Are you looking to expand your career opportunities in nursing? Earning your Master's of Science in Nursing degree could be the best way to do so. Nurses with advanced skills are in high demand and several positions, especially those for nursing faculty, are waiting to be filled. Find out how earning your MSN degree from one of the nursing schools in South Dakota can help advance your profession.
We have listed all of the MSN degree programs in SD on this site, including online options and RN to MSN programs. By requesting information from the South Dakota nursing schools listed below, you can begin to compare your options for study today.
Why Should I get my MSN Degree in South Dakota?
With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, the healthcare industry has been unequivocally revolutionized. A main objective of this legislation was to expand access to health insurance. Eight million people took advantage of signing up for healthcare in 2013 during the open enrollment period, and with each passing year, those numbers are expected to grow. With increased access, however, comes increased demand on providers, which can actually impede care in certain areas where there may not be enough providers to treat patients, like rural areas of South Dakota.
Now more than ever, nurses with an advanced education are stepping up to fill in the gaps. You, too, can help bridge the gaps in South Dakota healthcare by furthering your education. From BSN to MSN programs and even DNP programs, higher degrees in nursing can positively affect healthcare across the state, as advanced practice nurses are well equipped to deliver high quality, accessible care.
Although the Institute of Medicine (2011) has called for more highly educated nurses in the workforce, advanced practice nurses in South Dakota face some challenges. For instance, although nurse practitioners in SD earn $88,130 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013), most practice only in collaboration with physicians. The Nurse Practitioners Association of South Dakota is working to enhance educational opportunities and supports legislative efforts to incorporate NPs into more varied roles.
Nurse practitioners play an important role in primary care. Nurse practitioners diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic diseases, order and interpret labs and diagnostic tests and prescribe medications. Studies show that nurse practitioners are able to perform most of the tasks that doctors perform, and in some cases are found to deliver care superior to that of doctors. While physicians focus on finding cures to diseases through medicinal means, nurse practitioners focus on how to heal people.
Nurse practitioners are not the only important positions when it comes to advanced practice nursing. Nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, healthcare administrators, and nurse educators all play important roles.
- Nurse midwives - work independently or in collaboration with obstetricians and gynecologists. They are most noted for their work in the delivery room.
- Nurse anesthetists - administer the proper amounts of anesthesia during surgical procedures. Because they have such a critical job, they are one of the highest paid of all advanced practice nursing occupations.
- Healthcare administrators - manage healthcare organizations. They oversee budgets, facilities, programs, public and private sector relations. Their decisions affect the way the organization is run.
- Nurse educators - provide the education for the future nursing workforce. As with the shortage of doctors, there are not enough educators available to students. Many students in South Dakota are turned away from nursing programs, not because of their qualifications, but simply because there are not enough teachers to accommodate the amount of students. A specialization in nursing education is beneficial in any state.
MSN Degree Programs and Nursing Schools in SD
If you are interested in earning your MSN degree, there are many options to choose from. Before making your decision, you will want to make sure the program you choose offers the specialization you are interested in and is fully accredited. There are a few different routes to earning a Master's in Nursing, depending upon your current nursing education level.
An RN to MSN program is designed for Registered Nurses (RNs) who have earned their associate's degree and are working toward their MSN degree. If you hold a non-nursing Bachelor's degree, you may want to consider a Direct Entry MSN program. This program applies some of the credits you have already taken, and then you will jump into an accelerated program that will teach you the basics of nursing before you are exposed to advanced courses. Many of these programs are offered online. Online nursing programs in South Dakota can offer the flexibility that working nurses need in order to maintain a work schedule and still manage classes.
The courses you take will depend on your specialization. Now that you have the basics of nursing down, many of the classes focus on preparing you to be a leader as well as solve complex situations. Here is a sample list of general courses you may be able to expect:
- Health care policy
- Theory and practice in your specialty
- Health care ethics
- Management and advanced practice nursing
- Advanced biochemistry
- Advanced pharmacology
Because South Dakota is in such need of primary care providers, the government has issued a program that gives double tuition reimbursements to nurse practitioners and nurse midwives who agree to practice in rural areas for at least three years. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also has a helpful page with financial aid resources that are available to you if you qualify.
Now more than ever, the need for advanced practice nurses in South Dakota is prevalent. Earning your Master's of Science can help you secure an amazing career opportunity in the nursing field. Take some time to request information from schools today to get started on the next phase of your nursing career.
Programs to consider:
Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD). MMC is ramping up their MSN offerings with options such as specialized advanced practice choices and a concentration in public health leadership.
South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD). SDSU's nursing department has been around since 1935. Their MSN program offers concentrations in education and administration.