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Average RN Salary in South Dakota: See How Much SD Nurses Make

NurseJournal Staff
Updated July 6, 2023
Nurses in South Dakota live in the fifth-least populous state and pay no state income tax. RNs who love open space and low taxes may benefit from living in the state.
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In South Dakota, nurses enjoy lives free from state income tax and a cost of living lower than the national average in every major city. Registered nurse salaries in South Dakota may not be the highest, but a low cost of living and a lower tax burden puts more money in nurses’ pockets. Compared to more expensive states with high taxes and cost of living, nurses’ money can go further in South Dakota.

South Dakota has projected RN employment growth of 13.1%, which is more than the national projections of 9% RN job growth listed by theBureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The average RN salary in South Dakota is $60,540 per year and $29.11 per hour. As the fifth-least populated state, South Dakota provides a great deal of open space for its approximately 900,000 residents.

  • Average South Dakota RN Salary: $60,540 (Ranks 51st among all states)
  • Hourly South Dakota RN Salary: $28.11
  • Projected South Dakota RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 13.1%

Source:BLS, Projections Central

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Average RN Salaries in South Dakota

The average RN salary in South Dakota is $60,540 per year and $29.11 per hour. In comparison, the BLS reports the median RN salary in the United States as $77,600 per year and $37.31 per hour. The BLS also projects employment growth for RNs across the nation at 9% from 2020-2030. Job growth for registered nurses in South Dakota is expected to be approximately 13.1%.

In neighboring states, we see the following average RN salaries:

  • North Dakota: $71,200
  • Nebraska: $69,850
  • Wyoming: $73,130
  • Minnesota: $84,030
  • Montana: $73,610

As seen in the table below, nurses at the 10th percentile in South Dakota earn an average of $47,470, with a median annual salary of $65,550. Nurse salaries at the 90th percentile in South Dakota reach $77,360.

Infographic of registered nursing salary data in South Dakota. The average annual RN salary is $60,540. The average hourly RN salary is $29.11. Average RN salaries range from $47,470 among the bottom 10th percentile of earners to $77,360 among the top 90th percentile of earners.
South Dakota RN Salary Range
PercentileAverage Annual RN SalaryAverage Hourly RN Salary
50% (Median)$60,550$29.11


South Dakota RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living

Cost of living is a factor that every nurse should consider when thinking about where to live and work. The cost-of-living index compares the cost of clothing, education, housing, food, healthcare, and other common expenses between different cities and states. The national average cost of living is set at 100.

South Dakota’s cost-of-living index is 91.5, 8.5% less than the national average. The average RN salary in South Dakota, adjusted for cost of living, is $65,686. South Dakota is ranked 51st among all states and Washington, D.C., for this metric.

As mentioned above, South Dakota is considered “tax-friendly” and has no state or corporate income tax. The state ranks 25th for access and affordability of healthcare. No state income tax means more money in nurses’ pockets.

  • Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $65,686 (Ranks 51st among all states)
  • Cost of Living Index (RPP): 91.5 (8.5% less than the U.S. average)

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in South Dakota

As seen in the table below, the average RN salary in Rapid City is $63,390, which is slightly higher than the median annual RN salary in South Dakota of $60,550. In Sioux Falls, RNs earn an average of $58,970.

There are two Magnet-designated facilities in South Dakota, both located in Sioux Falls: Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center and Sanford USD Medical Center.

Downtown Rapid City is only a 30-minute drive from the famous Mt. Rushmore, with other national forests and monuments within easy reach. With a vibrant arts scene and many attractions for tourists and locals, there is plenty to do in the Rapid City area.

Sioux Falls is the most populous city in the state. In 2019, Livability ranked Sioux Falls seventh among the 100 best places to live in the United States. They listed the number of parks and bike paths, short commute times, arts and culture, and access to outdoor activities as several reasons the city ranked so high.

Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in South Dakota

Nurse practitioners in South Dakota earn an average of $112,320 per year, while nurse anesthetists earn $197,710 on average. With nursing assistants pulling in $29,660 and LPNs/LVNs earning $41,830, there is good reason for those healthcare workers interested in pursuing further education to consider earning bachelor of science in nursing or master of science in nursing degrees to significantly increase their earning potential.

  • Nursing Assistants: $29,660
  • LPN/LVNs: $41,830
  • Nurse Practitioners: $112,320
  • Nurse Anesthetists: $197,710

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