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Professional Development Program for Nursing Students

If you’re a student in an accredited Bachelors of Nursing Program and within one or two semesters of graduation, we invite you to apply for the opportunity to spend your summer at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Center in Sioux Falls, SD, preparing for a career in nursing. Through our Professional Development Program (PDP), you can experience first-hand what it’s like to work in the exciting field of nursing at a Magnet facility known for nursing excellence.

Throughout this paid summer program, you’ll be paired with a registered nurse mentor in the clinical setting. You’ll also receive orientation and clinical experiences along with reflective practice sessions.

And PDP is only the beginning. Afterwards, we hope you’ll consider job opportunities as a patient care tech, and ultimately become part of the Avera nursing team. Even then, opportunities abound for nurses to develop their careers at Avera, whether in clinical nursing, leadership or both.

Apply for the opportunity to enhance your prioritization, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills while you prepare for a career in nursing.

Lori Popkes – Chief Nursing Officer, Avera McKennan

How to Apply for the PDP Program

Nursing students interested in the Professional Development Program should submit the following to the Avera McKennan Human Resources Department (see contact information below).

Application Process

To be considered for the Summer 2017 PDP, all application materials must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on September 8, 2016.

  1. Complete the Avera McKennan Employment Application: Go to and follow the steps to apply for the positions.
  2. Resume: Upload a resume with your application (please do not copy and paste your resume to the bottom of your application).
  3. Complete the Interest & Expectations Survey.
  4. Letter of Academic Standing: This form can be e-mailed to your Academic Advisor to complete. Please be advised this must be returned to our office by the deadline.
  5. Complete two Reference Requests: These will be launched by HR once you have completed the employment application. You will receive an email from (This will be sent to the email address on your application. Please check your SPAM folders). Please follow the steps in the e-mail to submit your references. References will need to be completed by 12:00 pm (noon) on Thursday, September 8. Please follow up with your references to verify they received the notification and ensure they are able to complete it by the deadline.

Contact Information:

Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center
Human Resources/PDP Program
1325 S Cliff Ave/PO Box 5045
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5045

For more information, please call or e-mail Avera McKennan Human Resources.

The Professional Development Program is pending South Dakota Board of Nursing Approval.

Important Program Information

Find details about the program, specific requirements and more.

Program Goals & Objectives

The PDP experience is meant to ensure quality nursing care for patients and promote professional nursing practices. The PDP student will be able to:

1. Systematically collect subjective and objective assessment data to be reviewed and used by the mentor.

2. Assist the mentor in developing, implementing and evaluating a plan of care for assigned patients.

3. Assist the mentor in performing nursing procedures and treatments

4. Demonstrate behaviors which show regard for dignity and respect of patients, family members, visitors and co-workers.

5. Participate in educational pursuits and activities that enhance understanding of professional nursing practices.

6. Participate in maintaining a harmonious work environment.

Program Requirements

To participate in the Professional Development Program you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled and have completed all but the final one or two semesters of a CCNE or NLN accredited Bachelors of Nursing Program
  • Meet all Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center job-related health requirements
  • Provide proof of current CPR certification
  • Provide proof of High School Diploma/General Education Degree
  • Complete the Avera McKennan application process
  • Receive acceptable evaluations from your references

Program Information

Program Dates:

PDP Standard Summer Program

  • May 21 - July 21, 2017
  • Req#: 1603610-2


  • Classroom orientation is provided to familiarize PDP students with hospital and nursing information and expectations.

Work Schedule:

  • As a PRN employee, you will work a full-time schedule (36-40 hours per week).
  • Rotating shifts: Days, Evenings, Nights & Weekends with Holiday Involvement.
  • 8 or 12 hour shifts
  • You will be expected to work your nurse mentor’s schedule.


  • Hourly wage is $13.75.

Mentor Assignment:

  • You will be paired with an experienced registered nurse mentor.


  • Students will be expected to purchase their own uniform.

Networking/Clinical Learning:

  • Students will network with each other through weekly blogging, reflective practice sessions and an exemplar presentation.

College Credit (optional):

  • Available through a partnership with a local university. If interested, please contact PDP coordinator.

Continuing Education:

  • Students are encouraged to attend staff meetings and education programs available during the PDP experience.

Request for Time off:

  • In order to receive the full clinical benefit of the program, we encourage students to limit time of requests and plan special events before or after the PDP experience.

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