School of Health Sciences Nursing

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Message from the Chair


Today, more than ever, nurses are presented with a variety of exciting career opportunities in the discipline of nursing. At USD we are pleased to provide students with the educational foundation necessary to support both personal and professional development. Nursing is a department within the School of Health Science, which includes Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician's Assistant, Medical Laboratory Science, Dental Hygiene, Addiction Studies, Social work, and Health Sciences.  The School of Health Science is also under the umbrella of USD Health Affairs, which includes the USD Sanford School of Medicine. This environment affords us rich opportunities as we move forward with new initiatives in interprofessional education (IPE).   

The 4 year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program provides a solid base in liberal education with preparation to practice within complex healthcare systems in more diverse environments.  BSN graduates will function in roles as a provider, designer, manager, and coordinators of care.  Preparation in organizational systems leadership, informatics, health care policy, finance and regulatory environments, evidence-based practice, population based health promotion and disease prevention will be hallmarks of the program.  The curriculum is concept-based focusing on developing the student's clinical reasoning skills while incorporating clinical simulation and interprofessional education. Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX exam for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). The BSN program is accredited and has SD Board of Nursing Interim status.

Our RN-BSN (Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing) curriculum is an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program developed to assist AS in nursing degree students in being able to seamlessly obtain a BSN degree.   The RN-BSN program is designed to prepare students to work within our rapidly growing and changing health-care environment. This dramatic change in the health-care industry has transformed the role of nurses within our communities; and, the expansion of technological advances requires more highly skilled nurses. Baccalaureate prepared nurses assume important roles in the provision of managed care, and they are responsible for coordinating and continuing care inside and outside of traditional health-care facilities. The RN-BSN coursework emphasizes interprofessional communication, evidence-based practice, and population health.  The program affords students opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in organizational and systems leadership for improving quality and safety within interprofessional teams. The RN-BSN program is accredited and has SD Board of Nursing Interim status.    

Our Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing degree program offers a pathway to enter nursing focused on the core of nursing knowledge common to all nursing education routes.  Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX exam for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).  The curriculum is concept-based focusing on developing the student's clinical reasoning skills while incorporating clinical simulation and interprofessional education. The AS in nursing program is one of three charter schools to earn the Center of Excellence designation by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in 2004.  The program earned continuing designation in 2007 and again in 2010 for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development.  The program is accredited and approved by the SD Board of Nursing. Students entering the AS degree program should consider this as their first step in the progression along the educational pathway of lifelong learning in nursing.    

This is an exciting time to be a nurse.  Nurses will play a pivotal role in the health care system changes of tomorrow.  I invite you to make that important step in your career.  Choose Nursing!  

Carla Dieter, EdD, RN, FNP-BC
Professor & Chair,
University of South Dakota
Department of Nursing

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Educators Needed

Carla Dieter USD's growing Nursing Programs need energetic and enthusiastic educators to serve as full or part time faculty. If interested in joining our team, please contact Dr. Carla Dieter at Carla.Dieter@usd.edu.