Few careers are as rewarding or a challenging as a career in nursing. Nurses today must utilize the available medical technology for patient care. In addition to acquiring the foundational knowledge of nursing principles, trends, and technology, prospective nurses must be compassionate, responsible, and sincerely motivated to help others. Caring for the sick and injured can be stressful, so nurses should be emotionally stable. LPNs provide nursing services at its basic level. They work under the direction of registered nurses and licensed physicians, providing direct patient care by assisting with the activities of daily living, administering medication, and performing other tasks related to patient treatment. As part of the health care team, they must be able to follow orders, yet think independently when needed. The role is challenging and not suited for everyone. The training and licensing required for practice as an LPN requires a short-term commitment compared to the training required to become a registered nurse. The profession gives individuals some insight into the world of nursing to determine if it is their true calling. If you’re drawn in by the reported growth in employment opportunities for nurses, but unsure whether the profession is a good fit for your lifestyle, you can use your finances and efforts wisely to experience the world of nursing as an LPN.
LPN Training South Dakota: Prerequisites and Program Content
Practical nursing education is the first step to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. The one-year training requires a less demanding time commitment than what is required to become a registered nurse, which is the primary reason so many attempt to enroll in these programs. It is also convenient for those who cannot afford to pay for 2 to 3 years of college courses. Lower tuition costs mean a lower amount of debt at the completion of the program. Practical nursing education use classroom and clinical training to equip students with the skills and knowledge to administer basic patient care. The programs facilitate quick entry into the workforce to help ease the shortages in areas that suffer from a shortage of medical staff.
Course instructors use innovative didactic sessions to help students develop discipline and demonstrate leadership in meeting the healthcare needs of a diverse population. The board-approved curriculum covers critical topics to give students a sound foundation for practice, further study, and professional development. Course topics include legal aspects of practice, pharmacology and administration of medication, medical-surgical nursing, maternal-child nursing, mental health principles, practical nursing, anatomy and physiology, personal family and community health concepts, human growth and development over the lifespan, interpersonal relationship skills, geriatrics, pediatrics, current trends in nursing, and transition to practice.
The clinical experience is an important component of the program that may run concurrently with the classroom sessions. Students spend 600 hours or more in a clinical setting where they provide patient care and work as a part of a healthcare team under the direction of the course instructor, registered nurse, or LPN. Upon completion of the practical nursing program the graduate will demonstrate professional behaviors of accountability and professionalism, communicate effectively with patients, their families, and members of the interdisciplinary health care team, collect assessment data, and communicate the information to healthcare providers, demonstrate a caring approach to patient care, implement patient care with supervision, and collaborate with other members of the patient care team.
Applicants must submit a high school transcript or GED scores with a completed application. Immunization records, college transcripts, passage of the Accuplacer and TEAS are other requirements students must meet. Liability insurance, current CNA certification, CPR, and a valid ID are required as part of the application process. Applicants with a criminal history may be not able to complete the mandatory clinical experience and qualify for the licensure exam.
Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN for licensure as an LPN in the South Dakota. The Board of Nursing has the final say on your eligibility to take the state exam.
Duration and Cost of Training: The 12-month LPN training at South Dakota’s colleges requires completion of prerequisite training, which can extend the duration of training. Applicants without a background in science related courses will need an additional semester to complete the prerequisite courses. Some colleges also require CNA certification, which takes an additional 5 to 12 weeks. The average cost of tuition is $14,500 and may not include expenses for textbooks, prerequisite courses, CPR training, liability insurance, immunization, lab supplies, and clinical supplies. The average cost of tuition is based on full-time enrollment for resident students.
NCLEX South Dakota
Passage of the NCLEX-PN is the final step to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in South Dakota. The Board of Nursing determines a candidate’s eligibility to sit the national exam. After graduating from an approved nursing program, you should submit an application for licensure to the Board’s office and register to take the NCLEX-PN with Pearson Vue at the same time. Pearson Vue facilitates easy registration over the Internet, or you can register by phone. For both options, you must complete the registration by submitting payment for the $200 registration fee with a valid credit or debit card. The Candidate Bulletin provides detailed information on registering for the exam as well as information on scheduling the test and what to expect on exam day.
