| USD Nursing
The four-year degree was approved by the South Dakota
Board of Regents in late 2011 and replaces USD’s two-year
Associate of Science in Nursing (A.S.N.) offerings at Vermillion,
Sioux Falls and Rapid City, while augmenting its R.N.-B.S.N.
pathway, an online program which enables registered nurses to
complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing.
The move fully aligns USD Nursing with the national
trends and initiatives for a higher number of baccalaureate-
prepared nurses and the R.N.-B.S.N. program offers a seamless
transition for associate degree nurses to obtain their B.S.N.,”
said Carla Dieter, Ed.D., R.N., F.N.P-B.C., chair of USD’s
Department of Nursing.
According to the IOM, the shift is occurring on a national
scale, in part, because emerging evidence suggests a correlation
between higher ratios of B.S.N.-educated nurses and improved
health care outcomes. The transition also reflects the evolving
role of nurses when it comes to patient care, a point the new
four-year curriculum addresses in a number of ways. Designed
in accordance with the American Association of Colleges of
Nursing (AACN) “Baccalaureate Essentials,” the programming
places an emphasis on nurses as the providers, designers,
coordinators and managers of care across the patient’s lifespan.
The baccalaureate nurse is prepared as a generalist,
providing direct and indirect care in and across all
environments,” said Dieter. “Nurses are patient advocates and
educators. Additionally, baccalaureate nurses will have the
knowledge and authority to delegate tasks to other health care
personnel as well as supervising and evaluating these personnel.”
The curriculum will place a stronger emphasis on the
sciences and liberal arts studies, providing a broad educational
foundation for students. Furthermore, the program will place
a focus on leadership, population health and interprofessional
In this rapidly changing environment of health care,
students will benefit from a broader knowledge base as they
transition into practice, which ultimately serves to benefit the
health and well-being of their patients,” said Dieter.
While the scope and content of the curriculum will change,
by Doug Murano
A landmark 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a higher ratio of baccalaureate-prepared
nurses. As a result, health care institutions are demanding a greater number of Bachelor of Science in Nursing
B.S.N.) graduates in the workforce than ever before. The Department of Nursing at the University of South
Dakota is answering this call as it rolls out a new four-year B.S.N. program beginning in the fall of 2013 at the
Vermillion and Sioux Falls campuses, and fall of 2014 in Rapid City.