Nursing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

You’re on your way to advancing your nursing career, and we couldn’t be more excited to be part of your journey. We know the level of thought that goes into a decision like this, which is why we’d like to provide you with answers to commonly asked questions about our online nursing programs.

Just as you help patients make informed decisions, we do the same for our students. Being transparent about the details is our way of ensuring that you feel confident in your role as a nursing student at the University of North Dakota and can take that confidence into the field as a nursing professional.

The questions and answers you see here will get the conversation started, but please contact your advisor to continue learning about our online nursing degree programs. We’re here to support you, now through graduation.


Am I required to visit the UND campus during my program?

Our online nursing programs do not require you to visit the UND campus for any coursework. Clinical experiences will be your only out-of-home requirement.

Will the word “online” be on my degree?

Your official degree transcript will not feature the word “online,” because all of our online nursing programs feature the same discipline and rigor as any traditional on-campus program.

What type of support is available to me? What if I have a question about coursework or need help with a technical issue?

We offer our online students a full support team, beginning with the admissions process and including student support specialists and 24/7 technical support. Visit our online student experience page to learn more.

Are the UND online nursing programs accredited?

Both our Master of Science with a Major in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( We’re also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

What’s the difference between an MSN and D.N.P.?

Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice are the two signature degrees that qualify you as an advanced practice nurse or indicate that you’re ready to transform your career into an executive-level leadership role. While both degrees are higher in stature than an R.N. designation, there are still differences between them.

M.S.-level nurses are qualified to perform several functions, including research, administration, clinical nursing and nursing education. Meanwhile, D.N.P.-level nurses are considered true experts in their field, performing the same competencies, but with more emphasis on leadership and guiding health care policy.

Can I complete clinical hours at my present job?

You may be able to complete clinicals at your current job site as long as your employer allows.

How will my clinical placement be arranged?

For M.S. students: Our full-time Nursing Clinical Placement Coordinator will assist you in finding clinical placements. While we try to accommodate your preferred clinical locations, numerous variables go into clinical placements so we cannot make any guarantees. Typically, we ask that you provide your top three choices and our placement coordinator will work with the facilities to find placement. For more information about UND’s Clinical Placement and Preceptor Policy, click here to view Policy 620 (appendix J, page 26)

For Post-Master’s D.N.P. students: It’s up to you to secure a clinical experience site and preceptor for your clinical placement. A clinical placement coordinator will be available for assistance should you need it, but overall coordination is your responsibility.

For additional questions, please reach out to your advisor or student support specialist on how to make proper arrangements.

Cost & Financial Aid

How much does each program cost?

The current cost per credit for both programs is $784.13. Our admission requirements outline more details around the tuition cost for both the M.S. and Post-Master’s D.N.P. programs. You may also use our Tuition Calculator to estimate your tuition and fees.

What are my financial aid options?

Graduate students may be eligible for federal loans, and many students are able to take advantage of tuition assistance programs through their employers. We also offer UND employee and family member tuition waivers.

So check with your employer and then learn more about UND’s financial aid options.


Do you always interview candidates?

Candidates are interviewed on a case-by-case basis, specifically when there may be questions about their ability to fulfill admission requirements, or any other concerns that may need to be discussed with the program director.

How often do you accept applications? What are the deadlines?

Applications are accepted year-round. Deadlines vary and number of intakes vary by program, so keep an eye on our admission requirements to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.

Do you require the GRE or any other tests for admission?

No additional tests, including the GRE, are required for entry into the online nursing programs at UND.

How do I know that all of my prerequisites have been met?

An advisor will help you determine when all prerequisites have been met and also identify the best time for you to apply.

Do I have to complete the statistics course before applying?

Yes. The University of North Dakota offers several online options to fulfill this requirement: ECON 210, SOC 326 and PSYC 241. View the courses.

How long will I have to wait to start the program after admission?

Unlike some universities, there is no waiting list once you’re accepted. However, courses are offered on a semester basis, which means you can begin your program in the spring, summer or fall.


Can I complete the online nursing programs in my state?

For most states, yes. But there are certain limitations that make accommodating clinical experiences a challenge due to specific state regulations and competitiveness of placement. Please contact your state board of nursing and higher education board before applying to see if there are any restrictions or special requirements that could impact your attendance at an out-of-state online nursing program.

Master of Science in Nursing

What are the admission requirements for the online Master of Science with a Major in Nursing programs?

UND’s online graduate nursing programs are open to licensed registered nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited nursing program within a regionally accredited institution. Take a look at other admission requirements for you to consider.

What are the benefits of earning your master’s degree with a major in nursing?

If you’re interested in becoming an advanced practice registered nurse, a master of science degree is the standard educational requirement to qualify for national A.P.R.N. certification.

After completing your master’s, you can apply for state-level A.P.R.N. licensure through your state’s board of nursing. You can then go on to achieve national certification and start practicing in your A.P.R.N. specialty.

Advanced practice nurses typically have better job prospects, higher salaries and more autonomy.

How long will it take me to complete the M.S. program?

On average, it takes UND students three years to complete one of our online nurse practitioner specialization programs: family nurse practitioner or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program.

What exams am I eligible to sit for once I complete my master’s program?

After passing their certification boards, UND nursing graduates have an opportunity to pursue several licensing exams based on their particular field of specialization. These include:

Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice

What are the admission requirements for the online Post-Master’s D.N.P. program?

To apply for this program, you need a master’s degree or higher from an accredited nursing program. Take a look at other admission requirements for you to consider.

How long will it take me to complete the Post-Master’s D.N.P. program?

On average, it takes UND students at least five semesters to complete the online Post-Master’s D.N.P. program.

What is the final project for the Post-Master’s D.N.P. program?

As a Post-Master’s D.N.P. student, you’ll complete a project focused on improving a population outcome in health care — detailing a process and how changing that might improve outcomes, such as educating patients or setting new best practices.

Your project will be practice-focused, not research-focused, which means that you’ll present instead of defend as you would in a Ph.D. program. Clinical hours are focused on developing your role as a leader and completing the Post-Master’s D.N.P. project.

What is the difference between a D.N.P. program and a Ph.D.?

While both a D.N.P. and Ph.D. indicate the highest degree of expertise in nursing, the D.N.P. is designed primarily for nurses who wish to continue working on the front lines of health care from a clinical perspective.

On the other hand, nurses who are interested in focusing their careers on research initiatives, policy-making and educational instruction may choose to pursue a Ph.D. due to the evidence-based, scholarly nature of this degree.