The BON will make you eligible to take the exam after reviewing your completed application, fingerprint cards, application fee, and verification of your nursing education. Pearson Vue will issue an Authorization to Test with the Board’s approval. The ATT is usually available 14 days after submitting a completed application and all the required documents to the Board of Nursing. Check your email for the ATT – it is Pearson Vue’s primary mode of communication. Review the document carefully. It should contain your name as it appears on your ID, the authorization period of approximately 90 days, the authorization ID, the exam you registered for, and any provisions for special accommodations if requested. If your name is incorrect, notify the testing service immediately. Administrators at the testing center will not let you take the exam if your ID does not match the name on the ATT. Make sure to schedule the exam within the authorization dates. The dates are not extendable – if you miss them, you must submit another registration and fee.
Pearson Vue offers an NCLEX Quick Results Service, which provides unofficial results within two business days. Take note, a passing score does not give you authority to practice. Only the Board can authorize practice. They will do this after they receive your passing results and confirm that you meet all other requirements for licensure.
If you fail the exam, you’ll receive a Candidate Performance Report and an application package to retest after 45 days. Retesting requires another application fee to the Board and to Pearson Vue.
South Dakota LPN Licensure Requirements
South Dakota statutes prohibit unlicensed practice. The practice of practical nursing for compensation by an unlicensed individual, or an individual whose licenses is expired, suspended or revoked endangers public welfare and may be punishable by law.
All applicants for initial licensure in South Dakota must submit to a criminal background check.
The state enacted the Nurse License Compact in 2001. Therefore, applicants are not eligible for licensure if their primary state of residence is another compact state. The NLC grants South Dakota LPNs the privilege to practice in order states as long as they maintain an active and unencumbered license. Similarly, LPNs with a multistate license from another compact state may practice in South Dakota without applying for another license.
The Board of nursing will issue a single state license to an applicant who plans to practice in South Dakota but lives in another state.
The Board grants a temporary permit to first-time NCLEX writers upon request and after review of the completed application for licensure by exam, completed criminal background check cards and fee, evidence of nursing education, a completed application for a temporary permit, and submission of registration for the NCLEX.
The temporary permit is non-renewable and valid for 90 days or until the permit holder receives written notification of NCLEX results. The Board will rescind the permit if the permit-holder fails the exam.
Once the Board approves the permit, the applicant will be able to view it online.
Licensure By Examination
Graduates of an approved in-state nursing education program or out-of-state nursing education program approved by another Board of Nursing are eligible to apply for the licensure exam.
Submit the following to the Board of Nursing office:
- A completed online application for licensure. The application is available online only.
- The application fee of $100 payable using a credit card during the online process.
- The results of your criminal background check
- Verification of your nursing education. SD graduates should submit certification of nursing education completed by the nursing program. Graduates of an out-of-state program must submit official transcripts showing the degree conferred and sent directly to the Board’s office from the school’s registrar.
- Your registration for the NCLEX and $200 registration fee. Registration must be submitted at the same time you apply to the Board of nursing.
- NCLEX Registration for testing ($200 fee required at the time of registration)
- A written letter explaining dates, locations, and circumstances for each yes response to the criminal history questions.
- An application for a temporary permit and the $25 permit fee if you need a temporary permit.
Graduates of foreign nursing programs:
All foreign graduates must take the NCLEX. To be eligible for licensure in South Dakota, foreign graduates must:
- Supply evidence of completing an accredited four-year high school course of study.
- Have a U.S. Social Security number.
- Be a graduate of a government approved nursing education program that meets SD nursing education requirements.
- Complete the CGFNS Certification program and have the CGFNS send confirmation of completion of the program to the Board’s office.
- Complete a criminal background check. The CBC packet is available at the Board’s offices.
- Register for the NCLEX with Pearson Vue.
If you require special accommodation for the NCLEX, you must place a request at the time you submit an application for licensure. The Board processes applications in the order they’re received. Processing time is approximately 10 to 14 business days. Incomplete applications will delay processing.
Licensure By Endorsement
Nurses licensed to practice in another state or territory may practice in South Dakota after obtaining a temporary permit or license from the Board of Nursing. Applicants with a primary state of residence in another compact state are not eligible for licensure in South Dakota.
