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Accelerated B.S.N. - Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of applying to SDSU's College of Nursing?

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.

Where can I complete the accelerated nursing program?

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

Is this a South Dakota State University program?

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.

Where are the classes held?

Classes in Aberdeen meet on the campus of Northern State University. Classes in Rapid City meet at the Monument Health Sciences Building, and classes in Sioux Falls meet on the campus of Southeast Technical Institute in the Terrance Sullivan Health Science Center, part of the Community College for Sioux Falls.

How long does it take to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)?

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.

What pre-requisite courses and university core will I complete?

The courses are listed on the curriculum plan.

What is the difference between the bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree in nursing?

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 as 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 graduate 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 structure settings with less complex patients. They direct themselves and others, and they work as part of team.

What financial aid options do I have?

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.

When do I apply to the nursing program?

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 June 1, however, applications will be considered on a rolling basis until August 15 or until the program is filled with qualified applicants.

For the program in Sioux Falls, the application is due March 1 (or if this date falls on a weekend, the Friday prior) by 5 p.m.

How many students are accepted?

Forty students are accepted into each accelerated B.S.N. program once per year.

How are applications evaluated?

Evaluation is based on completed courses, cumulative grade point average, pre-nursing grade point average, personal statement and a personal interview with two faculty members in the College of Nursing.

How will I know if I’ve been chosen for an interview?

Approximately 4-5 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.

How will I be notified of acceptance?

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.

What happens if I am not admitted?

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.

What are the criteria for admission?

See the eligibility requirements.

How will I be notified of acceptance?

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by email after completed 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 polo and an approved laptop computer.

Why are laptop computers required for the program?

Students entering the nursing program are required to have a laptop computer that meets the College of Nursing computer specifications. These laptop computer 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 not 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.

How do my credits from my prior degree transfer to SDSU?

Typically, many (but not all) of the pre-requisite 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.

What if I started a nursing program but didn’t finish?

If you have started a nursing program elsewhere but did not graduate for any reason, you should contact an academic advisor to determine your eligibility to apply. Students who have been dismissed from a previous nursing program are not eligible for admission to the SDSU accelerated program. If you left the previous nursing program in good standing, additional steps are required for admission to the accelerated program.

For more detailed information, please select the site that you would like to attend: