Nurse practitioners (NPs) fulfill an important role in the healthcare industry, working as nurses while sharing some responsibilities with physicians. For example, NPs can diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication.
More than 800 professionals worked as NPs in North Dakota in 2016, according to an NP workforce report from the University of North Dakota. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for NPs in the state to increase by 36.4% from 2016-26.
If you want to become an NP in North Dakota, this guide offers plenty of useful information about how to earn and maintain licensure. Plus, you can read a full list of nurse practitioner programs in North Dakota. For more general information, you can also learn about different NP specializations and how to pursue those specializations.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in North Dakota
Each NP candidate must possess a graduate degree in nursing. They can either pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN) or continue onto a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. While North Dakota considers an MSN sufficient education to earn advanced practice licensure, a doctorate focuses more deeply on scientific research and knowledge that NPs can apply to medical practice.
NPs -- especially those who decide to pursue doctorates -- could dedicate up to a decade to their education.
NPs -- especially those who decide to pursue doctorates -- could dedicate up to a decade to their education. Traditionally, a bachelor's degree takes four years to complete, while a master's takes two years and a doctorate takes 3-4 years. However, NP candidates can find bridge programs that allow them to skip the master's degree.
Currently, North Dakota's Board of Nursing (BON) approves three universities that offer graduate programs for NPs. Individuals who graduated from programs outside of North Dakota can become NPs, too, as long as these NP programs meet the state's education requirements. About half of the state's NPs possess graduate degrees from outside of North Dakota.
Doctoral NP programs in North Dakota prepare students for the family nurse practitioner specialization.
Doctoral NP programs in North Dakota prepare students for the family nurse practitioner specialization. Master's students can choose from three different tracks: family practice, adult-gerontology primary care, and psychiatric-mental health care. Students can find online, hybrid, and on-campus NP programs in North Dakota.
Admission requirements vary by program. Each applicant to a graduate NP program in ND needs a bachelor's degree and an unencumbered RN license. Schools either require a 2.75 or 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA. Check with your potential program to learn about its particular admission requirements.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in North Dakota
North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Career Information
NPs in North Dakota make an average annual income of about $106,200, according to BLS data. In contrast, NPs earn mean annual wages at the national level of $110,030. Compared to its neighboring states, North Dakota NPs took home annual mean wages landing somewhere in the middle. You can find detailed comparisons in the table below.
Other workforce findings from the UND study show the number of NPs increased by 129% from 2009-16. The profession continues to grow, with about half of NPs working in primary care and one-fifth working in specialty care.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in North Dakota and Nearby States
To become an NP in North Dakota, candidates need to obtain advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) licensure. This process consists of several steps. First, nurses must earn RN licensure. They can qualify for RN licenses if they possess an associate or a bachelor's degree in nursing. Aspiring NPs often choose to go the bachelor's degree route, since they need a four-year degree to apply to graduate school. RN candidates also need to pass the national NCLEX-RN examination.
Once they've acquired their RN licenses, each future NP should pursue a graduate degree. They can stick with a master's or choose to pursue a doctorate. Either way, the program must prepare them for a specialty within the NP profession.
To become an NP in North Dakota, candidates need to obtain advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) licensure.
After graduating, APRN candidates may apply for initial licensure. This functions as a temporary permit, allowing NPs to work for 90 days while they prepare for their national certification examination. North Dakota's BON provides a list of approved national certification agencies online.
After passing a national certification examination within their specialization, NP candidates can apply for full licensure. They should submit a completed APRN application, proof of their RN licensure, official transcripts, evidence of their national certification, and a background check.
Other Requirements for North Dakota Nurse Practitioners
NPs need to fill out an additional part of the APRN application for the authority to prescribe medication. When applying for initial licensure, NP candidates should show proof that they completed at least 30 hours of pharmacology courses within the past three years. North Dakota also operates a drug monitoring program for anyone with prescriptive authority. This means NPs need to closely record and evaluate how their patients respond to prescribed drugs.
NPs in North Dakota must renew their APRN licenses every two years. During each two-year renewal period, North Dakotans should complete at least 400 practice hours and 12 continuing education hours. These continuing education hours do not need to cover a certain area, unless NPs possess prescriptive authority. In this case, NPs need to complete an additional 15 continuing education contact hours related to pharmacology.
North Dakota NPs can earn continuing education hours in several ways, such as completing a college or university course, publishing research in a journal or book chapter, or presenting at a conference or other professional event.
North Dakota NPs can earn continuing education hours in several ways, such as completing a college or university course, publishing research in a journal or book chapter, or presenting at a conference or other professional event. The state's nurse board offers more information about continuing education hours on its website.
Finally, NPs must keep up with the continuing education requirements of their national certification. For those certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, for example, NPs should recertify every five years with 100 hours of continuing education credits.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
North Dakota participates in the nurse licensure compact (NLC). This interstate agreement began in 2000 and allows nurses to move from state to state without needing to reapply for additional licensure. However, NPs from other states still need to apply for APRN licensure when moving to North Dakota, even if they already possess an APRN license in their home state.
Before receiving full licensure, NPs moving to North Dakota must apply for initial licensure by endorsement. This process involves filling out an online application and verifying their home state licensure and national certification. After receiving their temporary permit, NPs from other states can apply for full licensure like any other candidate.
In addition, prescriptive authority varies from state to state. NPs moving to North Dakota may need to complete extra pharmacology continuing education hours to earn prescriptive authority.
Resources for North Dakota Nurse Practitioners
North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Association This organization operates as a professional association and an advocacy group. NPs can attend the annual conference and participate in legislative efforts to advance regulations that benefit the industry. NDNPA also offers scholarships for graduate students.
North Dakota Nurses Association This association connects North Dakota's nursing professionals through events. The group also runs an online career center for job-seekers.
North Dakota Board of Nursing North Dakota's nursing board regulates the nursing industry and approves of license applications. The website offers several guides and pages of frequently asked questions about how to obtain licensure.
Nurse Practitioner Association of South Dakota NPASD hosts events for NPs, maintains a career center, and grants a $1,000 scholarship to students enrolled in an NP program in South Dakota. Members can also keep up to date with the latest in the industry through the association's newsletter.
North Dakota Action Coalition This group operates as the North Dakota chapter for a national coalition that aims to improve nursing in communities. Members of this chapter can connect at North Dakota-specific events, such as a documentary screening about Native American nurses.