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Nursing Expands Programs to Iron Range

Collaboration offers degree programs to registered nurses in Minnesota's Iron Range region.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 12-9-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of Allied Health and Nursing Dean Kristine Retherford announced the college has established a site for Minnesota State Mankato’s nursing programs on the Iron Range in collaboration with Hibbing Community College and the Northeast Higher Education District and healthcare partners that will begin in the 2014 spring semester.

As part of the partnership, a registered nurse (RN) baccalaureate completion program will be available in the spring of 2014, and a master’s degree family nurse practitioner program and doctor of nursing practice degree program will be available beginning in the fall of 2014. All three programs will be offered to registered nurses residing in the Iron Range region.

The degree programs will allow professional nurses with associate degrees to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees while continuing to live and work in their Northeast Minnesota communities.

Retherford said the nursing programs will not only support professional nursing education, but will also expand high-quality health care in Minnesota’s Iron Range communities.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to share the expertise of our faculty with students seeking advanced degrees in a way that permits registered nurses to remain in their geographic region of the state,” said Retherford.

The Iron Range Higher Education Committee of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) is supporting the startup of the nursing programs, just as it did with Minnesota State Mankato’s Iron Range Engineering Program, which was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) just three years after the program began.

The online RN Baccalaureate Completion Program allows registered nurses to complete a bachelor of science degree in nursing that will open up career possibilities in hospitals, clinics, trauma centers and public health. It will also prepare nurses for pursuing advanced nursing degrees. Students who have completed general education requirements will be able to complete their degree completely online in as few as three semesters.

Registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree and 18 months of work experience with that degree can apply to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice Program through Iron Range Nursing. This primarily online program allows nurses to progressively work toward a master of science in nursing degree, family nurse practitioner certification or a doctor of nursing practice degree. With the completion of each step in the process, new career opportunities become available in primary care, management, research and education. A post-master’s doctor of nursing practice option is also available for certified advanced practice nurses.

For more information about applying to Iron Range Nursing Programs, contact Terri Brandt, program advisor, by email at or by phone at 218-262-6775.

Additional information can be found on Minnesota State Mankato’s School of Nursing website here.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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