South Dakota Universities team up to tackle the nursing crisis

South Dakota Universities team up to tackle the nursing crisis
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The nursing shortage has been felt nationwide, and even more so in rural parts of South Dakota. This is why South Dakota State University officials met on the campus of Southeast Technical College to sign a ‘Memorandum of Understanding.’

It allows students to transfer up to 60 credits between the two universities towards a bachelor of science, with the hope it will impact the number of nurses graduating from South Dakota.

“We’ve been working closely with Southeast Technical College to develop a strong partnership that creates a seamless educational opportunity for students both from SDSU and STC,” Mary Anne Krogh said, the South Dakota State University dean of Nursing.

The agreement is mutually beneficial for both universities.

“But it is more beneficial really to the students because they’re not having to repeat credit that they’ve already mastered. They’re not having to add additional costs. It’s much more of a seamless transition from one degree to the other,” Diana VanderWoude said, the system vice president for learning and development at Sanford Health.

Officials say the nursing shortage may not delay visits for patients right now, but that could change.

“I think what we’re looking at is a future state. As we know a number of nurses are entering retirement age and the baby boomers and exiting that the supply of nurses is not going to meet the demand that exists in healthcare across the country,” VanderWoude said.

This is why this agreement aims to not only help students receive their baccalaureate degree for nursing in the state but also keep them in our workforce.

“We’re just working collaboratively across the state to really look at all the strategies that we can employ to ensure that we have nurses to provide good quality care to our patients and residents in the communities that we serve,” VanderWoude said.

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