Healthcare is an important industry in South Dakota, and the state currently has 350 Nurse Practitioners, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(2012). These NPs provide healthcare services such as primary care, pediatric care, women's health and mental health services, and they do so in a variety of settings. If you are ready to expand your nursing career in South Dakota, becoming a Nurse Practitioner is a great idea.
Nurse practitioners in South Dakota have the option of practicing under a collaborative agreement with a physician, or independently. NPs who practice under a collaborative agreement can perform tasks that "overlap" medical practice, such as diagnosing illness and prescribing medications. NPs who choose to function independently may only perform advanced practice nursing functions that fall under the scope of nursing practice.
South Dakota's nurse practitioners earn a mean annual salary of $88,380 (BLS, 2012), allowing for a degree of financial freedom in addition to the professional freedoms they enjoy in their practice.
South Dakota nurses who want to advance their education and become nurse practitioners can attend an online school, such as Georgetown University, or one of these institutions:
- Mount Marty College. Located in Yankton, Mount Marty offers Master's-level NP programs including: Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner and Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. Whenever possible, clinical experiences are arranged near students' hometowns.
- South Dakota State University. The College of Nursing at South Dakota State has agreements with the University of Missouri-Kansas City for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner courses and the University of Missouri-Columbia for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner courses. Students can also train to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.
- Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing. The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing is physically located in Kentucky, but the school, a leader in distance education, has long helped graduates become nursing leaders within their home communities. Frontier offers a master's level community-based Family Nurse Practitioner program that provides a strong emphasis on the business of primary care. The school also offers DNP-level Family Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner programs.