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South Dakota

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CNA License in South Dakota

South Dakota is a Midwestern state most frequently known for Mount Rushmore. While the state is large, it is sparsely populated with 853,000 residents. Although the population is small, the state is still expected to see a shortage of health care workers, including CNAs, in the next decade as the 219,000 residents between the ages of 45 and 65 need increased health care. South Dakota’s most popular city is Sioux Falls, located on the eastern edge of the state in the prairie region. The western part of South Dakota gives way to rocky hills and mountains, especially in Badlands National Park and Black Hills National Forest. South Dakota has areas dedicated to preserving the Old West, including Deadwood.

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About South Dakota

– Capital: Pierre
– Minimum Wage: $8.50
– Number of Hospitals: 54
– Number of Nursing Homes: 6,909


– Total Population: 853,175
– Population (ages 45-64): 219,217
– Population (ages 65+): 130,223
– Population (ages 85+): 20,871

Top Colleges & Unversities

– University of South Dakota
– Augustana College
– South Dakota State University

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in South Dakota

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

The South Dakota Department of Health and Board of Nursing manage the CNA training programs and the testing in the state. These departments have mandated that CNAs receive at least 75 hours of training altogether. Of these hours, at least 16 must be performed in a local health care facility practicing CNA skills under the supervision of a licensed nurse. Some programs may be longer than this and are good choices for CNAs who are considering moving to a different state. Training programs can be found in vocational schools, nursing homes or even online.

The only individuals who can waive training in South Dakota are nursing students, LPNs and RNs. Nursing students must have completed a Fundamentals of Nursing course with at least a C average to skip directly to the competency examination. Licensed nurses can waive both training and testing.

Prospective CNA students must be 16 or older but do not have educational requirements placed on them. However, they may be required to take a pre-entrance assessment of basic reading and math skills. They will need to have fingerprints taken for state and federal criminal background checks and will need photo IDs on file with the state. In addition, they should be in good health, with up-to-date immunizations and negative tuberculosis screenings from within the past year. They must have MMR, varicella, hepatitis B and meningitis immunizations. In addition, they must hold CPR certifications.

South Dakota uses Headmaster through D&S Diversified Technologies to administer their CNA competency examinations. This test is composed of a knowledge section and a skills section. Students must take both sections of the test on the same day initially. Both sections must be passed before applicants will be issued certifications. Those who fail will only need to repeat the part that they failed. The cost to take the knowledge test is $70.50 for the written option or $80.50 for the oral option. The skills test costs $89.

Students will begin with the knowledge examination. This test may be performed with pencil and paper or online depending on the testing site. Students who have difficulty reading English or who have documented disabilities may request the oral version of this test when they apply. The knowledge examination tests CNA theory over nine subject areas. It has 75 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 90 minutes or less. Students must score at least 75% to pass.

Next, students will take the skills test, which is a hands-on test performed in front of an Evaluator. Students will be asked to perform five CNA skills, one of which is always hand washing. The other four tasks are picked at random on the test day. They must score at least 75 percent on each of the skills and must perform all of the critical steps. They will have 30 minutes to complete this section.

CNAs who are moving to South Dakota may be able to transfer their certifications into South Dakota with no fee. They must have active licenses and be in good standing with their states. CNAs will fill out the top half of the Endorsement Application and send the form to the state where they were first registered. Former residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York and North Carolina will send the form to the South Dakota CNA Registry. CNAs must include proof of completing a training program and competency evaluation and documentation of having worked as a CNA within the past 24 months. CNAs can work in South Dakota facilities for up to 60 days while they wait to be added to the Registry.

South Dakota CNAs must renew their certifications every two years to remain active. CNAs can renew as soon as 90 days before their expiration dates. To renew, they must prove that they have worked during the prior two years, and they must be in good standing with the state. Following renewal, CNAs will be able to print their certifications from the state’s Website. There is no fee for renewal. CNAs who do not renew in time will have lapsed licenses. Licenses that have lapsed for fewer than two years may be reinstated when the CNA show that he or she has worked in the past two years. CNAs with licensed lapsed more than two years will be required to retrain and/or retest.

South Dakota Department of Health
South Dakota Board of Nursing
Nurse Aide Registry
Verify your CNA license


4305 S Louise Ave Suite 201
Sioux Falls SD 57106
Phone: (605) 362-2760
Fax: (605) 362-2768

Employment Information for South Dakota

Average Salary for CNAs in SD

South Dakota offers CNAs a moderate salary that correlates closely to the salary in many other Midwestern states. South Dakota’s income per capita is $25,740, and CNAs make an average of $23,130 per year or $11.12 per hour. Starting CNAs can expect to make around $20,000 per year while experienced CNAs may make as much as $27,000 per year.

Job Outlook in SD

Currently, South Dakota has 6,370 job opportunities for CNAs in its 54 hospitals, 6,909 nursing homes and many other health care facilities. Even more CNAs are already on the state’s Registry. The state expects there to be a shortage of CNAs and other health care workers in the next decade as the 15 percent of the population older than 65 needs increased health care and as the Baby Boomer generation ages.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in SD
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Sanford Usd Medical Center1305 West 18th StreetSioux FallsSD57105605-333-1000Website
Avera Mckennan Hospital And University Health Center800 East 21st StreetSioux FallsSD57105605-322-8000Website
Avera Dells Area Hospital909 North Iowa AvenueDell RapidsSD57022605-428-5431Not Avilable
Avera De Smet Memorial Hospital306 Prairie Avenue SWDe SmetSD57231605-854-3329Website
Avera Flandreau Hospital214 North Prairie StreetFlandreauSD57028605-997-2433Website
Avera Gettysburg Hospital606 East Garfield AvenueGettysburgSD57442605-765-2480Website
Avera Gregory Hospital400 Park AvenueGregorySD57533605-835-8394Website
Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital300 West Fifth StreetMillerSD57362605-853-2421Website
Avera Heart Hospital Of South Dakota4500 West 69th StreetSioux FallsSD57108605-977-7000Website
Avera Queen Of Peace Hospital525 North FosterMitchellSD57301605-995-2000Website
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital501 Summit AvenueYanktonSD57078605-668-8000Website
Avera St. Benedict Health Center401 West Glynn DriveParkstonSD57366605-928-3311Website
Avera St. Luke'S305 South State StreetAberdeenSD57401605-622-5000Website
Avera St. Mary'S Hospital801 East Sioux AvenuePierreSD57501605-224-3100Website
Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital604 First Street NEWessington SpringsSD57382605-539-1201Website
Bennett County Hospital And Nursing Home102 Major Allen StreetMartinSD57551605-685-6622Not Available
Black Hills Surgery Center216 Anamaria DriveRapid CitySD57701605-721-4900Website
Bowdle Hospital8001 West Fifth StreetBowdleSD57428605-285-6146Website
Brookings Health System300 22nd AvenueBrookingsSD57006605-696-9000Website
Community Memorial Hospital110 West Tenth AvenueRedfieldSD57469605-472-1110Website

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