Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

Career Opportunities
Your career opportunities include working for hospitals, specialized health facilities, clinics, outpatient care centers, hospice, nursing homes, extended care facilities and private homes. The region’s leading employers are seeking out our graduates! In addition, LPN graduates can now build on their LPN degree in order to receive their RN degree from Southeast Tech!
Average Salary
The median annual wage for career opportunities for graduates of similar programs, according to the US Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Award Types: 1-Year Diploma
Total Credit Required to Graduate: 48 (Diploma)

Does the medical world intrigue you? Are you ready to respond to a higher calling? At Southeast Tech, get to where you want to be in just eleven months with a Licensed Practical Nursing diploma. As a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN, you’ll provide basic patient care under the supervision of physicians and Registered Nurses. You’ll learn to provide direct patient care, give medications in various ways including injections and IVs and performing many other cares necessary for patient treatment through intensive hands-on instruction.

And at Southeast Tech, you can choose to complete your degree during traditional classroom hours or as an evening program either with a fall or spring start.

Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN and be licensed as an LPN after approval by the Board of Nursing in their state of residence. Students who are not South Dakota residents or South Dakota residents who are seeking employment outside South Dakota should contact that state’s Board of Nursing for any additional requirements.

View Traditional Classroom Fall Start Curriculum Here

View Evening Curriculum Here

View Traditional Classroom Spring Start Curriculum Here

This degree is a Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) program, meaning you can purchase a laptop on your own or from the Southeast Tech Support Center.

Program Outcomes


Print Curriculum
Award Types: 1-Year Diploma
Total Credit Required to Graduate: 48 (Diploma)


Lori Suhr, BSN
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Lori has taught in the nursing program for four years; teaches didactically, with emphasis in pharmacology. She is flexible in clinical instruction of students and is always ready for new challenges. She enjoys instructing the students in the hands on environment of clinical.  

Lori started her nursing career in 1998 when she graduated with her LPN diploma. She has continued to work as a nurse with a background in medical surgical nursing while continuing her education for an Associate Degree in nursing in 2010 and received her Bachelors of Science Nursing Degree in 2012.  
She chose to go into nursing education because she enjoys working with and preparing students for their professional nursing career. Lori believes that every student has unique talents and abilities and are able to grow and develop these into the professional nurse they desire to be.

Education: BSN South Dakota State University; ASN University of South Dakota; LPN Northland Community and Technical College
Jacqueline Heide, RN, MSN, BSN
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Jaclyn Heide has been teaching at Southeast Tech since 2011 as an adjunct clinical instructor and has taught full time since 2013.  

She has a master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis in education from Indiana Wesleyan University.  

She has a wide range of industry experience including home health care, geriatrics, maternal pediatric, and travel nursing.

Her teaching philosophy encompasses a “partnership with students approach, students need to be equal partners in the learning process.” She states “I bring a lot of energy to my class. If I can’t get excited about my subject, why should my students? A positive atmosphere and personal contact with students is essential to my approach. Students need encouragement to talk to their teachers, so I emphasize my availability for informal discussion and my willingness to work through any problems they have with the information they are learning. My experience as a teacher is greatly enhanced by this contact with students.”

Education: RN, MSN, Indiana Wesleyan University; BSN, University of Sioux Falls
Bernadette Willuweit, LPN
Lab Specialist
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Bernadette Willuweit is a Licensed Practical Nurse who is currently the Nursing Lab Specialist for Southeast Tech Nursing Program. She specializes with the “hands on” skills needed to work in the field of Nursing. She has worked with Southeast Tech Nursing students for more than seven years in a full-time position as well as 25 years of nursing experience in the clinic and hospital industries.

Bernadette is a certified CPR/First Aid Instructor,
has been active with the South Dakota LPN Association and is also the founding and active member of the Southeast Tech LPN Student Nurse Association. She is a member of the Sanford CPR Instructor network.

Education: AAS, Southeast Tech
Elise Derry, RN, BAN
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Elise Derry began teaching at Southeast Tech in fall 2013. Elise has a Bachelor’s Degree in the Art of Nursing from Augustana College. She is a Registered Nurse and has Healthcare Provider CPR certification.

She has gained experience in the field having: worked in Pediatrics/Neonatal Intensive Care, Clinical Float Pool, Urogynecology Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.  Elise continues to work in industry on an as needed bases at Dermatology, Obstetrics and Urogynecology Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.  

