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Nurse Co-op Program

Would you like a chance to work with the largest integrated health system in the United States?

Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota offers nursing students an opportunity to participate in a 12 week Nurse Co-op Program. The program runs every summer beginning in May and provides nursing students an opportunity to work alongside a Registered Nurse, while earning a salary!

Program Purpose & Goals

  • To develop confidence and competence in senior level nursing students through hands on experience in a medical center.
  • Assist senior level nursing students in finding an area of nursing practice that best fits their career goals, talents, and interest thus promoting a smooth transition upon graduation.
  • Sanford Health also uses the Co-op Program as a recruiting tool to hire the best registered nurses upon graduation.

Participating Units

Co-op positions are available in a variety of hospital settings. These areas include but are not limited to:

  • Medical / Surgical
  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedic & Sports Medicine
  • Operating Room
  • Pediatric
  • Pediatric Intensive Care
  • Children's Hospital Resource Team
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Birth Center
  • Women's Unit
  • Emergency Center
  • Critical Care Services
  • Psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation
  • Cardiac Intensive Care
  • Cardiac Progressive Care
  • Palliative Care

Program Features

Each Nurse Co-op will receive an extensive, individualized orientation. As part of the orientation, the Co-op will be pre-assigned to work with a bachelors prepared RN for the entire summer on a designated unit.

Access to Sanford Health's continuing education opportunities during the summer, free of charge.

An optional opportunity to participate in an observation experience that allows the Nurse Co-op to shadow a RN on a unit of their choice, for a shift.

The chance to meet and network with nursing students from a variety of locations.


The Nurse Co-op program is open to nursing students enrolled in an accredited Bachelor's degree nursing program who have completed their 3rd year of their nursing program. Prior experience as a nursing assistant is not required.

There are special academic requirements that must be completed to be eligible for placement in certain practice areas.

  • Family Birth Center or NICU: completion of a maternity nursing course.
  • Critical Care: completion of a critical care clinical experience/advanced adult health class is preferred.

The Nurse Co-op must be enrolled in an academic credit through their Nursing Program to participate in the Co-op Program. Please talk with your faculty advisor to arrange this.

  • What is the benefit of signing up for an academic credit to be a Sanford Co-op?
    • If a nursing student maintains the affiliation with their college throughout the summer they can legally:
      • Administer Medications
      • Practice hands on clinical skills learned in school, ie. Start IVs, insert foley catheters, etc.
    • Sanford works with the Board of Nursing to make the Co-op Program the best opportunity possible for nursing students to practice critical thinking and hands on nursing skills.


The Nurse Co-op program begins in the middle of May and ends in the middle of August. All of the scheduled orientation dates are mandatory to participate in the program.


A Sanford Nurse Co-op is a paid position. Contact Human Resources for information on the competitive hourly salary.

Time Commitment

The Nurse Co-op program goes for 12 weeks during the summer and will require you to work 7-10 shifts every two weeks.

Co-op positions follow the schedule of their assigned RN preceptor. This requires flexibility to work rotating shifts, weekends, and some holidays.

Application Process

The application process begins early fall. All applications must be submitted by Thanksgiving break. For additional information on application requirements, please click here.
To submit your application, please click here.

For additional information on the Nurse Co-op Program contact:

Megan Hills, MSN, RN, OCN
System Clinical Education Coordinator
Center for Learning
Co-op Program Facilitator