Nursing Schools in South Dakota
Nursing is one of the fastest growing professions currently available. This is primarily due to the fact that our population is both growing and advancing in age. As the baby boomers reach retirement age and beyond, the need for health care becomes more consistent and important than ever before. Unfortunately, there are not enough professionals in the health care profession to keep up with this increased demand and multiple programs are designed to help overcome that issue. You will find that many registered nurses followed a path that let them start working as soon as possible while they continued their education. You can also follow this path by starting with a diploma or certification program that will prepare you to pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Upon completion, you can start working as a licensed registered nurse and it can all be done in as little as two years. Once you find an employer and start your career, working towards a BSN, MSN, DNP or PhD in Nursing will only enhance your career prospects.
South Dakota has just over 11,000 registered nurses supporting a population of over 800,000 people. You can see from this disparity in numbers that the industry is lacking the proper support that it needs. Registered nurses are the backbone of the health care industry, making the visits by patients smoother and helping physicians more efficiently treat those that are in need. Fortunately, registered nurses in South Dakota earn over $52,000 a year on average. To ensure that you fall as high as possible in the salary brackets, experience and education are going to be key.
To start earning experience you need to find an employer that will let you start either as an entry level employee or give you a great starting spot upon graduation with a RN license. Sioux Falls has the highest percentage of registered nurses working relative to the population of the city. On the other end of the spectrum, Rapid City sees the lowest percentage of RNs working relative to the population, but it does offer the highest median salaries in the state.
Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, 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. Use this information to give yourself a good starting point towards finding the right employer to meet your needs. Pay special attention to employers that offer tuition assistance if you plan to follow the previously mentioned path and continue your education upon entrance into the career path.
Paying for College
Many colleges offer unique loans, scholarships and grants to students that attend their institutions. This information should be one of the first things you look at as you start to explore potential educators. Not all colleges are the same and the financial assistance they offer will often be one of the driving factors in your choice of school. You should likely spend a great deal of time researching the options on offer from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The HRSA has loans, scholarships and loan repayment options available for students that pursue nursing degrees. Because of the millions of Americans that lack access to even the most basic health care, the loan repayment plans were created. You will work under a two year commitment in an underserved area and upon completion the HRSA will pay a large portion of your student debt off. The experience that you gain during this period will also increase the likelihood of an employer aggressively pursuing you for their team.
With superb qualifications of the faculty who bring strong clinical experience and educational preparation at multiple degree levels to students, the SDCON is a solid choice for any nursing student. A strong reputation of the graduates from the institution shows that the school prepares students to lead in the industry, demonstrate excellent critical thinking, work ethic and clinical judgment. Multiple levels of education are offered at the school ranging from BSN to MSN programs with a number of specializations available. Graduate job placement rate is at 100% with undergraduates finding work within the first three months of licensure 90% of the time. With some of the highest pass rates of the NCLEX-RN in the state, including 100% from the Rapid City Undergraduate programs, you can rest assured that your education will prepare you on all levels for your future career.
USD offers nurses that ability to learn in an environment that was selected for a national pilot project on quality and safety education. As one of a small percentage of nurses that are given the chance to undertake this unique learning experience, you will bring a specialized skill set to your career. You can also find Associate and Bachelor degrees on offer including an online RN to BSN program which will make your continued education significantly easier to schedule while you are working. While the Bachelor of Science degree hasn’t started at the Rapid City campus, (Fall 2014) you can prepare for the exciting chance to continue your education in the newest learning facility available right now. The school has also earned a designation as a National League of Nursing Center of Excellence. Employers will take special note of the unique talents that your education brings to this ever changing environment.