Top LPN Programs in North Dakota

Last Updated/Verified: September 15th, 2023

North Dakota is an excellent place to learn and work in the nursing field.

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Practical nursing programs take as little as 11 months to complete instead of four years required for RN programs. Job placement is high as opportunities are plentiful throughout North Dakota.

LPN’s in North Dakota Quick Facts

North Dakota offers many options for students to complete quality LPN training programs at various technical institutions, state colleges, and universities. Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Fargo offer the most potential opportunities for both training and employment as a North Dakota LPN.

Overview of LPN Schools in North Dakota

North Dakota has about seven schools offering LPN courses that have been approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing (NDBON) and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Practical Nursing Certificate programs are available throughout rural North Dakota.

Students gain clinical experience in clinics, long-term care facilities, and hospitals for various departments, including medical/surgical, ICU, ER, maternity, pediatrics, and psychiatry. LPN nursing programs follow a similar curriculum based on text-based learning, laboratory sessions, and clinical work.

LPN programs generally cover the following topics:

  • Ethics
  • Science
  • Patient care
  • Nursing skills
  • Prevention
  • Infection control
  • Specialty courses like newborn or geriatrics


Prospective nursing students must choose LPN programs that are accredited, whether regionally by the Higher Learning Commission (HCL), nationally by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or National League of Nursing (NLN) Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA) or a combination. In North Dakota, students should attend courses approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing.

LPN Admissions Requirements

North Dakota LPN admission requirements and eligibility vary from program to program. Prospective students must contact individual schools to confirm details. Most programs require the following:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • CNA or similar training
  • Current CPR certification
  • Proficient TEAS scores
  • ACT score of 19 or equivalent
  • Pass criminal background and drug screening checks
  • Minimum TOEFL Scores for ESL students

Tuition & Costs

In North Dakota, tuition varies from program to program. For example, an LPN Certificate at Dakota College at Bottineau costs $7,350 to $8,685 in tuition and fees. In contrast, an Associate in Nursing Degree from North Dakota State College of Science costs $14,143 in tuition and fees. Students are responsible for additional course fees, books, and living expenses and can seek assistance through scholarships, grants, and other financial aid.

LPN Licensing Requirements in North Dakota

In North Dakota, the fast-track way to beginning a career as a licensed practice nurse is by completed a board-approved nursing certificate program. After completing at least 11 months of an LPN program, students become eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and apply for licensure.

Checklist to become a North Dakota LPN:

  1. Complete a board-approved nursing education program
  2. Apply for licensure with the North Dakota Board of Nursing
  3. Pass the NCLEX-PN exam

North Dakota-licensed LPNs are required to apply for a renewal license after each two-year renewal period. Nurses must have a minimum of 400 hours of nursing practice during the past four years or complete a refresher course within the past year or earn an undergraduate or graduate nursing degree within the past four years. All nurses must complete 12 contact hours of CE (continuing education) within the past two years to renew their license.


Graduates of an LPN program must pass the NCLEX exam for LPN to become licensed in North Dakota. This exam is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The CLEX-PN will test graduates of nursing programs on five main categories: safe and effective care environment, safety and infection control, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. A passing grade is required to qualify for a practical nursing license.

LPN Reciprocity

LPNs from states outside of North Dakota can apply for a license by endorsement. Candidates must show proof of licensing in another state. Applications entering North Dakota from outside the United States must submit the CGFNS Credential Evaluation Service Professional Report.

LPN Salaries in North Dakota

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in North Dakota earn an average annual income of $51,714, which is about 6% higher than the national average of $48,820. North Dakota LPNs make an average of $7,687 in overtime per year.

Here are the average salaries of LPNs in North Dakota’s major metropolitan areas according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • Bismarck: $56,490
  • Fargo: $57,090
  • Grand Forks: $52,870

In addition to geographical location, salaries for LPNs will vary based on several factors. Nurses who have more experience, work overtime, or work the night shift tend to get paid more. Also, some nursing fields pay more than others, such as surgery, gerontology, and mental health.

Job Outlook for LPNs in North Dakota

The job outlook for nurses in North Dakota is very promising. The field of nursing has been changing along with an aging U.S. population and other unique health concerns. There’s a high demand for nurses working in rural areas and older patients in nursing care facilities. Graduates of LPN programs will find employers offering attractive incentives such as sign-on bonuses, license reimbursement, flexible schedules, relocation assistance, and other benefits.

