South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing continues to be a leader in South Dakota and beyond. The college ranks among the best nationally and SDSU students and graduates are leaders in the health care profession. In fact, the college was recently ranked 13th nationally by College Factual for “Best Value Nursing Schools,” ranking SDSU in the top 5% nationally. The college was also ranked 11th in the Great Plains Region and 50th nationally among public universities on the 2020 Nursing Schools Almanac’s list.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the college responded by providing well-trained and well-prepared graduates ready to enter the workforce. Between the spring and summer semesters, 185 students graduated with undergraduate degrees and within that group more than 95% had confirmed employment after passing their board exams.
SDSU also offers numerous graduate programs in nursing, where 35 students earned graduate degrees in 2020 with 100% job placement among the group.
During the first seven months of the pandemic, SDSU’s refresher program was launched and resulted in nearly 60 nurses completing the requirements. Refresher courses are provided to registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who are looking to return to practice. The self-study course is designed to review and update nursing skills and knowledge before an individual moves to a nurse orientation program prior to returning to work.
The College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions also graduated 75 students from its Pharm.D. program last May.
On campus, faculty, staff and students from the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, the SDSU Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services, student affairs, human resources, environmental health and safety, and emergency management had important roles in providing resources and staff for flu vaccines during fall 2020.
Nursing students administered nearly 2,000 vaccines on campus to students and employees and were needed due to the demand for community health workers to assist with the pandemic. In addition, pharmacy helped provide vaccines for the Sioux Falls Employee Influenza Clinic that vaccinated city employees and first responders, while nursing students participated in flu shot clinics in the Sioux Falls School District and several clinics in Aberdeen and Milbank.