Nov. 8, 2013

NDSU and Sanford College of Nursing discuss partnership


The Sanford College of Nursing Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for Sanford Bismarck have signed a memorandum of understanding with North Dakota State University to discuss a partnership for nursing education. Sanford and NDSU will work together to define the partnership and complete a definitive (final) agreement, which could occur in time for an effective date of fall 2014.

Recently, the Higher Learning Commission changed its bylaws to require all colleges to become separately incorporated in order to retain their accreditation. The commission recommended that the Sanford College of Nursing explore possible partnerships as an option to keep accreditation and funding support.

“The opportunities this partnership could create for our students as well as the organizations’ shared commitment to help meet the need for nurses in central and western North Dakota are why we are pursuing a partnership with NDSU,” said Craig Lambrecht, MD, Sanford Bismarck president. “The potential benefits for both organizations are exciting.”

Sanford completed an extensive study identifying educational partners best suited to help achieve its mission. A partnership is being discussed with NDSU because:

  • Sanford and NDSU currently have a strong relationship in the areas of research, nursing, pharmacy and education.
  • NDSU offers programs, such as post-graduate education, online learning and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice program, that would enhance the Sanford College of Nursing.
  • Both institutions have reputations for a high standard of learning. Sanford wants to continue that legacy by providing the best possible opportunities for our current and future students.

“North Dakota faces a growing challenge in meeting the demand across the spectrum for health care in the western areas of the state. Traditional sources of credentialed health care professionals and the delivery methods are inadequate in terms of meeting current much less future demands,” said Dean L. Bresciani, NDSU president. “Instruction in Bismarck allows NDSU to better serve the needs of North Dakota, particularly western North Dakota.”

All currently enrolled students would continue their education at the college and be transitioned to the new program. Seniors will graduate this spring from the Sanford College of Nursing. All faculty and staff will continue to be employed. Faculty would transition to positions within the new partnership in Bismarck, honoring their years of service.

About NDSU
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s best universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s elite category of 108 prestigious universities. NDSU is a major research university of more than 14,600 students, and is a student-focused, land-grant, research university — an economic engine that educates students, conducts primary research, creates new knowledge and advances technology. The university provides affordable access to an excellent education at a top-ranked institution that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment, educating future leaders who will create solutions to national and global challenges.

The Department of Nursing provides baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, advances knowledge of the discipline and demonstrates leadership in meeting the healthcare needs of a diverse society. The vision of the Department of Nursing is to "be a recognized leader in positively impacting the health of a diverse global society through professional preparation and interprofessional collaboration and advanced nursing education, advancing nursing knowledge, and responsiveness to societal needs.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's nearly $700 million in gifts, the largest ever to a health care organization in America. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, please visit

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