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How to Become a Nurse in South Dakota, SD

To become a nurse in South Dakota, one must first decide what kind of nurse licensure they wish to pursue. The lowest-level ‘professional’ nurse is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which takes a year of nursing education training and passing the NCLEX-PN to achieve. LPNs typically earn around $37,500 per year.

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The far more commonly-chosen route to professional nursing in South Dakota is to become a Registered Nurse (RN). South Dakota RNs earn an average of almost $60,000 per year and enjoy a wider variety of job opportunities and greater responsibility in the workplace than LPNs. However, the quickest path to RN licensure is through an Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN) which takes two years after 3-6 months of prerequisites, or four years following prerequisites through a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN).

So why take a South Dakota BSN instead of an ADN? The answer lies in the greater opportunity for advanced learning with regards to nursing theory, research and practice, and the ability to specialize through elective courses. A BSN student has time to study topics like radiology, rehabilitation, third world health, and a myriad of other topics in-depth when their ADN counterparts are already in the work force. While it takes a little longer, BSN nursing students graduate with greater job opportunities and oftentimes greater earning potential in the long run.

Regardless of which path is chosen, the gateway to becoming a South Dakota Registered Nurse in the NCLEX licensure examination. It is the final step to becoming a nurse upon graduation, and almost 90 percent of students pass it on the first try.

Detailed South Dakota Nursing Information

To read more on how to become a nurse in South Dakota and learn about salaries, job prospects, and additional education opportunities, visit our South Dakota nursing pages.