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COVID-19 Updates: Stay Informed ranks College of Nursing No. 8

2020 CNL ranking


The South Dakota State University College of Nursing was ranked No. 8 in’s list of 2020 Best Clinical Nurse Leader Programs.

“After carefully analyzing CNL programs throughout the U.S., it became apparent that South Dakota State University not only prepares students for success on the national CNL certification exam but also equips nurse leaders with the skills needed to confidently lead in the fast-paced health care industry,” said Sally Worthington, outreach coordinator for “We analyzed things like accreditation, online program availability, nursing program completions, graduate rates and other categories.”

South Dakota State University, which currently has four students pursuing this specialty in its master’s degree program, requires 39 coursework credits, which are completely online. Students also complete 420 clinical hours and learn concepts such as health policy and pharmacotherapeutics, to name a few.

“Our graduates have completed some phenomenal projects working in interdisciplinary teams at major medical centers and hospitals throughout the United States,” said College of Nursing professor and CNL specialty coordinator Lori Hendrickx, noting South Dakota State University was at the table when the American Association of Colleges of Nursing developed the degree. “Several students and graduates have also presented nationally at the CNL Summit.”’s methodology began with obtaining NCLEX-RN exam pass rates for all registered nursing programs on a state-by-state basis through several methods, including making a number of Freedom of Information Act requests. It requested five years of available information. South Dakota State University’s CNL program has a 100% pass rate for all graduates, which is significantly higher than the national average.