Nursing Programs in North Dakota

Overview of North Dakota Nursing

North Dakota’s nursing education opportunities are most strongly represented by its flagship schools, North Dakota State University and University of North Dakota.

North Dakota State University is one of the highest rated in the country, and the program also offers master’s degree students a nurse educator track. Nurse educators are in high demand in North Dakota, partially because about 80 percent of the state is considered to be in a health professional shortage.

North Dakota has a unique history of being the only state to ever (at one point) require a bachelor’s degree for its registered nurses. Eventually the state changed its regulations, partially in response to a shortage of qualified nurses.

A BSN education is still encouraged by many hospitals, though. Students looking stay in school for the extra education should note, however, that rural and semi-rural healthcare facilities are the most likely to pay extra for the services of a BSM nurses.

Students looking to study online in North Dakota will find that their options are plentiful. Schools like Minot State University (and many others) are expanding their online campuses and finding innovative ways for working nurses to attain their distance learning goals.

Additional Funding for North Dakota Nurses:
Nursing scholarships specific to North Dakota are limited, but they can be found. Community centers at your local area may offer scholarships, as well as organizations like the Theodore H. Sedler Scholarship Fund. Some local hospitals offer scholarships to students in return for promises of service at the hospital.

Many of these scholarships are available on an extremely local basis, so look closely and ask medical personnel in your community.

  • The Dakota Medical Foundation also offers scholarships for nurses as part of its mission to promote “health and access to quality healthcare” in North Dakota.

Nursing students in North Dakota are also advised to pursue the many dozens of national scholarships available to nursing students, in addition to the following state scholarships, which are available to students of any discipline:

  • North Dakota Scholars Program
  • North Dakota Career and Technical Education Scholarships
  • North Dakota Academic Scholarships
  • And lastly, the North Dakota Indian Scholarships, which are available to registered members of North Dakota Indian Tribes.

Application forms and more information are available at the North Dakota University System’s website.

Job Outlook for Nurses in North Dakota

North Dakota hires a relatively small number of nurses, but the state also has a low population that’s actually declining right now. The positive aspect of North Dakota nursing employment is that it’s relatively stable. In fact, the number of 8,000 registered nurses has remained steady despite decreasing population in North Dakota.

Other published materials actually give a more positive outlook for students trying to find nursing positions in North Dakota. Studies indicate that nursing professionals in North Dakota are increasingly reaching retirement age, which may leave the state in a situation of higher demand for nurses, with a much lower supply. New nurses who are ready to fill these emptying positions will be glad they studied and prepared to enter the workforce!

Salaries for registered nurses in North Dakota average $57,600. Compared to the national average of $69,110, this number is low. Licensed vocational nurses in North Dakota make $36,830 on average, compared to the nationwide average $42,040. But location and cost of living can be reasons to look at salaries differently.

Finding Employment in North Dakota

Nursing school graduates who want to work in North Dakota are encouraged to look at the following medical groups:

  • MeritCare Hosptial
  • Saint Alexius Medical Center
  • Altru Hospital
  • MedCenter One Hospital

These centers do a large part of the hiring in North Dakota, especially for registered nurses.

Licensing for Nurses in North Dakota

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) must be passed by all nurses wishing to practice in North Dakota, but that is the extent of licensing requirements. After that, registered nurses can apply for jobs.