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Online Nursing Programs in North Dakota

By James Holbrook | Updated 10/27/2022

Several North Dakota schools have online nursing programs. Minot State University is one of the most affordable options available in the state and offers an online an RN to BSN program. Nurses practicing in North Dakota must complete 12 continuing education hours each year in order to renew their licenses. Students that earned initial licensure through the state's licensure exam do not need contact hours for their first renewal. North Dakota is a compact state, which means that nurses licensed in this state are also allowed to practice in any of the other compact states.

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Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in North Dakota

School Annual Tuition NCLEX Pass Rate Locations
# Mayville State University $9,946 Not Reported Mayville
# Minot State University $7,592 87.1% Minot
# North Dakota State University - Main Campus $13,892 92.0% Fargo
# Rasmussen University Online Not Provided 82.41% Multiple Locations
# University of Mary $19,074 100.0% Bismarck
# University of North Dakota $15,895 96.6% Grand Forks

Becoming a Nurse in North Dakota

The North Dakota Board of Nursing (NDBON) provides regulation and guidance for all types of nursing professionals working in the state. The board also grants licensure for registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Certified nurse aides (CNAs) are registered by the Division of Health Facilities.

The North Dakota Center for Nursing has indicated that North Dakota is suffering from a nurse staffing shortage. The population of the state is also expected to grow over the next several years, which means that the need for nurses will likewise increase. Obtaining a master’s in nursing can also lead to increased job opportunities. For these reasons, there has never been a better time to enroll in one of the best nursing schools in North Dakota.

To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below.

How To Get CNA Certification in North Dakota

In North Dakota, CNAs are known as certified nurse aides. These medical professionals are registered by the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Health Facilities, which operates under the purview of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This government agency has approved 57 different nurse aide training programs that prepare prospective nurse aides with the education they need to become a CNA in North Dakota.

A candidate can be registered as a CNA in North Dakota after completing an approved CNA training program and passing the CNA competency exam. CNAs from other states can also be recognized by endorsement. However, a reciprocal CNA registration is not guaranteed.

Candidates must submit their applications online or directly via email, fax, or mail. They are also required to disclose personally identifying information, such as any previous criminal charges, disciplinary incidents within the nursing field, and work history. Applicants must also identify the states in which they are registered to work as CNAs (if applicable). When this information has been evaluated by the North Dakota Department of Health, applicants may be granted equivalent licensure.

CNA Certification Renewal

CNA registration expires after two years and must be renewed, like any other North Dakota nursing license. Candidates are reminded to renew via mail approximately two months before the date of expiration. There is currently no fee to renew a certified nurse aide registration.

How To Get an LPN License in North Dakota

There are more than 3,000 LPNs working in the state of North Dakota. To join their ranks, an aspiring LPN has two options: licensure by examination or endorsement:


The first is to pursue licensure by examination. In order to qualify for this type of North Dakota nursing license, candidates must first graduate from an approved nursing program and provide official transcripts to the nursing board. The next step is to register for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). Once their application is approved by the board, the candidate can take the NCLEX-PN exam. Upon receiving a passing score on this test, candidates will be issued an LPN license. The application fee is $130.


Nurses licensed in another state can also obtain a North Dakota LPNlicense by endorsement. This process requires candidates to first complete a nursing education program and acquire valid out-of-state licensure. If their education was not completed within the past four years, candidates for licensure by endorsement will also be required to demonstrate 400 hours of licensed nursing practice within the past four years. Before applying online, nurses will need to prepare official college transcripts and verify their current licensure. The application fee is $160.

Both the examination option and the endorsement option require applicants to submit a background check and fingerprint card, which have a $41.25 fee. 

LPN License Renewal

North Dakota LPN licenses expire after a period of two years. Renewal applications must be submitted directly to the nursing board. Renewing an active license costs $130, and nurses must also demonstrate that they have achieved 12 contact hours of approved continuing education credits in order to qualify.

How To Get an RN License in North Dakota

There are three main ways to earn a North Dakota RN license:


The most common method is to apply for licensure by examination. An application fee of $130 is required. Candidates must complete one of the state-approved nursing education programs. Official college transcripts are required to demonstrate that this requirement has been met. Next, prospective RNs will need to register for the NCLEX-RN. Once their application is approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing, prospective RNs can sit the NCLEX-RN. If they pass the exam, they will receive their RN license.


RNs who are already licensed in another state can also apply for a North Dakota nursing license under the provisions of licensure by endorsement. To be eligible, candidates must demonstrate that their nursing program included supervised clinical experience and sufficient preparation for working as an RN. Candidates must either have at least 400 hours of licensed nursing experience or they must have completed their education within the past four years. When these prerequisites are satisfied, applicants can apply for reciprocal licensure through the state's nursing board. Applicants must provide official college transcripts and verification of current licensure, and they must pay an application fee of $160.


RNs can also practice in North Dakota if their nursing license was acquired in a state that participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact. This multistate program permits nurses licensed in one participating state to practice at the same level in a second participating state.

RN License Renewal

Once a North Dakota RN license is obtained, it will expire after a period of two years. Online renewal costs $140, and it's available from October 1 through December 31 of each year. Renewal during other periods of the year must be accomplished by contacting the board directly.

How To Get an APRN License in North Dakota

NDBON recognizes several different types of APRNs. It is possible for nurses to obtain a North Dakota nurse license to work as a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNRS), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), or certified nurse midwife. Each of these specializations has an examination and national certification associated with it. These exams must be completed before the state will grant APRN licensure. A nurse seeking an APRN license must also have an active North Dakota RN license.

When a prospective APRN has earned a college degree and received the relevant national certification, they will become eligible for an APRN license. However, they must also meet certain continuing education credits. For example, the board requires candidates to complete 30 hours of pharmacology study every three years. They also need to pass a criminal background check. The application fee for an APRN license is $125, but if one is seeking prescriptive authority, the total application fee amounts to $200.

APRN Renewal

APRN licenses in North Dakota must be renewed every two years. Renewal requirements for this type of licensure involve a minimum of 15 hours of education in pharmacology or pharmacotherapy. Academic courses, seminars, or approved correspondence may be sufficient to meet this requirement. Depending on the type of APRN license being renewed, applicants can expect to pay between $155 and $220.

FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in North Dakota

How Many Nursing Schools Are in North Dakota?

The Board of Nursing in ND lists 10 universities on their website as being fully approved. However, there may be more institutions that offer nursing programs in North Dakota.

How Long Is a Nursing Program in North Dakota?

It depends on how much education you already have. If you have an associate degree, or credit hours from a previous institution, it may only take you one to two years to graduate with a nursing degree. If you’re attending school for the first time, or don’t have many credit hours completed, it can take three to four years to graduate from a nursing program.

How Long Does It Take To Become an RN in North Dakota?

After attending a nursing school in North Dakota, graduates are eligible to begin the licensure process. Individuals have 24 months to take the NCLEX and apply for RN licensure. Depending on when the NCLEX application is submitted, an RN license can be issued within a couple months of graduation.

How Do I Become a Nurse in North Dakota?

In order to become a nurse in ND, individuals must graduate from an approved nursing program in North Dakota before applying for their license, taking the NCLEX, and submitting a background check.

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