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South Dakota Clinical Nurse Leader

Whether you work in the emergency room, a clinic, or a specialty clinic, the skills you bring to the table as a registered nurse are extremely valuable in South Dakota. Many South Dakota residents have had inadequate access to health care in the past, thanks to the state’s spread-out population and the difficulty of attracting care providers to the area.

You, as a nurse, are in a unique position to solve this problem. You can use your nursing experience and your dedication to South Dakota to improve the care that people all over the state receive.

Clinical Nurse Leaders help fulfill the clinical needs of hospitals and other care facilities while serving as leaders and mentors for other nurses. With the ongoing Medicaid expansion in South Dakota, nursing professionals in South Dakota must be accountable for care outcomes and prepare for federal oversight (Black Hills Pioneer, 2015). Like any other nursing career, nurse leadership begins with the appropriate training and theoretical education.

Take a look at our list of Master’s in nurse leadership programs in South Dakota to find out more about your options.

How Can I Become a Clinical Nurse Leader in South Dakota?

The goal of Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL) graduate programs in South Dakota is to prepare experienced nurses for leadership positions in medical facilities across the state. These facilities include nursing homes, hospitals, and community clinics.

In graduate programs in this specialty, you’ll be expected to earn between 33 and 39 credits. You may explore topics like patient health assessment, the structure of the health care system, and ethics in the field of nursing.

In South Dakota, many nursing schools require these graduate courses or courses similar to them:

  • Research in Nursing and Health Care
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Health Operations and Financial Management
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Microsystem Approaches
  • Clinical Immersion
  • Health Policy and Ethics
  • Foundations of Advanced Nursing

By the time you complete your Master’s degree, you should have experience in many areas of health care that go beyond the scope of registered nursing, like quality improvement, outcomes-based practice, care in microsystems, and chain of command in health care facilities.

Clinical work is a common part of nursing graduate study, but a lot depends on what part of South Dakota you live in and how many medical facilities are in your area. You may have no clinical requirements or you may spend over 500 hours in a local hospital or clinic.

Throughout and after your education, you must maintain a valid RN license through the South Dakota Board of Nursing. They do not have any continuing education requirements, but they do require biennial renewal and a $90 renewal fee.
The AACN oversees the certification program for Clinical Nurse Leaders. By passing their certification exam, you can become a Clinical Nurse Leader for five years. At the five-year point, you must provide proof of 50 continuing education units and renew your certification.

What Does a Clinical Nurse Leader Do?

Nurse leadership jobs tend to build on the role of the registered nurse and take it to the next level. You maintain your clinical presence and spend most of your time working with patients, as you are expected to serve as a hands-on leader. This involves working closely with other nurses and getting comfortable in an independent nursing role, as you often have the responsibility of making care decisions and split-second choices.

Being a nurse leader goes beyond the hospital floor. You must also remain active in the nursing community of South Dakota, especially if you want other nurses to see you as a leader whom they can trust. The South Dakota Nurses Association is a large professional organization for nurses in this area, and they empower nurse leaders with annual leadership elections. Don’t be afraid to learn from others in your field, attend training events, and take advantage of networking opportunities.

When you devote yourself to nurse leadership and earn your Master’s degree, you are doing more than expanding your own career. You are strengthening the field of nursing and demonstrating the value of ongoing education in this industry.

Discover your education options by contacting Master’s in nurse leadership programs in South Dakota below.

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