Minnesota RNs and LPNs are licensed by the Minnesota Board of Nursing (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/). The state currently has 89,843 RNs and 23,802 LPNs with active licenses.
Nurses may be licensed by endorsement or examination. License by examination is for candidates who have never been licensed or have been licensed in another country where the NCLEX is not administered.
Minnesota is not a member of the nurse license compact, but does have border state recognition (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/applicants/border-state-registry/index.jsp). That means that if a nurse resides in, and holds a license in, one of the bordering states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, or Wisconsin) the candidate can practice in Minnesota without a Minnesota license. There are some requirements. The nurse can't have disciplinary sanctions on the license in the bordering state. The nurse can't work for a temp agency, school, or other non-healthcare agency without a Minnesota license.
A nurse must report Minnesota employment to the Minnesota BON within ten days; the candidate must submit additional paperwork after the candidate renews the license in the bordering state. If the candidate moves to Minnesota, the candidate must get a Minnesota license. Nurses should also be aware that there is a $50 fee for registration.
The Minnesota Nurses Association Foundation offers scholarships at the baccalaureate level and higher (http://mnnurses.org/mnaf-research-grants-and-scholarships). Nursing students can find additional scholarship information on the site of the Minnesota Board (http://mnnurses.org/scholarships-grants-professional-links).
A prospective LPN must enroll in an approved program in practical nursing.
After the candidate completes educational requirements, the candidate should submit an application along with a $115.50 fee (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/licensees/licensure/fees.jsp). Forms may be downloaded from the site of the Minnesota BON (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/licensees/forms/). There are several examination application packets; the nurse should select the place where the candidate did the education (U.S., Canada, or abroad).
U.S. applicants can use a Confirmation of Program Completion form to verify that they met educational requirements; in the case of Minnesota graduates, this can be done online. A graduate must also register for the NCLEX-PN exam; a candidate handbook can be downloaded from Pearson (http://www.vue.com/nclex).
Candidates can monitor the status of their application online.
Both application and registration must be completed before a candidate can receive an ATT allowing the candidate to schedule the examination.
If a candidate does not pass the exam on a first attempt, the candidate will receive a packet for examination request along with a diagnostic report. The candidate must pay the Board a $60 re-examination fee.
Minnesota LPNs may wish to join the Minnesota Licensed Practical Nurses Association (http://www.mlpna.com/).
An LPN licensed in another state can be licensed by endorsement if the candidate meets Minnesota’s requirement for graduation from an approved program or if the candidate falls into one of Minnesota’s exception categories. Some states license LPNs by equivalency when they have not graduated from approved programs. This is acceptable for endorsement into Minnesota if the LPN has practiced at least 4,000 hours in the preceding five years. (If the LPN was licensed in an earlier era when Minnesota’s requirements were lower, and the candidate met requirements that were equivalent to those in place at the time, this is also acceptable.)
An endorsement applicant will need to provide license verification from the state where the candidate was first licensed (on the basis of examination) as well as the state where the candidate was most recently employed as a nurse. The endorsement application can be done online. The cost of application is $115.50.
A nurse should verify employment as well as licensing. If the Board is not satisfied that the candidate has shown continuing competency through recent licensure and practice, the candidate may be required to do continuing education or take a refresher course. If this is the case, the candidate will receive a letter from the Board.
If a nurse wishes to practice under a temporary permit while going through the licensing process in Minnesota, the candidate should include a request with the application and include a current copy of the license. The permit is valid for 60 days, or until such time as the Board takes action on the application for permanent licensure. Official license verification will be required eventually. Depending on the state of licensure, the process may be carried out online. A list of states that use Nursys.com is included in the endorsement application package (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/images/Application_for_LPN_Licensure_by_Endorsement_Packet101911.pdf).
A prospective RN will need to complete a professional nursing program that is approved by the Minnesota Board or the board in some other state. Beginning in 2016, the Board will require Minnesota nursing programs to hold programmatic accreditation or, at the least, candidate status.
The Minnesota Student Nurses Association is a resource for nursing students, but membership is not required (http://www.minnesotasna.org/).
When the student completes degree requirements, a school official will confirm completion – if it’s a Minnesota-approved program this can be done online. If the program is approved by the Board in another state, there is a paper form that must be submitted.
The graduate will need to apply to the Minnesota Board and register with the company that administers the licensing exam (www.pearsonvue.com/nclex). Exam registration can be done by telephone: 1.866.496.2539. The Minnesota application may be submitted online or printed and mailed to the Board (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/nursing/applicants/apply/apply-exam.jsp). The applicant should be prepared to pay $115.50 to the Minnesota Board and $200 to Pearson.
Once the candidate has been approved to take the exam, the candidate will receive an ATT via mail or email. That will allow the candidate to schedule the NCLEX exam; the candidate must take it in the 90 day window granted by the ATT.
The candidate should receive the license about ten days after the candidate takes the NCLEX, provided the candidate passes. If the candidate doesn’t, the candidate will receive information about registering for re-examination.
A candidate can monitor the status of the application online. Candidates who want to know their exam results as soon as possible can get them from Pearson a couple days after examination; there is a small fee for this service.
Registered nurses may wish to join the Minnesota Organization of Registered Nurses, an affiliate of the American Nurses Association (http://www.nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/AboutANA/WhoWeAre/CMA/MNORN.html). This is not a requirement for licensure, but can provide continuing education and other professional opportunities. The Minnesota Nurses Association, an affiliate of the National Nurses United, is another potential ally (http://mnnurses.org/).
An RN with a BSN and relevant coursework can seek registration as a public health nurse – it’s not a legal requirement, but does confer an additional title to a nurse who is interested in public health practice. Public health registration is currently $30.
An endorsement candidate must provide license verification from the state where the candidate is currently employed (or the one where the candidate was employed most recently). The candidate must also provide verification from the state where the candidate was first licensed. The nurse should provide transcripts or evidence of degree completion unless this information is provided by the licensing agency as part of license verification.
A nurse who does not provide evidence of recent licensing and employment may be asked to do additional education.
Canadian applicants should send verification of their Canadian license, or if they haven't been licensed, transcripts or confirmation of nursing program completion. Nurses from other nations have some additional requirements. They should get a CES report from CGFNS. If the program was not in English, or not conducted in an English speaking country, an English proficiency exam will be required as well. The candidate may opt for the IELTS or TOEFL (http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/images/Exam_application_packet_for_US_educated_LPN_applicants.pdf).
If the credentials evaluation turns up deficiencies, the international nurse will be able to make them up through additional coursework. The Board notes that candidates may want to go through the CES process before applying to the Minnesota Board; the Minnesota application fee is nonrefundable.
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