May 28th, 2008 @ 4:45 pm | Author:
The North Dakota Board of Nursing recently approved a collaborative nurse education satellite program to be delivered in Valley City by Valley City State University and Minot State University – Bottineau through the Dakota Nursing Program (DNP).

"North Dakota, particularly in rural areas, is facing a critical shortage of qualified nurses in part because the location of education opportunities is a barrier to prospective students who are placebound," said Julie Traynor, Director of the DNP. "Through the North Dakota Nurse Program, we are providing quality nurse education opportunities in locations throughout the state so prospective nurses can study and find employment in towns where they live. Valley City is a great addition to that program."

Under the program, students will use VCSU as their home campus while they complete a nursing certificate program that will be awarded by MSU-Bottineau. VCSU provides the coursework for these students to meet their general education requirements, but they will receive their classroom instruction in nursing via Interactive Video Network (IVN) from MSU-Bottineau. Clinical practice opportunities for these students will be available through healthcare providers located in Valley City including the Sheyenne Care Center and Mercy Hospital. Students admitted into the program will be required to complete three semesters of coursework. Upon successful completion of the 11 month program, students graduate with a certificate in Practical Nursing and are eligible to apply for their Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certificate through the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

Craig Christianson, CEO of the Sheyenne Care Center, said, "Having this program in Valley City will be a great help in recruiting nurses, and we are looking forward to working with both VCSU and MSU-Bottineau to wrap this up as quickly as possible."

The program is staffed to accommodate up to 8 students fall semester 2008 and is expected to grow from there.

The Dakota Nursing Program is a nursing education consortium made possible through the collaborative efforts of Bismarck State College, Lake Region State College, Minot State University - Bottineau, and Williston State College. More than 175 future practical nurses and associate degree nurses (two-year registered nurses) are being educated at the four colleges who work together within the Dakota Nursing Program.