Nursing | Bismarck State College

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Nurses are in high demand in North Dakota and throughout the United States. BSC offers several nursing options including a one-year certificate, two-year Associate in Applied Science, or Associate in Science with transfer option to a baccalaureate program -- all of which prepare students for the workforce upon completion.

BSC Nursing Program Options

Practical Nursing Certificate (PN) - 11 month program resulting in LPN
Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) - 2 year program resulting in RN
Transfer Options -  Additional 2 year program resulting in BSN

Program Description

The Nursing Program is a 1 + 1, Practical Nurse (PN) Certificate to Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) Program. The program is part of the Dakota Nursing Program, a collaborative effort between Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, and Williston State College. 

Classroom education is delivered by instructors on campus and from other colleges within the consortium through the Interactive Video Network (IVN) system. Some courses/components will be offered in an online format. Laboratory and simulation practice occurs at each location. Clinical opportunities are arranged locally.

This program is also offered at North Dakota satellite site locations in Hazen, Harvey, Garrison, Ashley, and Hettinger. 

Nursing education is organized as a career ladder. Students are eligible to earn a Certificate in Practical Nursing after the first 11 months of nursing classes. If qualifications are met, including maintaining a minimum required program GPA of 2.75, students may continue and complete the second year, which leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing (RN). Clinical experiences occur at the local hospitals, nursing homes, and community settings and includes Med/Surg, Operating Room, ER, Maternal/Newborn, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and ICU.

Classroom education is delivered from instructors on campus and at distant sites via the Interactive Video Network (IVN). Clinical/lab practice occurs at local sites in nursing homes, hospitals and other community settings. Mobile simulations are also used at each community site.


A strong science background is recommended with high school preparation in the biological sciences, especially anatomy and physiology, mathematics (at least Algebra II) and Certified Nursing Assistant training.

Program Requirements

Year 1 - Students who successfully complete the curriculum receive a Program Certificate in Practical Nursing. Students may choose to continue into Year 2 and/or apply to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing PN examination (NCLEX-PN).

Year 2 - Students who successfully complete the curriculum receive an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing and are eligible to take the NCSBN exam (NCLEX-RN).

Career Opportunities

Graduates of nursing programs are in high demand in North Dakota and throughout the United States. The Nursing Program prepares an individual to practice nursing independently, inter-dependently, and safely to individuals in a variety of settings.

Career Possibilities for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs): Clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and acute care centers.

Career Possibilities for Registered Nurses (RNs): Hospital acute care settings, long-term care facilities, clinics, outpatient offices, health care industry, community and public agencies.

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Nursing Program Approval, College Accreditation and Discrimination Statement

BSC's Nursing Programs (Practical Nursing Certificate and Associate Degree in Applied Science in Nursing) have Continued Full Approval through March 2019 by the North Dakota Board of Nursing. The ND Board of Nursing is a US Department of Education recognized state approval agency.

The Dakota Nursing Program consortium Colleges are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Please see the following website for verification and dates for each college:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) granted initial five year accreditation of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Bismarck State College.

The Bismarck State College Nursing Program, part of the Dakota Nursing Program consortium, completed the accreditation visit by the Accreditation Commission for Education for Nursing (ACEN) on October 15th, 2020. 

BSC Nursing Programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services.

*The Nursing Student Handbook is specific to students in the Dakota Nursing Programs, therefore the nursing handbook policies may be more stringent than your College Student Handbook policies.

Licensing/Certification Disclosures

Following graduation from the PN or AD nursing program the student is eligible to take the LPN or RN NCLEX exam. Passing the exam is required for LPN and RN licensure. Under the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) nurses can practice in other NLC states, without having to obtain additional licenses. If moving to a new state and applying for licensure follow these steps.