West River Area Health Education Center

Rural Health Works

Nursing Initiative
your potential is essential

Grant Funds

The nursing field is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers in healthcare. Nurses have the training and skill sets to deliver high-quality care to a wide variety of patients, while making a direct difference in clinical outcomes. In addition, they have to be adaptable and ready for whatever comes their way. For these reasons, it takes a special type of person to be a successful nurse. If you are interested in a nursing career, this program will help you every step of the way!


SOUTH DAKOTA

WILL BE RANKED

7TH

IN TERMS OF

NURSING SHORTAGES IN
2030


THINGS TO CONSIDER:
  • Do I have critical thinking skills?
  • Do I have communication skills?
  • Do I show empathy?
  • Am I detailed oriented?
  • Can I think on the “fly”?
  • How capable am I under pressure?
  • Which type of nurse should I be?
  • Nurses can work a variety of shifts
  • Witnessing patient suffering is hard
  • How attached I’ll get to my patients
  • It is easy to forget about self-care


  • Do you meet one of the following employment categories?
    • unemployed
    • underemployed (program of study will help you move up career-wise)
    • incumbent (currently working for an organizaton where your program of study will help you move up within the organization)
  • Wanting to work in the nursing workforce in western South Dakota upon graduation.
  • 17 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in secondary school (high school) within a local educational agency.
  • See the list of programs below to determine whether your current or intended program of study qualifies for funding.
  • Applicants must be referred to the application by a referral partner. Not sure if your organization or school is a referral partner? Please reach out to WestRiverSDAHEC@gmail.com for questions on finding a referral partner. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. LPN, RN, and BSN students should apply prior to beginning their technical/professional nursing courses, but after or during their final semester of pre-requisite coursework. You will need to show proof of nursing program acceptance to qualify.


  • Required to complete a program advising session with the WRAHEC Program Coordinator a set number of times each semester depending on program of study
  • Participant must sign a contract of success before being accepted into the program
  • Must be referred into the program from one of our agency partners
  • All tuition will be paid directly to the school in your name


Heart NURSING ASSISTANT

  • 8 week course at Western Dakota Tech
  • Hybrid course with online and in-person learning
  • 100% of Tuition Paid through the grant
  • No out of pocket costs to complete program*
  • Stipends available for child care, transit, as well as the cost of the certification test
  • Classes will be limited to 15 people each fall and 15 people each spring
  • Do not need to have a HS Diploma or GED
  • Must complete an Admissions Application choosing ‘Program Prep’ as their program (non-degree seeking)
  • Must provide current immunization records
  • Average salary $28,000/year**
  • Lifetime earnings $1,399,845***
  • Duties:  bathe, dress, feed, measure vital signs, and listen to their patient’s needs
  • Why be a CNA? Role can serve as a starting point for many types of nursing careers

Heart LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSING

  • 2 Semesters of LPN Technical Courses to gain Diploma
  • Programs at Western Dakota Tech and Sinte Gleska University
  • 50% of Tuition Paid through the grant
  • Potential remaining costs: $6500*
  • Stipends available for child care, transit, scrubs, cost of the certification test. etc.
  • Grants will be limited to 8 people each fall and spring and they must be accepted into the LPN program prior to approval of funds
  • Average salary $38,000/year**
  • Lifetime earnings: $1,899,790***
  • Duties: taking blood pressure, inserting catheters, starting IV drips, changing bandages, communicate with patients and family members to educate them about the care plan
  • Why be a LPN?  Upskill your opportunities from a CNA and can upskill to an RN

Heart APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES

  • 4 Semester Associates Degree program at Black Hills State University (either campus)
  • 50% of Tuition Paid through the grant
  • Potential remaining costs: $8250*
  • Stipends available for child care, transit, class supplies, etc.
  • Grants will be limited to 16 people during the grant period 2021-2024
  • Must be intending to attend either SDSU or USD BSN Programs in Rapid City
  • Average salary: $63,000/year**(after attaining BSN and RN licensure--additional costs associated with the BSN programs are estimated at $25,000)
  • Lifetime earnings: $3,149,652***
  • Why? Some employers (especially hospitals) prefer RNs to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and you are interested in starting the process

