Skip to Main Content

PDP - Professional Development Program

The Professional Development Program at Avera McKennan is a summer well spent for students preparing for a career in nursing. Hospital nursing is an exciting career field with many opportunities for advancement. Avera is a major health care network in our region, and through PDP, you can experience first hand what it’s like to work for this outstanding organization.

The PDP provides educational and clinical experience for nursing students, enhancing their prioritization, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills. The program pairs the student with a Registered Nurse mentor in the clinical setting and provides a comprehensive orientation including clinical experiences and a formal case presentation.

This is a paid summer program meant for student nurses within two semesters of graduation. The PDP student is paired with a Registered Nurse mentor in the clinical setting.

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, such as:

  • Administration of oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous (RN must be present during procedure) medications
  • IV insertion (RN must be present during procedure)
  • Monitoring of IV sites, dressings, and rates
  • Management of non-medicated IVs including tubing changes
  • Changing of TPN bags (RN must be present during procedure)
  • Dressing changes
  • Removal of staples and suture
  • Nasogastric tube insertion and care
  • Urinary catheter insertion and care
  • Oral, endotracheal, and tracheal suctioning
  • Bowel elimination care
  • Specimen collection
  • Changing CBI bags
  • Documentation of care provided
  • Communicating verbal report

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.


Professional Development 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 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


Judy Blauwet - Chief Nursing Officer at Avera McKennan

Judy Blauwet

"At Avera McKennan, nurses are 'creating an exceptional difference.' I hope you will consider applying for a PDP experience, and see Avera McKennan as a place where you can experience a long and rewarding career." Judy Blauwet

Welcome to the professional practice of nursing. Avera McKennan's Professional Development Program is a wonderful opportunity to explore your interest areas in the profession of nursing. We are seeking the 'brightest and best' students for this program, because we consider PDP the beginning of a career at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. It is our hope that PDP students will consider job opportunities as health career students, and ultimately join our nursing staff after graduation.

As a Magnet facility, Avera McKennan is known for excellence in nursing. Opportunities abound here for nurses to develop their careers into various pathways, whether that is in clinical nursing, leadership or both.


Judy Blauwet is Senior Vice President for Hospital Operations and Chief Nurse Officer at Avera McKennan. After beginning her nursing career in 1972, Judy joined Avera McKennan in 1980 as an ICU staff nurse. She soon received promotions to nursing leadership and directorship roles. In 1999, she was named Senior Vice President for Business Development. In 2006 she was named Sr. Vice President for Hospital Operations. In 2007, the role of Chief Nurse Officer was added to her role.


PDP Frequently Asked Questions

Program Dates:

  • PDP Standard Summer Program
    • May 23, 2016 to July 23, 2016
    • Req#: 1506971
  • New: Accelerated PDP Program for December 2016 RN Graduates
    • July 11, 2016 to August 13, 2016 and a 24 hour a month work commitment with your Nurse Mentor until Graduation from the Fall 2016 Nursing Program
    • Req#: 1506972


  • 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.
  • Schedules will be provided in April of the program year.


  • Hourly wage is $13.75.

Preceptor Assignment:

  • Mentor assignments will be provided late April.


  • Students will be expected to purchase their own uniform.

Networking/Clinical Learning:

  • Students will network with each other through weekly blogging, breakfast/luncheons 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 plan special events before or after the PDP experience.

Application process

PDP - Application Process

To be considered for the Summer 2016 PDP, all application materials must be submitted by 12:00 PM (noon), Thursday, October 8, 2015.

The Professional Development Program is pending South Dakota Board of Nursing Approval. 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 2016 PDP, all application materials must be submitted by 12:00 PM (noon), Thursday, October 8, 2015.

  1. Complete the Avera McKennan Employment Application: Go to and follow the steps to apply for the positions. (The position will be posted at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 2, 2015.)
    • PDP Standard Summer Program: Req#1506971
    • Accelerated PDP Program: Req# 1506972
  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 2 Reference Requests: These will be launched by HR once you have completed the employment application. You will received an e-mail from (This will be sent to the e-mail 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, October 8, 2015. Please follow up with your references to assure they received the notification, to 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


P: (605) 322-7850

F: (605) 322-7868

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