10 Best North Dakota Nursing Schools

10 Best North Dakota Nursing Schools

The best North Dakota nursing schools offer a variety of programs for new nurses and working nurses interested in advancing their careers. These schools teach North Dakota nursing students the skills they need to succeed through a variety of teaching mediums. Choosing the right nursing schools in North Dakota for you, however, will also require personal input because the best nursing programs in North Dakota might be different for each student. 

Anyone interested in becoming a nurse in North Dakota will be able to choose from some of the best nursing schools in the nation. However, the requirements for a Registered Nurse (RN) license differ from state to state. Therefore, you will need to research the North Dakota state requirements and the North Dakota nursing programs to find the right path for your career in nursing.


Featured Programs

Nurses need to know their degree will have a real value, so Nursing School Hub features only reputable, accredited nursing schools in our ranking of the best nursing schools in North Dakota. We have ranked programs with data from IPEDS and Niche, including tuition rate, student reviews, and graduate salary.

1. North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS)

North Dakota State College of Science is a small state school for practical training. The North Dakota State College of Science Nursing Program has degrees designed to quickly get students into the healthcare field. These hands-on programs focus on developing the critical skills needed to work as a nurse. NDSCS offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing (AAS). They also offer a two-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Registered Nursing program. For nurses that are licensed practical nurses (LPNs) with an ASN degree, they offer a one-year LPN-RN program. These programs are selective enrollment programs, and applicants must meet specific criteria for selection. The NDSCS Nursing Programs are Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and have full approval from the North Dakota Board of Nursing (NDBON).

In addition, North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) has a nursing partnership with Minnesota State University Morehead. Students who graduate with an AD-RN may be eligible to complete a BSN through the Dual Acceptance Program at Minnesota State. North Dakota State College of Science also has a partnership with North Dakota State University for nursing students who earn an AAS or AS from NDSCS. These students can easily qualify for the online RN-BSN nursing program at North Dakota State University. 

Programs: ASN, AAS, LPN-RN, BSN partnerships

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2. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota has one of the best nursing programs in North Dakota. You may also complete your BSN here, which is needed to proceed to a nursing specialty. You may also earn a degree online if you are currently working as a nurse. And, students who are working nurses can use their job for the required clinical training.  All advanced degrees can be earned entirely online.

The University of North Dakota is the largest school in the state and is the home to one of the best nursing schools in North Dakota. A person can get a beginning certificate to work as a nurse assistant, all the way to a Ph.D. in an advanced medical area. North Dakota is the only school in the state to offer training in the medical-legal field.

 Programs: AAN, AAS, RN-BSN, BSN, MSN, MSN Online, PhD

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3. North Dakota State University

The North Dakota State University nursing program is one of the best in North Dakota. The school is the flagship of the North Dakota education system. Nursing programs build on each other, and many small schools around the state offer two-year programs. At North Dakota State there are programs designed to help you move from one degree to another and is a great online option for working professionals.

North Dakota State has campuses in Bismarck and Fargo. It is the largest research institution in the state and is recognized nationally. Nursing is among the most popular majors at the school. North Dakota State also has a strong online education program to allow people not on campus to add to their degrees without coming to campus.


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4. Minot State University

At the Minot State University, students can further their careers with a degree from one of the best nursing programs in North Dakota. The RN to BSN program is one of the most popular majors and can be completed online or at the school. A nurse with a BSN will be in higher demand and will make more money. Minot State University is Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the ND Board of Nursing.

Minot State is a small school in Minot, North Dakota, less than 50 miles from the Canadian border. Minot State admits any resident of North Dakota. The school emphasizes students taking an active role in their education has about 2000 full-time students and 1,000 part-time. At Minot State, all students pay the in-state tuition rate. Students with high ACT scores are given automatic scholarship awards of up to $3000 per year. 

Programs: BSN, RN to BSN Online 

5. University of Mary

The University of Mary nursing program focuses on developing leadership and moral courage. The University of Mary is a small private Benedictine religious college in Bismarck, North Dakota. It has campuses in four other states and one in Rome. , This is one of the best nursing programs in North Dakota, and it has the test scores to prove it. 

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing Exams, named University of Mary number one in the nation in overall test scores. The test is the one that must be passed to get a nursing license. Teachers help students prepare for that exam. Students may also earn scholarship money for their senior year by maintaining a 3.0 grade average for the first three years. The school welcomes students of all faiths and encourages spiritual development.

Programs: BSN

6. Bismarck State College

Nurses are in high demand in North Dakota and throughout the United States. The Bismarck State College nursing program wants to prepare students to help meet their nursing needs. BSC offers several nursing degree options to prepare students for the workforce. Bismarck State College offers BSN programs, ADN programs, and bridge programs to go from one degree to another, like LPN-BSN or RN-BSN. From a one-year certificate to a graduate degree, Bismarck State has you covered.

Established in 1939, Bismarck State College (BSC) is a community college and the third largest college in the North Dakota University System. The Bismarck State College Nursing Program is a member of the Dakota Nursing Program consortium


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7. Dickinson State University

Some of the best nursing programs in North Dakota are at Dickenson State University. Students get personal attention at this rural school. Dickinson State University was started as a teacher’s college in rural western North Dakota. Today it is a small college offering several programs, such as the ASN and BSN in nursing. Students will get the technical aspects and will get well-rounded skills through a sound overall education. Students can then take state nursing board exams.

