Learn About South Dakota Nursing Schools
When you look at the health care industry of South Dakota, it’s clear that nurses have a big role to play in the state’s medical field. The majority of South Dakota’s population lives in remote rural areas, which makes it difficult for people to see the doctors and specialists they need. As a result, nurses provide the vast majority of care for patients.
If you’re interested in starting a career in the health care field, learn more about nursing programs in South Dakota by contacting the schools you see listed below.
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South Dakota is an area of focus for the federal government. Many reservation areas in South Dakota are designated Promise Zones, areas where it’s a priority for legislators to improve health care and other measures of quality of life.
Becoming a Nurse in South Dakota
If education is important to you, South Dakota may be where you need to be. KeloLand reports that South Dakota ranks high for nursing education opportunities.
Choosing the right degree program for you is the first step to getting started in your nursing education. You have to decide whether you want to become a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse. If you want to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you can often complete your education in less than one year with a certificate or diploma. If you would like to become a registered nurse (RN), you may want to choose between an Associate’s degree program or a Bachelor’s degree program.
As a nursing student, you may need to spend a good deal of your time in various clinical settings. Bachelor’s degree programs have the most stringent clinical requirements, often requiring over 600 hours of work. In your practicum courses, you may discover which specialties you want to work in.
Your curriculum should include a wide variety of high-level nursing courses. Classes that may be part of your curriculum include Research and Evidence-Based Practice, Professional Nursing Concepts, Patient-Centered Care Concepts, and Nursing Principles & Applications.
You may wish to look into financial aid options in South Dakota. The South Dakota Center for Nursing Workforce offers a variety of scholarships to promising nursing students. Local employers, like Avera, have scholarship funds as well. You may wish to look at opportunities offered by the South Dakota Nurses Association.
Nursing Schools in South Dakota
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to start working in healthcare, you may find that this is the right time for you to start learning about nursing schools in South Dakota. The need for nurses is expanding throughout the United States, with severe shortages being reported in rural states like South Dakota. Whether you opt to become a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse, a degree may help you make a difference.
South Dakota LPN Programs
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, physical exam, negative drug screen, and approved criminal background check
- Credit hour range: 30 to 45 credits
- Online degree options: Unavailable, due to clinical work requirements at this level of study
- Licensing exams: NCLEX-PN
To become a licensed practical nurse, you may only need a one-year diploma or certificate. Rather than splitting your attention between general education courses and nursing courses, you may devote all of your time to nursing coursework. Clinical experience is mandatory for LPNs, so you may build your body of experience in nursing homes, hospitals, and more.
BSN Programs in South Dakota
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, negative TB test, physical exam, and approved criminal background check
- Credit hour range: 120 to 140 credits
- Online degree options: Blended degree available, but no fully online options exist due to clinical requirements
- Licensing exams: NCLEX-RN
Becoming a registered nurse is a popular choice for new students. It may give you the chance to work in many different healthcare facilities and use your experience to work in many specialized healthcare departments. At the baccalaureate level, you may get experience in pediatric care, family healthcare, and women’s health, among other specialties. In addition to your nursing classes, you must complete up to 60 credits of general education classes. These classes lay the foundation for strong critical thinking skills and future graduate study.
South Dakota MSN Schools
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current South Dakota nursing license
- Credit hour range: Up to 60 credits
- Online degree options: Only offered at some schools in administrative areas of specialty
- Licensing exams: Dependent on your area of study and national certification board
Many of the best online nursing schools in South Dakota offer graduate programs. If you’re interested in online study, note that you may be limited to administrative specialties like nurse leadership and nursing informatics. There are several clinical areas of expertise for those who prefer to work directly with patients. Popular study options include nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist.
