Augustana University Nursing Program Ranked the Best in South Dakota for 2023

By Jill Wilson | November 10, 2022
BSN Graduation Cap

Augustana is proud to report that the university's nursing program was ranked the best program in South Dakota for 2023 by — a nursing advocacy organization.

“We are honored to be recognized by a leading nursing organization for this accomplishment,” said Assistant Professor of Nursing and Assistant Director of the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Program Pamela Barthle. “Our student-centered environment, use of active learning strategies in the classroom, relationships with our clinical partners, dedicated faculty who continue to practice in nursing and students who are motivated to make a difference are the key components to our success.” assessed registered nursing programs on several factors, including first-time NCLEX Exam pass rates, which are used by state boards of nursing across the country to determine student competency required for licensure.

Last year, Augustana graduates who sat for the licensure exam achieved a 97.3% pass rate, well above the state average of 86%, and national average of 82.5%. In 2020, AU graduates achieved an even higher pass rate of 97.7%, compared to the state average of 92.4% and national average of 86.6%. The university's nursing graduates achieved a 95.4% pass rate in 2019, and 93.8% in 2018.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job opportunities for RNs in South Dakota will increase over the next five years by approximately 13%. The average annual salary for an RN in South Dakota is $60,540.

A total of nine schools in South Dakota were analyzed by, with three earning a ranking.

For more information on the Augustana Nursing Program, visit

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