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Choosing a BSN or graduate nursing program

What you need to know

Choosing any nursing educational program is a big decision. A majority of health care programs involve time, energy, and financial resources. Many programs offer on-line, in-class or a combination of teaching modalities; and previous college courses may or may not transfer.

First and foremost, it's important that you choose a program that fits you and your style of learning. The following tips are designed to help you research various nursing programs that fit you and your style of learning.

Search Minnesota Best Nursing Degree RN-BSN programs

Allina Health does not endorse or recommend any of the listed programs over another program. This is a list of all school programs available in Minnesota.

Tips and questions

As you explore your options, consider the following:

  • Accreditation: Are both the school and program accredited? Most schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Nursing also requires the individual program be accredited by either the CCNE or NLNAC. Graduates from non-accredited programs may not be considered for employment by Allina Health.
  • Clinical experiences: Does the program require a clinical experience (preceptorship) for graduation? If you want to complete your clinical experience at an Allina Health site, the school must have a signed legal agreement on file with Allina Health. Not all schools are willing to sign our legal agreement. If the school fails to sign this agreement, you may NOT complete your clinical experience or practicum with Allina Health, even if you are an Allina Health employee.

    If you are an Allina Health employee, you can view a list of schools with current academic agreements in the education resources section of MyAllina.
  • Assistance with finding a clinical preceptor: Not all programs/schools help students find clinical sites in which to complete their clinical experience. Be prepared to make many phone calls searching for a willing preceptor if your school does not have a programmatic approach to matching students with preceptors.
  • Online programs / out-of-state schools: Although some online programs may appear less expensive and faster to complete, make sure that they prepare you for graduation. Ask questions about the program before signing up for a program outside of the Midwest's reputable academic institutions.
  • Faculty from out-of state schools: It is Minnesota State law that the supervising faculty from any nursing program (BSN completion or advanced practice nursing) must hold a current Minnesota RN license. If you choose and out-of-state or on-line program you must confirm your faculty holds a current Minnesota RN license before you would be considered to complete your clinical experience within Minnesota. This law applies to faculty who never actually come on site.