North Dakota State University Nursing School Review

North Dakota State University (NDSU) is a research university that has been rated as one of the top 108 public and private universities in the U.S. The university is part of the North Dakota University System. It is located in Fargo and has around 14,000 students. It began in 1890 as the North Dakota Agricultural College. Today, the university has agricultural research extension centers that cover close to 20,000 acres. There are 102 bachelor’s degree programs, 66 master’s degree programs, and 44 doctoral programs, and 10 graduate certificates offered at the university. The university is more affordable than many others and tuition is around 11 percent less than other colleges and universities in the region.

Nursing Programs

Baccalaureate Degree Pre-Licensure Track

The Baccalaureate Degree Pre-Licensure Track is a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree program that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Graduates qualify to take the NCLEX-RN, the national exam that leads to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). The pre-nursing program consists of the first two semesters at the university. It is open to all high school graduates interested in becoming professional nurses. Students must first be admitted to the university. During their first year, students take liberal arts and science courses and do not begin the nursing major until the beginning of the sophomore year. Admission to the program is competitive, and students must have a grade point average of 3.0 in their freshman courses to apply to the program. Most of the students who are admitted have substantially higher grade point averages.

Students applying to the nursing program must have a background check that includes a criminal background check and FBI check. The proper immunizations and vaccines are also required since students may be exposed to blood and body fluids. They must also maintain professional behavior once admitted to the program. Students complete all of the university’s bachelor’s degree requirements plus nursing core courses and electives. Clinical experience is also completed once students are in the nursing program.


Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who have an associate degree in nursing may apply to enter this program that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The program is designed to meet the needs of working LPNs and is convenient to fit into their schedule since most of the program is completed online according to the nurse’s schedule. It usually takes six semesters for LPNs to complete the program, including summers. Students are required to take some coursework on campus during the summer semesters. Depending on the amount of credits that may be transferred to the BSN program, students often need to complete some prerequisite courses before entering the program. Applicants take an advanced placement test to determine how many credits they will be allowed to transfer to the BSN program. When the program is completed, graduates take the NCLEX-RN for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Master’s Degree

Master of Science

This program is designed for RNs who have a BSN. Applicants must apply to the university’s graduate admissions department by submitting an application and an official transcript. Also, the GRE is required and the scores must be sent to the graduate admissions office. A copy of the applicant’s RN unencumbered license must also be submitted, along with a statement of purpose and three professional letters of recommendation. Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on their undergraduate studies to qualify for this program. Students must complete the core nursing courses required for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). In addition, the courses related to the concentration chosen by the student must also be completed. The concentrations are discussed below.

Family Nurse Practitioner/Doctor of Nursing Practice

Nurses with a BSN may enter this MSN program and also complete their Doctor of Nursing Practice. A grade point average of at least 3.0 is required on undergraduate work. Applicants must be licensed RNs with an unencumbered license. In addition, they must complete a Graduate School application and submit three professional references plus a written narrative explaining their professional experience and future nursing goals. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree requires at least 86 credits to complete. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in their coursework. In addition, a dissertation, clinical dissertation, or thesis is required.

Nurse Educator

This MSN program requires a minimum of 39 credits to complete. Students are prepared to teach undergraduate nursing students and to educate staff and patients in a variety of settings. Coursework includes strategies for teaching, curriculum development, and evaluation. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for the courses in the program. Students also complete a practicum of teaching experience.

Doctor of Nursing Practice MS-DNP/FNP

This program is designed for RNs who have completed their MSN and wish to pursue an advanced nursing degree. The program leads to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree. Students are prepared to provide the most advanced nursing care to families and their members of all ages. The DNP program prepares the nurse practitioner for leadership and clinical roles in many different healthcare settings. The program is a distance delivered program that focuses on preparing nurses to serve those who do not receive regular medical treatment. It takes three years of full-time study to complete the program, including summer sessions. The part-time program takes four years to complete including summer sessions.

North Dakota State University
1340 Administration Avenue,
Fargo, ND 58102
(701) 231-8011