Nurse Practitioner Programs in South Dakota: Facts & Figures

The South Dakota Department of Health predicts [PPT] that the state will see a 9% shortage of registered nurses (RNs) by 2015, and a 23% shortage by 2020. A combination of factors, including the high numbers of current RNs that will retire soon and the deficit of space in approved nursing education programs, has led to a mild panic about nurse shortages nationwide.

Nursing licensure in South Dakota is handled by the state’s nursing board, which offers licensing services for the following types of nurse:

  • Registered Nurses
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), such as Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nursing Specialists.
  • Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurses (LPN/LVN)
  • Certified Nurse’s Assistants and Aides (CNAs)

Nursing Licensure in South Dakota

South Dakota has been a member-state of the Nurse Licensure Compact since 2001, which means that nurses who are licensed in other Compact member-states may practice in South Dakota without applying separately for a local license.

  1. Complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
  2. Submit an online or paper application, depending on the type you are applying for.
  3. Submit your fingerprints for verification (you may or may not be required to do this, depending on the type of license you apply for and whether it is your first time applying.)
  4. Submit to a criminal background check.
  5. Await approval.

Where some states require continuing education credits for nurses who want to renew their license, South Dakota only requires proof of a certain amount of employment and practice time per renewal period. Nurse practitioners renewing their licenses must prove they have practiced a minimum of 480 hours during the previous six years, or at least 140 hours in any given 12 month period during the past six years, to qualify for renewal. Nurses who cannot meet this requirement must participate in an 80 hour refresher course. More details on this can be found on the FAQ at the South Dakota Nursing Board’s website.

Average Nursing Salaries in South Dakota

All wage data is as of May, 2011.

The mean annual wage for RNs in South Dakota is $55,710, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is lower than the national mean, but because the state’s metropolitan areas are so small, the cost of living is also lower.

The table below compares the mean annual wages in various metropolitan areas of South Dakota to the state and national mean wages for nurses. All data provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Area Registered Nurses Average Salary
United States 2,724,570 $69,110
South Dakota 11,120 $55,710
Rapid City, SD 1,840 $59,010
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 1,450 $46,010
Sioux Falls, SD 5,030 $57,370

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