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School size is an important factor in selecting one’s nursing school. Depending on the type of school (public vs. private) and its geographic location, the total student population can be in the hundreds or the tens of thousands. Both small and large colleges have significant benefits. It’s ultimately up to the student to decide which benefits matter most to her.

Public colleges and universities often have a large student body. To accommodate this diverse range of students, public schools offer a breadth of programs and career tracks. South Dakota State University, a large public school with nearly 13,000 enrollees, offers a plethora of nursing degrees including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. This diversity creates a vibrant community with an excellent peer and alumni network. Since public colleges enjoy government subsidies, they can also provide affordable tuition rates and superb training from industry leaders in many different fields.

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By contrast, smaller private institutions are ideal for those seeking a low faculty-to-student ratio, which provides more opportunities for collaboration with professors. For example, Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, focuses its nursing education solely on a prelicensure bachelor’s degree program, which has just 25-35 annual enrollees. While this personalized attention comes at a higher tuition cost, it ensures that ample resources are focused on the student’s success in classes, licensure exams, and career preparedness.

To better illustrate the options available, we’ve profiled below all of South Dakota’s prelicensure nursing programs. You’ll find the schools ordered by nursing class size from largest to smallest.

Featured Schools

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South Dakota

South Dakota State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 299 students during the 2012 period
University of South Dakota
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 239 students during the 2012 period
Southeast Technical Institute
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 83 students during the 2012 period
Lake Area Technical Institute
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 72 students during the 2012 period
Dakota Wesleyan University
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 53 students during the 2012 period
Augustana University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 48 students during the 2012 period
Mount Marty College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 40 students during the 2012 period
University of Sioux Falls
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 37 students during the 2012 period
Presentation College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 27 students during the 2012 period
Sisseton Wahpeton College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 19 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2012 period
Western Dakota Technical Institute
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 18 students during the 2012 period
Sinte Gleska University
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2012 period
Oglala Lakota College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 7 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
South Dakota State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 299 students
University of South Dakota Associate's Degree in Nursing 239 students
Southeast Technical Institute Certificate in Practical Nursing 83 students
Lake Area Technical Institute Certificate in Practical Nursing 72 students
Dakota Wesleyan University Associate's Degree in Nursing 53 students
Augustana University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 48 students
Mount Marty College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 40 students
University of Sioux Falls Bachelor of Science in Nursing 37 students
Presentation College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 27 students
Sisseton Wahpeton College Associate's Degree in Nursing 19 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Western Dakota Technical Institute Certificate in Practical Nursing 18 students
Sinte Gleska University Certificate in Practical Nursing 11 students
Oglala Lakota College Associate's Degree in Nursing 7 students