2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jan 23, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Nursing (B.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Standard Option, Brookings
Todd Stricherz, Director of Student Services
SDSU Wagner Hall 352
Brookings, SD 57007
605-688-4106 or 1-888-216-9806 ext. 2
E-mail: SDSU.BrookingsNursing@sdstate.edu

Standard Option, Rapid City
Kathleen Fitzgerald-Ellis, Advisor
West River Department, SDSU
1011 11th Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
605-394-5390 or 1-888-819-1725
E-mail: SDSU.RapidCityNursing@sdstate.edu

Standard Option, Sioux Falls
Camilla Veire, Advisor
College of Nursing, SDSU

2300 N. Career Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
E-mail: SDSU.SiouxFallsNursing@sdstate.edu


Program Information

The bachelors of science in nursing program prepares graduates to practice in both hospital and non-hospital settings and have the foundation for advanced study in nursing.  The curriculum includes university core requirements, major support courses in communication and the social, physical, and biological sciences, and nursing major courses. This education provides the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills and pursuit of high standards in health care to influence quality health outcomes.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Integrate theories and concepts from liberal education into nursing practice.
  • Integrate effective leadership skills to improve the quality of health care.
  • Incorporate evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in patient care technologies and informatics.
  • Evaluate the implications of health policy and health care delivery systems on the professional nursing practice environment.
  • Integrate effective interprofessional communication and collaboration into professional nursing practice.
  • Improve population health through health promotion and disease prevention. 
  • Integrate behaviors that reflect nursing values and professional standards into practice.
  • Provide patient-centered, quality care.

Program Delivery Options

Three types of undergraduate curricula lead to the Bachelor of Science with a major in nursing: one for standard students, one for RNs who are academically prepared at the associate degree or diploma level and now seek a bachelor’s degree, and the accelerated option for students with non-nursing baccalaureate degrees who wish to obtain a degree in nursing. The Standard Option is designed to meet the educational needs of persons who are not registered nurses and can be completed in two and a half years on the Brookings and Rapid City campuses. The program is a year round program completed in twenty months on Sioux Falls campus.

Standard B.S. Program Admission

Admissions Application Dates

September 25 is the admission application deadline to enter in the Spring Semester.

  • January 25 is the admission application deadline to enter in the Fall Semester.
  • The Brookings and Rapid City programs admit students to the nursing major for both the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • The Sioux Falls program admits students in courses each Fall to begin courses each January.
  • The Brookings campus accepts Direct Admission applications year round.

Direct Admit Admission Requirements

High school seniors who wish to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from South Dakota State University have the option to apply for the Direct Admit program. The Direct Admit program guarantees admission into the professional nursing major (Standard Option in Brookings), prior to the competitive selection process, for students who meet specific, pre-established criteria.  Students who do not meet the criteria for the Direct Admit program can apply for admission to the professional nursing major as part of a competitive application process, as long as all application requirements have been met.

Selection Criteria for the Direct Admit Program

To be considered for the Direct Admit program, applicants must:

  • be admitted as a first-time freshman pre-nursing major at SDSU main campus in Brookings,
  • have a minimum 27 composite score on the ACT (SAT equivalent 1210), and 
  • submit the College of Nursing Direct Admit Application.

Direct Admit students are provisionally admitted to the professional nursing major. They must meet a specific set of requirements during their first three semesters on campus in order to begin the nursing major coursework at the start of the fourth semester. Once admitted in the fall of their freshman year, Direct Admit students must:

  • be enrolled as a full-time student each semester,
  • participate in the Fishback Honors College and meet the Fishback Honors College progression standards required for priority registration each semester (students with a 27 or higher ACT are automatically admitted to Fishback Honors College),
  • apply to the nursing major* before or during their 3rd semester on campus, once all pre-requisite courses are completed or in progress, and
  • earn a letter grade of ‘C’ or higher (no D, F, or Withdrawal grades) in all pre-nursing courses:

*Application to the nursing major is required for validation purposes. Students must pass a background check and drug screening after provisional acceptance into the nursing major.

If a Direct Admit student does not maintain eligibility, their application to the Nursing major will be considered in the competitive application pool, as long as application requirements have been met.

Competitive Admission Requirements

To be considered for competitive admission to the Standard Option, students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 2.7
  • a pre-nursing GPA of 2.7 at time of admission
  • a grade of “C” or higher in all completed courses required for graduation,
  • completed the following core requirements
    • System Graduation Requirement (SGR) #1: Written Communication - ENGL 101 Composition I
    • One course from the System Graduation Requirement (SGR) #1: Oral Communication list
    • One course from the System Graduation Requirement (SGR) #4: Humanities list
    • System Graduation Requirement (SGR) #5: Mathematics (MATH 102 or higher)
    • NURS 119 - First Year Seminar 

Any student eligible for regular admission to SDSU who plans to enroll in the College of Nursing and Department of Undergraduate Nursing is accepted into pre-nursing and has an academic advisor from the College of Nursing. During the semester in which students complete their final pre-nursing required courses, they apply for admission to the nursing major. Applicants with courses in progress at the time of application will be required to provide written documentation of their registration in those courses with the application form.

