If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one), and you have a desire for the stunning landscapes of South Dakota, read on to find all the information you need. Here, you’ll learn about licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a South Dakota nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in South Dakota
- Top hospitals in South Dakota
- Nursing organizations & associations in South Dakota
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in South Dakota whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to South Dakota from another state. For more information visit the South Dakota licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX exam fee: $200
- Application fee: $100 (RN/LPN/CNP)
Licensing fee by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fees: $100 (RN/LPN/CNP)
- Temporary permit: $25
License renewal fees:
- Application fee: $115 (RN/LPN); $95 (CNP)
South Dakota is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
Steps for renewing a South Dakota nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page to confirm your license.
- Go to the South Dakota Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application
Visit the Renewal Information page for specific requirements. South Dakota is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in South Dakota unless you are declaring South Dakota as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
South Dakota does have a minimum practice requirement:
- provide verification of employment in nursing for a minimum of 140 hours in any 12-month period during the previous 6 years, or a total accumulation of 480 hours during the previous 6 years
APRN: Maintain national certification
Job and salary outlook for nurses in South Dakota
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031. The national average salary is $82,750.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if South Dakota is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in South Dakota ]
Top hospitals in South Dakota
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in South Dakota will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- Sanford USD Medical Center – Sioux Falls, SD: This hospital is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
- Pulmonology & Lung Surgery
- Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center – Sioux Falls, SD: This hospital is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty and rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 7 procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Pulmonology & Lung Surgery (#48 in the nation)
- Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations and associations in South Dakota
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in South Dakota:
South Dakota Nurses Association: “The South Dakota Nurses Association speaks with a unified voice to support professional nursing through advocacy, communication, networking and collaboration across nursing specialties. The Registered Nurse is an advocate of access to quality, cost effective care while upholding standards of excellence for the profession.”
South Dakota School Nurse Association: “The mission of the South Dakota School Nurses Association (SDSNA) is to promote and advance the need, value, and importance of nursing and health services in the educational environment.”
South Dakota Student Nurses Association: “Participating in NSNA prepares you for involvement in professional associations when you graduate, as well as for participation in shared governance organizations in the workplace. It is comprised of students who are preparing for their RN Licensure. South Dakota Student Nurses Association provides educational opportunities for student nurses through leadership, education, scholarship, legislature, and career networking.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
Expert advice from nurses like you
South Dakota Board of Nursing
Phone: (605) 362-2760
4305 S. Louis Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115
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