Becoming an LPN in Minnesota

The state of Minnesota has made it their mission to protect the public’s health and safety by regulating nursing education, licensure, and practice. An increase of 11% of licensed practical nurse (LPN) jobs per year has been predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the state of Minnesota by 2024. This demand for nurses creates many opportunities for those interested in the profession, applicants can apply for a Minnesota LPN license by either exam or by endorsement if he or she is licensed in another state.

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    2017 Best LPN Programs in Minnesota

    If you're considering becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the state of Minnesota, choosing a school that meets state requirements is important. Community colleges, private career schools, and vocational education centers across the state can provide the necessary education for licensing. With almost 25 schools in cities like Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Duluth, we've sifted through them all, comparing test scores and NCLEX-PN pass-rates. After evaluating the data, we've put together a list of the top 10 LPN schools in Minnesota.

    For more information on school rankings, see our Methodology Page (


    Minnesota State Community & Technical College

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

    The 40 credit Practical Nursing program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College prepares students to practice nursing under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), providing direct patient care in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and home- and community-based facilities. Students are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam-PN following graduation. Upon completion of the Practical Nursing program, students are prepared to apply for licensure as a practical nurse and careers in long-term care centers and ambulatory care facilities.

    Overall Score: 96.57

    Riverland Community College

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

    Riverland Community College is a regional comprehensive community college located in Owatonna, Minnesota, with additional campuses located in Alberta Lea and Austin, inspiring learning through personalized education. Riverland Community College seeks to be recognized for excellence in learning through innovation, resourcefulness, and collaboration.

    Overall Score: 95.74

    Rochester Community & Technical College

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

    Rochester Community & Technical College (RCTC), located in Rochester, Minnesota, provides accessible, affordable, quality learning opportunities to a growing community. RCTC encourages students to develop professional attitudes and behaviors, apply critical thinking, demonstrate understanding and respect for human diversity, and take the responsibility to achieve their academic and personal goals.

    Overall Score: 95.51 - Request Info on Rochester Community & Technical College

    Alexandria Technical & Community College

    1601 Jefferson St, Alexandria, MN 56308 - (888) 234-1222 - Visit Homepage

    The Practical Nursing program at Alexandria Technical and Community College is a program designed to prepare interested persons to share in the care of the sick, in rehabilitation, and in the prevention of illness

    Overall Score: 94.93 - Request Info on Alexandria Technical & Community College

    St. Cloud Technical & Community College

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

    St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC), located in St. Cloud, Minnesota, is committed to meeting the community's needs through its 90 programs of study, matching local job needs. SCTCC is a comprehensive technical and community college offering associate's degrees, career certification, and workforce development.

    Overall Score: 94.86 - Request Info on St. Cloud Technical & Community College

    Ridgewater College

    2101 15th Ave NW, Willmar, MN 56201 - (320) 222-5200 - Visit Homepage

    Ridgewater College is a community and technical college located in Willmar, Minnesota, with an additional campus located in Hutchinson. Ridgewater offers more than 100 educational programs, some unique to the state and nationally, with small class sizes and advanced technology, providing a student-centered learning environment dedicated to providing accessible, affordable, and supportive setting for all students.

    Overall Score: 94.01 - Request Info on Ridgewater College

    Rasmussen College - Mankato Campus

    130 St Andrews Dr, Mankato, MN 56001 - (507) 625-6556 - Visit Homepage

    Rasmussen College is located in Mankato, Minnesota, with additional campuses located in Bloomington, Moorhead, Eagan, Lake Elmo, St. Cloud, Blaine, and Brooklyn Park, as well as many other locations across the United States. Rasmussen College offers exceptional student support services, as well as multiple degree options and certifications to ensure student success in the workplace.

    Overall Score: 92.75

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College

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

    Minnesota West Community & Technical College-Worthington is a comprehensive community and technical college located in Pipestone, Minnesota, with additional campuses located in Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, and Pipestone, and centers located in Fairmont, Marshall, Luverne, and Redwood Falls. Minnesota West offers Student programs that allow them to achieve an associate's degree, diploma, and career certificates in more than 60 disciplines.

    Overall Score: 91.15

    Anoka Technical College

    1355 U.S. 10, Anoka, MN 55303 - (763) 576-4700 - Visit Homepage

    Anoka Technical College (ATC), located in Anoka, Minnesota, offers project-based learning utilizing hands-on skills and training. ATC offers small classrooms and an expert faculty designed to see to student success, providing all of the necessary knowledge and skills to acquire an associate degree, career certification, or workforce development training.

    Overall Score: 91.12 - Request Info on Anoka Technical College

    Central Lakes College

    501 W College Dr, Brainerd, MN 56401 - (218) 855-8000 - Visit Homepage

    Central Lakes College’s Practical Nursing Program is a comprehensive nursing program that can be completed in two semesters, after completing pre-requisites. The program, which has been in existence for 57 years, has had a long history of success. Graduates’ MN State Board of Nursing pass-rates are above the state and national averages, and the employment rates are nearly 100% with students either finding employment as an LPN or continuing their education.

    Overall Score: 89.35 - Request Info on Central Lakes College

    Continued List of All Programs in Minnesota

    #11 Minnesota State College Southeast
    1250 Homer Rd, Winona, MN 55987
    (507) 453-2700 Visit Homepage
    88.54Request Information
    #12 Dakota County Technical College
    1300 145th St E, Rosemount, MN 55068
    (651) 423-8000 Visit Homepage
    87.66Request Information
    #13 Pine Technical & Community College
    900 4th St SE, Pine City, MN 55063
    (320) 629-5100 Visit Homepage
    87.62Request Information
    #14 Lake Superior College
    11501 State Highway 23, Duluth, MN 55808
    (218) 733-1074 Visit Homepage
    87.46Request Information
    #15 Hennepin Technical College
    9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
    (952) 995-1300 Visit Homepage
    85.70Request Information
    #16 Itasca Community College
    1851 U.S. 169, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
    (218) 322-2300 Visit Homepage
    82.59Request Information
    #17 St. Paul College
    235 Marshall Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
    (651) 846-1600 Visit Homepage
    81.73Request Information
    #18 Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks
    2022 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721
    (218) 793-2800 Visit Homepage
    81.18Request Information
    #19 Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
    2101 14th St, Cloquet, MN 55720
    (218) 879-0800 Visit Homepage
    80.77Request Information
    #20 Northwest Technical College - Bemidji
    905 Grant Avenue SE, Bemidji, MN 56601
    (218) 333-6600 Visit Homepage
    80.19Request Information
    #21 Northland Community and Technical College - Thief River Falls
    1101 Minnesota 1E, Thief River Falls, MN 56701
    (218) 683-8800 Visit Homepage
    76.09Request Information
    #22 Mesabi Range Community & Technical College
    1001 Chestnut St W, Virginia, MN 55792
    (218) 741-3095 Visit Homepage
    72.75Request Information
    #23 South Central College
    1920 Lee Blvd, North Mankato, MN 56003
    (507) 389-7200 Visit Homepage
    65.55Request Information

    Recent Articles

  • Minnesota LPN Licensing Requirements

    Completion of a state-approved nursing program is required in the state of Minnesota as well as a satisfactory score on the NCLEX-PN exam.

    Minnesota Board of Nursing Forms (

    Lifting patients, pulling and pushing machinery, and extended periods of standing, squatting, walking, and running are some of the physically demanding day-to-day activities of an LPN. Although physical strength may not be required upon application, it is definitely part of regular job function.

    To apply for a Minnesota License via endorsement, a completed application must be submitted with the following:

    • Evidence of passing state-approved nursing program and NCLEX.
    • Credentials evaluation report.
    • Evidence of state licensure (home state).
    • Proof of employment as an LPN—if not employed in the last 24 months, proof of continued education must also be submitted.

    Foreign educated or licensed individuals looking to receive a license in the state of Minnesota, can qualify to take the NCLEX by submitting transcripts and passing an English proficiency exam. The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) must perform a full course-by-course review and the applicant must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.

    Minnesota LPN licenses expire every 2 years. An application must be submitted for each license renewal with renewal fee and proof of completed continued education requirements of 12 contact hours during the registration period. If practicing less than the full 2 years, the continued education ratio is 1 contact hour for each 2 months of registration.

    Learn more about Minnesota LPN Jobs, Salary, and Employment Outlook.

    Additional MN Nursing Resources

    Minnesota Board of Nursing

    2829 University Avenue SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55414
    Phone: (612) 617-2270
    Fax: (612) 617-2190

    1. Minnesota Nurses Association (

    For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Minnesota LPN to RN programs page.