Nursing Schools, Career Opps, and Financial Incentives for SD Student Nurses

Earn your Associates Degree, BSN or MSN in SD

Staff nurses as well as Advanced Practice nurses have hot career potential in South Dakota. The state has a number of metropolitan areas—major hospitals—as well as dearth of rural and remote communities that offer healthcare challenges.

If rural nursing piques your interest at all, SD offers educational as well as professional opportunities. The Rural Nurse Internship (RNI) program is available through many nursing programs in a handful of very rural states, including SD. This educational track is distance-based and gives nursing students additional coursework related to rural patient care and nursing health delivery.

Online nursing programs are also an option at some of the SD nursing schools. Masters and Doctoral nursing degree programs lend themselves well to distance education. Popular graduate level studies include Nurse Practitioner, with a variety of specializations, Nurse Midwife, and Clinical Nurse Specialist. These Advanced Practice Nursing specialties are in high demand throughout the state, from busy hospital to tiny rural community health clinic.


The South Dakota Board of Nursing regulates the nursing practice in SD, from licensure details to current legislative news. An adjunct source is the Nursing Workforce, a source for current career and workforce trends in the state. Use the BON for information related to the following:

  • Licensure for RNs and LPNs
  • Licensure and certification details for APRNs
  • Approved RN and LPN schools in SD
  • New educational programs for nursing students in SD
  • Trends in nursing salaries and workforce demand
  • Nursing scholarships and special financial incentives available to SD nurses
  • Patient complaints
  • Scope of nursing practice
  • and much more

Financial Incentives for SD Nursing Students

Loan repayment, loan forgiveness, and nursing scholarships are common financial incentives often made available to nursing students. SD programs include:

  • The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program is available to SD high school students pursuing an education and ensuing career in a high-need occupation, which includes nursing. This is a scholarship for service program—you may be eligible to receive scholarships money in return for working in a designated state nursing shortage facility for an agreed upon amount of time following your graduation from nursing school.
  • The South Dakota Office of Rural Health administers the SD State Loan Repayment Program as it applies to various health professionals. Eligible nurses include: Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Psychiatric Nurse Specialist. Non-physician programs recipients could earn a maximum of $35,000 over the course of a 3-year service commitment.

List of Accredited Campus-Based Nursing Schools in South Dakota

  • Augustana College
  • Dakota Wesleyan University
  • Lake Area Technical Institute
  • Mount Marty College
  • Presentation College
  • South Dakota State University
  • University of South Dakota

Explore Your Nursing Degree Options Today!