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Despite spending much of its history as a two-year
program, USD Nursing began in 1954 as a baccalaureate
degree. That changed in November 1961 when the
South Dakota Board of Regents resolved that USD
would develop a two-year nursing program, beginning
in the fall of 1962. The Board also mandated that all
further developments of the two-year nursing program
would be an extension of, and under the supervision of,
the university.
In June 1964, the first associate of arts degrees in
nursing at USD were conferred. The associate of arts was
later changed to associate of science and in the fall of
the program began offering students associate of
science degrees.
Expansion and Outreach
Since its formation, the department has responded
to the needs of employers and students by undergoing
several expansions. In 1989, the State Legislature
approved expansion of USD Nursing by adding three
outreach campuses, strategically located throughout the
state at Watertown, Pierre and Rapid City. The campuses
were established in July of that year. Today, as then, these
outreach campuses are most often attended by non-
For the past five decades, the Department of Nursing at the University of South Dakota has prepared
its students to be active providers and leaders in health care throughout South Dakota and beyond.
The following pages highlight the past 50 years and present the department’s vision for the future.
traditional students who are time-bound, place-bound
and often, economically challenged.
In 1997, the Board of Regents gave approval for
USD to establish a Sioux Falls Campus and to offer a
generic nursing program in addition to the L.P.N. to
R.N. Upward Mobility Program already delivered in
Sioux Falls—thereby bringing the number of outreach
campuses to four.
Further expansion occurred in July 2001, when
South Dakota Gov. William J. Janklow requested an
additional 96 students to be admitted to the nursing
program annually. The legislature provided one-time
funding in 2002 to expand the four outreach campus
locations before approving permanent funding the
following year.
Two years later, USD Nursing continued to enhance
its efforts to meet the needs of students across the region
when it began its distance education programming.
Approval was granted for the delivery of its A.S.N.
degree to the employees of the Evangelical Lutheran
Good Samaritan Society (ELGSS) in Sioux Falls. To
support this effort, in 2001 the nursing program was
awarded a Health Resources and Services Administration
HRSA) Office of Telemedicine (OAT) grant, entitled
Growing our Own.” This private/public collaboration