July 1, 2024

‘We are a tight-knit community’

Brooke Bryant

Pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice at NDSU’s School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck was an easy decision for Brooke Bryant. 

Among the main reasons Bryant chose Bismarck was because of the outstanding faculty and staff, along with the tight community.  

“We have incredible faculty and staff that are truly here to help us succeed. They really care about the students. And I was just really drawn to the community here,” said Bryant who is from Fargo.

The DNP program is for those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing wanting to further their careers. The program prepares students to provide advanced nursing care as a family nurse practitioner.

“This three-year program is especially important to give us enough time to fully learn the content, practice the assessments and get in those crucial clinical hours,” Bryant said. “We’re going to be future advanced practice providers, so being able to thoroughly assess a patient and understand what we’re doing is crucial.”

As a first-year DNP student, Bryant is looking forward to clinical opportunities that will cover settings in rural and urban communities along with specialty rotations.  

“We are going to get plenty of hours in lots of different settings and for that I’m grateful and excited,” she said. 

While she works toward her DNP, Bryant is a full-time pediatric inpatient nurse at Sanford. Having faculty who are understanding and flexible has been a huge help for Bryant.

“The NDSU faculty at Sanford Health in Bismarck are incredible. They care about us not only as students, but as individuals,” she said. “They are so understanding about those of us that are working full-time. Being able to go to them with my questions, concerns, things that are stressing me out, they are so willing to be flexible with us. Whether it’s work conflicts or personal family life conflicts, they understand that there is life outside of school.”

Charys Kunkel, the director and assistant professor of practice at Bismarck nursing, said there are a variety of students at NDSU’s School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck, ranging in age from their early 20s into their 50s.

“A lot of our students work, they have families, they’re balancing a lot of things in life. It’s important for us as faculty and staff to recognize that and to work with them so they can do well in their studies and be successful,” she said. 

After she graduates, Bryant wants to stay in North Dakota and become a primary care provider as a nurse practitioner, or work in an urgent care department. 

Nursing jobs are high in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a nurse practitioner is $125,900 with a faster than average job outlook and an expected 38% job growth by 2032. 

Located in downtown Bismarck, NDSU’s School of Nursing at Sanford Health provides students a high-quality education with smaller class sizes for a more personal approach to learning.   

NDSU’s important partnership with Sanford Health is another stand out factor that contributes to students’ success with access to convenient clinical rotation areas. 

“Our facility is located one block north from Sanford Medical Center, which gives our faculty and students the opportunity to literally walk over to the hospital and engage in those essential hospital hands-on experiences,” said Kunkel.

Bryant encourages anyone interested in nursing to check out NDSU’s School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck.

“The fact that we have our own little campus of future nurses and nurse practitioners is really cool,” she said. “We are a tight-knit community with faculty that care and students that want to make solid relationships.”   

Apply now to start your nursing journey or schedule a visit by emailing NDSU.BisNursing@ndsu.edu.

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