Zahaki practiced medicine as a general surgeon and family practitioner in Pierre from 1961 until his retirement in 1999. After his death in 2010, his wife, Karen Zakahi, and her family honored Dr. Zakahi’s devotion to health care by establishing and funding USD nursing scholarships to Pierre-area students. The Zakahi family also recently decided to underwrite the cost for a significant upgrade to the nursing program’s simulation facilities at Capital University Center. The upgrades help the University of South Dakota nursing program prepare for its transition to the new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) nursing degree.

USD has offered nursing courses and degrees at locations around South Dakota since 1954 and in Pierre since 1989 at the associate degree level. The Pierre program will begin offering a BSN degree starting this fall. Other South Dakota campuses of the USD nursing program are located in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Watertown.

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