NDSU Nursing School on the Chopping Block?

The school in Bismarck has been targeted by an amendment to the budget to be returned to Sanford Health

FARGO, N.D. — The budget deficit in North Dakota could lead to additional cuts at NDSU.

State lawmakers are considering cutting the nursing school in Bismarck.

Hospitals in the metro depend on graduates from local nursing programs.

An amendment to the higher education funding bill has caused some confusion among state lawmakers.

It states that neither the higher education board nor university may spend any money, including private funds to operate the school.

State Representative Bob Martinson of Bismarck offered the provision with the intention of transferring the school back to Sanford.

This comes as NDSU is trying to secure funding for a $28 million expansion to its program in Fargo.

The expansion is in response to the growing need for nurses in the metro.

“We know what the future looks like and how many nurse are going to be retiring or clinical instructors are going to be retiring,” said Roberta Young, who is VP of Nursing for Sanford Health. “We want to help whatever we can do to really grow those nursing programs and be a part of them because they are the future.”

NDSU assumed control of the Bismarck nursing school in 2014.

The university has already received $20 million toward the funding of the expansion in Fargo.

The program can graduate 96 students at the Fargo campus and 80 at Bismarck.

State Senator Jim Roers of Fargo called the legislative move a “knee jerk reaction” and is assuring NDSU nursing students in Bismarck they don’t have to worry about the school closing.

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