Practical Nursing Certification

Dakota Nursing Program

Practical Nursing (Certification)

The Dakota Practical Nursing Program is an eleven-month educational program that leads to the awarding of a Practical Nurse Certificate. Program graduates are eligible to apply to take the examination, NCLEX PN, required by the ND Board of Nursing for Licensure of Practical Nurses.

Students admitted into the DCB Practical Nursing Program must successfully pass a criminal history background check prior to registering for classes.

Applications for admission into the Practical Nursing Program are due in the spring of each year. Acceptance into the program is decided in the spring/summer of each year.

Students who are interested in completing the prerequisite courses are encouraged to follow the Pre-Nursing curriculum listed in this section.

This Program is part of the Dakota Nursing Program, a collaborative effort between Bismarck State College, Williston State College, and Lake Region State College.


Requirements for Entry into the Dakota Nursing Program

  • Accepted for admission to Dakota College at Bottineau. Admission to the college does no guarantee admission to the Practical Nursing Program.

  • High School Diploma or GED.

    • High School GPA of 2.5 or greater. If a student has completed 12 credits of college level classes included in the program requirements, the college GPA will be considered instead of the HS GPA.

  • Students must be 18 years of age by December 31st of the year they start the program.

  • Experience working in a healthcare environment is encouraged before making application to the nursing program. For example: Nursing Assistant (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), etc.
  • Current CPR Certification for Healthcare Providers (American Heart Association) or CPR/Healthcare Provider (Red Cross) and must be updated to remain current throughout program.
  • Proof of Math Skill Readiness.
    • Student must have completed at minimum the developmental math course (ASC 093) with a grade of  Satisfactory or “C” or a higher level math course (such as MATH 103 College Algebra)
    • Equivalent scores for ACT/PLAN/SAT/COMPASS and/or Accuplacer as listed below and taken within the past 2 years:
      • ACT-Math: 21 or higher
      • PLAN-Math: 19 or higher
      • SAT Critical (Reading + Math): 990 or higher
      • COMPASS (Algebraic Domain): 49 or higher
  • Proof of Academic Readiness:
    • All applicants are required to complete the most current Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI), standardized Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) prior to application deadlines.
      • Applicants are allowed two (2) attempts at the TEAS exam with a minimum of 4 weeks (28 days) between attempts.
      • A minimum TEAS composite score must be in the Basic level or greater. Any applicant scoring below the Basic level will not be accepted. The best score achieved, of two attempts, may be submitted. Last year the average TEAS score for all admitted applicants was within the Proficient level at 64.1 %.
      • TEAS scores are valid for up to two (2) years prior to March 5th of the year of application.
      • It is to your advantage to double check the other parts of your application to make sure you are qualified in the other areas before you attempt the TEAS exam.
      • It is recommended that you use the study materials on the TEAS website to score well on the exam. As noted above you may repeat the TEAS to better your chance of admission.
    • ACT composite score of 19, or 
      • ACT/COMPASS/ASSET/Accuplacer/SAT test(s) with an equivalent score, or Successful completion of 12 credits of college courses included in the program requirements with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  • For any required college courses completed prior to admission, the grade in that course must be a 2.0 (C) or higher, and nursing GPA for all completed required nursing courses must be 2.75 or higher.
    • Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab (A & P II must be taken within the last 7 years)
    • Introduction to Pharmacology (must be taken within the last 7 years)
    • Developmental Psychology (must be taken within the last 7 years)
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Composition I
    • Other:  Microbiology (required for ADN program)
    • Other:  Composition II, Communications, Technology, Humanities, Computer or Native American Health Perspective elective. Check with individual campuses for correct elective (required for ADN program).
  • Guidelines for approval include:
    • High School GPA of 2.5 or greater or
    • If a student has completed 12 credits of college level classes included in the program requirements, the college GPA will be considered instead of the HS GPA. Nursing GPA for any completed required nursing program courses must be 2.75 or higher.
    • Overall cumulative GPA for all college courses completed must be 2.5 or higher.
    • No required course may have a grade lower than 2.0 (C).
    • If a student repeats a required science course, a grade of 2.0 (C) or higher must be obtained in the first repeat (A & P I and II, Microbiology).
    • Critical courses completed more than 7 years prior to program application must be repeated:  Anatomy and Physiology II, Developmental Psychology, and Introduction to Pharmacology.
  • A certain level of English proficiency is necessary for academic success in nursing as well as for patient safety.  In addition to general college English proficiency requirements, all applicants for whom English is not their native language (including International and/or U.S. residents) must meet additional language proficiency requirements for admission to the Dakota Nursing Program.  These requirements must be met prior to consideration.

Please Contact the Nursing Dept. for further information.


Practical Nursing Curriculum

Fall Semester

Subject Number

Course Title Credits
BIOL 220 Anatomy & Physiology I 4
PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology 3
NURS 120 Foundations of Nursing 3
NURS 121 Practical Nursing I 3
NURS 122 Clinical Practice I 3
Total   16

Spring Semester

Subject Number

Course Title  Credits
BIOL 221 Anatomy & Physiology II 4
PSYC 250

Developmental Psychology
OR Composition I

NURS 127

Practical Nursing II : Introduction
to Medial/Surgical Nursing

NURS 145 Intro to Maternal/Child Nursing 2
NURS 124 Clinical Practice II 3
Total   17

Summer Semester

Subject Number

Course Title  Credits
NURS 129 Practical Nursing III 3
NURS 126 Clinical Practice III 3
ENGL 110

Composition I or
Developmental Psychology

Total   9
   Total Program Credits 42



A look into Nursing School Life

Path 1 - Nursing & GenEd Courses

Path 2 - Nursing Courses Only