January 16, 2022

Overview of Nursing Schools in South Dakota

  • There are 12 nursing schools in South Dakota. The CCNE accredits 8 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 3 schools in South Dakota.
  • On average, attending an RN program in South Dakota will cost you between $3,324.00 and $20,215.00 per year.
  • In South Dakota, the average undergraduate student borrows between $4,725.00 and $14,000.00 per year.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average, the NCLEX passing rate range for South Dakota ADN students is between 67.47% and 92.30%.
  • On average, the NCLEX passing rate range for South Dakota BSN students is between 70.27% and 94.53%.
  • The average annual salary for a registered nurse in South Dakota is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in South Dakota can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

Onling Programs Liked by South Dakota Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

About Nursing Schools in South Dakota

Nursing is one of the most noble, if not the most noble; professions one can get involved in. Registered nurses are constantly seeking advanced degrees and almost half have already pursued higher education. These statistics are not surprising. There is a national push for registered nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher. This will help them to be prepared for the constantly evolving health care industry. There are many programs for nurses to choose and they are designed with a sense of flexibility to meet the scheduling needs of busy, working nurses. There are programs online as well as in the traditional campus setting.

In our South Dakota RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key South Dakota RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of South Dakota, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

South Dakota RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs59
Average NCLEX Passing Rate81.44%85.40%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range67.47% to 92.30%70.27% to 94.53%
Average Net Price$13,152.20$18,136.44
Average Net Price Range$3,324.00 to $20,215.00$14,584.00 to $20,215.00
Average Student Loan$15,462.50$17,506.22
Average Student Loan Range$10,000.00 to $18,585.00$10,637.00 to $26,000.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for South Dakota StateBSN Rankings for South Dakota State

Best Ranked RN Programs in South Dakota

Best Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both South Dakota and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 4 ADN degree programs and 8 BSN degree programs in South Dakota. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in South Dakota to provide our state rankings. View our methodology


University of Sioux Falls

  • 1101 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, SD - 57105-1699
  • (605) 331-5000
  • Grade: (A) 97.85%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor
University of Sioux Falls is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  They offer three nursing tracks: a traditional BSN program, an accelerated BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  The online RN to BSN program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Southeast Technical Institute

  • 2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD - 57107-1301
  • (605) 367-7624
  • Grade: (A) 95.41%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Augustana College

  • 2001 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD - 57197-0001
  • (605) 274-5516
  • Grade: (A) 94.56%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
Augustana University is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Their nursing program has been in existence for more than 70 years and they are a regional leader in nursing education.  They offer a BSN program and an accelerated BSN program.  They also offer training in parish nursing; a parish nurse
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South Dakota State University

  • Administration Lane, Brookings, SD - 57007-1898
  • (800) 952-3541
  • Grade: (A) 93.17%
  • Programs: CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
South Dakota State University is located in Brookings, South Dakota.  They offer a traditional BSN program, an accelerated BSN program and an online RN to BSN program.  They also offer LPN and RN refresher courses for those nurses who have been out of practice and need to brush up on
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Dakota Wesleyan University

  • 1200 W University Ave, Mitchell, SD - 57301-4398
  • (605) 995-2600
  • Grade: (A) 91.44%
  • Programs: Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursingg, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, LPN to BSN
Dakota Wesleyan University is located in Mitchell, South Dakota.  They offer a traditional BSN program.  Not only do they offer an RN to BSN program, but they also offer an LPN to BSN program.  The LPN to BSN program is located at their Sioux Falls campus and the RN to
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South Dakota Rank
89.03 University of South Dakota 2 ADN
82.11 Mount Marty College 6 BSN
73.49 Presentation College 7 BSN

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in South Dakota

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in South Dakota

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in South Dakota offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by South Dakota Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

South Dakota  RN Licensing Requirements

South Dakota State Board of Nursing
4305 South Louise Ave., Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115
(605) 362-2760

Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal, RN: $90

Continuing education requirements:


RN Licensure by Exams

After completing an approved nursing program, the candidates will be required to have a background check done and apply to the South Dakota Board. Following this step, the candidate will register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX exam and have the director certify the education. There is a $100 application fee and a $200 fee for the exam registration. If a candidate wishes to work under a temporary permit, he/she will be responsible for an additional $25 fee. These candidates must work under direct supervision of a registered nurse. Candidates will be able to schedule the exam when eligibility has been determined and authorization to test has been received. There is a 90-day window in which the exam can be scheduled. Candidates will be able to retake the exam after submitting a retake application but the temporary permit will become void.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses who obtained licensure in one of the other 50 states may be able to obtain licensure by endorsement in the state of South Dakota. The candidate will need to submit transcripts and license verification. The candidate will also need to verify employment. Candidates who have not worked 480 hours in the most recent six years or 140 in the last year will be required to complete a refresher course. If the aforementioned requirements are met, the candidate will be required to submit a photocopy of a current license along with the application and fees.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Nurses who completed their education in Canada (with the exception of Quebec) and met requirements similar to a nursing program in the United States will be able to apply for licensure by exam. Applicants will need a social security number along with a CGFNX certification before applying for the NCLEX exam.

RN Salaries in South Dakota

Registered nurses in South Dakota have a wide array of career options available to them. There are 60 state hospitals and 115 skilled nursing facilities within the state of South Dakota. Additional practice opportunities present themselves as nurses pursue higher education such as management and administrative roles. The top hospital in the state is Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. This is a hospital that job seekers are encouraged to pursue in terms of a career.

South Dakota Registered Nursing Salaries

There are more registered nurses in Sioux Falls than any other metropolitan area in the state of South Dakota. However, registered nurses in Rapid City see a higher hourly mean wage and annual median wage than those in any other metropolitan area.
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.

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