Practical Nursing Certificate

Total Degree Credits42
Plan of Study Grid
Fall SemesterCredits
Prescribed Technical Program Requirements
BIOL 220 Anatomy and Physiology I 3
BIOL 220L Anatomy and Physiology I Lab 1
PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology 3
NURS 120 Foundations of Nursing 3
NURS 121 Practical Nursing I 3
NURS 122 Clinical Practice I 3
Spring Semester
Prescribed Technical Program Requirements
BIOL 221 Anatomy and Physiology II 3
BIOL 221L Anatomy and Physiology II Lab 1
PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology 3
PHRM 215 Introduction to Pharmacology 3
NURS 127 Practical Nursing II: Introduction to Medical/Surgical Nursing 2
NURS 145 Introduction to Maternal/Child Nursing 2
NURS 124 Clinical Practice II 3
Summer Semester
Prescribed Technical Program Requirements
ENGL 110 College Composition I 3
NURS 126 Clinical Practice III 3
NURS 129 Practical Nursing III 3
 Total Credits42

College Degree Requirements

Prerequisites for entry into the Practical Nursing Certificate include:

  1. Application and Admission to Bismarck State College is required before applying to the nursing program (refer to BSC Catalog).
    1. Apply as "Nursing- BSC (Practical Nursing)".
    2. Check Campus connection to ensure all of your "To Do List" items have been completed. Students cannot be admitted to the Practical Nursing Program if they are not admitted to BSC due to an incomplete Admission's file.
  2. The nursing program application requirements, online application, and program of study can be accessed at
  3. High School Diploma or GED Certificate.
    1. High School GPA of 2.5 or greater. If a student has completed 12 credits of college level classes, the college GPA will be considered instead of the HS GPA.
  4. Students must be 18 years of age by December 31st of the year they start the program.
  5. Current CPR Certification for Healthcare Provider.
  6. Proof of Math Skill Readiness. Student must have completed at minimum:
    1. The developmental math course (ASC 93 or other prerequisite math course that would qualify a student to take MATH 103) with a grade of Satisfactory or "C" or a higher level math course (such as MATH 103 College Algebra), Or
    2. Equivalent scores for ACT/SAT and/or Accuplacer as listed below and taken within the past 2 years:
              Required Program Entrance Scores
              Next-Generation Accuplacer - QR, Algebra, and Statistics 255
              Next-Generation Accuplacer - Advanced Algebra 237
              ACT - Math Subtest 21
              SAT - Math 530
  7. Proof of Academic Readiness:
    1. All applicants are required to complete the most current Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI), standardized Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) prior to application deadlines, with a minimum composite score of 45%.
    2. ACT composite score of 19, or
      1. ACT/ASSET/Accuplacer/SAT test(s) with an equivalent score, Or
      2. Successful completion of 12 credits of college courses with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  8. For any required college courses completed prior to admission, the grade in that course must be a "C" or higher or "T" (test credit) or "S" (satisfactory), and nursing GPA for all completed required nursing courses must be 2.75 or higher.
    1. Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab and Introduction to Pharmacology (must be taken within the last 7 years).
  9. Additional guidelines for approval include:
    1. Overall cumulative GPA for all college courses completed must be 2.5 or higher.
    2. If a student repeats a required science course or previous nursing course, a grade of "C" or higher must be obtained in the first repeat (A & P I and II, Microbiology). An appeal process may be sought if the student has failed science courses more than 2 times.
    3. Experience working in a health care environment is encouraged before making application to the nursing program. For example, Nursing Assistant (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Medical Assistant, Direct Support Professional (DSP), etc.
  10. A certain level of English proficiency is necessary for academic success in nursing as well as for patient safety. In addition to general college English proficiency requirements, all applicants for whom English is not their native language (including International and/or U.S. residents) and who have not attended 4 years of U.S. high school and achieved a HS GPA of 3.0 or higher must meet additional language proficiency requirements for admission to the Nursing Program.

    Minimum TOEFL Scores for Admission to the Nursing Program

English as a second language (ESL) applicants must achieve minimum scores on the TOEFL internet based test (TOEFL iBT) of:

Minimum Cumulative Score of:

  • 86 Combined

AND Minimum Individual Score of:

  • 26 in Speaking
  • 20 in Writing
  • 20 in Reading
  • 20 in Listening

Students must complete with "C" or better or "T" (test credit) or "S" (satisfactory) in all required program courses, including General Education requirements.

Upon successful completion of the above curriculum, the student will receive a Certificate in Practical Nursing and is eligible to apply to take the NCLEX PN®