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Janet Riggins, skills lab instructor at the NDSU School of Nursing, is among the faculty, staff, students, clinical sites and instructors who play significant roles in developing an exceptional nursing program, ranked in the top 2% of U.S. nursing schools by IMAGE: NDSU COLLEGE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS

NDSU School of Nursing listed among top 30 in nation

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State University’s School of Nursing has been named one of the nation’s top nursing schools by

In the comparison of programs across the U.S., NDSU’s School of Nursing in Fargo, along with NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck, are ranked as:

  • No. 4 overall in the Plains region, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota

  • No. 30 among public nursing schools in the U.S.

  • No. 59 nursing school in the U.S. among more than 3,200

“Getting recognized for the quality of our programs that we’ve been working hard to maintain is always nice,” says Carla Gross, associate dean of the School of Nursing and chair of Nursing at the Fargo campus. “We’ve been responding to the state and nation’s needs for nurses and continue to open new programs. We have so many avenues to earn your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree), which is the new industry standard, and we have demonstrated that we are committed to BSNs and responding to the state’s needs.”

In its inaugural ranking of U.S. nursing schools, collected data on more than 3,200 institutions nationwide, according to a news release. From that data pool, 10 percent of schools considered made the group’s final list. Criteria for the listing included breadth and depth of nursing programs offered, student success, particularly on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for the licensing of nurses in the U.S., and perceived value and academic prestige of the institution.

“One aspect of NDSU that impressed us greatly is its history of strong student performance on licensure and certification exams,” says Christopher McMillen, editor-in-chief of, in a news release. “For example, BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a 90 percent-plus rate for at least eight consecutive years, well exceeding state and national averages.”

Gross also attributes the School of Nursing’s success to NDSU’s high ranking as an institution.

In addition to its standard pre-licensure BSN program, NDSU offers an LPN to BSN program, RN to BSN program and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

“Rankings like this certainly help attract more students and identify us as a more prestigious program,” Gross says. “This wasn’t anything we set out to do. It was a surprise, but a great surprise.”