As a commissioner, Nilson will help ascertain the accreditation status of physician assistant educational programs at candidate universities in the United States. His accreditation responsibilities include site visits to the universities.

Nilson has practiced as a physician assistant since 1997, when he earned a physician assistant certification from USD. A Nebraska native, Nilson became a physician assistant educator in 2000, and he has directed the Physician Assistant Studies Program at USD since 2005. He lives in Vermillion, South Dakota, and in addition to his duties at USD, he also practices emergency medicine.

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