How to Become a Nurse Administrator in North Dakota

People need certain qualities and skills to progress and improve their standing in the healthcare field. Since the industry has exploded in recent years, you need to be able to run a business from an operations standpoint and implement best practices when it comes to patient outcomes. A nurse administrator utilizes business skills to balance budgets and hire, evaluate and let go of nurses and nursing staff.

Nurse administrators also understand how to take care of patients at every level of the healthcare organization, leading care teams with confidence and support in a clinical environment. People pursue becoming a nurse administrator if they’re interested in leadership, business strategy, greater professional reach and creating innovative change for their staff and patients. Beyond professional growth, becoming a nurse administrator often comes with a salary increase.

Steps to Becoming a Nurse Administrator in North Dakota

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse administrators make an annual average salary of $134,320 in North Dakota, which is around $68.40 an hour, and the field itself should grow 32% by 2030. As the average annual salary of a Registered Nurse (RN) is just $71,200, becoming a nurse administrator can give you quite the jump in your income and open some financial doors for you that otherwise might remain closed. To move up into leadership positions, you’ll need to start with having an active RN license. Getting your RN typically requires a four-year bachelor’s degree or BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Still, there are programs that you can take on a more flexible schedule if you’re working and going to school simultaneously. After getting licensed as an RN, you can either move up the ladder organically by taking on more responsibility and demonstrating your leadership qualities or pursue a graduate degree in leadership.

Graduate degrees in healthcare leadership come in many forms, and choosing the best program for you and your current situation is essential. You’ll want to consider whether or not you need to work and go to school at the same time, what your budget is for tuition if you’ll need scholarships or financial aid and what your end goals are after you achieve your degree. If you already have substantial clinical experience, maybe you’re looking for a business-leaning degree like an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or a dual degree like an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) and an MBA. Perhaps you want a certificate to broaden your leadership or management skills instead of a whole degree experience. Check out the programs below to see your options in North Dakota. Most graduate degrees are available online, so there’s room for flexibility to match your degree to your schedule.

Best Nursing Leadership and Administration Programs in North Dakota

1. University of Mary

The University of Mary (UMary) is a private Benedictine university close to Bismarck, North Dakota. UMary is a Catholic institution that celebrates the Benedictine Sisters who came to the area in 1878 and eventually founded the school. Today, UMary serves around 1,200 graduate students and offers 23 graduate degrees. Because of its small size, the school can maintain a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 while creating a shared sense of community.

For those who want to learn ethical practices and policies around healthcare laws and regulations along with broadening clinical skills, UMary offers an MSN/MBA dual degree in Health Care Administration. Students can complete the program in less than 2.5 years either online, in person or through a flexible blend of the two. Each credit costs $570, with 60 credits required to finish the degree. You can expect to take core and specialty courses on nursing research, healthcare law and policy, operations management, ethics, accounting and marketing.

Students can apply to the program by submitting an online application. To be eligible for enrollment, you must have at least a 2.75 GPA on your undergraduate transcripts, an active RN license, send in your official transcripts and pay a $45 application fee. UMary also offers several other MSN degrees in nursing education, leadership and management and informatics for those who aren’t wanting to take on the rigor of a dual degree.

2. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a public research university in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Founded in 1883, just six years before North Dakota became a state, UND sits on 521 acres and is the state’s largest campus today. The school enrolls around 13,000 students (3,538 graduate students), making class sizes slightly larger at 27 students per class. Interestingly, UND has the state’s only schools of law and medicine.

UND offers an online DNP in Leadership that students can finish in five semesters. Students can expect to take statistics, health policy, informatics courses and complete a final project that focuses on improving healthcare outcomes in specific patient populations or healthcare systems. UND’s program is CCNE accredited, and the school has over 30 years of experience offering personalized online education to a wide variety of students.

As it’s a doctoral degree, you’ll need an MSN with at least a 3.0 GPA and an active RN license to apply. Prospective students will also have to send an online application with a $35 fee, official transcripts, nurse’s license verification report, CV, goal statement and three letters of recommendation. Some students may also have to interview as part of the application process. Once accepted, all students must pass a drug test, a criminal background check and the necessary immunizations required by the Department of Nursing.

3. Mayville State University

Mayville State University (MSU) is a public university in Mayville, North Dakota, that offers over 80 degree programs and maintains a small student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. MSU aims to be a personalized, student-centered and affordable option for students from all walks of life.

MSU has an online MSN in Leadership Management that students can complete in full or part-time capacities over 37 semester credit hours. The coursework includes core classes on informatics, technology, advanced nursing theory and research, as well as specialty courses in law, healthcare systems and leadership. Students also complete a 100-hour practicum over a 10-week block and a capstone course.

Prospective students can apply for the program if they hold a BSN with at least a 2.5 GPA, a “C” in all nursing courses and an active RN license. You’ll send in a general online application, your official transcripts, two letters of recommendation and pass a background check to complete the application process. MSU also offers a Nursing Leadership & Management graduate certificate for those who aren’t looking to commit to a full degree program but still want to grow their knowledge and skills.

4. University of Jamestown

The University of Jamestown (UJ) is a private Christian university in Jamestown, North Dakota, established in 1883. Jamestown is home to around 16,000 people and is between two of North Dakota’s major cities: Fargo and Bismarck. While it may seem small, Jamestown is also home to the Jamestown Medical Center, a critical access hospital that offers surgical and emergency healthcare options to the surrounding community.

UJ’s online MA in Leadership allows students to take leadership courses across various industries, including healthcare. You can complete the degree in 36 credit hours, and each credit costs around $438. The coursework for the program includes classes on organizational theory, diversity, ethics, public policy, healthcare systems and leading healthcare teams. You must take a leadership practicum with a comprehensive project wherein students demonstrate the knowledge and skills they’ve gained throughout the program.

To be eligible for the program, prospective students should hold a BA with at least a 3.0 GPA. In addition, you’ll need to submit an online application, a personal essay, official transcripts and two letters of recommendation.

5. North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University (NDSU) is a public land-grant university in Fargo, North Dakota. NDSU enrolls around 1,900 graduate students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1 and is one of the top-ranked research universities in the country. Fargo is one of the larger cities in North Dakota and has a population of around 123,000.

NDSU offers a MA in Public Health with a focus in Community Health Sciences, which could be especially interesting for those who want to solve health-related issues and implement disease prevention while working with the public. Students can complete the degree in 42 credit hours or about two years if they attend full-time. Students can expect to take classes in public health management, biostatistics, research methods, environmental health and leadership. The coursework includes an integrative learning experience and specialized courses in preventing and managing chronic illnesses, primary care and public health.

To get into the program, students must complete an online application and pay the fee. You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. The application process also requires prospective students to send a statement of purpose, CV, official transcripts and three letters of recommendation. Some students may also need to interview with the admissions committee.