Submit the following to the Board of Nursing:
- A completed online application for licensure by endorsement. The application is available online only.
- The application fee of $100 payable using a credit card during the online process.
- The results of your criminal background check
- Verification of your nursing education in the form of official transcripts sent directly to the Board’s office.
- Verification of original state of licensure. Electronic verification is available online through Nursys if the state participates. Use the Verification of License form if the state does not participate. Complete the top section of the form and forward to your original state the licensure. The licensing agency should return the completed form to the Board of Nursing.
- Verification of employment or volunteer work that amounts to at least 140 hours in a 12-month period or an accumulated total of at least 480 hours within the preceding 6 years. A previous or current employer must complete the Employment Verification form and return to the board’s office. New graduates do not need to supply verification of employment.
- Evidence of completing a refresher course if you’re unable to supply employment verification.
- A completed temporary application, a permit fee of $25, and a photocopy of current license with an expiration date if requesting a temporary permit.
An incomplete application will become null one year from the date the Board acknowledges receipt. All fees are non-refundable.
Renewing Your LPN License
South Dakota LPN licenses expire biennially on the licensee’s birthday. Renewal is available online only. The Board will mail a renewal reminder 60 days before the license expires. You need your SSN, LPN license number, and a credit card to pay the $90 renewal fee.
Licensees must complete at least 140 hours within a 12-month period or 480 hours within the preceding 6 years to be eligible for renewal.
You may change your address during the renewal process. For name changes, you must complete a name change request and submit legal documentation to the Board’s office.
Salary and Job Outlook LPNs South Dakota
Employment forecasts predict an increasing demand for licensed practical nurses. Apart from desiring to relieve the shortages of nursing staff, employers are demanding more from their LPNs in response to expanding roles. Practical nursing programs prepare graduates to work in hospitals, the military, insurance companies, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, community agencies, and research settings. The limited enrollment at South Dakota’s six board-approved nursing education programs helps to produce nurses to fill the shortage. However, there is still room to accommodate more nurses as the supply has not done much to relieve demands.
The senior population’s demands for health care and the need to replace the retiring workforce are the primary contributors to a shortage of nurses in long-term care and home health care. South Dakota added more than 500 nursing related workers in the last couple years to increase its workforce to approximately 2,000 LPNs in 2014. Even with the influx of new nurses, employment opportunities are forecasted to climb in the next decade. Nursing homes will offer the most new jobs for LPNs due to a rapid increase in the number of disabled persons and seniors in need of long-term care. Nursing homes are also the first stop for patients who need care during recovery after being released from hospitals.
Residential care is another sector that is experiencing unprecedented growth. This includes home health care as some patients prefer to receive services in the comfort of their homes. Assisted living homes, elderly housing, and group homes for those with mental challenges all fall under the umbrella of residential care.
LPNs, who prefer the activities of acute care settings, will have no challenges finding employment in physicians’ offices and clinics where they work with patients with varying needs. Job prospects in hospitals are available for experienced LPNs with special training or certification, especially in rural and medically underserved areas.
South Dakota’s nursing schools report that more than 95% of graduates successfully find employment after obtaining state licensure. The median annual wage for licensed practical nurses in South Dakota was $35,210 in May 2014.
Contact the Board of Nursing
South Dakota Board of Nursing
4305 South Louise Ave., Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115
Phone: (605) 362-2760
Fax: (605) 362-2768
South Dakota Board of Nursing Approved Training Programs and NCLEX Pass Rates
Mission, SD LPN Training Programs:
Sinte Gleska University
101 Antelope Lake Cir,
Mission, SD 57555
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 50%
Rapid City, SD LPN Training Programs:
Western Dakota Tech
800 Mickelson Dr,
Rapid City, SD 57703
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 79%
Sisseton, SD LPN Training Programs:
Sisseton Wahpeton College
12572 Bia Highway 700,
Sisseton, SD 57262
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 60%
Sioux Falls, SD LPN Training Programs:
2320 N Career Ave,
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 99%
Watertown, SD LPN Training Programs:
1201 Arrow Avenue – Po Box 730,
Watertown, SD 57201
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 94%
Yankton, SD LPN Training Programs:
Mount Marty College
1105 West 8th Street
Yankton, SD 57078-3725
NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 60%