North Dakota has a long history of designing and implementing nursing practice initiatives intended to enhance healthcare and the nursing profession. In fact, North Dakota is the only state to ever require a Bachelor's degree for entry into nursing practice. According to the North Dakota Nurses Association, the North Dakota state legislature passed a law requiring all newly-hired RNs to have a Bachelor's degree in nursing in 1987. That law, however, was repealed in 2003, partly because of concerns about nurse supply.
Despite the repeal of the law, North Dakota and many state nurses associations and employers still encourage BSN education. If you are a ready to advance your education and career by obtaining your RN to BSN in North Dakota, you have come to the right place to start. We at BestNursingDegree.com also believe that a more educated nursing workforce is a good thing, so we've taken the time to find all of the RN to Bachelor's in Nursing programs available to nurse in your state.
Please take a few minutes to look into our featured schools, which often offer online or distance education programs, and request information from those you're interested in. Online programs, once viewed as less than optimal, are now seen as a valuable resource, as they provide fully accredited programs to nursing students with limited access to on campus programs. Once you request information from the schools that match your interests, you can then decide which program best suits your needs.
Curriculum of RN to BSN Programs
RN to baccalaureate nursing degree programs typically offer a liberal arts and science foundation for the practice and theory of the nursing program. This is intended to result in a well rounded educational base, upon which to further develop nursing and leadership skills that can positively impact patients and the profession as a whole.
The differences between on-campus and online programs in ND are usually quite minor, with both types of programs offering fully accredited RN-BSN education. Full or part time classes are offered in both programs, with flexible scheduling available for those nursing students that require it, due to work, family or personal preferences.
There are several accredited online programs, in addition to universities where you attend classes on campus. These online classes can help meet the demand for highly educated nurses when taking into account the rural areas of the state. Some colleges may differ in the length of time required to complete the RN-BSN programs, so requesting specifics from individual schools is recommended.
Most programs also require clinical hours, but often strive to schedule them in the student's community. The development of collaborative relationships between schools and employers has led to many opportunities for nursing students to meet practicum requirements without leaving their own locations.
The criteria necessary for admission to RN-BSN programs include a current North Dakota RN license, transcripts from an accredited associate degree or diploma program, a cumulative GPA of 2.75 and completion of prerequisite courses.
Classes required to complete a RN-BSN program are geared toward building upon the nursing knowledge you already have, and may include:
- Health Promotion
- Nursing in Transition
- Clinical Reasoning for Safety and Quality Outcomes
- Evidence Based Practice
- Transcultural Health
- Nursing Informatics
- Public Health Nursing Theory and Clinical
- Professional Development
Many ND Universities offer a diverse faculty, so students can receive a well rounded nursing education that builds upon a wide array of nursing specialties. Some of the specialty nursing areas that can be addressed duing a Bachelor's degree program include; cultural competency, aging, wound care, psychiatric and mental health, child health, migrant health, cancer care, women's health, educational research and American Indian health.
Regardless of the specialty based knowledge your instructors bring to the program, the RN to BSN bridge is intended to develop nurse leaders that are competent, confident, and adept at incorporating life long learning into nursing practice. At BestNursingDegree.com we agree, and feel that an educated nurse is a powerful asset within the landscape of healthcare.
In North Dakota, there is a program administered by the University of North Dakota intended to increase awareness of nursing as a career, and to optimize the recruitment, education and retention of American Indian nurses in the state. The program, initiated in1990, and named RAIN (Recruitment/Retention of American Indians into Nursing) provides funding to educate American Indian nurses, including those enrolled in an RN to BSN option. The program itself represents a nationwide push to expand the cultural and racial diversity of the nursing profession, and ultimately to provide competent and effective care to all persons, regardless of color, creed or culture.
Careers for RN to BSN graduates in North Dakota
According to the Bismark Tribune, North Dakota has felt the nursing shortage in Bismarck hospitals since 2011, and hospitals report the shortage is increasing. Many North Dakota hospitals are hiring traveling nurses for the first time, reflecting the lack of qualified nursing personnel in the state's hospitals.
According to O*net (2013), the 7,140 registered nurses in North Dakota earn a median annual salary of $53,300. The salary range begins at $40,800 and ranges up to to $70,000. This range is dependent upon a nurse's experience, education, and practice setting. It is important to note that increasing your education level can help you to expand the settings in which you can practice nurse, and also opens up career possibilities that exist in management and leadership sectors.
An interesting career option for registered nurses in North Dakota exists within the Rural Assistance Center (RAC), which assists the ND Department of Health oversee a full range of programs that provide medical care in rural areas. They cover rural healthcare clinics, kidney dialysis and 13 other programs, and benefit from Bachelor's educated nurses on staff.
Some other interesting positions that may be available for the BSN in ND include nurse director in an assisted living facility, occupational nursing in an industrial setting or employment with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Case management positions within hospice, home healthcare or in physician offices are also possible, and can utilize the community based education you will receive in your RN to BSN classes. Hospital positions include quality improvement, utilization review and staff education.
Keep in mind, that regardless of which practice setting you choose after earning your Bachelor's degree in Nursing, the Center for Rural Health, notes that rural and semi-rural healthcare facilities, of which many North Dakota facilities are, likely pay a premium for BSN prepared nurses, making your education worthwhile.
There are a couple other points to note about nursing in North Dakota. The state is a nurse license compact state, which means a North Dakota RN license will allow the nurse to work in other compact license states. Many North Dakota nurses currently work for healthcare organizations that provide at least some tuition reimbursement for BSN education. Additional financial assistance is available through the North Dakota Nursing Education loan.
ND also has an active Nursing Association, which can serve as a great resource as you investigate your career and educational options. They publish a newsletter quarterly, the Winter 2013/2014 edition of which highlights the importance of culturally competent care, reflecting the RAIN program mission as well.
North Dakota, regardless of its rural status and nurse workforce issues, remains a state in which the nursing profession is making efforts to develop, design and disseminate knowledge building that will result in a strong and skilled state of nurses. To find out more about schools, please submit a request for information to schools on our list, and know that you are taking steps to enhance both your personal career and your profession as a whole.
RN to BSN programs for North Dakota nurses include:
- Minot State University: Minot State offers a flexible online RN to BSN program that can be completed with full or part-time study. Full-time students typically finish in 18 months or less.
- North Dakota State University: The RN to BSN program at North Dakota State is offered mostly online. Students may take some general education courses in conjunction with upper level nursing courses.
- University of Mary: RN to BSN students at the University of Mary complete their education with a group of nursing peers, even though the peers may be separated by many miles. Students are grouped into "cohorts" and may work together on projects, even though most coursework is completed online.