Top South Dakota RN To MSN Programs

If you currently hold an RN license in South Dakota, you may want to consider embarking on an RN to MSN degree program. Not only will this earn you the respect of your peers and get you a far greater salary, it will also give you the opportunity to truly influence the field of health care in the state in general and your community in particular. Before you choose your South Dakota RN to MSN program, however, you have to take the time to review the different schools that exist.

But first, let’s take a look at the salary prospects and job growth for MSN degree holders in the state.

Salaries and Job Outlook for MSN Degree Holders in South Dakota

The job outlook for MSN degree holders in South Dakota varies depending on your chosen specialization, although all job prospects in the field of nursing are good. According to O Net, Nurse Anesthetists can expect a growth of 12% between 2012 and 2022. For Nurse Educators, this growth is expected to be 31%. Other jobs, such as nurse practitioners and nurse managers are somewhere in between these.

The cost of living in South Dakota is significantly lower than anywhere else in the country. As a result, annual salaries are also lower than the national average, while remaining very interesting. At the lower end of the scale are Nurse Educators, with an average annual salary of $58,400. At the other end of the spectrum are Nurse Anesthetists, with an average annual salary of $165,500.

Naturally, enhancing your education is more than just about salary. It is also about the positive effect you can have on your career in general and on the health care outcomes of the people in the communities that you serve. Because you will have a higher standard of education, you will also be able to improve nursing care. You will also strengthen the field of health care through your increased understanding of research in nursing.

Top South Dakota MSN Degree Programs

Before you enroll in an RN to MSN degree program, you should spend some time researching the different universities that offer it. You must find a program that fits your personal needs and requirements in terms of specialization, time to completion and tuition fees. Unfortunately, only one university in the state is offering the RN to MSN degree program, although others are already planning to offer this program, too. This means that you may have to consider either relocating to a neighboring state that does offer such a program, such as North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nebraska or Montana; or you could consider studying online.

Below is the single South Dakota RN to MSN program, as well as four online options that you may want to take into consideration.

1. South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University offers both an RN to MSN program and an RN to DNP program. It is one of the few universities in the state that offers the DNP option. The university strongly believes in giving its students the best possible educational opportunities and is focused on promoting continuous professional learning. As such, graduates are in very high demand across the state.

  • Campus: Brookings, SD
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies depending on chosen track and residency status
  • Degree requirements: GPA of 3.0 minimum, statistics course
  • Minimum time commitment: Three semesters
  • Programs: RN to MSN or RN to DNP
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

2. Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

At Simmons School of Nursing, students can take part in an online RN to MSN program, specializing in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). The program can be completed either full or part time. One of the greatest prides of the school is their graduates’ 100% pass rate on the FNP examination.

  • Campus: Boston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,274 per credit hour
  • Degree requirements: RN license, CCNE or ACEN accredited ADN degree, resume, personal statement, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, TOEFL if applicable.
  • Minimum time commitment: 68 credits, to be completed full time or part time
  • Programs: RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

3. American Sentinel University

At American Sentinel University, students can take part in a highly comprehensive RN to MSN degree program. The degree is completed 100% online and starts with achieving the BSN degree, after which they move on to the MSN element. Graduates focus on improving health care in their community, on a state and national level, as well as on an international level. American Sentinel is a private university, but their tuition fees are more comparable to those of a public research university.

  • Campus: Aurora, CO
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $375 per credit hour
  • Degree requirements: Resume, RN license, transcripts, GPA of 3.0 minimum
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Programs: RN to BSN/MSN – Case Management, Infection Prevention and Control, Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics and Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership.
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

4. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is very close to becoming an Ivy League institution because of the high quality of education that they offer. They currently have an ADN to MSN degree program that takes just two years to complete. The various specializations that students can choose from are incredibly wide and by far surpass those of any other university in the country. The degree is designed for those who want to keep working while they study, continuing to gain professional experience as they learn more about the theoretical and practical elements of the field of health care and nursing.

  • Campus: Nashville, TN
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Tuition: $1,195 per credit hour
  • Degree requirements: Transcripts, GRE, three letters of reference, writing samples, prerequisite course, RN license
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Programs: RN to MSN – Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (with Hospital or Intensivist focus), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Emergency Nurse Practitioner (Family Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Dual Focus), Family Nurse Practitioner, Healthcare leadership, Neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner – Dual Focus, Nursing Informatics, Palliative Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan), Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner /Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner – Dual Focus
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

5. Sacred Heart University Online

Sacred Heart University has an RN to MSN online program designed specifically for those who currently hold an Associate’s Degree or Diploma in Nursing. The degree program allows them to very quickly earn higher levels of educational standing. To ensure all students are able to participate in this program, the university has kept its tuition fees low and its choice of specializations wide.

  • Campus: Fairfield, CT
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $530 per credit hour for the BSN portion and $635 per credit hour for the MSN portion
  • Degree requirements: RN license, ADN or Nursing Diploma, GPA of 3.0 minimum, resume, statement of goals, two letters of recommendation, malpractice insurance
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway. All specializations require completion of a practicum.
  • Programs: RN to BSN to MSN – Clinical Nurse Leader, Patient Care Services Administration, Nursing Education
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid