• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - South Dakota

    • Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every 2 years

    Overview

    South Dakota Board of Nursing (SDBON) strives to protect the public through the regulation of nursing education, licensure, and practice in the state. Over 19,000 registered nurses held South Dakota nursing licenses in April 2022.

    About

    Applications not completed within one year of the date it was accepted by the SDBON become null and the applicant must begin the South Dakota RN licensing process over.

    Renewal

    All South Dakota RN licenses must be renewed every two years. Before completing the online South Dakota RN license renewal process, applicants should have the following information:

    • First and last name as it appears on the renewal postcard sent by SDBON

    • Social security number

    • RN license number

    • Verification of Employment form proving they’ve practiced nursing for at least 140 hours in any 12-month period or an accumulated total of at least 480 hours in the past 6 years

    • Address listed on their credit card statement

    The SDBON Online System only allows renewals of active South Dakota RN licenses. Once renewal applicants submit their application and payment, they receive a receipt with a confirmation number. Licensees should print this receipt as proof of payment and RN license renewal.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    South Dakota doesn’t require continuing education for renewal. However, it does have a minimum practice requirement as described above. South Dakota RN license renewal candidates who can't provide verification they met these minimum requirements must take an RN Refresher Course consisting of an 80-hour self-study theoretical portion and 80 hours of supervised clinical practice. Before beginning the clinical practice experience, applicants must obtain a Limited License. Once they complete the refresher course, they may apply for renewal.

    Requirements

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    All applicants for initial South Dakota RN licensure, whether by endorsement or examination, must submit a full set of fingerprints with their completed application to obtain state and federal criminal background checks (CBCs). They must:

    • Use the fingerprint cards supplied by the SDBON office

      • These come in a fingerprint packet with instructions through the mail

    • Complete the fingerprint cards

    • Return completed fingerprint cards to the SDBON office

    • Pay the CBC fee with a money order

    SDBON submits completed fingerprint cards to the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) who performs DCI and FBI background checks. DCI forwards information obtained through the CBCs to the SDBON. These results are required before permanent licensure. Failure to submit fingerprints or cooperate with CBCs may result in denial of licensure application or revocation of a license.

    Contact Information

    South Dakota Board of Nursing 4305 South Louise Avenue, Suite 201 Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115 [email protected] (605) 362-2760

    Multistate

    South Dakota joined the original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) on January 1, 2001, and the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) on January 19, 2018. SDBON grants RNs residing in South Dakota and holding an unencumbered South Dakota nursing license multistate privileges through an NLC license that allows them to practice in any of the other Compact states. Likewise, RNs residing in and licensed by other Compact states have multistate privileges to practice in South Dakota.

    The NLC only impacts nurse licensure and practice in states that have joined the Compact. RNs must continue to apply for nursing licenses in non-Compact states to practice in those states even if they hold a multistate license. Compact licenses aren’t recognized in non-Compact states.

    Applicants without a valid U.S. Social Security number or who can’t meet the 11 Uniform Licensure Requirements of the Compact aren’t eligible for a multistate/Compact license. However, if they meet South Dakota’s licensure requirements, SDBON may still issue them a single-state license valid only in South Dakota.

    Licensure by Endorsement

    Applicants licensed in another state but have never been licensed in South Dakota must complete a South Dakota RN license by endorsement application. They must apply online and submit the $100 application fee. Endorsement applicants also must:

    • Complete a criminal background check using the fingerprint cards supplied by SDBON

      • Fingerprint packet and instructions mailed to the address on the application

      • Return completed cards to SDBON with a money order to cover the CBC fee

    • Request verification of licensure from the original state of licensure by exam

    • Provide verification of nursing employment or volunteer nursing of at least 140 hours in any 12-month period or an accumulated total of at least 480 hours in the past 6 years

    Licensure by Exam

    Applicants who’ve never taken the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) must apply for South Dakota RN licensure by exam. They must apply online and submit the $100 application fee. To be made eligible to take the NCLEX-RN, applicants must have completed an approved nursing education program.

    Graduates of South Dakota Nursing Programs:

    • Must be a SDBON-approved in-state nursing education program

    • In-state programs send graduates’ Certificate of Nursing Education to SDBON for them after graduation

    Graduates of Nursing Programs Outside South Dakota:

    • SDBON doesn’t approve out-of-state nursing programs

    • Must be an RN education program approved by the BON in the state in which it originates and meet that state’s eligibility requirements to sit for the NCLEX-RN

    • Nursing school must mail the applicant’s degree conferred transcript directly to SDBON or send it through a transcript clearinghouse that offers email services

    Exam applicants also must:

    • Complete a criminal background check using the fingerprint cards supplied by SDBON

      • Fingerprint packet and instructions mailed to the address on the application

      • Return completed cards to SDBON with a money order to cover the CBC fee

    • Register with PearsonVUE to take the NCLEX-RN and submit the $200 exam fee

    Once applicants meet all eligibility requirements and SDBON staff deem them eligible for licensure, PearsonVUE emails them an Authorization to Test (ATT). They must follow the instructions in this email to schedule their NCLEX-RN.

