North Dakota is a beautiful state with lots of outdoor attractions for touring. They are also big on scavenger hunts as you can find one in any of the major towns (including Fargo). You can also head over to the world’s largest buffalo which is quite impressive. Just be prepared for the frigid falls and winters.
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a North Dakota nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in North Dakota
- Top hospitals in North Dakota
- Nursing organizations & associations in North Dakota
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in North Dakota whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to North Dakota from another state. For more information visit the North Dakota licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX fee: $200
- Application fee: $145
- Fingerprint processing fee: $41.25
Licensing fees by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fee: $170 (RN/LPN); $125 (APRN, $75 Rx authority)
- Fingerprint processing fee $41.25
License renewal fee:
- Application fee: $140 (RN); $130 (LPN); $220 (APRN, $75 Rx authority)
Additionally, North Dakota is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
Steps for renewing a North Dakota nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page to confirm your license.
- Complete your North Dakota nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires
You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
- Go to the North Dakota Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application
Visit the Renewal Information page for specific requirements. North Dakota is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in North Dakota unless you are declaring North Dakota as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
RN: 12 contact hours every 2 years
LPN: 12 contact hours every 2 years
APRN: 12 contact hours every 2 years (APRNs authorized to prescribe are required to take 15 contact hours in pharmacology. These contact hours may fulfill the nursing renewal continuing education requirement.
Earn your CEUs free
Our easy online CE courses are ANCC-accredited and 100% free for nurses.
Job & salary outlook for nurses in North Dakota
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean wage is $69,630.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if North Dakota is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in North Dakota ]
Top hospitals in North Dakota
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in North Dakota will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- Sanford Medical Center Fargo – Fargo, ND: This hospital is the region’s only Level I Adult Trauma Center between Minneapolis and Seattle, Denver and Omaha. It is rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 10 procedures and conditions. This facility is also Magnet Recognition Program® designated. Some specialties include:
- Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy)
- Colon Cancer surgery
- Kidney failure
- Sanford Medical Center Bismarck – Bismarck, ND: This hospital is rated high performing in 9 adult procedures and conditions. This facility is also Magnet Recognition Program® designated. Some specialties include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Hip replacement
- Kidney failure
- CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck – Bismarck, ND: This facility is rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 6 procedures and conditions. It is a Roman Catholic organization whose sponsors are the Sisters of St. Benedict of the Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, ND. Some specialties include:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Hip & knee replacement
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations and associations in North Dakota
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in North Dakota:
North Dakota Nurses Association – “The Mission of NDNA is to advance the nursing profession by promoting professional development of nurses, fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the safety and well-being of nurses in the workplace, and by advocating on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.”
North Dakota Center for Nursing – “We will provide nurses with leadership training that fosters valuable skills and wisdom to bring to the nursing profession. Nurses will be surrounded by others who share the same passion about policy, seek innovation for positive patient outcomes, and support nurse leaders.”
North Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists – “The Mission of NDANA is to promote safe and high-quality anesthesia, promote research in anesthesia, improve education, safety and quality of anesthesia and standards for healthcare, and represent the profession of Nurse Anesthesia.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
Expert advice from nurses like you
North Dakota Board of Nursing
Phone: (701) 328-9777
Fax: (701) 328-9785
ND Board of Nursing
919 S 7th Street
Bismarck, ND 58504
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