How to Become a Registered Nurse in Montana

Montana map

Being a registered nurse is one of the most honorable professions there is.

Registered nurses deliver care to patients who need it and support the families of these patients with sound medical experience, skills, and knowledge.

Nurses often have to think on their feet and rely on years of medical experience to make sound clinical decisions affecting patients’ lives.

It can be a very demanding and yet very rewarding career.

5 Registered Nurse Schools in Montana

The following schools are accredited and offer nursing programs approved by the Montana Board of Nursing.

1. Montana Tech

Montana Tech Logo

Montana Tech offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing through their award-winning school, the Sherry Lesar School of Nursing.

The school offers a low student-to-teacher ratio to ensure students get the individualized attention they need.

The program may be completed in four years, and students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) upon completion.

The program offers students the ability to build up to 1,000 hours of clinical experience in their 5,000-square feet clinical facility that offers four simulation suites.

In addition, the school offers several clinical sites where students can gain real-world, hands-on experience.

The annual in-state tuition for a minimum of 12 credit hours is $7,580.

2. Helena College

Helena College Logo

Helena College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing.

The program is ACEN accredited.

Students may take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) upon completion.

The school has an impressive 90.3% pass rate on the test.

The program prepares students with the required skills, knowledge, and expertise to become contributing members of the healthcare team and to function effectively in any clinical setting.

The program does require that students complete a series of prerequisite courses to qualify for the program.

In-state tuition for this school starts at 480.08 per credit hour.

3. Carroll College

Carroll College Logo

Carroll College offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing program.

The program may be completed in four years, and students can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Carroll College offers two additional paths to qualify as a nurse: an accelerated path and a career ladder path.

To qualify for any nursing programs, students must have a 3.30 GPA, two years of completed studies in science, completion of maths through to intermediate algebra, and a completed application form.

Full-time tuition for 12 to 19 credit hours is $24,905.

4. Montana State University

Montana State University Logo

Montana State University offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

The program may be completed in four years, and eligible students may take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

The program comprises general studies, nursing courseware, clinical work, and lab work to prepare students for an entry-level position.

Students bridge the gap between theory and application through hands-on experience throughout the educational journey.

Furthermore, clinical rotations allow students to gain additional experience working in the field.

Tuition for in-state students starts at $468.39 per credit hour and $1,379.95 per credit hour for non-resident students.

5. Missoula College

Missoula College Logo

Missoula College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing.

The four-semester program starts in the fall each year and admits only 18 students per admission.

The program comprises 71 to 72 credit hours.

Of these, 14 credit hours are prerequisite credits.

The prerequisite courses may be completed in one semester.

The program admits students twice a year in the fall and spring.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Admission to the program is a two-step process.

Upon acceptance, students apply to Missoula College and may apply to the nursing school through its internal application process.

Tuition per semester is $2,011 for full-time students taking 12 credits per semester.

Registered Nurse Schools in Montana – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Montana

School NameAddress
Montana Tech1300 W Park St, Butte, MT 59701
Helena College1115 N Roberts St #117, Helena, MT 59601
Carol College1601 N Benton Ave, Helena, MT 59625
Montana State UniversityCulbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717
Missoula College1205 E Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59802


Registered nurses working in the capital city of Great Falls, Montana, are compensated based on their qualifications and years of experience.

The salary range for an RN, depending on the exact position in this city, is $51,647 to $92,622.

The salary will also depend on the facility that the RN is working in.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Registered Nurse (RN)s in Montana

City NameSalary
Great Falls$57,580
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Montana

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT2,530$81,580$39.22$100,360$64,680
Great Falls, MT980$73,490$35.33$85,440$59,970
Missoula, MT1,300$78,890$37.93$99,050$62,820
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Registered Nurses, OCC Code 29-1141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a license to be a registered nurse in Montana?


Candidates must obtain a qualification from an accredited school that offers a nursing program approved by the Montana Board of Nursing.

Upon completing the program, candidates can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and pass with a satisfactory grade to obtain licensure.

Is Montana an RN compact state?

Yes, Montana joined the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact) on 1 October 2015, making it one of the compact states.

This means qualified nurses with a residence in Montana are eligible for multi-state licensing.

They may practice nursing in other compact states without needing to reapply for a license in that state.

Is Montana a good state for nurses?

Montana is the 8th best state in the US for RNs to work in.

The review considered several factors when making that decision, including the working environment, salary, career opportunities, etc.

How long is a Montana RN license valid?

The license is valid for two years.

It expires on the 31st of December at the end of the second year.

Notices are sent out to candidates 45 days before the license lapses.

How much is a Montana nursing license?

A candidate must first write and pass the NCLEX examination to obtain a license.

The application fee for the exam is $100, and the examination fee is $200.

That is a total of $300 to obtain a licensed nurse’s license in Montana.

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