    PearsonVUE sends applicants’ NCLEX results to the SDBON. Board staff won’t provide these results over the phone or through email. They post results online, usually by 5 p.m. the next business day after receipt. Applicants must visit the South Dakota Board of Nursing Online Verification portal to receive their results. 

    • If the applicant passed, the verification page shows an active license

      • Applicants receive a packet in the mail containing their original SD nursing license and a courtesy renewal card within 5 to 7 business days

    • If the applicant failed, the verification page won’t return any results

      • Applicants receive a letter in the mail containing instructions on retaking the NCLEX and their Candidate Performance Report within 5 to 7 business days

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Foreign educated applicants who haven’t passed the NCLEX-RN must apply for South Dakota RN licensure by exam. Applicants with a valid U.S. Social Security number may apply online and pay the $100 application fee. Those without an SSN must apply using a paper application, which they can request by calling or emailing the SDBON. Paper applications must include a check or money order for the $100 application fee.

    Applicants educated outside the U.S. must complete the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certification Program.

    • Contact CGFNS online or by calling 215-349-8767 for applicant information

    • Canadian applicants educated in English are exempt

      • Request college to send official transcript with grades and degree conferred directly to SDBON

    • All other applicants must have CGFNS certification sent directly to SDBON upon completion of the CGFNS Certification Program

    Foreign educated nurses applying by exam also must:

    • Complete a criminal background check using the fingerprint cards supplied by SDBON

      • Fingerprint packet and instructions mailed to the address on the application

      • Return completed cards to SDBON with a money order to cover the CBC fee

    • Register with PearsonVUE to take the NCLEX-RN and submit the $200 exam fee

    Once applicants meet all eligibility requirements and SDBON staff deem them eligible for licensure, PearsonVUE emails them an Authorization to Test (ATT). They must follow the instructions in this email to schedule their NCLEX-RN. Applicants won’t be issued an ATT until they complete:

    • CGFNS Certification Program

    • Criminal Background Check

    • Application for NCLEX through PearsonVUE

    • Application for nursing licensure through SDBON

    Graduates of foreign nursing education programs who’ve taken the NCLEX-RN in the U.S. or a U.S. territory must complete an endorsement application for foreign nurses. They must also: 

    • Be a graduate of an educational program leading to nurse licensure that meets South Dakota nursing education requirements

    • Have passed the NCLEX-RN

    • Complete an online or paper licensure application

    • Complete a criminal background check and submit fee

    • Request verification of licensure from the original state of licensure by exam

    • Provide verification of nursing employment or volunteer nursing of at least 140 hours in any 12-month period or an accumulated total of at least 480 hours in the past 6 years

    Timing

    The SDBON doesn’t provide definitive timeframes for obtaining a South Dakota nursing license by endorsement or exam. However, applicants can track their application progress on the SDBON website.

    Temporary Nurse License

    South Dakota RN license endorsement applicants may qualify for a nonrenewable temporary permit valid for 90 days. SDBON won’t issue a temporary permit until it receives:

    • Online application for RN licensure by endorsement

    • Completed application for temporary permit and $25 fee

    • Completed CBC cards and fee

    Applicants won’t receive a paper copy of their temporary permit. They can find verification of their temporary permit on the SDBON website.

    Graduate nurses applying for RN licensure by exam also may qualify for a nonrenewable temporary permit after the SDBON office receives:

    • Online application for RN licensure by exam

    • Completed application for temporary permit and $25 fee

    • Completed CBC cards and fee

    • Nursing education information

    • Registration for the NCLEX-RN

    Applicants will receive a paper copy of their temporary permit but verification of their temporary permit won’t be available online. They receive their temporary permit through the mail and use the title Registered Nurse Applicant. Only first-time NCLEX-RN test takers are eligible for temporary permits, which are valid for 90 days or until the applicant receives written notification of their NCLEX results.

    Foreign educated RN license applicants may also qualify for a temporary permit after the SDBON office receives:

    • Application for licensure by exam

    • Completed application for temporary permit and $25 fee

    • Verification they completed the CGFNS Certification Program

    • CBC results

    • Registration for NCLEX-RN through PearsonVUE

    Fees

    All application fees and related costs are nonrefundable. When paying fees online, acceptable payment methods include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit cards. When using a paper application, applicants must pay with a check or money order. Current fees for South Dakota RN licensure and related costs include:

    • Licensure by Endorsement/Exam: $100

    • NCLEX-RN (Paid to PearsonVUE): $200

    • Background Check (Paid to South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation): $43.25

    • Temporary Permit: $25

    • South Dakota RN License Renewal: $115

      • Includes $95 for biennial renewal of a license, $10 for the nurses' education assistance loan program, and $10 to fund the nursing workforce center

    • Reinstatement of Lapsed License: $50

      • Plus: Current Renewal Fee

    • Duplicate Copy of Original License: $20

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    Frequently asked questions

    What should applicants for a South Dakota RN license by exam do if they fail the NCLEX-RN?

    Applicants for a South Dakota RN license by exam who fail the NCLEX-RN may retake the exam up to eight times a year. However, they can’t take it more frequently than every 45 days. They must reregister for the exam and pay the exam fee each time they take the NCLEX.