Sakakawea Medical Center

Dakota Nursing Program

Dakota Nursing Program

A Nursing Education Consortium

In 2011, the Bismarck State College (BSC) practical nursing program was approved and established in Hazen. The establishment of the program has allowed local individuals to achieve a personal career goal through non-traditional means and has eliminated the need for students to travel away from home to obtain a career in nursing. The Dakota Nursing Program assists to directly address the region’s nursing workforce shortage.

The nursing program at Sakakawea Medical Center (SMC) begins a new class each fall. The program is an 11-month course; classes begin in August and run through July. Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a Certificate in Practical Nursing and are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam (nursing boards).

During the program, students are on campus at SMC three to four days a week. They receive theory lecture via the Interactive Video Network (IVN) and hands-on training with an on-site instructor in the lab and clinical setting. Clinicals begin in December and go through completion of the program in July and are held at multiple facilities, providing students with a broad range of learning experiences.

  • The Practical Nursing Program is 3 semesters and runs from the end of August through the middle of July. You will graduate with your Practical Nurse (PN) certificate and you can then take your NCLEX-LPN to become a nurse. You can apply to the ADN (RN) program prior to this. It is 9 more months of school to complete your RN.
  • Dakota Nursing Program is comprised of 4 colleges in North Dakota. We share instructors for theory courses. We use IVN (Interactive Television Network) to broadcast our theory lectures so you may have an instructor in Devils Lake, Williston, Bottineau, or Bismarck.
  • We typically accept 4‐6 students in our PN program.
  • Our pass rate is above state and national average.
  • Your local lab and clinical classes are held here on site at Sakakawea Medical Center by a local BSC instructor. Your lab/clinical classes are comprised of the same students in theory/BSC program.
  • We house all of our syllabi, schedules, and gradebooks on BlackBoard. Your tests are online as well as quizzes and other assignments.
  • Upon acceptance to the program, the orientation to the program will occur prior to school starting in August.
  • Theory classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for both fall and spring semesters. Lab is held on Wednesdays in the fall. In the spring semester, clinicals are typically held on Wednesdays. In the summer semester, theory is held on Monday and Tuesday mornings with clinicals on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • As far as out of town travel, the Hazen site participates in a couple of simulation days with the rest of the BSC students in Bismarck. The mental health clinical rotation (2 days usually in January or February) is completed at Jamestown and Maternal/Newborn clinicals are completed in Bismarck. Otherwise, the majority of clinical hours are completed in the Hazen-Beulah area.
  • Clinical rotations typically begin at the end of the fall semester.
  • Estimated cost sheets for the program can be found at
  • Financial Aid questions should be directed to the Financial Aid department at Bismarck State College. They can be reached at 7012245494.
  • Attendance is important. You are required to be here for theory class, lab and clinicals.
  • All required classes must be passed with a C or better and GPA will need to be maintained during the program.
  • Recommendation is that you do not work more than 20 hours outside of class to complete all necessary class requirements and reading.
  • Exciting times! You are on your way to achieving your dreams. Thank you for showing interest in our program. We look forward to working with you.

To learn more

Contact Lacey Johnsrud, BSN, RN
Phone: 7017487286
Dakota Nursing Brochure
Hazen Flyer
Apply Online