Fulfillment of course and application requirements does not ensure admission. The number of students accepted to enroll in the nursing major may vary depending upon available clinical facilities, qualified faculty and funds. Students who want to enter the nursing major are required to submit an application for admission to the major. Prior to applying to any option, all students must apply for admission to SDSU.

Additional Coursework Policies

Students who have failed (earned a “D” or “F”) in two or more of the pre-nursing science courses (CHEM 106-106L or CHEM 112-112L, or CHEM 108-108L or CHEM 114-114L; MICR 231-231L; BIOL 221-221L, 325-325L), will not be admitted to the Nursing Major. Students who have failed one pre-nursing course (CHEM 106-106L or CHEM 112-112L, CHEM 108-108L or CHEM 114-114L; MICR 231-231L; BIOL 221-221L, BIOL 325-325L; PSYC 101; one of the following: SOC 100, SOC 150, or SOC 240; NUTR 315; HDFS 210), repeated and failed the same course a second time will not be admitted to the Nursing Major. If the failure is over five years old, it does not count as a failure. Students who have taken Anatomy or Physiology more than seven years prior to their admission date will be required to update these courses.

Nursing Regulations

Students in the College of Nursing are governed by the regulations and policies that apply to all students at SDSU but are also governed by requirements of the College of Nursing, professional standards and those of the clinical agencies in which they have clinical. These requirements are presented in detail on the College of Nursing Compliance webpage and in the College of Nursing Undergraduate Handbook. This include but are not limited to health requirements, immunizations, background checks, and drug screens.

Transfer Students

Transfer students who have begun but not completed a nursing program at another college or university must submit a letter to the College of Nursing indicating their reason for transfer. They must also apply for admission to SDSU, as well as to the College of Nursing. Three letters of recommendation must also be submitted to the College of Nursing: one from the dean/director of their former program and two from faculty members stating the student left in good standing.

Language Proficiency

As the nurse is a professional who deals with human lives, it is mandatory that a higher level of English fluency be met in order to ensure the safety of clients and students. The English as a Second Language requirement for the College of Nursing is the same as that required by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The College of Nursing requires all students who meet the definition of student with English as a Second Language to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or an accepted substitute. English as a Second Language is defined as a student who was instructed and spoke primarily in a language other than English in the K-12 grades or primary and secondary schooling. The minimum TOEFL score required for admission to the nursing major is 84 (iBT), with a minimum speaking score of 26. The required IELTS band score for admission to the nursing major is 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each module. The TOEFL or IELTS is required for all students for whom English is a second language, regardless of residency status. These scores are required before the student will be accepted into the major.   The student is responsible for all testing fees.

Academic Requirements

A GPA of 2.5 or higher is required for continuation in the nursing major. A grade of “C” or higher is required in all nursing courses. Students may repeat one failed nursing course with permission. Upon failing a second nursing course, the student is dismissed from the program. A student who needs to retake a failed course is re-enrolled in the course on a space available basis. A student who fails a course due to unsafe practice in a clinical experience will not be eligible for readmission to the nursing major, unless evidence is submitted that the unsafe behaviors have been corrected.

All undergraduate and graduate nursing students are expected to adhere to the principles of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (American Nurses Association, 2015). The Code of Ethics for Nurses communicates a standard of professional behavior expected throughout the total program and in each individual nursing course. Therefore, in addition to dismissal for academic failure, the faculty and administration of the Departments of Undergraduate Nursing and Graduate Nursing reserve the right to dismiss any student enrolled in either the undergraduate or graduate program for unethical, dishonest, illegal, or other conduct that is inconsistent with the Code of Ethics for Nurses or legal requirements.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and APRN certificate programs at South Dakota State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).


The program is approved by the South Dakota Board of Nursing.


Candidates for graduation in the standard and accelerated curriculum meet the educational requirements to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) for licensure as registered nurses. Licensure as a registered nurse (RN) is required by law in every state in order to practice professional nursing.

Course Delivery Format

The Nursing program promotes a combination of lecture and hands-on experiences that teach students to practice nursing with expertise, professionalism, and a passion for helping others. The faculty engage students in classroom, online, simulation laboratory, and field based learning experiences in health care facilities and in community settings.

Requirements for Nursing Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science in Nursing 

System General Education Requirements


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120


West River pre-nursing courses may not be offered in exactly the same semester as they are on the main campus in Brookings.

Must be accepted into Nursing program prior to taking major courses.

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