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University of South Dakota (Department of Nursing)

The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing is one of three inaugural programs to receive designation as a NLN Center of Excellence for Creating Environments that Enhance Student Learning and Professional Development. Currently there are only ten programs in the country to have been awarded this prestigious new designation of excellence in nursing education. For the first time, schools of nursing that distinguish themselves by outstanding achievement in the promotion of excellence in nursing education are being publicly acknowledged. The National League for Nursing Centers of Excellence program calls for schools to apply for a three-year designation based on their sustained demonstration of excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, or student learning and professional development. USD has attained the NLN Center of Excellence status for 2004 through 2007 and can reapply for continuing designation in the category "Creating Environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Developmentā€, may apply for designation in one of the other areas, or may choose to apply for designation in more than one area.

The associate degree nursing program at The University of South Dakota was founded in response to the healthcare needs of the community. Professor June Larson, Chair of the Department of Nursing said, "Our hallmark is our ability to respond to the needs of the people of South Dakota by delivering the program to the student rather than expecting the student to come to the program."


The mission of the University of South Dakota Department of Nursing is to provide quality learner-centered nursing education.

To accomplish this mission:

* The nursing program is accessible to students across the state, region and beyond.
* Students, in partnership with faculty, become a community of active learners.
* The learning environment promotes critical thinking.
* Students are accountable for their own learning.
* Learning experiences provide opportunities to develop professional accountability and an appreciation for life-long learning.
* Professional and community partnerships support and enhance student learning.
* Interdisciplinary relationships promote development of self-awareness and understanding of the healthcare team.
* Students experience an environment that facilitates respect and caring.
* Learning experiences with diverse populations fosters cultural competency.


The nursing program was begun at the University of South Dakota, the State's Liberal Arts University, in 1954 as a baccalaureate nursing program. This program changed to an Associate of Arts program in November, 1961. Effective the fall of 1998, the degree changed to an Associate of Science in Nursing.

In November, 1961, at a meeting of The South Dakota Board of Regents, the following was resolved: "That the University of South Dakota develop a two-year nursing program beginning in the fall of 1962; that any and all further developments of the two-year nursing programs shall be an extension and under the supervision of the University of South Dakota." The first associate of arts degree was conferred in June 1964. As of July 2001, the Department of Nursing is under the Division of Health Sciences.

The expansion by the Department of Nursing since January 1987 has been in response to the expressed needs of nursing employers and nursing education consumers. The TOP grant made it possible to deliver the theory portion of courses to students located anywhere in the state. This provides even greater access to nursing education in this rural state and beyond.

In 1989, the State Legislature approved expansion of The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing by adding three outreach campuses strategically located across the state. The budgets for the outreach sites were recommended by the Governor and approved by the Legislature. The current formula factors to fund the USD nursing program came from that level of funding. Outreach campuses in Watertown, Pierre and Rapid City were established July 1, 1989. A new campus was established in Sioux Falls in 1997.
In 1998, the NLNAC granted the nursing program continuing accreditation with commendations for 1) the utilization of technology in the program; 2) the integration of culture into the required curriculum, and 3) the variety of learning experiences offered to the student. The Fuld Institute for Nursing Education (FITNE) named the Rapid City campus a "Center of Excellence" for implementing the Nightingale Trackers.

School name:University of South DakotaDepartment of Nursing
Address:414 E. Clark Street, Julian 212
Zip & city:SD 57069 South Dakota

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Department of Nursing Nursing School Location

Department of Nursing Courses

This course is for orientation to Associate Degree Nursing.

Focuses on basic concepts and skills essential to plan and implement nursing care to assist person to adapt, cope and grow in the dynamic process of health. Emphasizes the practice of Associate Degree Nursing within a caring framework. Functional health patterns provide the framework for nursing assessment. Developmental tasks throughout the lifespan are introduced. Nursing theory as well as laboratory and clinical experiences provide the opportunity to learn and apply concepts.

Focuses on the refinement of assessment skills throughout the lifespan. Identifies normal patterns and indicators of deviations through the framework of functional health patterns. Emphasizes the human response to actual or potential health problems. Views potential stressors and coping mechanisms of the individual and family as they relate to health. Emphasizes the nursing responsibilities of health promotion, accident/illness prevention and health maintenance. Course includes nursing theory as well as clinical and laboratory experiences in medical, surgical, pediatrics, mental health, and community settings.

Focuses on human development and health. A family centered nursing course, which explores the dynamic influence of family on health. The caring relationship from conception to death is emphasized. Experiences are provided in the areas of community, mental health, long-term care and maternal-child health centers.

Focuses on preparing the associate degree graduate for a professional nursing role. Includes the present and future trends in health care delivery. Prepares the learner to analyze self-behaviors that reflect caring in the nurse. Emphasizes the roles of manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. Course includes nursing theory. This course is exclusively an internet course.

A course that provides the learner an opportunity to coordinate theory and practice in a rural setting. The clinical experience will allow the learner to further develop his/her role as a registered nurse under the mentorship of a practicing RN in a longterm care or rural health care facility. Recommended for any nursing student for readmission or who has a break in their nursing education curriculum. By permission.

Focuses on the nursing care of clients with restorative/rehabilitative nursing care needs. Emphasizes nursing responsibilities as a provider of care, manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. Includes personal and professional growth, the development of leadership and management skills, and political and social responsibility of the nurse. Experiences are provided in the areas of medical, surgical, critical-care, emergency, mental health, pediatric and community settings.

This course provides analysis of relevant political, economic, and agency nursing issues The issues may vary as pertinent to the current health care system. By permission.

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