NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Online Degrees

LPN to Bachelor of Science Nursing Option


View an informational video about the blended-learning LPN to BSN program.

Program Description

Sample plan of study

Curriculum sequence

Frequently asked questions

Admission requirements

Tuition & Fees

Contact information



Program Description

Advance your nursing career while you work. Employment forecasts predict an increasing demand for professional nurses. Rapid changes in health care and technology require the nursing profession to continually expand its role. The online LPN to BSN degree program is for the licensed practical nurse (LPN) with an associate degree in nursing who wants to complete a bachelor's degree (BSN) in nursing and become eligible for licensure as a registered nurse. We offer a curricular pathway tailored for the working LPN. The NDSU nursing program provides an opportunity for nurses to earn a bachelor's degree primarily online. 

This program currently receives more applications than it can accommodate, so be sure to plan ahead for admission into this program.

Career opportunities for BSN program graduates include positions in hospitals, schools, community agencies, the military, insurance companies, nursing homes, clinics, businesses and research settings. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings that demand critical thinking, autonomy, collaboration and accountability.


LPN to BSN Option Brochure.pdf
View Nursing Program Fact Sheet


If you are interested in this program, please contact either the NDSU School of Nursing or the NDSU Office of Admission. Contact information for these departments is listed below.


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Sample Plan of Study

Required Core Courses:

Additional Courses:

Total Credits: 122
At least 60 credits must be earned from a 4-year institution.
At least 36 credits must be earned from NDSU.


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Curriculum Sequence

  Even Year Odd Year
Spring 240 240
  360 340
  405 430
Summer 407 406
Fall 440 372
  450 450


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Frequently Asked Questions

Once accepted into the school, what is my next step?
After being accepted into NDSU, the next step would be completing the requirements for admission to the Nursing program. Students do not need to be admitted to NDSU to complete the validation exams which are required for admission to the professional nursing program. 

Do you have to have an Associate’s degree in nursing or is a certificate LPN accepted?
A certificate or diploma LPN is acceptable if the student has another degree or 66 or more college credits completed. If a student only has a certificate or diploma prior to entering the program they would need to complete generals prior to starting the Nursing program in order to fulfill the 122 credit requirement in order to graduate from NDSU.

Do you need a North Dakota LPN license to be admitted to the program?
You don’t have to have a North Dakota LPN license to apply to the program. You do have to be licensed as an LPN and we do accept students prior to completion of their license. For example, students graduating in December could enter the program in January on a probationary period, pending completing and passing of the NCLEX-PN. It does not matter what state you are licensed in but you do have to have LPN license to be a part of the program. Note: This program is specifically for students who have an LPN license not an RN license.

Do you have to have a 2.75 cumulative GPA and also a Nursing 3.0 GPA?
There is some flexibility. Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.75 are encouraged to contact the Nursing Department for further consideration. A Nursing 3.0 GPA is required.

Would general education credits from previous years still transfer?
There is no time limit on transferring credits.

What are the prerequisites required to be admitted into the program?
Prerequisites for the programs are Anatomy I & II, Physiology I & II, Microbiology, College Composition I & II, Public Speaking, Development Psychology and Sociology. Courses required after acceptance into the program are General Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Psychology and other General Education requirements required by NDSU.

Can prerequisites be completed at other colleges? Do you have to have a certain amount of credits taken with NDSU?
Yes, NDSU will accept college-level course work from regionally accredited institutions. How the coursework transfers into NDSU varies. Visit Registrations & Records website, Transfer Course Equivalencies to see how coursework will transfer into NDSU. 36 credits must be completed at NDSU and 60 credits from a 4-year institution in order to graduate from NDSU. Nursing credits are about 34-credits and do count toward NDSU and 4-year institution required credits.

As long as you have Anatomy and Physiology, can you take Chemistry and Biochemistry while in the nursing program?
Yes. Chemistry and Biochemistry at NDSU are only offered on campus. For students who are out of town, we work together to find an alternative such as taking those courses at another institution and transferring the credits.

