The North Dakota Center for Nursing’s 2013 report, Spotlight on the Past and Looking Forward to the Future of Nursing in North Dakota, states that efforts must be increased to create seamless career ladders for North Dakota RNs. This includes supporting and facilitating access to RN to BSN programs.
Along with this, the North Dakota Nurses Association (NDNA) advocates strongly for increased access to professional nursing education, calling for the support of higher education for nurses.
To help RNs return to school, the State of North Dakota Board of Nursing has established a Nursing Student Loan Program, funded by license fees, to encourage RNs to continue their nursing education, with over $28,000 going to BSN programs in 2013-2014 alone. Further, North Dakota hospitals, such as St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, are offering employed RNs continuing education assistance, including tuition reimbursement programs.
BSN-educated RNs also have access to more career opportunities, including those in education and management. Below is just an example of a few of the career opportunities open to BSN-educated RNs in North Dakota in February 2015:
- RN Director of Nursing – Vibra Healthcare, Mandan
- Public Health Nurse – North Dakota Department of Health, Bismarck
- RN Nurse Educator – Vibra Healthcare, Mandan
- RN Nurse Supervisor/Educator – Vibra Healthcare, Fargo
Obtaining a BSN is the foundation for an RN’s advanced education, such as an MSN, which may lead to an APRN license.
Online and Campus-Based RN to BSN Programs in North Dakota
Schools are making enrollment in RN to BSN programs accessible to all nurses, including busy, working RNs. To enroll in a North Dakota RN to BSN program, an RN should meet the following minimum admissions qualifications:
- Hold ADN Degree from Accredited North Dakota Nursing School
- Hold Minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.75 in ADN Program
- Hold Current, Unencumbered RN License
- Pass Criminal Background Check
In addition to the many distance learning options available through online programs, North Dakota Board of Nursing-Approved Baccalaureate nursing programs also include those located in the following cities:
- Grand Forks
Components and Structure of RN to BSN Programs
To accommodate RNs’ busy schedules, most North Dakota RN to BSN programs are online, encouraging RNs to advance their education while continuing to work. Along with this, North Dakota RN to BSN programs will accept transfer credits from the RN’s previous ADN program, then offer courses to complement the ADN degree, including liberal arts and advanced nursing courses.
Below is a list of nursing courses offered at most North Dakota nursing schools.
- Pathophysiologic Basis for Pharmacology
- Nursing Research
- Community Health Nursing
- Nursing Leadership and Management
- Nursing as a Profession
Clinical hours are minimal or nonexistent, and can be completed at local hospitals close to home. Sometimes, RNs will even be allowed to complete clinical hours at their employer hospital.
Just a few North Dakota hospitals that offer clinicals for RN to BSN programs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Alexius Medical Center – Bismarck
- Sanford Fargo Medical Center – Fargo
North Dakota Hospitals that Facilitate RN to BSN Progression through Tuition Assistance
With many hospitals jumping on board to increase the number of BSN-prepared RNs on staff, many North Dakota hospitals are offering tuition assistance. The following is just a few of the many North Dakota organizations offering these benefits to their RN staff.
St. Alexius Medical Center – Bismarck
Ranked as the #1 hospitals in North Dakota by the U.S. News and World Report for two consecutive years, St. Alexius is also the only medical center in Bismarck to have received the American Hospital Association’s NOVA awarded. St. Alexius strives to reach the highest levels of quality patient care and excellence, and to do so, this hospital offers employed RNs all sorts of benefits, including tuition assistance, professional development, financial assistance to attend conferences, and certification reimbursement.
Sanford Fargo Medical Center – Fargo, Sioux Falls, Bemidji, Bismarck
Sanford Health has four different locations, each employing qualified, high-end RNs. This gives RNs a wide selection of differing job opportunities, including the opportunity to move up in the company. To help assist RNs in their career advancement, Sanford offers scholarship opportunities as well as educational assistance, making sure their RNs are prepared to meet any challenge the job could entail.
Altru Hospital – Grand Forks
Altru is dedicated to having top-notch employees, and to make this happen, Altru offers career development, including continuous learning opportunities, expansion of competencies, training programs, and professional development and leadership programs. Lastly, Altru also offers educational financial assistance for employees, helping employed RNs obtain a BSN without missing a beat in their career.
For a just a few more examples of North Dakota’s top-notch hospital that offer tuition assistance, consider the following:
- Carrington Health Center – Carrington
- Cooperstown Medical Center – Cooperstown