One of the most prestigious degrees in the nursing field is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, as it goes above a master's-level degree in nursing. Nurses who finish their DNP degrees have the choice to concentrate their studies on advanced practice nursing or organizational/educational leadership.

South Dakota's post-master's DNP program requires the completion of 28-36 unit hours. BSN to DNP students will need to complete between 78 and 81 unit hours.

At the completion of the program, the graduate will successfully demonstrate the following student learning outcomes:

  • Analyze significant practice issues with the theoretical and scientific underpinnings of knowledge-based practice
  • Employ advanced clinical judgment to assess, design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based care of individuals in complex health and illness situations
  • Apply a broad system perspective to design, implement, and evaluate culturally congruent policies and practices to improve care for a diverse population
  • Lead health care inter-professional and intra-professional teams to transform care
  • Initiate ethically sound practice changes to address complex interwoven organization, population, fiscal, and policy trends
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of information technology to improve health care within systems
  • Implement evidence-based clinical prevention and health promotion activities to improve the health of populations

Choosing a DNP Program

Keeping the following key elements in mind will help prospective students ensure that the DNP program chosen is of a high caliber.

What to Consider When Choosing a DNP Program

  • Program Cost— Residents of South Dakota will pay $314 per unit hour. Conversely, non-South Dakota residents will pay $605 per unit hour.
  • Online OptionsSouth Dakota State University offers a bachelor’s to DNP program that is delivered following the hybrid format—both online and on campus.
  • Accreditation— DNP programs in the state of South Dakota are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • Clinical Residencies— Residencies and fellowships are a crucial part of gaining hands-on experience while enrolled in a DNP program. Many schools have hospital affiliations, however, the best course of action to take would be to seek out university nursing professors and inquire about any possible opportunities.

Admission & State Licensing or Certification Requirements


Requirements for admission into South Dakota State University include:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program
  • Current licensure as an RN in the United States prior to enrollment in first graduate nursing course
  • Minimum cumulative GPA: 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of anapproved statistics course (containing both descriptive and inferential statistics) within 5 years of enrollment
  • Minimum of 1500 hours of nursing practice (as verified by employer) as an RN prior to enrollment in the first nursing clinical course
  • Interview with graduate faculty and/or graduate admissions committee member(s)
  • Coverage by non-employer sponsored RN liability insurance (1 million / 5 million).
  • Background check, drug screen, required immunizations


Students who've completed SDSU's DNP program have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC certification in the following specialty fields:


In South Dakota, students become licensed by the Utah State Board of Nursing. Requirements for licensure consist of:

  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Provide transcripts from all educational institutions
  • Completing an application
  • Submit verification of specialty certification
  • Complete fingerprinting

South Dakota BSN to DNP Program Options

There is only one university in the state of South Dakota with an RN to DNP program:

Related Education Paths

Helpful DNP Agencies and Organizations in South Dakota

List of Campus and Online DNP Programs in South Dakota

Brookings, SD

1015 Campanile Ave.
Brookings, SD 57007
(605) 688-4121

Yankton, SD

1105 West 8th Street
Yankton, SD 57078
(605) 668-1545

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Find DNP Programs By City:

Share This: