Bismarck State College Nursing Program
Sakakawea Medical Center, Coal Country Community Health Center, and Knife River Care Center work collaboratively to offer a practical nursing program locally through Bismarck State College. The program allows individuals in the surrounding communities to pursue a nursing career through non‐traditional means and eliminates the need to travel to do so.
A new class of around four to six students begins each August and runs 11 months (through July). The program requires three semesters of school and is a combination of lectures and lab/clinical instruction.
Upon successful completion of the program, students earn a practical nursing certificate and are eligible to take the NCLEX‐PN exam (nursing boards) to become a nurse. Graduates then have the option to apply to BSC’s Associate Degree in Nursing program, which requires nine more months of school to become a Registered Nurse. Our pass rates for the nursing board exams are above the state and national average.
Students are onsite at SMC three to four days a week and receive theory lecture via interactive video network. We share instructors with the other colleges in the Dakota Nursing Program– Lake Region State College, Williston State College, and Dakota College at Bottineau– so students may have instructors from any of these colleges.
Lab & Clinicals
Labs are held onsite at SMC by a local BSC instructor. Clinical rotations are held at multiple facilities including Sakakawea Medical Center, Coal Country Community Health Center, and Knife River Care Center to provide students with a broad range of learning experiences. The mental health clinic rotation (two days in January or February) is completed in Jamestown, and maternal/newborn clinicals are completed in Bismarck. Otherwise, the majority of clinical hours are completed in the Hazen‐Beulah area.