Top LPN Schools in North Dakota

Bismarck State College 

500 Edwards Ave
Bismarck, ND 58506

Bismarck State College is a polytechnic institution that offers a Practical Nursing Certificate (PN) Program that takes only 11 months to complete. This certificate program is ACEN accredited. Graduates can take the NCLEX-PN exam or complete a second year if interested in becoming an RN. Bismarck College has an average NCLEX-PN pass rate of 99% for 2017-2020 and a 100% job placement rate for 2017-2020.

Dakota College at Bottineau 

105 Simrall Blvd
Bottineau, ND 58318

Dakota College has been around since 1906. Students can take nursing courses at the Bottineau, Minot, and Valley City campuses. This 11-month Practical Nursing Certificate Program is ND Nursing Board approves it. Dakota College has an average NCLEX-PN pass rate of 95% and a 100% job placement rate for 2017-2020.

Dickinson State University  

291 Campus Dr
Dickinson, ND 58601

Dickenson State University was created out of the need for rural certified teachers. It has grown from hosting classes in the local high school into an ACEN accredited college. Graduates of its Associate in Applied Science in Practical Nursing (AASPN) Program can sit for the LPN or RN licensure exam. The program had an average NCLEX-PN pass rate of 95% and a job placement rate of 64% from 2018-2020.

Lake Region State College 

1801 College Dr. N
Devils Lake, ND 58301

Lake Region State College (formerly known as Devils Lake College) offers an ACEN accredited Practical Nursing Certificate (LPN) Program. The certificate takes 11 months to complete and qualifies graduates for the licensed LPN exam. The college had an average NCLEX-PN pass rate of 98% and a job placement rate of 99% for 2017-2020.

North Dakota State College of Science 

800 6th St N
Wahpeton, ND 58076

North Dakota State College of Science has an Associate in Applied Science in Practical Nursing (AASPN) Program. After completing two years (66 credits), graduates are eligible to take the licensing exam to become an LPN. The program is accredited by the ACEN and approved by the ND Board of Nursing. In 2017-2020, the college had an average NCLEX-PN pass rate of 94% and about a 98% job placement rate.

North Dakota State University 

1340 Administration Ave
Fargo, ND 58105
701) 231-8011

North Dakota State University is a top publicly-funded research institution. Several nursing pathways lead to a bachelor’s degree, including the Pre-Licensure BSN Track program. Students who complete 120 credit hours over four years will be eligible to take the exam to be an RN.

University of Mary 

7500 University Dr
Bismarck, ND 58504

The University of Mary is the number one nursing program based on its 100% pass rate for the NCLEX-RN exam. This school doesn’t offer an LPN program, but students can pursue a 4-year BSN degree to become an RN. The University also has an Emerging Leadership Academy where students interact with leaders in the field.

Sitting Bull College 

9299 ND-24
Fort Yates, ND 58538

Sitting Bull College is one of the first tribal colleges in the nation. The college offers an Associate in Applied Science in Practical Nursing (AASPN) Program. Students complete 70 credits in preparation to take the LPN exam. The program has an average CLEX-PN pass rate of 100% from 2017-2020 and was approved by the ND Board of Nursing from 2015-2020.

Williston State College  

1410 University Ave
Williston, ND 58801

What once was an extension of the University of North Dakota grew into an autonomous college in 1961. The 30-credit Dakota Practical Nursing Program prepares students to be licensed as an LPN and is NDBON approved. In 2017-2020, the LPN program had an average NCLEX-PN pass rate of 100% and a 93% job placement rate.

University of North Dakota 

430 Oxford St Stop 9025
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9025

The University of North Dakota has been offering nursing programs for more than 100 years. Students weighing their options in nursing careers might be interested in earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate in nursing. The school even offers a program for those desiring to be a Nurse Anesthetist, the highest-paying nurse.

Additional Resources

The following resources will help prospective nursing students looking for more information about becoming an LPN in North Dakota:

North Dakota Board of Nursing (NDBON)

919 S 7th Street, Suite 504
Bismarck, ND 58504

Phone: 701-328-9777

North Dakota Grand Forks Nurses Association (NDNA)

1515 Burnt Boat Rd
Bismarck, ND 58503