2 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in South Dakota – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

The need for nurse practitioners in South Dakota is expected to increase by more than 57 percent in the next decade. NPs in South Dakota have full practice autonomy, which means they can be utilized to provide essential medical services to more rural parts of the state that are underserved in terms of primary care. After they graduate from one of the accredited nurse practitioner schools in South Dakota, NPs make $115,610 on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Find out everything you want to know about the best nurse practitioner programs in South Dakota for 2024 by reading what’s written below.


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 2 Best NP programs in South Dakota for the year 2024.)

1) Mount Marty University - Yankton

Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Graduate Certificate

As a registered nurse in South Dakota, have you ever thought of advancing your nursing career? If so, enrolling in one of the best nurse practitioner programs in South Dakota can be a prudent move. Mount Marty University’s NP programs can be a good option as here, the college prepares you for two promising areas of advanced practice nursing, including family health and psychiatric mental health. Grounded in Catholic Benedictine values, Mount Mary’s NP education not only trains you to become a clinical expert by applying scientific principles in health promotion but also prepares you as a compassionate and service-oriented caregiver. If these faith-based values resonate with you, then you may want to consider applying to either the MSN or the post-graduate certificate program, depending on where you are in your academic journey in nursing.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The convenience of online classes combined with the in-person learning experience of on-campus classes makes this MSN one of the sought-after online nurse practitioner programs in South Dakota. If you find your calling in primary care, then the FNP track will be right for you, whereas, if you are interested in mental health, the college’s PMHNP track will be a befitting choice. To be eligible for either of the tracks, you must have a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an active RN license in South Dakota. The FNP track which was developed by the college to address the health needs of the state, emphasizes primary care of the rural and vulnerable communities. Upon completion of the 50 credits of the FNP coursework, you will be eligible to take the certification exam. The program educates you on core topics such as advanced practice roles, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical assessment. Additionally, you also master concepts in the care of individuals, families of all age groups, including the rural and vulnerable populations. On the other hand, the mental health track, also a 50-credit curriculum, includes core topics and courses in the psychiatric mental health care of individuals across the lifespan. Both programs require you to complete approximately 600 hours of clinical training.

Post-Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This post-graduate certificate nurse practitioner program in South Dakota provides MSN-prepared nurses the opportunity to expand their nursing knowledge. The program, offered in the FNP and PMHNP specializations, is designed for APRNs who are keen on adding a second specialty. Upon enrollment, the college completes a gap analysis to assess a course plan to match your individual learning requirements, after completion of which, you will be eligible to take the certification exam within your chosen population focus.

2) South Dakota State University - Brookings

Programs Offered: MSN, DNP (BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP), and Post Graduate Certificate

Being a nurse practitioner in South Dakota comes with its perks. Not only will you increase your earning potential and rise in ranks, but you will also play a crucial role in meeting the health needs of the state, in the present as well as future. Well, to enter the promising field of advanced practice nursing, you must obtain an MSN or a DNP. Now, whether you aspire to kickstart your NP career with an MSN or desire the terminal nursing degree, South Dakota State University can be your go-to-NP school. Here, you can start your journey at any point and leave the college with the highest level of clinical expertise by achieving an MSN or a doctorate. Regardless of whether you enroll in the MSN, DNP, or post-graduate certificate, you will be nurtured in an environment where excellence and innovation have been the standard for almost 88 years now. Through its long history, this nurse practitioner school in South Dakota has proudly built strong relationships with industry leaders, collaborated interprofessionally, and actively engaged in pathbreaking research.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This MSN-NP program in South Dakota is ideal for someone wanting to become an FNP or PMHNP through a flexible coursework. Starting in fall, the program takes 3 to 4 years to complete, depending on the pace you choose. Training students with master’s level knowledge since 1979, the college has prepared many clinical leaders who are impacting lives, locally as well as nationally. With 200 affiliations across the region, here you can practice clinical skills in a variety of settings. If you opt for the FNP track, you will graduate with evidence-based skills to provide direct patient care to patients across the lifespan, especially focusing on the rural communities. Whereas, the PMHNP track prepares you to provide high-quality care to psychiatric patients in urban and rural settings. Regardless, both the tracks start with core courses in foundations of advanced nursing, research in nursing, pathophysiology, health policy, pharmacotherapeutics, health informatics, and then progress to specialty-specific courses. The credits required for graduation vary between 55 to 58, depending on whether you decide to complete a thesis, research, or design paper as your culminating experience. Also, included are approximately 1000 hours of clinical practice.

BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This nurse practitioner program in South Dakota can seamlessly take your career as a BSN-prepared RN straight to that of a DNP-prepared NP. With two concentration options in family health and psychiatric mental health care, you can decide on an area of advancement based on your interests. To graduate, you will require completing 75 to 78 credits through a hybrid curriculum. Your coursework mainly includes advanced practice nursing courses, graduate core, and specialty-specific courses. Also, you must complete 1200 hours of clinical practice by applying your newly acquired theoretical knowledge.

MSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Now, if you enter this DNP-NP after completing an MSN-NP program, you will graduate by earning 31 to 36 credits, whereas, for RNs with a non-clinical master’s degree in nursing, credit requirements will range between 49 to 69, depending on the chosen specialization track.

Post Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This post-graduate certificate NP program is ideal for someone keen on gaining specialized skills and knowledge in primary care or psychiatric mental health. Whether you already have an APRN status and desire a second certification or you are an RN with an MSN, through this program, you can broaden your learning curve and expand your advanced practice nursing. To earn your certificate, you will require earning around 28 credits, however, the exact credit requirements will be based on a gap analysis of your previously completed coursework.



What are the Total Number of Accredited NP Programs in South Dakota?

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that currently there are Seven accredited nurse practitioner programs in South Dakota.

Program Type #
Post-Master's Certificate 2

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