Heart REGISTERED NURSE ADN

  • Associates Degrees in Nursing
  • AAS Degree from Western Dakota Tech:  2 Semesters of Technical Nursing courses (+1 Semester of Prerequisites required but not included in the program funding)
  • Associates of Arts Degree in Nursing from Oglala Lakota College: 4 Semesters of Technical Nursing courses (+2 Semesters of Prerequisites required but not included in the program funding)
  • 50% of Tuition Paid through the grant
  • Potential remaining costs: $5700*
  • Stipends available for child care, transit, scrubs, class supplies, cost of the NCLEX--RN
  • Grants will be limited to 16 people during the course of the grant period 2021-2024
  • Average salary: $58,000/year**
  • Lifetime earnings $2,899,680***
  • Why the RN Associates Degree?  You’ve loved being an LPN and/or are excited to become an RN, but do not feel the necessity to hold a BSN

Heart REGISTERED NURSE BSN

  • 4-5 Semester, Bachelor Degree program at either SDSU or USD Nursing programs in Rapid City (4 semesters of prerequisites, or holding an AHS degree required but not included in the program funding)
  • 50% of Tuition Paid through the grant
  • Potential remaining costs: $12,500*
  • Stipends available for child care, transit, scrubs, class supplies, cost of the NCLEX--RN
  • Grants will be limited to 16 people during the course of the grant period 2021-2024
  • Must have provisional acceptance into one of the BSN programs
  • Average salary: $63,000/year**
  • Lifetime earnings: $3,149,652***
  • Why the BSN? Some employers (especially hospitals) prefer RNs to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree


Heart REGISTERED NURSE TO BSN

  • 3, 4, 8 Semesters (design your own pace), Online Bachelor Degree program through either SDSU or USD Nursing programs (4 semesters of prerequisites, or holding an AHS degree required but not included in the program funding)
  • 50% of Tuition Paid through the grant
  • Potential remaining costs: $5000*
  • Stipends available for child care, transit, scrubs, class supplies, cost of the NCLEX--RN
  • Grants will be limited to 16 people during the course of the grant period 2021-2024
  • Must have provisional acceptance into one of the BSN programs
  • Average salary: $63,000/year**
  • Lifetime earnings: $3,149,652***
  • Who? You are currently an RN who would like to earn your BSN to increase your upward mobility at your workplace
  • Why the BSN? Some employers (especially hospitals) prefer RNs to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree



*Students may be eligible for federal financial aid or other scholarships to help cover these remaining costs

**Average salary in western South Dakota

***Estimated lifetime earnings over 35 years, using 2% cost of living raises each year

Candidates qualify for only 1 of the outlined programs over the course of the 4 year grant.

Stipends can be requested for the following:

  • Transit
  • Childcare
  • Out of pocket supplies for classes
  • Test costs (paid 1 time per type of test)
  • Travel costs associated with testing
  • Licensure application costs

The following LPN Programs have pre-requisites before enrolling into the first “technical nursing” semester: Western Dakota Tech & Sinte Gleska University

  • 1 Semester of General Education Courses (funding not applicable)
  • Application for Admission to the Practical Nursing program
  • Current CNA Certification or completion of HC124/HC126 (funding not applicable)
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS test) $70 (can receive 1 time stipend)
  • Immunization Records
  • CPR Certification $89 (can receive 1 time stipend)
  • Driver’s License
  • Background Check $50 (can receive 1 time stipend)
  • Drug Test $40 (can receive 1 time stipend)

RN Programs have pre-requisites before enrolling in their professional nursing programs. This list is not indicative to every program but is to make participants aware of some of the types of requirements and to thoroughly research before applying to any of the listed RN programs.  These requirements may change at any time.

  • General Education and Pre-Nursing Courses (funding not applicable)
  • College Transcripts
  • Application for Admission to the Registered Nursing Program
  • Current LPN License in SD
  • Documentation: 750 hours as LPN
  • HESI RN Entrance LPN-AND Exam $60 (can receive 1 time stipend)
  • Immunization Records
  • CPR Certification $89 (can receive 1 time stipend)
  • Driver’s License
  • Background Check $50 (can receive 1 time stipend)
  • Drug Test $40 (can receive 1 time stipend)