More South Dakota Physician Assistants & Nurse Practitioners  

South Dakota is projected to need thousands of additional health care providers in the near future as the state's population ages and significant numbers of current providers approach retirement. This problem is particularly acute in rural areas where one of the most pressing issues is the misdistribution of health professionals.

Health professionals are concentrated in the more populated areas of the state, while 59 of the state's 66 counties have been federally designated, all or portions of, as health professional shortage areas.

Purpose of the More SD Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners program: Expand the state's education capacity to prepare additional primary care providers with a strong emphasis on rural areas.

Goals:

  1. Increase the capacity of the PA program and accept more in-state residents.
     
  2. Increase the number of SD PA graduates locating to a community of 10,000 or fewer.
     
  3. Increase the number of SD nurse practitioner graduates locating to a community of 10,000 or fewer.
To help address this need, South Dakota WINS will work to expand the state's educational capacity to prepare additional primary care providers with a strong emphasis on rural areas:
  • Physician Assistant Program Expansion – increase the physician assistant program class size by five students and convert five of the current non-resident slots in each class to resident slots.