At a time when the medical field is being stressed like no other, the stress of nurses is at one of its highest points. And South Dakota is feeling it.

You speak to anyone in the health industry and they will tell you there are no easy days. And that has been the narrative for quite some time in South Dakota as a shortage of nurses continues to rise.

Currently, there is such a need for trained medical personnel, and the number of nurses in the state is declining rapidly. Five years ago about 1,700 registered nurses left South Dakota. Then there was COVID. According to one report, last year 2,500 nurses left the workforce.

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Here in South Dakota, there are several approved nursing programs offered at colleges and universities:

South Dakota State University
Augustana University
University of Sioux Falls
Oglala Lakota College
Dakota Wesleyan
University of South Dakota
Mount Marty University
Presentation College
Southeast Technical
Lake Area Technical College
Mitchell Technical College

The state’s higher education system has not produced enough nursing graduates to keep up with demand, and educators are scrambling to find ways to lure more students.

One of the reasons is competitive pay. Other states have also seen a decline in nursing numbers and that has resulted in competition to fill those vacancies.

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