Scholarships for Nursing Students in South Dakota

For many nursing students, the finances are more challenging even than the clinicals. Fortunately, there are a number of grants and scholarships available to help you make it through school. As a South Dakota resident, you will have different scholarship opportunities depending on the degree or certificate you are pursuing. Many awards are designed for career mobility — to take you from ADN to BSN status, for example. Others will help you enter the field.

Featured Programs:
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Purdue Global Visit School's Website
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Walden University Visit School's Website
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Nursing Scholarship Requirements in South Dakota

Your age and demographic group are factors in some scholarship competitions. If you’re just graduating from high school and a parent is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, you can look into the American Legion South Dakota Auxiliary’s Nursing Scholarship.

The South Dakota Nurses Foundation awards scholarships to nurses studying at the BSN level and higher. You may apply for the $1,000 Rita H. Walsh Scholarship if you already have an ADN or diploma. The committee seeks applicants who have the ability to be patient advocates and peer mentors. Your application packet should include a resume, transcript, personal statement, and proof of educational and licensing status. It is due December 15.

If you are interested in working as a nursing educator and/ or pursuing a career in working with the elderly, you are given priority in the Touchmark Foundation competition. South Dakota is one of eight eligible states. Both merit (academic record, recommendations) and financial need are taken into account. The application closing dates are June 30th and December 30th.

Some scholarships come with work commitments. Avera Hospital offers financial assistance to some ADN and BSN candidates. For each semester they fund you, they expect six months of post-graduation employment. You can apply if you are in the last two years of a four year program or the final year of a two year one. A GPA of 3.0 is required, and applications are due June 1st.

If you are pursuing a master’s or doctoral level degree, you are eligible to apply for the South Dakota Nurses Foundation Scholarship. This award is $1,000. The application packet should be postmarked by July 15.

There are additional opportunities for well qualified nurses studying at the highest levels. You do, however, have to be willing to serve in an underserved area (HPSA). The South Dakota State Loan Repayment program supports nurse midwives, family nurse practitioners, and psychiatric nurse specialists. You can erase far more of your debt if you stick with your employer a full three years. The program may pay up to $8,000 for your first year of service, up to $11,000 for the second, and up to $16,000 for the third. The application will ask you whether you have a specific employer — or ‘certified eligible facility’ — in mind and whether you have signed an agreement with them. In other words, prior to going through the application process, eligible facilities can recruit you, and you can accept.

Nursing Scholarship Application Professional Advice

The South Dakota Nurses Foundation Scholarship notes that a candidate’s personal statement should address not only their personal attributes and professional goals but how they are in line with the purposes of the award. This is actually good advice for many competitions. Bear in mind that while nursing scholarships all exist to assist qualified nurses, their purposes do vary somewhat.

Assess your strengths early. Many people do earn scholarships on the basis of academic achievement, but not all competitions are for stellar students. If your strengths lie in your compassion and your people skills, put yourself in situations where you can show them off. Hospitals like Avera welcome volunteering and job shadowing. Some of these same institutions have work service scholarships. Scholarship competitions are multi-faceted; you’re not guaranteeing yourself a scholarship by volunteering, but you are giving yourself one more opportunity to shine.

Contact Information for Nursing Scholarships in South Dakota

South Dakota Nurse’s Foundation

Po Box 1015, Pierre, South Dakota 57501-1015


American Legion South Dakota Auxiliary

P.O. Box 117, Huron, SD 57350-0117

Touchmark Foundation

5150 SW Griffith Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005




South Dakota State Loan Repayment

Department of Health – Office of Rural Health, 600 E. Capitol, Pierre, SD 57501


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