DNP and PhD Nursing Programs in South Dakota
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current South Dakota nursing license
- Credit hour range: 70 to 90 credits
- Online degree options: Limited; most programs require clinical work or teaching experience
- Licensing exams: Determined by each national certification board
If you want to truly become leader in the nursing industry, you may find what you’re looking for in a PhD or DNP program. These programs give you the opportunity to build your research skills, teach undergraduate students, and even take on advanced clinical roles. Beyond your Bachelor’s degree, you may spend up to seven years finishing a PhD or DNP.
Now that you know more about different schooling options in South Dakota, it’s time to start finding the right school for you. Use our list of schools to reach out to nursing programs in South Dakota.
Nursing Colleges in South Dakota with Nursing Bridge Programs
You may not fit the mold of a traditional student, but that doesn’t mean you need to start over with your nursing education. In fact, the credits you have already earned may decrease the amount of credits and clinical hours you need for a nursing degree. Nursing bridge programs are becoming more widely available in many parts of South Dakota.
Some programs fit the needs of students who come to nursing after starting in another area of study. If you have a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree, consider an accelerated BSN. These programs are also known as second-degree BSN programs. They generally last 12 to 24 months. They do cover nursing theory, but the majority of your education time may be spent in clinical settings. These training options are far more fast-paced than many other nursing degree options, so full-time work is not an option.
You may begin your nursing career as an LPN or Associate’s-level registered nurse. If so, a bridge program could help you expand your skill set and scope of practice. To complete an LPN to RN program, plan on one year of full-time study. In contrast, an LPN to BSN program may last up to three years. There are similar options for RN graduates. An RN to BSN program may last 18 to 24 months. Since this degree often requires at least one year of full-time experience, you may be able to do your coursework online.
Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in South Dakota
- Consider the accreditation status of each school on your list; graduating from an unaccredited school may slow down or even stop the process of getting a nursing license. Accreditation is typically granted by the ACEN or CCNE.
- Find out how well each school prepares students for the NCLEX exam. You can ask about NCLEX study options and check out each program’s NCLEX pass rate.
- Think about what type of clinical experience you need to succeed in your chosen career path. If you want to work in pediatric nursing, for example, prioritize finding a school that offers pediatric clinical rotations.
- Check out each school’s student to faculty ratio. You may not want to attend a school with a high ratio, as this may limit your ability to connect with instructors.
- Tour schools and figure out where you fit in. You may be able to sit in on classes and contact current students; both of these steps can help you select a school where you thrive.
- Contact multiple programs during your school search. This gives you a good feel for which schools prioritize the student learning experience. In addition, regular contact with faculty members may make you feel more confident about your progress as a student nurse.
- Contact the South Dakota Board of Nursing to verify that each school you’re considering is on their list of approved education providers.
2018 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions
Now that you know more about what to look for in nursing schools in SD, you may have your future career on your mind. Staying on top of hiring needs and nursing legislation may help you become a strong part of your local nursing community and get the clinical experience you need to meet local hiring expectations.
Graduates of licensed practical nursing programs may go on to become LPNs after becoming licensed. Job openings for LPNs are expected to swell 1% by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017). The average salary for a South Dakota licensed practical nurse is $37,100 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
The training you get at a baccalaureate nursing degree program could put you on the path to becoming a registered nurse. South Dakota has a significant nursing shortage, so job openings for RNs may increase 12% by 2024 (O*Net, 2017). The average annual income for a South Dakota RN is $55,920 (BLS, 2017).
While nurses at all levels of education are important in the healthcare industry, demand is extremely high for those who attend nurse practitioner programs. By 2024, you may see a 24% jump in job openings throughout South Dakota (O*Net, 2017). On average, South Dakota nurse practitioners earn $97,490 per year (BLS, 2017).
You may have considered becoming a nurse practitioner before. This could be your chance to act; the state of South Dakota recently removed practice restrictions for nurse practitioners (Healthcare Dive, 2017).
Don’t wait any longer to find a nursing program that fits your standards. Check out nursing schools in your area and request information from South Dakota nursing schools to get started.