South Dakota is a wonderful place to start your advanced nursing career. Even with no previous nursing skills, you could receive your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in as little as three years. Find out how a direct entry Master’s in Nursing program can help get you on the the fast track toward a professional nursing career that can lead to satisfaction and success. Contact the schools you find on our site to learn more about your options for accelerated graduate nursing programs in South Dakota today.
If you have ever had an interest in nursing but have never enrolled in a nursing program, a direct entry MSN program could be right for you. The direct entry MSN program is available to those who have earned a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. For the first year, you will learn the foundational concepts that will prepare you for the RN licensure exam (NCLEX-RN). Over the course of the next two years, you will receive more advanced education pertaining to your master's degree and nursing focus, eventually allowing you to enter nursing as an APRN.
Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are registered nurses (RNs), who receive additional education in the form of master’s degree or higher. There are four main clinical (direct patient care) roles that are designed for advanced practice nurses to fill. The four roles include: nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are vital to today's primary care. Often times, a nurse practitioner practices at the same level as a physician. Although nurse practitioners have been given more liberties throughout recent years, in some states they still must practice within the boundaries of physician supervision and state law. Some of the functions that nurse practitioners may lawfully practice, either independently or under physician supervision are listed below. Scope of practice laws are individualized for each state, which will determine the level of autonomy allowed in practice.
Nurse Practitioner Roles
- Diagnosing patients and instituting a plan of therapy or referral to another doctor or specialist.
- Prescribing medications and providing drug samples, including controlled drugs or substances to treat symptoms and causative factors.
- Writing a chemical or physical restraining order if the patient exhibits the possibility of causing harm to themselves or others.
- Completing and signing official documents pertaining to death certificates, birth certificates, etc.
- Performing physical examinations for athletic participation and certifying that patient is healthy enough to undergo athletic-related activities.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) work primarily in hospitals, but you may also find employment in other health care institutions. Not only do they deliver anesthesia to patients, but they also closely monitor and provide care for patients before, during and after surgical procedures. They also earn one of the highest salaries in the entire nursing profession. In 2012, the mean pay of a nurse anesthetist was $157,690, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are also another vital component to primary care. They differ from nurse practitioners in that they primarily focus on women’s health services, including family planning, gynecological exams, prenatal care, labor and delivery, newborn care, and postnatal care.
Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) work to provide expertise in a specialized area related to setting, population, type of care, disease or medical subspecialty, or in another area of medical care. They play important roles in the care of patients and make substantial contributions to care in clinical medical settings.
A general sample course outline for a graduate level nursing program may include many of the following courses:
- Influences on Health and Illness: Nursing Perspective
- Nursing Interventions, Assessment & Community Care I
- Lab for Nursing Interventions, Assessment & Community Care I
- Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice
- Nursing with Women and Families
- Clinical for Nursing with Women and Families
- Health Care Research
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Nursing Care of Adults I
- Clinical for Nursing Care of Adults I
- Nursing & Promotion of Mental Health
- Clinical for Nursing & Promotion of Mental Health
- Intermediate Nursing Interventions, Assessment & Community Care
- Lab for Intermediate Nursing Interventions, Assessment & Community Care
- Nursing Care of Adults II
- Clinical for Nursing Care of Adults II
- Nursing Care of the Child
- Clinical for Nursing Care of the Child
- Public Health Community Nursing
- Clinical for Public Health Community Nursing
- Comprehensive Nursing Practicum
- Managing and Leading in Nursing
- Health Informatics I
After you graduate you will be eligible to take the exam to become nationally certified in your area of specialty. The South Dakota Board of Nursing recognizes advanced practice nurses who are certified through the following organizations:
- National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- National Certification Corporation
- American Association of Critical Care Nurses
- The American Midwifery Certification Board
Whatever specialization you choose, know that becoming an advanced practice nurse is making an impact on other's lives. The direct entry MSN program gives you the possibility to experience a rewarding career. You can also choose a non-direct care accelerated Master’s in Nursing route, which could lead to a position as a nursing instructor, a nurse manager, or even a healthcare administrator.
The potential to affect the profession of nursing in a positive way, while still maintaining a career that is personally rewarding, are two of the greatest benefits to earning your Master’s degree in Nursing, regardless of which route you take. Check out our specialty pages to learn more about the possibilities for earning your graduate nursing degree in South Dakota.