Two Nursing Students Working on Class Assignment


Nurses are health care heroes, helping patients through their most challenging and transformative chapters. At USD, you'll become a compassionate and skilled practitioner who makes holistic healing possible.

Why Study Nursing?

As a nursing major at USD, you will gain the expertise and adaptability you need to be a leader in health care. We see your passion for helping others, and our program nurtures that passion; we focus on putting people first, equipping you with not only the technical skills you need to provide high quality care, but also invaluable skills in compassion and empathy. Here you'll find numerous opportunities to learn by doing; participate in clinical experiences, service learning, and simulations in state-of-the-art facilities. As a student in the USD School of Health Sciences, you'll study and practice alongside students from a variety of disciplines, which will prepare you to be a collaborative member of your future patients' care teams.

Our faculty care about you and your future patients, and they are committed to helping you find the educational path that's right for you. Our nursing program will focus on your success, promote your passion for helping others and develop the skills you need to thrive in the healthcare profession as a nursing student at USD.

Degrees & Offerings

Nursing (BSN)

  Vermillion Main Campus and Sioux Falls

Gain the skills and hands-on experience you need to thrive as a nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). This degree prepares you to meet the increasingly complex demands of the health care profession with confidence and compassion. You will initially be admitted as a pre-nursing student and then will apply to the BSN program.

Nursing (LPN- BSN)

  Vermillion Main Campus and Sioux Falls

If you are a licensed practical nurse ready to take the next step in your career, the LPN-BSN program can help you reach your goals. This program will build on your educational and professional experiences, equipping you with the education and credentials to unlock additional career opportunities and improve patient care. As a nursing major, you will gain hands-on experience at hospitals in the region. USD partners with large urban hospitals as well as rural hospitals which allows our graduates to care for a variety of patients and populations and to improve healthcare outcomes. You'll experience a variety of clinical experiences each semester, working alongside hospital staff who will guide you through your clinical.

Nursing (RN to BSN)


As a registered nurse, you have the foundational education and passion you need to help patients. Now, position yourself for career advancement opportunities and enhance your professional skills by building on your associate degree. Through the RN-BSN program, you will enhance your leadership, communication and critical thinking skills, preparing you to be a confident leader who is qualified for a wide range of positions in the nursing field. Our program is delivered online with two different plans of study, offering the flexibility you need to pursue your education as a working professional.

Program Details






Admissions Requirements

In addition to applying and being accepted to USD, you will also go through a separate admission process for this program. For most students, this will happen after at least one year of enrollment at USD. Review the steps below for more information, and reach out to your admissions counselor or advisor if you have any questions.

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.


As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

A unique part of your USD education is access to undergraduate research opportunities. As a nursing student at USD, you will have the chance to explore your interests and conduct innovative research with the support of professors who care about your success. 

You'll have the opportunity to be involved in several research and professional development activities, such as data collection and management, data analysis, publications, presentations, seminars, workshops and more. Our nursing students have studied everything from the use of naloxone by first responders in response to opioid overdoses to the impact of yoga breathing on lung volume. Grants and travel funding are available through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

USD is home to more than 170 student organizations, including Omega Beta Chapter of Sigma International Honor Society of Nursing and the Student Nurses Association (SNA), which are housed in the Department of Nursing. You'll have opportunities for personal and professional development as a student member.

Explore Student Organizations

At USD, you will have opportunities to serve others on a local and global level throughout your education. Service-learning experiences complement the nursing curriculum by providing you with hands-on experience helping others outside traditional health care settings.

USD nursing students have the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to provide health care services to people with limited access to quality healthcare. Working together with students from the physical therapy, physician assistant and occupational therapy programs, students will provide services ranging from health screens to neuro-musculoskeletal exams. You'll also experience and learn about the culture in Guatemala while gaining a unique perspective on providing health care services. 

Additional service learning experiences, such as assisting a children's program through training staff and families, are also available.

If you are passionate about nursing and also want to enhance your leadership skills, you may be interested in pairing your nursing degree with education in military science. ROTC, a leadership training program, will set you apart as you prepare for a successful career. Full tuition four-year scholarships are available to ROTC students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at USD.

Students enrolled in ROTC courses can apply for direct admission to the nursing program as early as their freshman year. Students must meet the following criteria to maintain eligibility: 

  • In good standing with ROTC
  • Unconditional admission to USD (i.e., student is not on probationary status)
  • Maintain 2.7 GPA in B.S.N. prerequisite coursework
  • Completed all prerequisite classes with a minimum grade of C in all courses prior to starting the nursing program
  • Repeated no more than one of the following science courses one time within the last five years: CHEM 106/106L; PHGY 220/220L; PHGY 230/230L; and MICRO 230/232
  • Criminal background check and drug screen completed semester prior to starting the program

Apply Now

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education.
Nursing Student During a Patient Simulation.


Our department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, supporting today's health care workforce and delivery of quality patient care.

The USD Medicine leadership team cutting the ribbon unveiling the new Parry Center facilities.

Parry Center

The Parry Center for Clinical Skills & Simulation is a state-of-the-art learning environment that allows collaboration among students and safely simulates real-patient experiences.

Three medicine students looking at a tablet working in the Human Anatomy laboratory.

Human Anatomy Lab

The University of South Dakota’s human anatomy lab offers a cadaver-based experience to undergraduate, graduate, medical and health sciences students. Our lab enables future health care professionals to assist their patients through the mastery of human anatomy.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Nursing. Our faculty are committed professionals, experts in their field, and contribute to research and scholarship in health promotion, disease prevention, and  chronic disease management. USD faculty are committed to producing life long learners, and develops exceptional health practitioners, leaders, and scholars who improve and advocate for the well-being of all people. We focus on person-centered care, with caring, compassion and respect as the foundation to nursing care.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Anne Pithan

Anne Pithan

Bio Image for Faculty Member Christine Doty

Christine Doty

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelli Ebbesen

Kelli Ebbesen

Faculty Advisor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lisa Feller

Lisa Feller

Associate Professor, Emerita of Nursing
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cheryl Fischbach

Cheryl Fischbach

Lecturer, Emerita of Nursing
Bio Image for Faculty Member Samantha Gottsleben

Samantha Gottsleben



Bio Image for Faculty Member Helene Hegge

Helene Hegge MSN,RN

Site Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Abby Houg

Abby Houg

Bio Image for Faculty Member Valarie Hower

Valarie Hower

Management Analyst
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tyler Kaufmann

Tyler Kaufmann

Clinical Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Anne Kleinhesselink

Anne Kleinhesselink

Associate Chair, Assist Prof
Bio Image for Faculty Member Michelle Knuppe

Michelle Knuppe

Clinical Experiences Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sabina Kupershmidt

Sabina Kupershmidt

Associate Professor


Interprofessional teamwork
Bio Image for Faculty Member Regan Luken

Regan Luken

Student Services Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Beth Melstad

Beth Melstad

Student Services Specialist
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lori Munter

Lori Munter

Bio Image for Faculty Member Lesli Olson

Lesli Olson

Bio Image for Faculty Member Jeannie Rossow

Jeannie Rossow

Bio Image for Faculty Member Michele Seaton-Bertsch

Michele Seaton-Bertsch

Asst Advisor/Recruiter
Bio Image for Faculty Member Leanne Siverhus

Leanne Siverhus

Assistant Professor of Practice
Bio Image for Faculty Member Dawn Warren

Dawn Warren

Bio Image for Faculty Member Angela Wilhelm

Angela Wilhelm

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ashtyn Van Zee

Ashtyn Van Zee

Bio Image for Faculty Member Jean Yockey

Jean Yockey

Associate Professor


Nursing Education
USD nursing students conducting in lab research work with other classmates.

Become the Leader Your Patients Need

Your future patients have complex health care needs that extend beyond a single area of expertise. They should have an expert, compassionate care team that can work together to help them live healthy, fulfilling lives.

At USD, we prepare you not only to thrive in your unique career path but also to collaborate effectively with health care professionals from a variety of fields. With the state's only comprehensive health sciences school and medical school, USD offers a learning environment that mirrors the health care industry – bringing you and your peers together to learn, study and practice as coordinated teams. You'll graduate with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to make holistic healing possible.
Student Gaining Hands-On Experience Working With a Patient Inside a Clinic

Real-World Experience

You are focused on delivering the best possible care for your patients, and that is only possible if you feel confident and prepared to face challenges. USD's nursing program provides you with expert preparation through extensive hands-on, real-world experiences.

As a nursing major, you will gain hands-on experience at hospitals in the region. USD partners with large urban hospitals as well as rural hospitals which allows our graduates to care for a variety of patients and populations and to improve healthcare outcomes. You'll experience a different nursing rotation each semester, working alongside hospital staff who will guide you through your clinical.
USD nursing students conducting in lab research work with other classmates.

Robust, Comprehensive Facilities

At USD, you will learn in state-of-the-art facilities that give you early experience with technology and exposure to challenges you may face in your future career. 

Our simulation labs are a key part of your education. Simulation sessions allow you to work on unfolding cases in which a patient's condition changes and progresses over time. Each of our sites uses cutting-edge technology to create innovative and realistic patient care scenarios with human simulators that are programmed to demonstrate problems like asthma, cancer or even traumatic injuries. You will play an active role in determining how to best care for newborn, children and adult models, seeing first-hand how to improve or change your decisions in response to a patient’s needs.

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

Student Success Story

Success story Jordan Martin smiling.
USD Nursing has a very good relationship with both of the hospitals in Sioux Falls, so clinical hours allowed me to gain experience with complex patients and learn about what I valued in a workplace. My favorite thing about USD Nursing is the great community that exists between nursing students and their peers in the program.

Jordan Martin

B.S. Nursing '21
Cardiopulmonary Nurse, Avera McKennan
Sioux Falls, SD

Quality Educational Experiences



The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of South Dakota are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Take the Next Step