Prairie Futures Rural Nursing Fellow

Prairie Futures Rural Nursing Fellow

The Prairie Futures Rural Nursing Fellow (PFRNF) is designed for highly motivated individuals with a strong desire to live and practice in rural communities.   This fellowship program takes a multi-faceted approach to educating, developing and inspiring leaders in the field of rural nursing and is designed for applicants accepted into the USD nursing program at Pierre.  Phase I takes place while the student is enrolled in the USD BSN program and Phase II begins post-graduation with a 12-month residency at Sanford Chamberlain followed by a two-year employment commitment.   

Phase I 

The program is uniquely designed with a rural focus and students will complete educational requirements that integrate topic areas such as rural leadership, rural healthcare policy, and other rural health care research topics along with the standard nursing curriculum.   Fellows will complete rural-focused learning activities/projects while enrolled in the nursing program.  In addition, a preceptorship will be completed in rural facilities with rotations in all aspects of healthcare such as OB, medical surgical, ICU, long-term care, family medicine and home health.  Fellows will also be responsible for designing and executing a rural community health intervention.

Phase II

The post-graduation phase consists of a 12-month residency program at Sanford Chamberlain.  Fellows in this program will be considered Sanford employees and will receive compensation commensurate with that of entry-level nurses.   This phase will also include a two-week International Rural Nursing experience at a Sanford World Clinic.  This experience will provide the opportunity to gain a firsthand understanding of the global context of rural nursing, experience new cultures and see the world while developing personally and professionally.   After completion of the 12-month residency program fellows will be required to remain employed at Sanford Chamberlain for two-years.

Program Objectives

  • Advance rural nursing
  • Develop inspiring leaders in the field
  • Develop a best practice


  • Fellows will receive (4) stipend payments totaling $15,000 to cover the cost of eligible expenses such as tuition, books, and housing.  These stipends will be paid as follows:
    • Year 1 Nursing Ending of Fall Semester – $2000
    • Year 1 Nursing End of Spring Semester – $2000
    • Year 2 Nursing End of Fall Semester – $2000
    • Year 2 Nursing passing of Boards – $3000
    • Completion of Post-Graduation Residency – $6000

Program Requirements

Phase I (pre-graduation)

  • Must be accepted into the USD Nursing BSN Program
  • Must meet all academic progression criteria of the USD nursing BSN program
  • Complete rural-focused activities/projects while enrolled in the nursing program.
  • Complete a rural preceptorship during the senior year in the nursing program

Phase II (post-graduation)

  • Complete a 12-month post-graduation residency program at Sanford Chamberlain
  • Complete a two-week summer International experience during the post-graduate residency phase of the program
  • Agree to work for Sanford Chamberlain for 2 years after the completion of the post-graduation residency program
  • Agree to a $5,000 per year repayment penalty for each year not completed during the 3-year commitment to the post-graduation requirement.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a resume, completed application, and essay communicating plans for a career in rural nursing no later than May 15, 2018.  Top applicants will be invited to participate in interviews with the selection committee beginning early June.

Selection Process

A committee comprised of representation from the MHCH Foundation, Sanford and USD Nursing will screen applicants for program eligibility.  Priority will be given to students from South Dakota or those who plan to reside in South Dakota along with those who demonstrate a passion and commitment towards practicing in a rural community.

Important Dates:

  • On-line application and resume is due by May 15, 2018
  • Interviews conducted during June 2018
  • Awardees notified by July 20, 2018