Practical Nursing


Contact Information 

Jeri Christiansen, PN program coordinator
Mayme Green Allied Health Center 213M

Delivery Methods 

Face-to-Face Wahpeton
Face-to-Face Fargo

The first semester of the program consists of classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction at the college and local health care facilities. The final semester of the program includes clinical affiliations in adult, maternal-child, psychiatric, long-term care, home health, and clinic nursing. Tutoring is available at the Academic Services Center (ASC) for many general education and some nursing courses.

Criminal background checks will be required. A previous conviction may affect clinical rotations and a state board of nursing could deny an application for licensure as a Practical Nurse. If arrested, charged and/or convicted of any felony, the applicant is required to meet with the department chair. A federal criminal history background check will also be required to test for the NCLEX-PN.

The NDSCS Practical Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, and has full approval from the North Dakota Board of Nursing, 919 South 7th Street, Suite 504, Bismarck, ND 58504, 701-328-9777.

This program requires access to a personal laptop and printer, capable of completing the assignments/testing required by the program, with a current operating system and webcam/microphone. Tablets and Chromebooks are not compatible with online classes/testing. 

Admission/Selection Requirements

Applicants will be admitted to the program following a selection process which needs to be completed prior to the deadline date(s) of December 1. Applicants that apply after the deadline(s) can complete the selection requirements and be placed on a waiting list. If openings become available, they may be selected, based on points. until the first day of class. 

  1. Complete the NDSCS Application Process for Admission. Refer to the NDSCS website at www.NDSCS.edu/Admissions for details. 
  2. Applicants without a United Slates high school transcript (four years) will be required to complete English language proficiency exam(s) and meet the benchmark score(s) prior to continuing the selection process. Contact the program to schedule the assessments if this applies. 
  3. Complete the Supplemental Program Application for the Practical Nursing Program.
  4. Submit a high school transcript /GED with a 2.0 GPA or higher. If an applicant fails to meet the high school /college GPA of a 2.0, the following requirement applies: they must complete, or be in the process of completing, at least 12 general education credits from the nursing curriculum and achieve a "C' or higher to apply to the program.
  5. Submit official ACT and/or placement testing results to Enrollment Services. Results must meet the criteria to enroll in ASC 93 Algebra Prep Ill the first semester of the program OR submit an official transcript with ASC 93 completed with a 'C' or higher.
  6. Complete a program selection assessment examination and meet the program benchmark score. Exam can be retaken once. 
  7. Be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and submit a copy of the certificate. If an applicant is in process as of December 1st; they may continue the selection process and be admitted as a conditional acceptance or alternate list. Once the CNA is completed and if an opening occurs may be fully accepted. 
  8. CPR certification (Basic Life. Support (BLS} Provider by American Heart Association (AHA) OR QB Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from American Red Cross (ARC) ONLY) 
  9. Review Essential Functions for Practical Nursing Students and submit the Essential Functions Verification form.
  10. Holistic admission criteria required by the nursing program for selection.

Criteria for Selection

A point system is utilized based on the following criteria: High School GPA or GED, assessment scores, most current college GPA (12 credits or more), grades in college level BIOL 220, BIOL 221, NUTR 240, ENGL 110, PSYC 250, and holistic admission criteria.

It is highly recommended the applicant contact the program periodically during the selection process to assure file completion. Incomplete files will not be considered for selection.

Selection process details contact information and forms are in the Practical Nursing-Diploma Program Information and Selection Process Booklet available at www.NDSCS.edu/nursing (click on Program Selection Process) or contact the program at ndscs.nursing@ndscs.edu

Program Selection Requirements are subject to revision. Please check the department or program website under Program Admission Requirements for current information

For accepted students, specific immunizations, criminal background checks, CPR certification (Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider by American Heart Association (AHA) OR Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from American Red Cross (ARC) ONLY), and health insurance are required by the program as dictated by the clinical site facilities. Additional requirements could include but not limited to; drug screening/ finger printing, state background checks, and COVID-19 vaccinations dependent on clinical site­ specific student prerequisites. *All requirements must remain current while in the program and will be at the students' expense.


Upon successful completion of the required courses ("C" or higher), students will be awarded a Diploma in Practical Nursing and be eligible for the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). 

BIOL 220, BIOL 220L, BIOL 221 and BIOL 221L have an expiration date of completion when transferring into the program. Check with the program. 

A placement test may be required if you have not met the ENGL (110 or higher) requirement. 

Practical Nursing (NURS) courses must be taken in sequence. Sequencing is available on the program website at 

Equal opportunity policy

The NDSCS Department of Nursing adheres to the NDSCS 
college equal opportunity policy as stated in the NDSCS Catalog

Total Required Credits