"They've prepared me to be the best nurse I can be"

Photo of Accelerated BSN student Honey Kosiak, wearing green scrubs, leaning over a bedside manikin in a nursing lab at NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck

The NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck makes you feel as though you are part of a family. Honey Kosiak, who is in the first cohort of the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing track, said she felt welcomed right away.

“Every single day, whether it’s a good day or a bad day, every single person here just stops what they’re doing to make sure you’re okay, you’re having a good day, you have whatever you need and that’s what makes it amazing. As a student, that’s exactly what we’re looking for,” said Kosiak, who is from Bismarck. 

The 14-month accelerated post-baccalaureate BSN program is for students who have completed a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or who have completed a graduate degree and are seeking to change their career path.  

Kosiak always knew she wanted to find a career in the medical field, though she determined later that she wanted to pursue nursing.  

“My original bachelor’s degree was in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on pre-med. I worked in the hospital for a while and then I realized that I really want to be a nurse, and this is the first year NDSU offered the accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing,” she said.

Kosiak is on track to graduate in December and has been enjoying the pace of the program. After she graduates, Kosiak wants to work as a nurse at Sanford in Bismarck with the goal of one day working as a nurse practitioner or an anesthesiology nurse.

Working with the top-tier faculty has been great for Kosiak, who said she has gained confidence in her skills.  

“This program is amazing. They’re to the point and they give you everything you need not only academically, but also clinic-wise,” she said. “They’re very honest and very true on what they teach. They have prepared me to be the best nurse I can be.”

Charys Kunkel, the director and assistant professor of practice at the NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck, said each faculty member has years of applied experience working in both hospital and primary care settings. 

“They’re providing hands-on opportunities for students right at the bedside or they’re with the students to provide them one-on-one attention and guide them to make sure they have the skills they need to be successful,” she said.

With a smaller student-to-faculty ratio at Bismarck nursing, every student is able to receive the personalized attention they need. 

Around 97% of 2022 NDSU nursing graduates found full-time employment with an average regional salary of $67,000. 

Kunkel said the impact the NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck has had on nursing workforce needs in the state has been noticeable. 

“From a North Dakota standpoint, the majority of our graduates either stay in the Bismarck area or stay in the state. A lot of people move here from out of state and they find that this area in the state is so welcoming and inviting that they end up staying here,” she said.

There are several incentives available to students to help cover the cost of tuition. In addition to scholarships, NDSU nursing in Bismarck partners with Sanford to offer a tuition incentive where students can receive up to $20,000 in the pre-licensure program and up to $26,000 for the accelerated program.

Kosiak highly recommends the accelerated BSN program and advises prospective students not to be too hard on themselves. 

“You are going to do amazing, and everybody here is cheering for you. Everybody here is willing to help you be successful,” she said. 

Learn more about Honey’s story by visiting the official NDSU YouTube channel.

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

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