South Dakota Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: South Dakota NP License, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in South Dakota

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in South Dakota.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

An RN license is a prerequisite to becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and ultimately a nurse practitioner (NP). Licensed nurses from other compact states will not need any additional licenses. But if you’ve never had a license, or you have one from a non-compact state, you’ll be required to get an RN license either by examination or by endorsement.

RN by Examination

If you don’t have an RN license, whether in South Dakota or other states, you’ll need to apply for the license by examination.

  • To qualify, you’ll need to have completed a nursing program in South Dakota (SD) approved by SDBON, or a nursing program outside the state approved by a different board of nursing.
  • You must submit an online application to the Board of Nursing at a fee of $100. If you’re applying for a temporary permit, you’ll have to pay an additional $25. You can go here to apply.
  • All applicants must have their transcripts submitted to the Board of Nursing’s office. If you’re a graduate of an SD nursing program, the institution will send your Certificate of Nursing Education (CNE) to the Board of Nursing. But if you studied in a nursing program outside South Dakota, you will need to request to have your transcript sent directly from the institution to the board. An alternative is using a transcript clearinghouse, sent to (if applicable).
  • You’ll be provided with fingerprint cards and instructions, mailed from SDBON to the address provided on your application. Follow the instructions and use the fingerprint to complete the criminal background check. The completed fingerprint cards along with a fee in cash must be sent back to the board’s office.
  • Now, you can register with NCLEX candidate services for testing at a fee of $200. Registration is carried out through Pearson VUE.
  • If you are eligible for the license(when all the eligibility requirements are met), you will get an Authorization to Test (ATT) email from Pearson VUE. The ATT contains instructions that you should follow to set your appointment to test.
  • Go here to track the progress of your application. Items submitted to the board without dates next to them indicate that these items have not been processed by the board. When your application is received and processed, an e-receipt with a confirmation number will be displayed, which you’ll have to print as proof of payment. The board does not email receipts.

RN by Endorsement

This is another way to get a license in South Dakota if you already had an RN or LPN license in another state.

  • All applicants must submit an online application to the board at a fee of $100. You can go here to apply.
  • Complete the criminal background check by using the fingerprint cards made available to you via mail from the board’s office. Instructions to follow are usually mailed together with the cards. The provided instructions will guide you on how to complete the cards, then you can send them back to the board’s office alongside the required fee of $100 in cash, and an additional $25 if you’re applying for a temporary permit.
  • You’ll need to verify your original license (obtained from examination in another state) at the Nursys site at a fee. The fee is usually $30 per license, per Board of Nursing.  The board checks with Nursys for the verification of licensure when they receive your application.

States like California, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are not registered with Nursys. If your license was from either of those states, print the verification of licensure form. Complete the form and send it to the state in particular. A fee is required sometimes from these states.

  • To get an active RN/LPN license in South Dakota, you must provide verification of employment or volunteer work in nursing with a minimum of 140 hours in a year, or a minimum of 480 hours within the last six years. Get the form here, and have it filled out by your previous or present employer. Forward the filled form to the board of nursing or send it via email to
  • On the online application, indicate “new graduate” if you just graduated from a nursing program. You’ll not have to fill out the verification of employment form in this case.

If you fail to provide verification, you must go through a refresher course approved by the board.

  • Track the progress of your application here. When your application is received by the board, an e-receipt will be displayed as proof of payment. Endeavor to print this receipt because none will be sent via email

Both for RN by examination and RN by endorsement, all fees paid are non-refundable. All applications after one year of acceptance by the board are invalid. If you applied for a temporary permit, you’ll receive a paper copy of the permit. The verification of the temporary permit is not done on SDBON’s site.

Advanced Education Requirements

South Dakota, as in all other states, requires all potential nurse practitioners to complete advanced education such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program or a higher level of education.

National Certification

After undergoing thorough NP education and training, you must strive to get certified by a nationally accredited certifying body. The essence of the certification is to show that you’ve gone through all that is required to become an NP. The certification is usually received after an examination conducted by the certifying agency. The certification exam you will write is dependent on your area of specialization. There are several national accredited certification bodies. As an aspiring NP, you can get your certification from any of the following bodies depending on your area of specialty:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)
  • National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetics (NBCRNA)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in South Dakota

To become eligible for APRN-NP licensure in South Dakota, you must have an unencumbered RN license, must have gone through advanced education approved by the board, then you must have obtained certification in your area of specialization from a nationally accredited certification organization. You must provide verification of your employment for a particular period of time. All applicants must provide verification of 1040 hours of practice.

Aspiring APRN-NPs can apply for licensure at a fee of $100 in money order or check payable to the board. Go here to select your area of specialty and get the instructions for application in that specialty. You’ll have to provide education verification, practice verification, and certification verification. You’ll also need to contact the institution where you graduated to send your transcripts directly to the board. All applicants will be required to complete a criminal background check.

All completed forms should be mailed alongside other required documents to the board’s office using the address below;

South Dakota Board of Nursing
4305 S. Louise Ave., Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115

Submitted forms can take around a month before your application will be processed by the board. If your application is approved or if there’s a need for other information, the board will contact you in writing.