How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in South Dakota

South Dakota map

Becoming an LPN opens the door to incredible opportunities for you, but you have to get started on the right path.

In order to achieve your goal and succeed, your first step should be finding an LPN program that prepares you for the rewarding yet challenging field you’re about to enter.

5 LPN Programs in South Dakota

If you are ready to take the plunge, consider the following five LPN programs.

1. Southeast Technical College

Southeast Technical College Logo

Southeast Technical College offers an LPN program that can be completed in as little as 11 months.

It requires 44 credits that cover everything you need to know to pass the NCLEX-PN and get a good start in your career.

If you need to take a little longer or vary your schedule, you can choose to take part-time or evening classes, too.

This program costs $255 per credit hour, which includes institution fees, state fees, and tuition fees.

It does not include online course fees, additional course fees, or books.

The estimated cost of books for this program is $2,500, making the total cost of the program $13,720 prior to any additional fees and supplies.

For those looking to further their career after becoming an LPN, Southeast Technical College also offers an LPN-to-RN program.

2. Western Dakota Technical College

Western Dakota Technical College Logo

Another great option for an LPN program is at Western Dakota Technical College.

This program is made up of 45 credit hours that mixes classroom learning with 480 clinical hours – all of which you can complete in as little as 14 months.

There are two different options for how you complete your courses.

You can take them all to the Rapid City Campus or split them between the Rapid City, Whitewood, and Philip campuses.

This program is $286 per credit hour for on-campus classes.

If any of your courses are taken online, you can expect to pay $50 more per credit hour.

For on-campus only classes, you can expect total tuition of $12,870 prior to books, supplies, and additional expenses and fees.

3. Lake Area Tech

Lake Area Tech Logo

Lake Area Technical College has an LPN program that you can complete in as little as three semesters.

It is made of 47 credit hours that cover everything from nursing theory to hands-on clinical experience.

This program costs $121 per credit hour, which comes to a total of $5,687 prior to fees and other expenses.

With fees, the total comes to about $11,064.

Uniforms, tools, kits, books, and laptops are estimated to cost approximately $2,575, bringing the total program cost to $13,639.

Lake Area Tech also offers a mostly online LPN program for your convenience.

And if you work or have other obligations, you can choose a part-time learning track to complete the program in 22 months.

4. Mitchell Technical College

Mitchell Technical College Logo

Many LPN programs require you to complete prerequisite courses prior to enrollment, which can lead to taking more time to complete your certificate.

Mitchell Technical College offers a solution to this challenge through a 53-credit LPN program that covers both your prerequisites, your LPN courses, and clinical hours.

You can complete the full program in three semesters, which takes about one calendar year.

The total tuition for this program is approximately $15,002.

Books and tools are estimated to cost about $1,406, bringing the total to $16,408 prior to additional fees and expenses.

And if you choose to continue your education, the school also offers an LPN to RN learning track program.

5. Sinte Gleska University

Sinte Gleska University Logo

Sinte Gleska University offers an Associate of Applied Science in Licensed Practical Nursing that is passionate about filling the growing healthcare needs.

This degree program requires 62 credit hours that are spread out over four semesters.

You can complete it in approximately 15 months.

It includes a combination of general education classes and nursing classes to ensure you are prepared for your NCLEX-PN program.

Tuition is $175 per credit hour, bringing the total tuition to approximately $10,850.

This does not include books, fees, and additional expenses.

You can also choose a shorter certification program if your prerequisites are taken care of.

Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in South Dakota – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in South Dakota

School NameAddress
Southeast Technical College2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Western Dakota Technical Institute800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD 57703
Lake Area Technical College1201 Arrow Ave NE, Watertown, SD 57201
Mitchell Technical College1800 E Spruce St, Mitchell, SD 57301
Sinte Gleska University101 Antelope Lk Cir, Mission, SD 57555

Salary Information for LPNs in South Dakota

LPNs in South Dakota typically make between $39,335 and $48,187, with the average being $43,320.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)s in South Dakota

City NameSalary
Sioux Falls$45,430
Rapid City$43,922
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in South Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD370$45,700$21.97$56,300$37,670
Sioux Falls, SD920$46,300$22.26$54,040$36,570
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, OCC Code 29-2061, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I’m moving to South Dakota and already have an LPN license, do I need to complete another certificate program?

Not at all.

South Dakota is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact.

If you are moving from another compact state, you need only show your license.

If you are not coming from another compact state, you can get licensed by endorsement to practice in South Dakota.

This, of course, assumes that your license is still valid.

If you have let your license lapse, you might need to take refresher courses.

How long is a temporary permit valid?

Your permit is valid for 90 days.

By then, your NCLEX-PN results should be in.

Can I practice in South Dakota while waiting for my NCLEX-PN results?


You can apply for a temporary permit and practice under the supervision of a registered nurse.

What prerequisites are required for LPN programs?

These can vary greatly between programs.

However, they typically require specific communications, social sciences, math, and natural science courses.

There are also programs, like some listed above, that add your prerequisites to your LPN course of study.

Before applying for any program, check its specific requirements.

How old do I have to be for an LPN program in South Dakota?

LPN programs typically require that you be at least 18 years old.

Additionally, most require that you have either graduated high school or completed your GED.

Some specialized programs, though, will allow you to be working on your LPN while still in high school – but they have very specific requirements for entry.

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