Augustana University Announces Director of New Graduate Nursing Program

August 4, 2020

Written by Public Relations & Communications Strategist Jill Wilson


Augustana is pleased to announce that Dr. Marti Silvidi has been named the director of its new graduate nursing program. For more than 75 years, the university’s Department of Nursing has been a regional leader in preparing nurses to address issues in a complex health care environment. Augustana sees the development of graduate-level nursing programs as the next logical step in supporting the university’s comprehensive strategic plan – Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.

Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Colin Irvine said, “Augustana is so very fortunate to welcome a scholar, teacher, and practitioner of Dr. Silvidi’s caliber. Her extensive experience and her demonstrated and deep understanding of the dynamic and always evolving field of nursing will serve our students and our emerging graduate programs exceptionally well. She is, moreover, one of those individuals who is a genuinely collaborative and curious learner and colleague, a person who will help Augustana build out its offerings in this field while doubling down on our mission and our core values.” 

Silvidi is responsible for administrative leadership, strategic planning and curricular development of graduate programs in nursing. Silvidi brings extensive experience in student centered graduate nursing education and clinical experience.

Originally from Sioux Falls, Silvidi earned her doctoral degree in nursing practice at Concordia University of Wisconsin. Prior to this, she earned her post master’s certificates as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of Massachusetts Boston and an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) from Kent State University. Her master’s in nursing education was earned at the University of North Dakota. Silvidi has taught graduate nursing students in a variety of academic settings. As a clinician, she has worked as a primary care nurse practitioner at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and as an advanced practice hospitalist. Silvidi’s area of interest is in Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI), including sports concussion in youth, as well as the increasing rate of mTBI related to falls in the elderly and has presented nationally on this topic. 

“I am so excited to be part of the Augustana community and the Department of Nursing. Our goal, along with our community partners, is for Augustana’s graduate nursing program to deliver a quality program which meets the ever-changing and evolving needs of health care. COVID-19 has created a challenging time for health care and education, but has presented opportunities for growth and strategy development to meet the needs of our students and our community. Additionally, within the graduate nursing program, we will continue Augustana’s standards of excellence through collaboration within the University as well as the Sioux Falls health care community and beyond,” said Silvidi. “Augustana’s vision for the future through their strategic plan — Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 —  is impressive, ambitious, and intentional, and I am truly honored to be a part of it.”

Phase I of Augustana University’s strategic plan identified the goal of developing graduate degree programs, responsive to new and emerging student interests and community needs. In order to gauge the level of demand for graduate nursing programs in Sioux Falls and across the region, the Nursing Department at Augustana conducted a feasibility study that included an environmental scan of competitive local and regional nursing programs, comparing curriculum and costs, as well as surveys of prospective students and AU alumni. Prospective students indicated an interest in attaining a graduate nursing degree across more than a dozen areas of specialties, including nursing administration and leadership, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Augustana is in the process of developing a post-baccalaureate option — a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) — with an emphasis in four different areas, which include Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)/CNS, Genomic Nursing, Nursing Education and Business/Organizational Leadership. An Acute Care AGNP post-master’s certificate will also be offered with an accelerated option for those with Acute Care experience as a Nurse Practitioner. These options would be offered simultaneously over the course of five years.

Future graduate program offerings will include a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Augustana, with an emphasis in Business/Organizational Leadership. 

Department of Nursing Chair and Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Lynn White said, “Augustana's undergraduate nursing program is recognized for the excellence of our graduates and for it's experienced, creative and engaging faculty. We welcome Dr. Silvidi to our team and look forward to continued partnership and collaboration with our clinical partners as we develop high quality programming at the graduate level.” 

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations and communications strategist.

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