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South Dakota is home to a variety of nursing programs, making it one of the most appealing places for aspiring nursing students. To make an informed choice about their future career path, prospective students should understand the different types of programs available. Two of the most common are licensed practical nursing (LPN) certificate programs and registered nursing (RN) degree programs.

Licensed practical nurses
An LPN certificate program can be very appealing thanks to its brevity: most require just 12 to 18 months of fulltime study. LPN programs cover anatomy, physiology, ethics, assessments, documentation, and patient safety. Versatile and adept, LPNs complete a range of healthcare activities like providing bedside care, giving medications, and supervising nursing assistants. South Dakota has a half-dozen nursing schools with state-approved LPN programs, including public colleges like Southeast Technical Institute and private schools like Mount Marty College. Around 2,000 licensed practical nurses are currently employed in South Dakota, with a typical LPN earning more than $34,000 per year.

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Registered nurses
South Dakota has two pathways for aspiring RNs: two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Registered nursing offers students a chance to explore in-depth medical knowledge through courses like nursing theory, nursing informatics, and advanced science. Aside from performing basic patient care, registered nurses fill administrative positions, manage nursing plans, and supervise junior nursing personnel. South Dakota has a dozen nursing schools with an ADN program and/or a BSN program, including large public institutions like University of South Dakota and small private schools like Augustana College. The state is home to more than 11,500 RNs, who represent the largest workforce in the state’s healthcare industry. South Dakota’s RNs earn approximately $50,000 per year on average.

Find out more about the state’s nursing education by browsing our list below of accredited nursing schools in South Dakota.

Featured Schools

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South Dakota

Augustana University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Dakota Wesleyan University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Lake Area Technical Institute
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Mount Marty College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
National American University - Rapid City
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
National American University - Sioux Falls
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Oglala Lakota College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Presentation College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Sinte Gleska University
  • Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Sisseton Wahpeton College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
South Dakota State University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Southeast Technical Institute
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
University of Sioux Falls
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of South Dakota
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Western Dakota Technical Institute
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Augustana University Sioux Falls
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Lake Area Technical Institute Watertown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Mount Marty College Yankton
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
National American University - Rapid City Rapid City
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
National American University - Sioux Falls Sioux Falls
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Oglala Lakota College Pine Ridge
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Presentation College Aberdeen
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Sinte Gleska University Mission
  • Associate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Sisseton Wahpeton College Sisseton
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
South Dakota State University Brookings
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Southeast Technical Institute Sioux Falls
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of South Dakota Vermillion
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing