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Native American Nursing Education Center

students in simulation

History of the Center  

The Wokunze Wicaske Alliance for Native American Nursing Students was originally established at the SDSU College of Nursing in Rapid City through a Bush Foundation grant. South Dakota State University's College of Nursing was one of 30 organizations to receive a 2015 Community Innovation grant from the Bush Foundation. The purpose of the alliance was to attract and retain Native Americans to the state's nursing workforce through an inclusive alliance of tribal partners, community members and academic leaders. Alliance members hosted talking circles in reservation and urban communities with current students, previous graduates, and other professional nurses to learn ways to attract others to the field and understand barriers to education.

In 2017, SDSU College of Nursing established the Native American Nursing Education Center in Rapid City. The center provides a physical space of community for our Native American nursing students and program staff. The Wokunze Wicaske Alliance Advisory Board meets each semester and guides strategy and decision-making that will lead to expanded, upgraded supports services.

Native American Nursing Student Support

The Native American Nursing Education Center and its staff provide support for students in four key areas: financial, academic, social, and cultural.

SDSU College of Nursing is committed to providing a welcoming, community space for our Native American nursing students along with academically and culturally aligned resources, including:

NANEC Logo (South Dakota State University College of Nursing Native American Nursing Education Center)
  • Financial & Emergency Assistance
  • Social & Academic Support
  • Nurse Mentoring Program
  • Academic Advising
  • Student Lounge & Study Spaces
  • Cultural Events
  • Resource Room with Books, Articles, & Study Materials

Mentoring Program

Native American nursing students are invited to participate in our nurse mentor program. Students will be paired with an experienced Native American nurse who provides academic and professional support for students. For more information on our mentoring program, please contact our nurse mentor coordinator:        

Beverly Warne, MSN
(605) 394-2883

Interested in learning more about SDSU Native American Nursing Education Center? Contact us:

Cassi Severson
Diversity Outreach Engagement Coordinator/Advisor
1220 Mt. Rushmore Rd, Ste 2, Rapid City, SD 57701
Office: (605) 394-2884 | Front Office: (605) 394-2880


Student Spotlight

Jazmine - Rapid City Standard BSN

Jazmine credits the NANEC for being her “personal cheer-leading squad.” Jazmine said “Bev, Cassi and Tina are so helpful and they all go above and beyond for their students.”

Learn more about Jazmine on the College of Nursing Blog...