South Dakota State University College of Nursing- Rapid City

The SDSU College of Nursing has a mission of excellence in education of the nursing workforce, improving the health and quality of life for people in the state of South Dakota, the region, the nation, and the world. The College offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing at four sites, online, and in a variety of formats and timelines to meet the needs of a diverse student body. With 85 years of experience, the SDSU College of Nursing graduates about a third of all newly Registered Nurses in South Dakota. With an NCLEX first time pass rate consistently higher than 89%, our graduates are highly sought after in the region and enjoy a 90% job placement rate. The College of Nursing is part of an excelling university, with SDSU as the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


What makes your program unique?

The SDSU College of Nursing is unique in several ways. Taking pride in our Healthcare Simulation Center, SDSU has received provisional accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and has dedicated faculty and staff who strive for excellence in simulation education. The SDSU College of Nursing utilizes the professional advising model and has an advising team devoted to student success and there to walk you through every step of your journey towards becoming a Registered Nurse. SDSU established a B.S.N. program in Rapid City in 1989 and has enjoyed a long collaboration with BHSU to help students achieve their B.S.N. degree. SDSU’s Rapid City site is home to the Native American Nursing Education Center, serving Native nursing students across the state. Additionally, the Rapid City site hosts the Rural Nurse Fellow senior practicum experience and IMPACT-RNS Primary Care Rural senior practicum experience. We are also proud of the high level of scholarships designated specifically for nursing students at the Rapid City site through the generous gifts of donors who want to support you in your education as a Registered Nurse.

What programs do you offer to students in the West River Area?

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN to B.S.N. (Online)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (Online or on site)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online or on site)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Online or on site)

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SDSU College of Nursing is home to the  Native American Nursing Education Center, complementing the support of the American Indian Student Center and the Wokini Initiative for our Native American students at SDSU.

The Native American Nursing Education Center (NANEC) is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive place for students. The center is located at the SDSU nursing site in Rapid City at 1220 Mount Rushmore Road, but is available to all Native American nursing students at all sites. NANEC provides wrap-around services to Native American nursing students through academic, social, cultural, and financial support.


NANEC's mission is to provide a nurturing and collaborative environment where intentional mentoring inspires Native American nursing students to thrive and flourish.

The Native American Nursing Education Center offers several resources for Native American Pre-Nursing, Nursing standard students, RN-BSN students, Accelerated students, and Graduate students such as:

  • Financial and Emergency Assistance
  • Scholarship Assistance
  • Social and Academic Support
  • Nurse Mentoring Program
  • Academic Advising
  • Student Lounge and Study Spaces (accessible to students living near Rapid City)
  • Resource Room with Books, Articles and Study Materials (accessible to students living near Rapid City.
  • Cultural Events (offered via Zoom and in-person)
    • Wohanpi na Wounspe (Soup & Learn): Every month, NANEC hosts Wohanpi na Wounspe (Soup and Learn) events featuring various cultural topics and Lakota speakers. The event is open to all SDSU nursing students, staff, faculty and the public. This professional development opportunity promotes cultural education, awareness and competency grounded in Lakota culture and values.
    • Honoring Ceremony: Each semester, students are honored with a ceremony at graduation. Honoring ceremonies have been a part of Lakota history for generations. The ceremony signifies recognition of achievement for students for having attained completion of their nursing program. The honoring ceremony also means understanding the responsibility of conducting their lives as professional nurses.

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