How to Become a CNA in South Dakota (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become a CNA in South Dakota

Great news!

To become a CNA in South Dakota, you only need to complete 3 steps. These are:

  • Enroll in a CNA training program
  • Pass the CNA competency exam
  • Have your name listed in the Registry

In this complete guide on how to become a CNA in South Dakota, we’ll give you all the details for each step. This way, you know how to get through them with ease. 

What’s more, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions, too. 

So let’s dive right in!

How to Become a CNA in South Dakota – Complete the 3 Steps to Certification 

Here is how to complete the 3 steps to certification. 

Step #1: Enroll in a CNA Training Program

As with any medical field, you need to begin with education. 

For CNAs in South Dakota, that means enrolling in a state-approved CNA training program. You must ensure the program provider fulfills the program requirements. 

For a quick rundown, the program must:

  • Have at least 75 hours of training, with at least 16 hours focused on lab/clinical practice.
  • Have a program coordinator that is an RN with 2 years of experience (with one year in long-term care services.
  • Must have a primary instructor that’s an RN or LPN with 2 years of experience (with one year in long-term care services.
  • Must have a supplementary instructor with 1-year experience.
  • Must teach from the approved curriculum. 

Click here for more details on program requirements and the approved curriculum. 

But wait…

Before you can enroll, you must first submit a completed CNA Training Enrollment Verification and a CNA Initial Registration Application.

Here’s what to do:

  • Print the CNA Training Enrollment Verification and fill it up. Have your chosen program provider fill it up, too. 
  • Complete an online CNA Initial Registration Application
  • Upload the completed verification form. 
  • Wait 5 to 7 days for the SD Department of Health to process your application. 
  • Go to the Registration Verification website and see if you’re eligible to enroll.

Click here for the enrollment verification form. 

Once you’re enrolled, you need to focus on your studies before moving on to the next step. 

Step #2: Pass the CNA Competency Exam

When you finish your training program, it’s time to put your knowledge and skills to the test. 

Now, in South Dakota, the CNA competency exam is administered by South Dakota Health Care Association. 

Usually, your program provider will schedule an appointment for you. 

But if not, then you have to select a testing location, call them, and schedule an appointment. 

Click here to download a list of authorized CNA testing locations in South Dakota. 

The exam fee will either be paid by your program provider or you. Check the table below for prices:

Knowledge test:$75.50
Oral Knowledge test (if you want to take the test orally):$85.50
Skill test:$94.00

For the knowledge test, you only have 90 minutes to answer all the questions. You need a score of at least 75% to pass. 

As for the skill test, you start by performing a mandatory task, such as emptying a urinary drainage bag or toileting using a bedpan. From there, you need to complete an additional 2 to 3 skills selected at random. 

To pass this portion of the competency exam, you need a score of 75% on each skill, as well as a perfect score for key steps. 

Step #3: Have Your Name Listed in the Registry

Once you pass both portions of the SD CNA competency exam, you’re done!

All you have to do is wait for the South Dakota Health Care Association to list your name in the state’s Nurse Aide Registry. 

And that’s it!

You are now certified to become a nurse aide in South Dakota. 

Frequently Asked Questions About CNAs in South Dakota

As promised, we’re going to answer some frequently asked questions. This way, you get even more information about CNAs in South Dakota. 

How much do CNAs earn in South Dakota?

The average salary for a CNA in South Dakota is $13.88 per hour or $28,870 yearly. 

Of course, you should consider that salary depends on where you’re working. A densely populated urban area will have a higher rate, most likely to compensate for a higher cost of living. 

What are the job prospects for CNAs in South Dakota?

South Dakota is known to have an elderly population. People 65+ years old makeup about 15% of the population. Thus, there are a good number of CNA job opportunities in hospitals, care facilities, retirement homes, and more!

How can I be exempted from taking CNA training in South Dakota?

You can be exempted from completing CNA training if you are a nursing student who has completed fundamental courses with a C grade or higher.

If so, you can apply for a CNA training waiver. If your waiver request is accepted, you can jump straight to taking the competency exam. 

If you are a licensed LPN or RN in the state, you can be exempted from both training and the CNA exam.

How long will my CNA certificate be valid in South Dakota? 

In South Dakota, your CNA certificate will be valid for 2 years. It must be renewed at least 90 days before its expiration date. You’ll be eligible for renewal as long as you have 12 hours of training per year, as well as 12 hours of paid service. 


And that is how to become a CNA in South Dakota. 

To be sure, the process is not as complicated as in other nursing fields. I mean, you only need to complete 3 steps. 

That said, you need to put in the time and effort to complete those steps. 

When you do, you’ll soon be a certified nursing assistant in South Dakota — you’ll soon be able to start your dream job. 

So what are you waiting for?

Now that you know all you need to know, it’s a lot easier to get started!

Good luck!

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