who don’t want to complete four full years of education.

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The programs are flexible and allow LPN graduates to find work and a balance in their lives outside of work, too.

LPNs in Minnesota Quick Facts

LPNs are the eighth-most in-demand profession in Minnesota with 3,240 new jobs expected to be created from 2012 to 2022. The LPN education programs can typically be completed within one year, making it easy for people who want to enter nursing without going through years of schooling. The city of Minneapolis is a bustling metropolis that will provide the most opportunities for those seeking careers as an LPN.

Overview of LPN Schools in Minnesota

There are 26 programs offered by Minnesota schools that provide the chance to get your diploma and prepare for a rewarding future in healthcare.

LPN programs cover the following topics:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Dosage Calculations for Health Care Professionals
  • Foundations of Nursing
  • Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
  • Psychosocial Nursing
  • Maternal-Child Nursing

LPN Accreditation

One of the most daunting aspects of finding an LPN program is the overwhelming number of schools to choose from. Fortunately, there are a few criteria that will help you narrow down your options: accreditation and approval by state agencies like Minnesota Board Nursing (MBN) as well as nationally accredited programs through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

LPN Admissions Requirements

The medical field is a popular career path for many individuals, but it can be difficult to find the right school that will meet your needs. You need to research individual university websites and see their program requirements since every institution has different minimum qualifications; however, most schools require at least:

  • A high school diploma or GED and official transcripts to apply
  • Completion of all prerequisites
  • Nurse Assistant/Medical Assistant certification
  • Accuplacer test or and TEAS State exam 

LPN Tuition & Costs

As a student, one of the most important considerations in deciding whether to attend nursing school is how much it will cost. For example, Dakota County Technical College’s LPN program averages $11,500 for tuition and fees.

However, don’t let the costs of school get in your way because many schools offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

LPN Licensing Requirements in Minnesota

Aspiring Licensed Practical Nurses in Minnesota should complete an LPN program from an approved nursing school and pass their NCLEX-PN exam.

Checklist to become a Minnesota LPN:

  • Complete the full LPN program
  • Apply for LPN licensure
  • Complete the NCLEX-PN examination

Your LPN license will expire every two years unless it’s registered less than that time frame; then it is adjusted for how many months have been practiced since registration. Be sure to check your license issuer with updates on renewals, requirements, and continuing education.

NCLEX-PN Exam

Once you graduate from a Minnesota LPN program, work toward becoming licensed by passing the NCLEX-PN exam. Take some time to study for the real deal with practice tests first.

LPN Reciprocity

With more and more states recognizing the Nurse Licensure Compact, Minnesota is looking into joining. The NLC allows nurses to practice in other member states without having to obtain additional licenses. Minnesota nurses who wish to work in other states must apply for an endorsement license.

LPN Salaries in Minnesota

LPNs in Minnesota earn an average of $26.06/hr and an annual income of $46,789 which is equivalent to the national average.

According to the BLS the average salaries of LPNs in Minnesota’s major metropolitan areas are:

  • Minneapolis, MN ($50,198)
  • Bloomington, MN ($48,708)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN ($47,578)
  • Golden Valley, MN ($47,568)
  • Rochester, MN ($47,452)

As a nurse, you have many different opportunities to explore with different ranges of salaries. LPNs serving in a hospital have an advantage as they are more in demand than those working at clinics or offices. Flexible work hours also make an LPN career more rewarding.

Job Outlook for LPNs in Minnesota

As the demand for nurses grows, America’s actual number of nurses is actually declining. Licensed Practical Nurses can take advantage of this. LPNs require less education than RNs or APNs, but the job functions are similar.

You can enjoy a rewarding career in the healthcare field as an LPN. These jobs are expected to increase in Minnesota, with over 1,550 available positions by 2026.

Top LPN Schools in Minnesota

Rochester Community & Technical College

851 30th Ave SE,
Rochester, MN 55904
(507) 285-7210

Rochester Community and Technical College is a great school for students looking for post-secondary options in Rochester. RCTC’s accessible, affordable quality education can help you meet your goals as they provide classes that teach critical thinking, human diversity awareness, and much more.

Minnesota State Community & Technical College

900 Hwy 34 E,
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
(877) 450-3322

You can get a great education by enrolling in the Practical Nursing program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. The 40-credit course prepares you to practice nursing under the supervision of an RN, providing direct patient care at hospitals and nursing homes.

Rasmussen College – St. Cloud

226 Park Avenue South,
St. Cloud, MN 56301
(320) 251-5600

The St. Cloud campus of Rasmussen College provides students with a practical nursing program that is sure to set them up for success in the field and will prepare graduates well for their future as nurses. The 12-month long course teaches real-world skills like handling an emergency or assessing patients who are experiencing pain management issues.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

1450 College Way,
Worthington, MN 56187
(507) 372-3400

The Minnesota West Community and Technical College has a rich history of giving students the tools they need to succeed in their future careers. Their practical nursing diploma program is designed for trainees who wish to work as nurses immediately after graduation.

Pine Technical & Community College

900 4th St SE,
Pine City, MN 55063
(320) 629-5100

Pine Technical and Community College values innovation. The school is always looking for new ways to serve people’s needs in the future. Whether you want a career program, skills training, or complete LPN accreditation, this community-minded institution will be there waiting.

St. Cloud Technical & Community College

1540 Northway Dr,
St Cloud, MN 56303
(320) 308-5000

St. Cloud Technical & Community College is proud to offer practical nursing programs for those looking forward to careers in the healthcare industry. The school offers 90 different programs, including a highly engaged workforce development program that will suit any student’s needs.

Itasca Community College

1851 East Highway 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(218) 322-2300

A nursing education leader in Grand Rapids, Itasca Community College has an impressive 100% NCLEX-PN pass rate. Their 2-semester program can be taken on campus or online.

Lake Superior College

11501 State Highway 23,
Duluth, MN 55808
(218) 733-1074

Duluth’s Lake Superior College has a nursing program that takes just two semesters to complete. Enrollment in their program will involve critical thinking and evidence-based medicine. This school has been ACEN accredited.

South Central College

1920 Lee Blvd.
North Mankato, MN 56003
(507) 389-7200

If you’re looking to become a practical nurse and want the instruction of an expert, South Central College’s LPN program is perfect for those who like hands-on learning. The 2 semester-long course covers all aspects from pharmacology to interventions so you are fully prepped to practice long-term care upon graduation.

Riverland Community College

965 Alexander Dr. SW
Owatonna, MN 55060
(507) 455-5880

Riverland Community College has campuses in Austin, Owatonna, and Albert Lea. They are always striving to offer students personalized education through innovation and resourcefulness. With Riverland’s dedication to excellence, they hope their name will become synonymous with learning and success.

Additional Resources

For more information on becoming an LPN in Minnesota, explore the following resources:

Minnesota Board of Nursing

For LPNs, there is no other site like MBN. Here you’ll find information for those in the know as well as newcomers just starting their license journey, with details about public meetings and more.

Approved Practical Nursing Programs

If you’re looking to become a full-time LPN in Minnesota and want a state-approved program that will help get your career off the ground as quickly as possible, this list compiled by Minnesota’s Board of Nursing is for you.