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Accelerated B.S.N. - FAQs

The College of Nursing provides a state-of-the-art nursing program that prepares graduates for the diversity necessary to practice anywhere in the United States. An emphasis in liberal studies and humanities, as well as in social and natural sciences, provides the foundation for a student's nursing education.

The accelerated B.S.N. is offered is Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen.

The accelerated nursing programs in Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen are South Dakota State University programs. They are just conducted at our distance sites. Graduates of these programs will receive their degree from SDSU but will complete their coursework and clinical in and around Rapid City, Sioux Falls or Aberdeen.

Classes in Aberdeen meet on the campus of Northern State University. Classes in Rapid City meet at Black Hills State University – Rapid City campus, and classes in Sioux Falls meet on the campus of Southeast Technical Institute in the Terrance Sullivan Health Science Center, part of SDSU - Sioux Falls.

The program is designed to be completed in one year. Each of the five semesters of the major are compressed into variable-week terms, typically between 8 and 12 weeks in length. Students typically take 11-13 credits per term. Students in Aberdeen and Rapid City complete the program between January and December. Students in Sioux Falls complete the program between August and August.

The courses are listed on the curriculum plan.

Before discussing differences, let’s look at similarities between the programs:

  • Graduates from both programs take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN).
  • Students take arts and sciences to support the nursing core requirements.
  • Entry-level staff nurse position appear similar, however, the baccalaureate-prepared nurse has a broader education background, thus affording greater career opportunities.
  • Students complete coursework in communication skills, technical skill mastery, and clinical care of child-bearing women, psychiatric patients and children and adults with health variations.

Now, the differences. A baccalaureate degree requires 120-130 credits and 620-945 clinical practice hours. Graduates are classified as professional nurses. In addition to basic knowledge, the baccalaureate student completes courses in professional issues, statistics research, health promotion and maintenance, health assessment, pathophysiology, community health and leadership. We prepare graduates to work in unstructured settings with more complex patients, and they manage and direct themselves and others as well as work in collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team.

As a general rule, associate degree programs require 65-91 credits and 585-810 clinical practice hours and can be completed in four to six semesters. Graduates of associate degree programs are classified as technical nurses. They have basic nursing knowledge and are prepared to work in structured settings with less complex patients. They direct themselves and others, and they work as part of team.

Discuss financial aid options with the Financial Aid Office early in the application process by calling them at 605-688-4702. There are also multiple scholarship opportunities available to nursing students.

The application is available about 12 weeks prior to the deadline on NursingCAS. Students are encouraged to complete the application at least four weeks prior to the deadline to ensure timely verification of application materials.

For the programs in Rapid City and Aberdeen, the priority deadline is April 1. For the program in Sioux Falls, the priority deadline is Jan. 25.

Evaluation is based on completed courses, cumulative grade point average, written statements and oral interview questions.

Approximately four to five weeks after the application deadline, applicants who have met all eligibility requirements and have complete NursingCAS applications will be notified of their eligibility for a personal interview.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by email after completing all phases of the application process, including applicant interview. Acceptance is conditional on meeting all additional requirements including payment of a nonrefundable program deposit, completion of in progress coursework, maintaining GPA requirements, drug screening, background checks, evidence of health insurance, current immunization status, CPR certification and purchase of program materials, including scrubs, community polos and an approved laptop computer.

Admission into the nursing program is competitive, and the College of Nursing usually receives more applications than there are available spaces in the program. If a student is qualified but not admitted, he or she is placed on the waiting list. Students who are not admitted may apply to the standard program, reapply to the same accelerated program the following year or apply to a different SDSU nursing site that offers the accelerated program.

Students entering the nursing program are required to have a laptop computer that meets the College of Nursing computer specifications. These laptop computers will be used throughout the course of the program during classes and for testing. Students are expected to maintain a warranty on their laptop computers so that the laptops stay in working order throughout the program.

Although the support desk is able to provide on-site trouble-shooting, warranty work must be done at the location specified in the terms of your warranty.

Students who are required to purchase a laptop computer for their major, may submit a current receipt or purchase agreement to the SDSU Financial Aid Office in order to receive a student aid budget adjustment for the current year. There is no guarantee of additional federal student financial aid from this submission. Only one computer purchase may be applied toward the student’s financial aid budget during the course of the entire academic program.

Typically, many (but not all) of the prerequisite courses students must take will transfer to SDSU from another institution. To ensure you will receive appropriate credit, check the transfer equivalency calculator to see if a course you are considering has previously been evaluated by the Registrar's Office or check with your advisor to make sure the course you wish to take will equate to the proper SDSU course. The best information regarding transfer credit comes from an academic advisor. You can attach unofficial copies of your transcript to an email and receive individual course evaluation. If the application has already opened for the year, your transcripts will be reviewed by an advisor after NursingCAS has verified your transcripts.

Find more detailed information on the three location options: