How to Become an LPN in Minnesota – A Simple Guide

How to Become an LPN in Minnesota - A Simple Guide

Do you think a career as an LPN suits you? Are you seriously considering becoming one?

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, LPNs are the eighth most in-demand profession. To cope with the increasing need for LPNs, there are also a lot of Board-approved LPN programs.

So, good thing you found us! We’re going to help you out! 

Becoming an LPN seems like a long and confusing process, but we are here to make everything simple for you.

Whether you’re a student or someone looking for a career change, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to become an LPN in Minnesota. 

We’ll also answer some FAQs, including:

  • Can I Complete the LPN Program online in Minnesota?
  • How much do LPNs in Minnesota make?
  • Is Minnesota an NLC state?

Are you ready?

Let’s begin!

How to Become an LPN in Minnesota in 5 Steps

Become an LPN in Minnesota by following these simple steps:

  • Step #1: Graduate from an Accredited LPN Program
  • Step #2: Prepare for the NCLEX-PN Exam
  • Step #3: Obtain Your LPN License
  • Step #4: Get a Job as an LPN
  • Step #5: Renew Your License

Let’s discuss each one!

Step #1: Graduate from an Accredited LPN Program

Getting the proper training is essential because LPNs deal with the health and lives of people. It’s no joke! 

So, the first step to becoming an LPN is to complete an LPN program from a state-approved or accredited school or institution. 

If the program you’re attending is not state-approved, it will not qualify you to become an LPN in the future. 

So, before anything else, always double-check the approval status. You can find a link here

LPN programs are available in Minnesota’s vocational schools or community colleges. 

Program Duration

Unlike other nursing careers, you’re not required to complete a two-year or four-year degree. 

Most LPN programs in Minnesota last between 12 to 18 months, depending on whether you are enrolled part-time or full-time. 

Admission Requirements

Before getting into an LPN program, schools may have admission requirements. In general, candidates in Minnesota should meet the following basic requirements:

  • High school diploma
  • Valid Social Security Number
  • Proof of good conduct 
  • CPR certification
  • Up-to-date immunization record

Additionally, interested candidates should complete the following prerequisite courses before being accepted into an LPN program in Minnesota:

  • College Composition
  • Medical Dosages
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology I 
  • Anatomy and Physiology II
  • General Biology or Health and Disease in the Human Body 

Program Content

An LPN program includes clinical experience and classroom instruction to prepare candidates to deliver effective and quality patient care in various healthcare settings.

In case you’re wondering, here are some nursing courses you’ll be taking in the program:

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

Step #2: Prepare for the NCLEX-PN Exam

After completing an LPN program, the next big step is to take the NCLEX-PN exam in Minnesota. 

NCLEX-PN stands for National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing. It is a national exam that tests if you have the knowledge and skills to become an LPN. 

All candidates must pass the NCLEX-PN exam to gain official licensure.

Although it is not foolproof, it helps to ensure that those who enter the profession are qualified. 

This sounds a bit scary, right?

Taking a national exam always makes us a bit nervous. 

In a sense, everything hangs on whether you pass or fail. 

That’s why this step is crucial. Although it is placed as step#2, you should already be preparing for the exam even during your LPN program. 

The good thing about a good training program is that they try to ensure that all their graduates are fully equipped for the exam. 

We also advise that you take the exam soon after graduation so that everything you learned is still fresh in your memory.

Other steps you can take include self-review, group reviews, and taking practice exams. There are a lot of practice exams that mimic the NCLEX available online. 

While preparing yourself for the exam, you should also be applying for the examination through the Minnesota Board of Nursing. 

We’ll talk about how to apply in the next step. 

Step #3: Get Your LPN License

The Minnesota Board of Nursing is in charge of reviewing all applications for licensure. 

They make sure those who are applying are eligible in terms of appropriate background education, a clean criminal history, etc. 

There are two main ways to apply for licensure in Minnesota – through examination or endorsement.

Licensure by Examination

This process is usually for fresh graduates who have not yet taken the NCLEX-PN and have never had an LPN license before. 

