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Nursing receives national accreditation

By   Erin Wood

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing granted initial national five year accreditation to the Associate Degree Nursing program at Lake Region State College’s (LRSC) Devils Lake and Mayville locations.

Graduates of the LRSC Nursing program and employers who hire LRSC nursing graduates believe in the quality of the college’s nursing program and the notice of being nationally accredited solidifies that quality reputation.

LRSC is part of the Dakota Nursing Program (DNP), a partnership of four North Dakota community college nursing programs with a shared curriculum taught on all four consortium campuses. The partners include Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, and Williston State College. Bismarck State College also received notice of ACEN accreditation this spring.

ACEN is the entity that is responsible for the specialized accreditation of nursing education programs, both postsecondary and higher degree and its granting of accreditation speaks volumes to the quality nursing program at LRSC.

“ACEN accreditation indicates the high quality of LRSC’s nursing program. The accreditation process is rigorous and involves every area of the college. This is affirmation for the faculty who teach in the classroom, the clinical faculty who provide excellent hand-on learning, and the local medical facilities who provide exceptional clinical opportunities as well as hire our graduates,” said Julie Traynor, Director of the Dakota Nursing Program consortium.

In its letter, Dr. Marsal Stoll, CEO of ACEN said, “We look forward to continued success in your nursing program.”
National accreditation has been a department goal for several years, said LRSC Nursing Coordinator Karen Clementich. 

“We are dedicated to ensuring high quality nursing education and ACEN accreditation shows that we meet the highest standards set forth for nursing education programs across the country,” Clementich said.

The Dakota Nursing Program partners to prepare graduates with the competencies to address the rapidly changing health care needs of North Dakota. Graduates of nursing programs need to pass NCLEX before they can become licensed as a nurse. LRSC AD graduates consistently pass NCLEX at higher percentages than national and state programs. LRSC’s pass rate was 90.48 percent for the past year compared to the national average of 82.53 percent during that same time. In fact, 100 percent of LRSC May 2015 graduates passed NCLEX on first attempt. 

In addition to the four partner campuses, the Dakota Nursing Program is also offered at associate sites in Mayville, Grand Forks, Valley City, Rugby, Harvey, Hazen, Minot, and New Town.

The DNP consortium was created a decade ago and has improved access to nursing education, particularly in rural areas of North Dakota, and increased faculty opportunities for collaboration across campuses. The DNP has articulation agreements in place with three universities in North Dakota to increase educational capacity for baccalaureate education. Students who graduate from a partner college with an ADN can complete a BSN in as little as 36-47 credits or approximately three semesters at one of the RN to BSN partner universities.

The consortium is focused on providing quality evidence-based nursing education, serving as a basis for continuing education, and collaborating to educate future nurses to safely and effectively meet the diverse health care needs of North Dakota. 

Additional information on Nursing at LRSC can be accessed at and 

Lake Region State College is a student-centered, open-access, comprehensive community college within the North Dakota University System. The college provides quality academic education, technical training, workforce training, educational outreach opportunities, and life-long learning.