Looking for an accredited North Dakota DNP? You’re in the right place! Our guide & directory contains rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in North Dakota, advice on online & hybrid ND doctorates, and tips on BSN to DNP options. Have a school in mind? Jump ahead to our listings.
Top North Dakota DNP Programs
North Dakota only has three universities that offer the DNP, so ranking them is a tricky proposition. We went ahead and did it anyway, primarily so you could get a sense of each school’s unique quality factors.
1. North Dakota State University
Aspiring FNPs will be pleased to hear that NDSU’s affordable DNP program has been built on a sturdy foundation. The School of Nursing achieves respectable national rankings for the DNP (e.g. top 90). Better yet, graduates have excellent first-time certification pass rates for the FNP (e.g. 100%). In collaboration with Essentia Health (EH), the School also runs a 12-month Advanced Nursing Education Nurse Practitioner Residency Program (ANE-NPR) for FNPs who wish to serve rural and/or underserved populations.
NDSU’s program is best-suited to North Dakota or Minnesota residents who enjoy face-to-face instruction and the chance to interact on a personal level with DNP faculty. According to the DNP website, faculty have the primary responsibility to find & secure clinical placements for FNP students. You’ll discover a list of typical clinical placement sites for the School in the NDBON Education Annual Report (they’re quite diverse). You may also want to take a look at examples of past DNP projects.
2. University of Mary (Tied)
UMary often goes unranked by U.S. News & World Report, but its online DNP program comes from a private Benedictine university in Bismarck with a good track record. The School of Health Sciences has excellent FNP pass rates (e.g. 100%) and 30+ years of experience in preparing family nurse practitioners. It’s known for personalized attention, small classes, and its love of distance learning. And it offers an MSN to DNP track for nurse leaders. If you examine the NDBON Education Annual Report, you’ll notice that UMary often enrolls more graduate nursing students than NDSU.
We didn’t find many independent reviews of the School’s graduate programs, but the ones we saw for the BSN were universally positive. Alumni praise the caring & supportive instructors, the engaging & challenging assignments, and the convenience of University of Mary Online. If you’re interested in the FNP track, talk to the DNP program coordinator about the procedure for placements; potential clinical sites for UMary NP students are detailed in the NDBON Education Annual Report (e.g. CHI St. Alexius Health).
2. University of North Dakota (Tied)
UND’s DNP program is tied at #2 for all kinds of reasons. The Department of Nursing in the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines is the only school in North Dakota to offer a Nurse Anesthesia program. It has a solid brick & mortar reputation with great NCLEX pass rates. It’s affiliated with a number of interdisciplinary research centers, including projects involving opioid response, native aging in place, and cancer. It has made a commitment to the Recruitment & Retention of American Indians into Nursing (RAIN). And, like UMary, it also offers an online MSN to DNP.
We especially like the look of the CRNA program. In recent years, Nurse Anesthesia classes have achieved superb first-time pass rates on the NCE exam (e.g. 100% in 2017 & 2018) and a graduation rate of 98.5%. The intimate program places a special focus on serving in small rural hospitals and students gain clinical experience at several urban and rural facilities (within North Dakota and Minnesota). Because UND is more expensive than NDSU, you may wish to check if graduate students are eligible for Department of Nursing Scholarships.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in North Dakota
To create this list of the cheapest DNP programs in North Dakota, we ranked each school by the lowest per credit tuition rate for the doctorate. At NDSU, this was the in-state rate. Keep in mind that there may be different tuition rates for BSN to DNP pathways (e.g. UMary) or CRNA programs (e.g. UND).
1. North Dakota State University
For NDSU’s DNP rate, we added together the nursing graduate tuition rate and all mandatory, per credit student fees. That gave us a per credit, in-state rate that was fairly affordable. Minnesota residents pay ~$120 more per credit than North Dakota residents, but less than all other out-of-state students.
2. University of Mary
UMary is a private university, which means the DNP tuition rate is the same for all students, regardless of residency. Overall, MSN to DNP students pay slightly less per credit than BSN to DNP students. Just keep an eye out for mandatory per credit fees (e.g. technology/safety fee and program fee).
3. University of North Dakota
The per credit tuition rate (online graduate tuition + mandatory fees) for UND’s post-master’s DNP looks to be the same for everyone. However, the Nurse Anesthesia DNP has separate per credit tuition rates for North Dakota residents, Minnesota residents, and all other out-of-state students. Check the section on Estimated Costs for info on extra expenses.
Online DNP Programs in North Dakota
The two major online players in North Dakota are UND and UMary. You’ll see their DNP offerings described in our listings. Each program is unique, so it pays to talk to the DNP program coordinator about campus expectations. For example:
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in ND: UMary’s DNP for future FNPs involves week-long intensives on the main campus in Bismarck.
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in ND: UND’s DNP in Nurse Anesthesia utilizes face-to-face, online, and clinical practicum learning in rural and urban settings.
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in ND: UMary’s MSN to DNP has one visit to Bismarck at the end of the program. Coursework in UND’s DNP is 100% online, but there may be intensives on the campus or at a Regional Nursing Research Conference.
Have your eye on UMary’s BSN to DNP? Check with your State Board of Nursing to ensure that the program will be recognized within your state and confirm with UMary that you are eligible to apply for the program.
Note: We have a separate directory that contains listings of Online DNP Programs in every state.
BSN to DNP Programs in North Dakota
You’ll find titles & links to BSN to DNP tracks under each North Dakota school in our listings. Here’s a quick summary of your options.
- FNP: You can opt for UMary’s online DNP with week-long intensives in Bismarck or NDSU’s on-campus DNP with face-to-face instruction & synchronous classes between Fargo and Bismarck. In recent years, both programs have had great certification pass rates.
- Nurse Anesthesia: UND is the only North Dakota school that offers a COA-accredited program in Nurse Anesthesia. Coursework is hybrid and clinical experiences take place at several urban and rural facilities.
If you’re willing to expand your search beyond state borders, have a look at BSN to DNP pathways in Minnesota. There are a number of hybrid options in NP tracks that might suit your needs.
North Dakota Nursing Organizations
- North Dakota Board of Nursing
- North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Association (NDNPA)
- North Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NDANA)
- North Dakota Organization of Nurse Executives (NDONE)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in North Dakota.