If you are applying through this method, you must: 

  • Apply online and pay for the non-refundable $105 application fee and the $33.25 Criminal Background Check fee. 
  • Provide evidence that you have not engaged in conduct that warrants disciplinary action.
  • Wait for the Criminal Background Check office to send you a fingerprint packet by email and have yourself fingerprinted as soon as possible. 
  • Have your school submit your official transcripts from the LPN program and a Confirmation of Program Completion
  • Register to take the NCLEX with Pearson VUE and pay the required examination fee of $200.
    • You can register online or by phone.

Eligible candidates will receive authorization to test (ATT) by email. 

Once you receive your ATT, you should schedule your examination at one of Pearson Vue’s testing centers. The ATT is valid for 90 days. If you don’t take the NCLEX within 90 days, you need to register with Pearson VUE again.

After taking the NCLEX-PN exam, the Board will notify you within 10 business days whether you passed the exam or not. 

If you passed… Congratulations! Your LPN license will be mailed to you! 

If you did not pass the exam, you will receive an Examination Retake Request together with your diagnostic profile to give you an idea of how you performed in the NCLEX exam.

Here are ways to check the examination results:

  • On the Board of Nursing website or by phone
  • By calling the phone number included in your ATT. This comes with an additional fee. 
  • On the Pearson VUE website. This comes with an additional fee. 

Licensure by Endorsement

Another way to obtain your license in Minnesota is by endorsement. 

If you’re already an LPN in the U.S. and wish to practice in Minnesota, you’re qualified to apply for licensure by endorsement. 

While your application is under review, you may request a temporary permit valid for 60 days. The temporary permit cannot be renewed or extended.

Candidates must complete the following requirements if applying for licensure by endorsement:

  • Complete the Practical Nurse Licensure by Endorsement application form online or by mail.
  • Submit verification of licensure from the state or territory of your initial license 
  • Submit a Confirmation of Nursing Employment Form from your most recent employer
  • Undergo a criminal background check
  • Report continuing education or refresher courses
  • Pay the $105 fee

You can verify your application by going to the Board of Nursing website.

Step #4: Get a Job as an LPN

Congrats, you’re almost there! To fulfill your dream, you just need to start looking for your first LPN job! 

LPNs in Minnesota work in a variety of healthcare settings. You can practice in extended or long-term care, general hospitals, doctor’s clinics or offices that provide same-day services, or home healthcare services. 

You can also go the less conventional route, such as working with insurance companies, health and personal care stores, and office administrative services. 

Due to increasing healthcare needs, LPNs are in demand which gives you lots of career opportunities! 

Step #5: Renew Your License

LPNs in Minnesota are required to renew their licenses every two years. 

To be able to renew your license, you need to complete 24 contact hours of continuing education from an accredited institution. 

The renewal fee is $85.

If you don’t renew your license, you won’t be able to practice as an LPN anymore. So this is a very crucial step in your whole LPN journey. 

Make sure to do it on time to avoid penalties and delays. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an LPN in Minnesota

Now that we’ve completed the 5 steps to becoming an LPN, let’s answer some common questions. 

Can I Complete the LPN Program online in Minnesota?

Unfortunately, there are no LPN programs in Minnesota that are fully online, although there may be some partially-online options. 

Some schools offer a few classes online, especially for students who are not able to attend classes during the day.

However, all students will still need to comply with hands-on clinical exposure and other courses that can only be done face-to-face. 

How much do LPNs in Minnesota make?

The salary will depend on your exact location and level of experience. 

To give you an idea of the earning potential of LPNs in Minnesota, the average annual salary of LPNs in Minnesota is $53,782 according to Indeed.

The highest-paying cities in Minnesota are Rochester, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Saint Charles, and Bloomington. 

Is Minnesota an NLC state?

Minnesota is not a Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) state, although a survey conducted in 2017 shows that many nurses want Minnesota to join the NLC. 

It is currently pending legislation. 

It is best if you contact your state board and express your position on the matter, as well as keep updated on further developments. 


That’s it!

We’ve given you a five-step guide on how to become an LPN in Minnesota and we’ve also answered important questions. 

We’ve seen that the job of an LPN is meaningful and rewarding, and there are many opportunities available for you! 

Hopefully, this guide will help you through your journey to becoming an LPN in Minnesota.

All the best!

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