Qualifications and Regulations
South Dakota is not as demanding as other states when it comes to regulations on Certified Nursing Assistants. In order to become a CNA in the state, individuals are required to complete a state-approved nurse aide training program. In South Dakota, the options for educational programs are limited to nursing homes and vocational colleges. All state-approved training programs are required to provide trainees with at least 75 hours of instruction. At least 16 hours of instruction are required before trainees are permitted to interact with patients, and after this requirement is met, another 16 hours is required to be spent gaining practical experience with patients under the direct supervision of a registered or licensed nurse. South Dakota specifies that during this supervised instruction with patients, the ratio of student to teacher is not to exceed eight to one so that all nurse aides can be monitored effectively. After completing this training program regimen, aspiring CNAs must challenge and pass the state’s competency evaluation. This test is in two parts: a written portion with multiple choice questions and a practical portion that tests clinical and procedural abilities. After passing this portion of the test, the CNA is eligible to be included on South Dakota’s Nurse Aide Registry and can begin work as a CNA at nursing homes or hospitals. The certificate is only valid for two years, after which it must be renewed. In order to remain eligible for renewal, a CNA must continue their education, with at least 12 hours of in-service education per year.
Salary and Cost
The average CNA working in South Dakota makes about $23,000 per year. This is approximate to the national average, with the salary bracket in the state ranging between $21,000 and $27,000. Compared to the states in the surrounding region, new CNAs make favorable wages at the entry level, though the higher end salaries in South Dakota are not competitive with the best paid CNAs in the country. For example, North Dakota pays its most experienced CNAs up to $4,000 more per year than equally experienced CNAs in South Dakota. The cost of training in South Dakota is lower than in most other states because of the limited options for training programs. Nursing homes are the primary provider of nurse aide training, with options for immediate employment sometimes available. With employment, the cost of training is required to be reimbursed to the CNA, either by the employer or with state funds. The initial bill must be footed by the nurse aide, however, so expect classes to cost anywhere between $250 and $1000 depending on the type of institution chosen for training.