the Best Choice in South Dakota Nursing Programs

Quickly Locate Schools that Fit Your Goals

Mount Rushmore National Monument.

Looking for a college or university in South Dakota that offers the nursing degrees you need for your particular career goals is pretty easy. With only a dozen or so to choose from the decision becomes much less confusing. This doesn't mean you'll find less diverse nursing options-all the degrees and program options for nurses are represented. But SD is much more rural and as such produces many fewer nursing students than in more densely populated states.

Where to Find Entry-Level Nursing Degrees

If you're new to nursing and have no previous college degree then consider fast-tracking your career. LPNs learn the ropes via practical nurse programs available at the technical and vocational schools. RNs with their two-year Associates degrees earn their degrees at the state community colleges.

Baccalaureate and Advanced Degrees for Nurses

If you are a career changer, already have a college degree in anything, or are an experienced RN, narrow your search to the 4-year colleges and universities on the list. They provide the BSN, MSN, post-grad specialty certificates, advanced practice nursing degrees and even nursing PhDs.

Trends in Nursing Jobs and Salaries in South Dakota

Because there are only 29 hospitals in the state and only 5 of those with bed counts above 200,(1) RNs and LPNs must also look for jobs in rural healthcare as well as metro. Nursing homes, home health, long-term and assisted care facilities, schools and large businesses, and medical clinics all provide many more jobs for South Dakota licensed nurses. Experienced nurses willing to return to school for an advanced practice nursing degree are also in demand for nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, and nurse practitioner jobs in facilities and locations where physicians would be much more costly.

Downtown Sioux Falls.

Average salary range for a staff RN working in Rapid City or Sioux Falls is between $48,500 and $58,000.(2) This is on the low end for RNs in the country, HOWEVER here are a few proven salary-boosting tips for RNs:

  • Take a job in a hospital that offers a sign-on bonus. Nurses are in high demand and many hospitals offer a few thousand dollars up-front to attract new nurses to their fold.
  • Take a travel nursing assignment somewhere in the state. Just because you live in SD doesn't mean you can't take a travel assignment. Get on board with a company that has your best interests in mind. Many post lists of "hot jobs," or those in places like SD where the salary is exponentially more than what you'd earn as a staff nurse. Make it even more lucrative and shop for a travel assignment with a completion bonus attached. Be forewarned: many of the best-paying travel jobs are in unpopular locations, in places where it's really off-season (extreme north in winter or desert locations in summer), or in very busy and under-staffed hospitals where you really need to be prepared to hit the ground running, no questions asked.
  • Work on a per diem basis.
  • Sign up to work overtime, take extra shifts, work holidays or on short notice when others call out.

Aerial View of Lead, South Dakota.

For information on state nursing licensure requirements visit the South Dakota Board of Nursing.

SD Nursing Schools Offering Some Online Degree Options

Dakota Wesleyan University
Department of Nursing
NLNAC Accredited

National American University
NLNAC Accredited

University of South Dakota
Department of Nursing
NLNAC Accredited

Search our big list of online nursing schools for many more distance education opportunities.

Campus-based Nursing Schools in South Dakota

Augustana College — Sioux Falls
CCNE Accredited

Dakota Wesleyan University — Mitchell
Department of Nursing
NLNAC Accredited

Lake Area Technical Institute — Watertown
Practical Nursing
NLNAC Accredited

Mount Marty College-Yankton — Yankton
CCNE Accredited

National American University — Sioux Falls
NLNAC Accredited

Presentation College — Aberdeen
Department of Nursing
NLNAC Accredited

South Dakota State University — Brookings
CCNE Accredited

University of South Dakota — Vermillion
Department of Nursing
NLNAC Accredited

1 American Hospital Directory
2 Salary.com

 

 

 

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