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American Indians into Nursing Scholarship

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Wicozani Project Scholarships

The Wicozani (wee-CHO-zah-nee) is a Lakota word meaning, “sacred wellness, all encompassing of health and balance.” The College of Nursing at South Dakota State University has embraced the concept of Wicozani by creating this “Wicozani - Life Pathway in Nursing” program for enrolled members of Federally recognized tribes pursuing a degree in nursing. The Wicozani Nursing Scholarship Project is funded as part of the Indian Health Service American Indians into Nursing Program under Section 112 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, as amended. This project provides scholarships and stipends for enrolled members of Federally recognized tribes to pursue full-time study in a program toward a baccalaureate or graduate (nurse practitioner track) degree in nursing at SDSU.

Qualified applicants must be admitted to the nursing major at SDSU, commit to full time study, and provide documentation of tribal enrollment. Scholarship recipients are required to serve a period of obligated service (payback) in an Indian Health Service or approved tribal program direct care position of one year for each year of full-time scholarship support for a minimum of two years of obligated service.

Purpose of the Wicozani Project

The Wicozani Project purpose is to recruit, retain and graduate American Indian and Alaska Native nursing students at SDSU. Increasing the number of American Indian and Alaska Native nurses will improve health care services and help eliminate health disparities in Indian Country.

students at honoring ceremony

What Benefits Does Wicozani Provide?

  • Paid tuition, fees, books, tutoring, licensure exam preparation and other reasonable educational expenses.
  • A monthly stipend during the academic year while enrolled in full-time study.
  • Access to Indian Health Service summer employment.
  • Academic advising, resource referral and support and advocacy for academic and non-academic concerns.
  • Holistic mentoring by experienced, committed indigenous nurses (“unci”) provided in the tradition of Tiospaye (extended family) support.Opportunities for networking with individuals, agencies and organizations serving Indian people.
  • Assistance with placement to fulfill the IHS service obligation.

For more information