Registered nurses in South Dakota who are interested in furthering their career by earning their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree have at least two in-state schooling options. South Dakota RNs can choose from the primarily online programs offered at South Dakota State University based in Brookings and National American University which has a campus in Rapid City. Both schools offer specialization tracks that put a variety of advanced nursing careers within reach for South Dakota's nurses.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in South Dakota

Nurses considering applying to an MSN program in South Dakota will likely encounter the following admissions requirements:

  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or professional letters of recommendation
  • Application forms that may include a personal statement or essay
  • At South Dakota State University, applicants must have completed an approved undergraduate statistics course within five years of application

RN to MSN Courses

South Dakota State University offers two pathways to an MSN degree: the RN to MSN program for nurses who have completed their Associate's Degree in Nursing and a BSN to MSN program for RNs who have completed their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and would now like to complete the MSN portion. SDSU offers specialization tracks in Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator, Nurse Administration and Family Nurse Practitioner.

National American University offers an online MSN program for RNs who have completed their BSN degree. The MSN program allows student to choose from the following specializations: Care Coordination, Education, Nursing Administration and Nursing Informatics.

As part of their MSN program, South Dakota State University, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • Foundations of Advanced Nursing
  • Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
  • Research in Nursing & Healthcare
  • Health Policy, Legislation, Economics and Ethics
  • Pharmacotherapeutics Across the Lifespan

Online RN to MSN Programs in South Dakota

Online MSN programs offer students the opportunity to work at their own pace from wherever they live, often while working full- or part-time. These programs, while primarily completed online, also usually include a clinical requirement that is completed in-person on campus or in the student's local area.

Featured Online School

South Dakota State University offers a CCNE-accredited, online MSN program for nurses that have completed their BSN degree. SDSU offers specialization tracks so RNs can tailor their education to a desired advanced nursing career, including Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner. Courses are offered online and are designed for students to complete the program at their own schedule while working full-or part-time. The Family Nurse Practitioner program also includes a few on-campus required courses and practicums over the course of the 58 credit program.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program varies depending on both the school and the student. As one example, National American University reviews applications and admits students to its MSN program every quarter and the program takes about 15 months to complete. The MSN program at South Dakota State University takes three semesters to complete and begins in the fall semester.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of tuition for an RN to MSN program varies depending on school and program selected. For instance, the cost of master's course tuition at South Dakota State University ranges from $561 - $860 per credit hour. These tuition costs do not include out-of-pocket expenses like books. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so make sure to check on the latest costs with your school of choice at the time of application.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in South Dakota

An MSN degree opens the door to a variety of potential career paths for South Dakota's registered nurses. From administrative and educator positions to direct patient care roles, the MSN-educated nurse has a number of career options to choose from. The following are just a few nursing careers that require an MSN:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

An MSN degree delivers increased earning potential to nurses in South Dakota. The mean annual wage for MSN-educated nurse practitioners in South Dakota is around $97,490. That is almost double the mean annual wage for a registered nurse in South Dakota, which is around $55,920. Nurse practitioner is only one possible career path for MSN-educated registered nurses, but any MSN-required career will come with a significantly higher salary than the average ADN- or BSN-required RN position.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Blended instruction is how the current RN to MSN programs in South Dakota are operated, making it a viable solution for working candidates. If you were access the blended program, upon completion you could find opportunities such as nursing administration, clinical nurse leader or even as family nurse practitioner. These types of roles require higher than average skills, but are monetarily compensated for their complexity and scope of duties.

National American University
5301 US-16
Rapid City, SD 57701
(855) 448-2318
South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD 57007
(605) 688-4114