Two Nursing Students Working on Class Assignment

Nursing

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; clinical rotations, service learning and simulations in state-of-the-art facilities will provide you with a breadth of hands-on experiences so you can gain confidence in your abilities. Plus, 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. Whether you are taking the first step toward your career as a nurse, are ready to build onto your nursing certification or are seeking a foundation in health care as you prepare for medical school or another professional program, our nursing programs will set you up for success.

Follow your passion for helping others and develop the skills you need to thrive in the health care profession as a nursing major at USD.


Degrees & Offerings

Nursing (B.S.N.)

Major
  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 (B.S.N.). 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 B.S.N. program.

Nursing (L.P.N.- B.S.N.)

Major
  Vermillion Main Campus and Sioux Falls

If you are a licensed practical nurse ready to take the next step in your career, the L.P.N.-B.S.N. program can help you reach your goals. This program will build on your educational and professional experiences, equipping you with the training and credentials to unlock additional career opportunities and improve patient care.

Nursing (RN to B.S.N.)

Major
  Online

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-B.S.N. 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

Undergraduate

College

Department

Contact

Admissions

Admission 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.

STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES

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 guaranteed conditional acceptance 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

Departments & Facilities

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

Nursing

Our department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, supporting the state's health care workforce and patient outcomes through quality education.

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

Chair, Nursing
Bio Image for Faculty Member Dean Cassella

Dean Cassella

Accountant
Faculty Default

Christine Doty

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelli Ebbesen

Kelli Ebbesen

Faculty Advisor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lisa Feller

Lisa Feller

Assoc Prof/Dir Regulatory Aff
Bio Image for Faculty Member Danielle Fleming

Danielle Fleming

Clinical Lab Specialist
Bio Image for Faculty Member Katie Fransen

Katie Fransen

Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Helene Hegge

Helene Hegge MSN,RN

Site Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelsey Heinert

Kelsey Heinert

Program Assistant I
Faculty Default

Valarie Hower

Management Analyst
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amy Hunsley

Amy Hunsley

Sioux Falls Site Director
Faculty Default

Natalie Ihnen

Clinical Experience Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tamara Keefner

Tamara Keefner

Assistant Professor
Faculty Default

Pam Kendall

Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Anne Kleinhesselink

Anne Kleinhesselink

Associate Chair/Assist Prof
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sabina Kupershmidt

Sabina Kupershmidt

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Regan Luken

Regan Luken

Student Services Director
Faculty Default

Beth Melstad

Student Services Specialist
Bio Image for Faculty Member Anneka Mikel

Anneka Mikel

Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lori Munter

Lori Munter

Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lesli Olson

Lesli Olson

Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Paige Rock

Paige Rock

Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jeannie Rossow

Jeannie Rossow

Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Michele Seaton-Bertsch

Michele Seaton-Bertsch

Asst Advisor/Recruiter
Bio Image for Faculty Member Barbara Stolle

Barbara Stolle MS, RN CNE, CHSE

SIM Oversight/Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lorie Truhe

Lorie Truhe

Instructor
Faculty Default

Angela Uhl

Laboratory Storekeeper
Bio Image for Faculty Member Dawn Warren

Dawn Warren

Rapid City Site Director
Faculty Default

Angela Wilhelm

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jean Yockey

Jean Yockey

Assistant Professor
Two nursing students in red scrubs look at a clipboard with a medical student in a white lab coat.

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.
 Two Nursing Students Diagnosing a Human Simulator

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.

Tuition & Costs

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.
SD Residents, SD Advantage* & Child of Alumni
MN Residents
Out-of-State
Tuition (30 cr.)
7773
8718.9
11283
Fees (30 cr.)
1659
1659
1659
Books (estimate)
1200
1200
1200
Housing
4454
4454
4454
Food Service
3770
3770
3770
Total

* SD Advantage: The in-state rate is available to residents of South Dakota, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and children of alumni of USD.

More About Tuition & Costs

This is an estimated annual cost. Other factors may change the cost of tuition.

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.

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.

Scholarships

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

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