South Dakota RN to BSN Programs

There are countless reasons you may pursue a BSN program even if you are already working as a RN. To be clear, a RN does not need to earn a BSN to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to earn certification. A BSN graduate will still need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to enter the career path, so it is no shortcut. What the BSN does for a graduate is allows them to enter the field on their term more easily, choosing from a wider selection of potential employers, earn a higher income over the course of their career and enable them to advance in their field more easily. In addition, the ability to move into a higher level degree is even easier once you earn a BSN as you can go back to school at any point to earn a master’s or doctorate degree and start working as a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant. The benefits are clear, so explore some of the statistics for RNs in South Dakota and start mapping a plan for a successful future in this career path.

There were a total of 51 medical school graduates in the state in 2011. That number includes all medical school graduates so only a portion (not-disclosed) are entering the field as registered nurses. There are only 11,120 registered nurses supporting South Dakota’s population of 900,000 individuals. That number is pretty shocking and should show you why employers are in such desperate need of skills nursing graduates.

Expect to earn around $53,000 a year on average as a registered nurse in the state. To ensure you earn that amount, or higher, you will want to bring as much experience as you can to the table, along with a BSN. Working through school will give you plenty of experience and many employers will offer tuition assistance to their employees.


You will find that the highest number of registered nurses relative to the population of the city can be found in Sioux Falls. The other end of the spectrum, the lowest percentage of RNs relative to population will be found in Rapid City. Rapid City also enjoys the highest average salary for registered nurses, so it may be a good city to look to for employment now and upon graduation.

Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, Regional Health Physicians Inc. in Rapid City, VA Medical Center in Fort Meade, Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen and Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton rank among the top 15 employers in the state across all industries. Each of these employers can be a great starting point for your career and researching each in detail will let you find out more about what they offer their employees.


The South Dakota Nurses Association will become an invaluable resource throughout your education and career. You can find plenty of information, professional contacts, and assistance with finding local jobs through the site and you should be able to get information about additional financing towards your education. Be sure to explore the SDNA as thoroughly as possible to get the most out of everything they offer.

You will also find a great deal of financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. Here you will find scholarships, loan repayment plans, grants and other loan options to help you cover the cost of your education. The site says it best; “Millions of Americans do not have access to health care because they live where there are not enough health professionals to meet basic needs.” This is the core reason that they offer so many financing options for those interested in entering the field. By taking advantage of all of their offers you can offset a great deal of your educational expenses and graduate with only minor debt relative to many other professional degrees.


University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences: Nursing

USDSON is designated as a National League of Nursing Center of Excellence. The school has been selected for a national pilot project on quality and safety education. You will also find a RN to BSN program online which could help you earn your degree faster and easier as you work.

South Dakota State University College of Nursing

At South Dakota State University you will find super qualification of the faculty who bring strong clinical experience and educational prep at the master’s and doctoral level to each situation. This means that even earning a BSN at the school will be a more intense and rewarding experience. Clinical and classroom experience is of an exemplary quality of instruction. Graduates have a strong reputation for demonstrating excellent critical thinking, work ethic and clinical judgment.