South Dakota State University Expands Nursing Programs

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine recommends that by 2020, eighty percent of all RNs should at a minimum have a B.S. degree in nursing. In response to this recommendation, the South Dakota State University is preparing to open more slots in its nursing program.

As a result of SDSU making room for more nursing students, the personnel requirements at the school have changed and become more complex. Particularly needed at the school are nurse educators who are required to have at least a master’s degree to qualify them to teach in a classroom.

The need to create new programs is due to the fact that as more professors near retirement age, the result is a greater demand for more nurses with advanced nursing degrees. The reason nursing educators are in demand at SDSU is because only a few nurses who have achieved baccalaureate level go on to pursue graduate level degrees, and qualified instructors must have, at a minimum, a master’s degree in the science of nursing.

Adding more program openings has created an almost dire need for SDSU to hire master’s educated nurses as well as those completing doctorate degrees. Graduating a greater number of nurses does not necessarily mean that the university has access to a larger number of qualified faculty.

As SDSU opens up more slots in its basic baccalaureate program, adding more candidates also means a need to add more faculty in order to maintain the university’s excellent graduation rate of approximately ninety percent. Therefore, there is a substantial demand at SDSU for faculty positions and nurses holding an advanced degree.

If a graduate wants to teach as a university professor, he or she must continue their education by pursuing either a master’s or a Ph.D degree. The Collegian, which is the South Dakota State University’s student-run independent newspaper, has published a great article on this topic.

To measurably alleviate the shortage of nursing faculty, in addition to the accelerated program at Sioux Falls, in 2013 SDSU will open up an accelerated program in Aberdeen, with a newly remodeled large classroom and lab housed at Northern State University.

The accelerated program, which requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in any field, allows students to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing in twelve months. However, a B.S. in biology or heath promotions provides students with the background necessary to more easily learn all the nursing knowledge in just one year. This compressed time makes for a challenging program that does not allow a student to work during the year.

In an attempt to make graduate nursing programs student friendly as well as accessible to students, SDSU also offers an accelerated Ph.D program that allows students with a full-time job to participate in the Ph.D coursework. A doctorate degree in nursing enables a nurse to teach at SDSU as either a professor or associate professor of nursing. This position provides nurses with an opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to affect a wide range of students, thereby impacting the nursing profession in a meaningful way.

If you’re interested in getting an education in nursing from South Dakota State University, check out the video below to hear all the program has to offer and where it’s headed for the future.

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