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USD Nursing Students Recognized for Community Service

VERMILLION, S.D. – Fourth-year nursing students on the Rapid City campus of the University of South Dakota Department of Nursing were recently recognized with the Spirit of Mercy Award by the national organization Mercy Housing.

The award honors fourth-year USD nursing students over the past three years for their contributions to Mercy Housing, an organization and service that offers affordable housing options to low-income individuals, the homeless, the disabled, and young, single mothers. Senior-level nursing students in Rapid City have been performing volunteer services to Mercy Housing for the past three years as part of a nursing school project. This award recognizes the efforts of many USD nursing students.

In Rapid City, Mercy Housing offers safe, clean and private accommodations in five buildings containing 96 apartments that are available mostly for individuals who were formerly homeless.

The USD nursing students used a survey to determine housing occupant needs such as reliable transportation, good footwear and health care education. A variety of fundraising activities by the students made it possible to purchase bus passes for residents, shoes, socks and clothing for residents, and groceries for the general pantry. The students also provided a foot care clinic, diabetes information and helped prepare meals for residents and the homeless.

“We are very proud of our students for their thoughtful, ongoing dedication to this important cause,” said Tami Kisner, nursing instructor at the School of Health Sciences and coordinator of the student service project that aided Mercy Housing. “We try to instill in all our students a sense of community service, and our fourth-year students have demonstrated that with their meaningful work.”


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News