LRSC announces nursing program partnership with Sanford Health

Lake Region State College (LRSC) announces the addition of an industry partner to its nursing apprenticeship program. Sanford Health will offer nurse apprenticeships as a career advancement opportunity for its employees.

More healthcare providers are considering nursing apprenticeships as an opportunity to strengthen workforce numbers, which spurred LRSC to research offering nurse apprenticeships. Early in 2021, the North Dakota Board of Nursing approved nurse apprentices as an innovative educational model/approach. 

“We are so excited for our partnership with the Lake Region State College nursing program,” said Theresa Larson, vice president of nursing and clinical services. “This will provide an opportunity for our employees to achieve their nursing career goals. Opportunities like this not only enhance our employees’ contributions to our organization, but provide a feeling of fulfillment and purpose for them.”

LRSC will hold informational open house sessions at the LRSC Nursing Education facility in Grand Forks and regional Sanford Health locations in Wahpeton and Jamestown next week. The open houses will be held at:

  • Sanford Wahpeton Clinic, 332 2nd Ave. N, on June 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • LRSC Nursing Education facility, 1425 S. Columbia Rd., Grand Forks , on June 16 from 5-7 p.m.
  • Sanford Jamestown Clinic, 300 2nd Ave. NE, on June 24 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

“Achieving career goals and furthering education can often be a difficult thing to do when you need to be able to provide for yourself or your family, so this partnership will open a lot of doors for our employees who are longing to achieve higher goals in their nursing careers,” stated Melodi Krank, senior director of nursing, Sanford Health Network. 

In the LRSC apprenticeship model, the student can “earn while they learn,” said Karen Clementich, director of LRSC’s Nursing Program.

“The practical nurse program is three semesters, and starts every fall semester. Lake Region State College offers a mobility option where theory is online, with lab and clinical at certain times during semester (for a total of 10-12 days per semester) on campus or at clinical site,” she said.

Clementich added that students also have a face to face option at LRSC Nursing sites in Devils Lake, Grand Forks and Mayville.

The apprenticeship has ground rules agreed upon with the employer that provides a structured wage, set step increases, and opportunity for continued employment at the completion of the apprenticeship.

The combination of academic program requirements plus the apprenticeship (on-the-job learning, a mentor relationship with a staff nurse, and eventually a Department of Labor certificate of completion) provides a rigorous and sturdy base that socializes students to the nursing profession and prepares them for an in demand and challenging career.

Those eligible to enroll in the Sanford Health apprenticeship program will have tuition, fees, and other materials covered by Sanford Health. Employees who are working as a nurse assistant or medical assistant will maintain their current rate of play while they work during their studies. Employees who are not a medical or nursing assistant will be trained to be a nursing assistant and then work, and be compensated, in that role.

Nursing at LRSC
Lake Region State College offers degrees in practical nursing and associate degree nursing (2-year RN). Graduates of the LRSC Nursing program also are able to transfer on to continue their bachelor’s degree (BSN). LRSC also offers certified nursing training and offers a paramedic to nurse program. For more information go to or call LRSC enrollment office at (701) 662-1514 or go to:

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America’s heartland. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves more than one million patients and 220,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles. The integrated health system has 47 medical centers, 2,800 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 170 clinical investigators and research scientists, more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations and world clinics in 8 countries around the globe. Learn more about Sanford Health's commitment to shaping the future of rural health care across the lifespan at or Sanford Health News.