Associate in Applied Science in Practical Nursing (AASPN) Degree:
The Associate in Applied Science in Practical Nursing (AASPN) degree is a two year major which prepares graduates to become eligible to take the national licensure examination to become licensed as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). An LPN has a limited scope of practice and provides nursing care to stable patients under the supervision of a registered nurse. Employment opportunities exist in a multitude of settings such as a nursing home, clinic, hospital, or assisted living facility.
The two year program also enables graduates to complete intravenous (IV) certification; students become proficient using IV skills during the clinical courses. This certification enhances job placement opportunities for our graduates, as nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations in North Dakota and across the nation. Furthermore, upon earning licensure, graduates are also eligible to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Programs
Dickinson State University offers both a pre-licensure face-to-face and a post-licensure Online ADRN to BSN Completion Program:
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Programs are two year programs specifically for nurses (LPNs or RNs) who desire to complete a bachelor degree. An LPN must complete the face-to-face BSN program and an RN can choose to complete either the face-t0-face or the Online BSN program.
Graduates who are not yet licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) are eligible to take the national examination to earn their RN license. An RN has an expanded scope of practice and provides independent nursing care to both stable and unstable patients. Bachelor-prepared RNs are highly sought after by employers to work in a wide variety of acute care, specialty areas (i.e., Intensive Care, Cardiac, Home Health) and public health settings. Graduates who also complete both the AASPN program prior to completing the BSN program at Dickinson State can gain two years of nursing experience while they complete the BSN degree. This gives the BSN graduates a distinct advantage of already having two years’ experience as a nurse prior to seeking their first RN position! Currently a shortage of RNs exists in the United States and future job growth for RNs is expected to grow much faster than other health occupations.
Nurses with a bachelor degree are eligible to pursue graduate and doctoral education to become advanced practice nurses, clinical specialists, educators and/or nurse researchers. The rising complexity of acute care nursing, increasing rates of persons living with chronic illness and the move to more outpatient and community-based care warrant the need for more Registered Nurses.
Mary Anne Marsh, PhD, RN, Professor of Nursing Chair,
Department of Nursing