The state’s technical schools are making application for RN nursing programs. The request was made before the State Board Of Vocational Education in Watertown Thursday. Lake Area Technical Institute President Mike Cartney.

LATI has actually been accredited for a nursing program by the state board of nursing since 1968. He talked about the status of the other tech school.

The capacity at the state’s four technical schools would have to exceed 500 nursing students into the L-P-N Program before they would meet South Dakota’s workforce needs. He said it will be awhile before they hit that mark, but that they do need to get started. The graduates will have to meet certain outcomes.

He says the labor market shows that Registered Nurses are projected to grow at about 12 percent. In addition the schools have surveyed employers to determine needs.  68 percent of respondents indicate health care providers in the state prefer two-year RN’s as an entry point for nurses.  35 percent of the nurses in South Dakota today are two-year nurses and that’s the highest degree they will attain.  There are more than 5,000 two-year RN nurses in South Dakota.  They expect that workforce to grow even though there was a net loss to the state of RN nurses in the last year. Cartney says just meeting South Dakota’s nursing workforce needs will keep the state’s technical schools busy.  The motion was made to approve the expansion of the nursing programs with the exception of Western Dakota Tech until they can get themselves out of probation.  The vote was  unanimous