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2023 Best Online Nursing Programs in South Dakota

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 7/21/2023



If you're considering a nursing career, our list of the top online nursing programs in South Dakota for 2023 provides you with valuable insights. The need for educational programs that offer flexibility and convenience has grown, and online nursing courses have gained popularity as a result. Furthermore, considering the cost of acquiring a nursing degree is important, and we have also identified the most affordable nursing degrees on another list. 

The list below focuses on colleges in South Dakota with online nursing programs that also have available NCLEX data. This gives you the best information to make informed decisions regarding your degree selection, as these programs produce the highest performing graduates who have excelled with the best pass rates.

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2023 Best Online Nursing Programs in South Dakota

School NCLEX Pass Rate Online Enrollment
University of South Dakota 90.6% 2,904
Dakota Wesleyan University 88.9% 69
South Dakota State University 88.7% 1,535
Presentation College 77.3% 236
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Becoming a Nurse in South Dakota

Becoming a nurse in South Dakota takes dedication to pursue the necessary education and testing. You generally need to earn an approved or accredited nursing certificate or degree. You might also need to pass the appropriate version of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), depending on what type of nurse you're trying to become.

The South Dakota Board of Nursing regulates licenses for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The nursing board and the Department of Health take joint responsibility for the state's certified nurse aide (CNA) registry.

South Dakota is grappling with a nursing shortage that affects rural areas the most. As in many states, South Dakota's nursing workforce was declining even before COVID-19 due to a lack of nurse educators qualified to teach the next generation. The state will have plenty of open positions in coming years, but working conditions are likely to be less than ideal as administrators try to do more with less.

Read on to discover the requirements for each level of nursing in the Mount Rushmore State. 

To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below:

Nursing Degrees by State

How To Get Certified Nurse Aide Certification in South Dakota

Aspiring CNAs must complete a board-approved training program teaching the proper knowledge and skills for the job. Graduates then need to pass a test with written and skill-based, hands-on sections. Alternatively, CNAs can receive certification by endorsement if they verify that they're certified in good standing in another state.

CNAs must renew their registration every two years. They need to demonstrate that they've completed at least 12 hours of approved continuing education each year and that they worked for pay as a CNA for at least 12 hours in the previous two years. 

How To Get a Licensed Practical Nurse License in South Dakota

As with all its nursing licenses, South Dakota can grant LPN licenses by examination or by endorsement. New LPNs must take a board-approved practical nursing program before taking the NCLEX-PN. Endorsement candidates must submit proof of licensure in their original state, along with proof of employment to demonstrate that they've worked as an LPN. Both sets of applicants must undergo a background check.

LPN licenses renew every two years. Renewal requires LPNs to show that they worked at least 140 hours during any 12-month stretch of the last six years.

How To Get a Registered Nursing License in South Dakota

South Dakota RN applicants must earn an accredited Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Licensure-by-examination applicants then need to pass the NCLEX-RN, while licensure-by-endorsement hopefuls submit proof of licensure elsewhere. Each candidate must submit to a criminal background check.

RN licenses must be renewed every two years. South Dakota doesn't make licensees complete continuing education, but they do need to verify that they worked at least 140 hours during any 12-month period from the last six years.

OnlineU offers guidance on how to become a neonatal nurse, how to become a pediatric nurse, or how to become a travel nurse for students interested in those specialties.

How To Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse License in South Dakota

Certified nurse midwife (CNM)

Certified nurse practitioner (CNP)

Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

We have several resources for aspiring APRNs, including a 2023 Best Online Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs page, a guide on How To Become a Nurse Anesthetist, and a Guide to Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees.

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