How many times would I need to come to campus for this program?
While a majority of the program is online, there are a few times you would need to come to campus for this program. To be admitted into the program, you need to take the validation exams. These validation exams are only offered on-campus. It is one and a half days of testing. The validation exams are required for admission into this program. You will also need to come to campus during the first week of your first semester in the program for an orientation session.  And finally, you will need to come to campus for clinicals near the end of your program.

Clinical requirements include: Public Health - a clinical and simulation requirement; Obstetrics - a one day labor and deliver clinical requirement; and Adult Health - 1 to 2 days a week for 5 weeks during the second summer of the program. During these times students are required to come to Fargo. 

What do students do for housing when they have to come to campus?
Students have stayed with other students, family or friends. Others have set-up accommodations at local hotels.

Are there housing accommodations on campus?
No, there hasn’t been anything set up since it is such a short time that students are required to be on campus.

What are the validation exams?
The NACE II (RN-BSN) exams are in the areas of: Adult Health, Mental Health, Care of the Child, Care of the Client during Childbearing. A score of 65% is required in Mental Health, Care of the Child, and Care of the Client during Childbearing. A 68% is required on the Adult Health exam. (Note score requirements are subject to change). Exams may be taken twice in a calendar year. The cost of the exams is subject to change, currently $35-65/each. Students are responsible for the cost. Exams are Computer Based and taken at NDSU. Exams are offered in April and August. Read more about the validation exams.

How do I study for the validation exams? What materials are available to assist in studying? Do you have a resource for NACE II guides?
Please see the “NLN Information Bulletin” on the Nursing Department's Validation Exams web page. Study resources for the exams are the RN or PN NCLEX books. Exams are content focused. We strongly recommend students review content.

How competitive is the program?
This program currently receives more applications than it can accommodate, so be sure to plan ahead for admission into this program. We complete a holistic review of the applicant, looking  at: application, references, essay, GPA.

How many students are accepted into the program each year? How many times a year do you accept students?
Applications for the program are due Oct 15th. The professional program starts in January. Currently, we admit 32 students only once per year.

If I am not accepted the first time I apply, can I re-apply another year?
Yes, you can re-apply. Current policy is that students can only apply twice.

How much is it per credit online if I am a North Dakota resident or out-of-state student?
Please see NDSU tuition rates.

What is the total cost for the LPN to BSN program?
Total cost of program varies depending on the amount of credits the student needs to take outside of the nursing program.

What books will I need for the entire program?
Books vary by semester and year. Students can find a list of necessary books for each semester through the NDSU Bookstore website.

How many years does it take to complete the program?
The program takes 2 years including summers. Students would start in January and graduate in December. For example, students would start January 2018 and graduate December 2019.

Will this program be accepted by my state board?
The LPN-BSN program is approved by the ND Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the autonomous accrediting body of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs preparing effective nurses. Completion of our program will allow students to become licensed in any state.

Do you have a time limit on transferring science courses?
There is no time limit on science credits.  We do accept older science credits.


View our FAQ page.


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Transfer Student Undergraduate Admission
View Getting Started Guide

Admission application deadline is October 15.  Students in the LPN to BSN online degree program begin coursework during spring semester; however, students may begin this program in fall semester if they intend to complete general education requirements during fall semester.

The first step in the admission process is completion of the advanced placement exam, which is required prior to admission to the LPN to BSN online degree program at NDSU.  Advance registration for the exam is required. There are three examinations: Adult Health Nursing, Mental Health Nursing and Maternal-Child Nursing. Please contact the Nursing Department at (701) 231-5692 for more information and dates. 

Requirements for admission to the nursing major at NDSU in the curricular sequence for the LPN:


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Contact Information

NDSU Department of Nursing
Phone: 701-231-7208
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web: www.ndsu.edu/nursing/lpn_bsn_track/

NDSU Office of Admission
Phone: 1-800-488-6378
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web: www.ndsu.edu/admission/


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