Task Force Recommends Scrapping West River USD Nursing Program | State and regional

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Brian maher


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Newspaper staff

A state task force recommends that undergraduate nursing education programs in western South Dakota be upgraded from two universities to one.

The South Dakota Board of Regents’ Bill 55 task force spent the last year studying efficiencies in the public university system, and will make recommendations for change to Governor Kristi Noem and the legislature in the fall.

The task force proposes to make South Dakota State University the primary BSN degree program in Rapid City, terminating the University of South Dakota BSN program, asking SDSU and Black Hills State University to increase resources for the West River Consolidated Program and to increase admissions in the West. River program.

Although the proposal would eliminate an entire program, the intention is to increase the pool of new nurses graduating from the West River program. Documents from the task force meeting show a plan to increase admissions to the Rapid City Nursing Program from 48 to 72 applicants by next spring and to further increase admissions from 72 to 144 applicants per year once the necessary facilities renovated.

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“Reducing the duplication of nursing education in a limited area was a key finding of the task force’s work,” said Brian L. Maher, Executive Director and CEO of Regents, in a press release . “But more importantly, there is now a strong direction to increase university enrollment in order to produce even more nurses for this region and ensure the success of the program.

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