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South Dakota’s nursing students have a variety of quality registered nursing (RN) programs from which to choose. These programs provide a well-rounded curriculum including technical nursing skills, general studies, and hands-on clinical training. Upon graduation, South Dakota’s newly minted RNs can expect job opportunities and competitive salaries.

Profile of registered nursing
Registered nurses make up the core of the healthcare industry. South Dakota’s RNs can choose one of two education pathways: a two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Depending on their degree, RNs may work in a breadth of areas including patient care, clinical research, and management. Degree coursework covers critical topics like nursing theory, nursing informatics, and the advanced sciences. Internships and clinical experiences provide valuable hands-on training that most employers seek in their new hires.

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Top RN programs in South Dakota
South Dakota is home to a dozen schools with state-approved prelicensure RN programs. Several small local colleges offer an ADN program, including Oglala Lakota, Sisseton Wahpeton, and Southeast Technical Institute. BSN degrees are offered at larger esteemed universities like National American University, South Dakota State University, and University of South Dakota.

Career outlook
There are more than 11,500 RNs employed in South Dakota. They earn a median annual salary of $51,000, although BSN-educated nurses frequently earn top-quartile pay of $61,500 or more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists registered nursing as one of the nation’s top ten occupations by job growth.

Interested in becoming a registered nurse? We’ve included below a list of South Dakota schools with state-approved prelicensure RN programs.

Featured Schools

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South Dakota

Augustana University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
South Dakota State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of South Dakota
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Dakota Wesleyan University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of Sioux Falls
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.7% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
Mount Marty College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Presentation College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Oglala Lakota College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 76.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Sisseton Wahpeton College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 55.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Lake Area Technical Institute
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
National American University - Rapid City
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
National American University - Sioux Falls
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Southeast Technical Institute
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Augustana University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.5% 2008 to 2012
South Dakota State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.1% 2008 to 2012
University of South Dakota
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.8% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Dakota Wesleyan University
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.6% 2008 to 2012
University of Sioux Falls
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.7% 2011 to 2012
Mount Marty College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.1% 2008 to 2012
Presentation College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.8% 2008 to 2012
Oglala Lakota College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 76.5% 2008 to 2012
Sisseton Wahpeton College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 55.6% 2008 to 2012
Lake Area Technical Institute
Associate's Degree in Nursing
National American University - Rapid City
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
National American University - Sioux Falls
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Southeast Technical Institute
Associate's Degree in Nursing