Top CNA Programs in North Dakota

Are you contemplating a possible career as an entry-level, direct healthcare worker in North Dakota? If so, perhaps a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is for you. As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the CNA job sector is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2014-2024-a rate that's substantially higher than the average for other job sectors.

CNAs are often viewed as foundational to the medical establishment. Together, CNAs and RNs are said to provide nearly 85% of all direct patient care. As a nursing assistant, you can expect to work alongside an interdisciplinary healthcare team to provide safe and effective care to a wide variety of patients. CNAs work in a wide variety of settings, which include private homes, live-in care facilities, hospitals and more.

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in North Dakota

If you're still seriously considering a career as a CNA, it would be wise to seek out the best CNA programs that are available to you. When trying to find the top programs, prospective CNA students should look into the following:

  • Partnerships with local healthcare facilities
  • Accreditation of the institution or program
  • Student success rate and job placement rate
  • Availability of scholarships or financial aid
  • Tuition price
  • State certification pass rate
  • Student to faculty ratio
  • Credentials of the instructors

Testing and Certification

The first step a prospective CNA should take is to enroll in a state approved program. In North Dakota, approved CNA programs must be at least 75 hours in duration-the federal minimum.

When a prospective CNA has successfully completed an approved program, the next step is to sit for and pass a two-part examination called the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). This exam is administered by the North Dakota Board of Nursing (BON) with Pearson VUE.

The NNAAP exam is comprised of 2 main sections: knowledge and practical skills. The knowledge assessment can be taken in either written or oral formats. The written format is composed of 70 multiple choice questions and 10 essay questions. Those opting for the oral format will be expected to answer 60 audio questions. For the practical skills section of the exam, students are expected to perform a number of basic nursing skills while being graded by a test proctor.

Students must pay a $120 fee to take the state assessment.

List of Top CNA Classes and Programs in North Dakota

Lakes Region State College (Lake Region Community College)

Located in Devils Lake, Lake Region State College is a 2-year community college that founded under the name Devils Lake Junior College in 1941. LRSC is a part of the North Dakota University System.

LRSC, in partnership with TrainND, offers students a state approved CNA program which consists of 75 hours of coursework. During the 75 hours of training, students complete classroom instruction, lab skills practice and hands-on clinical experience. LRSC’s CNA program is available to students in two formats: 100% on-campus, and online/on-campus hybrid. The fully on-campus CNA program can be completed in just ten days. The online hybrid CNA program is comprised of four weeks of online class, two eight-hour face-to-face labs and two eight-hour face to face clinical sessions.

Healthcare facilities located near Devils Lake that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society


Lakes Region State College did not mention the cost of their CNA program on its website. To find out this information, call (701) 662-1600.

Bismarck State College

Located in the state’s capital, Bismarck State College represents the 3rd largest college in the North Dakota University System. The college was established in 1939. It offers 2-year associate degrees, 4-year bachelor degree plans, and technical certificate programs.

BSC’s 80 contact hour Certified Nursing Assistant program boasts a pass rate of 93%. The course can be taken for college credit or as non-credit instruction. The program includes in-class lecture and discussion, lab practice and a clinical externship. Of those 80 contact hours, 41 of them are composed of didactic lecture, 19 are dedicated to lab instruction and 16 are dedicated to the clinical externship. Two class times are offered: Monday through Friday from 6pm to 10pm and Saturday 6am to 3pm. By the program’s end, CNA students should be will equipped with the necessary knowledge and technical skills required to secure employment as a CNA.

BSC’s Allied Health Campus in Bismarck is where CNA program classes meet.

Healthcare facilities located near Bismarck that are currently hiring CNAs

  • Edgewood Senior Living
  • Sanford Health
  • CHI St. Alexius Health


BSC’s CNA course fee is $615.

Williston State College

Founded in 1957, Williston State College is a public 2-year institution located in the southern region of the state. The city of Williston is often referred to as Boomtown due to its distinguished history and its continued oil boom. WSC provides technical, vocational and liberal arts education to the community of Williams County.

WSC offers students an online/in-class hybrid CNA training program that is split up into three portions: online lecture and instruction, classroom and clinical instruction, and examinations. During the 1-month duration of the program, students acquire knowledge and skills to prepare them to become direct healthcare workers. In total, the program is comprised of 55 training sessions. Courses meet Monday through Thursday.

Healthcare facilities located near Williston that are currently hiring CNAs

  • CHI St. Alexius Health
  • OneStaff Medical
  • Catholic Health Initiatives


The total cost to attend WSC’s CNA program is $855.