Dickinson State was founded as a school for teachers, and today it offers many programs. The school is in a very rural area and seeks to fill needs in those rural areas. The school has a space grant and is developing that program. Dickinson State plays NAIA-level athletics and is the Blue Hawks. The school became part of the North Dakota education system in 1987 and has an endowment to build Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library 

Programs: ASN, BSN

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8. Lake Region State College

The Lake Region State College Nursing program has an RN to BSN degree that is one of the best nursing programs in North Dakota because of the breadth of its offerings. Students may get a paramedic license and there is a bridge to take that to the nurse program. Lake Region State College is a junior college that offers programs in CNA, LPN, and ADN. Students are prepared for work in a variety of settings and get a lot of hands-on training, in addition to academics.

Lake Region State College is a two-year junior college, but it can get people ready for the workforce in that time. It is a public school in North Dakota, and students can save money by going to this school to get basic classes done before transferring to a four-year college. Students can be prepared to test for CNA, LPN, and RN licenses. Eighty percent of all students take all or most classes online.

Programs: CNA, LPN, ADN, Paramedic to Nurse program

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9. Mayville State University

The Nursing Program at Mayville State University has some of the best nursing degrees in North Dakota. Mayville State University is a small rural school in eastern North Dakota, near the Minnesota state line. There are about 2000 people in Mayville, and there are just less than 1000 students at the school. The school has a wide-ranging online education program. Mayville State offers an MSN, and an RN-BSN online. People working as nurses can move up to a BSN online at this school.

Mayville is a public school and prides itself on relatively low-cost education. As a small school, it has an excellent student-to-teacher ratio. Students get lots of personal attention, even in online programs. The school has 607 full-time and 561 part-time students. Sixty-three percent of the students are women. One of the original state institutions when North Dakota was founded as a teacher’s college.

Programs: RN-BSN Online, MSN

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10. University of Jamestown

The University of Jamestown nursing program may be the most unique nursing school in North Dakota. It offers a BSN degree and has advanced patient simulators for students to work with. Part of the education includes a “preceptorship” that involves working as a nurse in Africa helping children. There are also many hours offered in the US for one on one training. Best nursing schools in North Dakota. Preceptorships are offered as an apprenticeship to get real-world training.

Jamestown University is a Christian liberal arts college loosely affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The school has 900 students and a low student-to-teacher ratio. The school offers several degrees but also emphasizes the importance of having a spiritual life in addition to academics. US News ranked the school among the best in the Midwest. It was ranked 24th in the Midwest for value.

Programs: BSN

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How Do I Choose a Nursing School in North Dakota?

There are many excellent North Dakota nursing schools. The goal is to match one (or a few) of those top nursing schools in North Dakota with each student’s goals. Finding the best nursing schools in North Dakota will begin with the program and end with you. North Dakota nursing students have options, and access to some of the best nursing programs in North Dakota and the country.

Here are a few questions that can help you choose the right fit and the right nursing school:

  • Tuition costs and payment options
  • Specialties and programs offered
  • Learning options (e.g. remote, day/evening classes, etc.)
  • Placement services and hospital affiliations
  • Accreditations and recognitions

Finding the right North Dakota nursing program may take some time and effort, but it is a small expense compared to the years you will spend preparing and training for your career. North Dakota nursing schools offer the opportunity, the education, and training needed for a career in nursing and your first job as a future nurse is to find the best nursing programs in North Dakota for you. 

What is the Job Market for Nurses in North Dakota?

There is a variety of nursing and related nurse jobs in North Dakota. From the more traditional nurse practitioner jobs in North Dakota to travel nursing jobs in North Dakota, nurses are in high demand. Like most nursing professions, North Dakota nursing jobs can be rewarding on both the financial and personal levels. North Dakota nursing jobs also offer a level of job security not common in most professions.

Nurse jobs in North Dakota have much to offer, and the favorable job market for nursing jobs in North Dakota only makes finding North Dakota nursing jobs more appealing. Here is a brief overview of the job market for nursing jobs in North Dakota according to the North Dakota Career Resource Network

  • Undergraduate nursing jobs in North Dakota like nursing assistants have the second-highest number of position openings at more than 9,000 
  • Unsurprisingly the second-highest number of job openings for college graduates is held by nurse practitioner jobs in North Dakota and other related positions such as travel nursing jobs in North Dakota
  • The outlook for nursing jobs in North Dakota is strong in virtually every Health Science role with either average to high job growth projections in every field

From those newer and more versatile roles like nurse practitioner jobs in North Dakota to traditional and specialized nursing roles, the outlook for nursing in North Dakota looks strong. 

How Much Do Nurses Make in North Dakota?

Using recent statistics, data, and information from sources like the aforementioned report, those in the medical field earn more than those in most other industries. In fact, the field of Health Sciences was one of only a few that averaged more than $60,000 annually.

Undergrads still pursuing a Bachelor’s degree commonly work in roles such as a medical assistant (reported average annual wages $33,330), or nursing assistants (reported average annual wages $34,320). These roles can also help to expedite the process of obtaining a nursing degree in addition to helping lessen the expense of obtaining that degree.

Earning the right to be called a nurse is an honor and it takes hard work and effort to earn that title. The good news is that nurses are rewarded in many ways, such as a reported average annual wage of $66,290, along with thousands of job openings. Those who choose to continue their nursing education and further their nursing careers can earn more than $80,000 in roles such as physical therapist and other opportunities in the medical field.

Nursing is more than a profession and it is a service that has always been deemed as noble and proud. Those who earn a nursing degree earn much more than the honor and prestige that comes with nursing. The nursing profession also offers personal rewards like the joy of helping others and the satisfaction of doing something that matters. And last but not least, nurses also earn the peace of mind of having job security in a financially rewarding position.