Elise has always had a passion for teaching, and finds being with students in the nursing field is the best of both worlds. She believes that any student can achieve if they put in the time and effort. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Suess

Education: RN, BAN, Augustana College
Sarah Lang, RN
Instructor, TAACCCT Grant
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Sarah Lang is an LPN instructor for the TAACCCT Grant, rural healthcare initiative and has been with the program since October 2014. She has worked for five years in the obstetrics and gynecology clinical setting, along with two years in family practice clinical setting. Sarah also ran the All Women Count program in both clinical settings. She states that, “I really enjoy watching the students learn and succeed.  I believe that everyone can succeed with hard work and perseverance.”Sarah’s interests are reading, gardening and spending time with her family.

Education: RN, AA Southeast Tech; LPN, Southeast Tech; AAS Temple College
Amanda Dvanajscak, RN, MSN, MHA
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Amanda graduated from South Dakota State University with her Bachelors in the Science of Nursing and a Minor in Health Science in 2010. She graduated from University of Phoenix in 2013 with a Masters in Nursing and a Masters in Health Administration. In 2014 she completed a post-masters certification in nursing education, also through the University of Phoenix.

Amanda is a registered nurse with a background in cardio-pulmonary and hospice care. She has a passion for caring for patients in the end of life and continues to work as a hospice nurse outside of being an instructor for Southeast Tech. In regards to her teaching philosophy, Amanda believes in challenging and encouraging students to be successful by taking an active part in their learning. She enjoys watching the transition of students throughout their time in the nursing program. She finds it to be so rewarding to watch students evolve and become successful and confident nurses.

Education: RN, MSN, University of Phoenix, MHA, University of Phoenix, BSN, South Dakota State University
Dustin Pepper, RN, BSN
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Dustin began teaching at Southeast Tech in 2010.
He has certifications in American Heart Association CPR instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC), National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and a postsecondary instructor credential. He currently serves as the president of the safety committee at Southeast Tech, mentors newly hired nursing staff, coordinates online curriculum, and works as a nursing student advisor.

Accruing extensive industry training working in three different large health systems in two states Dustin says, “By working in multiple health systems I have learned so much from both peers in nursing and physicians. The hospitals provided great additional training and evidenced based practice that I reference often during lectures/clinical so students stay up to date with the ever-changing health care industry.” He started his career working in cardiology/telemetry and step down units, and then moved to the Intensive Care Unit and considers medical surgical nursing his specialty.

“I really love teaching, especially interacting with students. I believe all students can be successful and consider my role as facilitating student learning. I use examples from my experience to aid students understanding of the nursing profession.”

Education: RN, BSN, South Dakota State University
Jeanette Saugstad, RN, BAN
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Mrs. Jeanette Saugstad has been teaching at Southeast Tech since 2004. She brings a wide range of various clinical experience to the academic world. Mrs. Saugstad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Mrs. Saugstad’s teaching philosophy focuses on the individuality in learning and she has had the opportunity to meet and teach many great students. “I am honored to teach future nurses who can make a difference in our health care system.” “Being a nurse is an exciting career.”

Education: RN, BAN, Augustana College
Kristin Possehl, RN, MSN, MEd, BSN
Nursing Program Director
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Kristin began teaching at Southeast Tech in April, 2001, when she was hired as the LPN Program Director. Since that time, she has led the nursing program through tremendous growth, the addition of the LPN to RN AAS degree, and national accreditation for the RN program. Kristin’s job now is administering the program and supervising the large nursing staff. Kristin was appointed to the SD Board of Nursing in 2010, and currently serves as president. Prior to working at Southeast Tech, she taught high school courses in Brookings, for students interested in health careers. She has also worked as an RN in school nursing, pediatrics, and pediatric oncology. Kristin received a MSN from University of Phoenix, a MEd from South Dakota State University, and a BSN from Vanderbilt University.

She lives in Brookings and enjoys flower gardening, quilting and other crafts and spending time with family.

Education: RN, MSN, University of Phoenix; MEd, South Dakota State University; BSN, Vanderbilt University
Judy Lucas, RN, MEd, BSN
Instructor/LPN Coordinator
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Judy has completed 25 years of service at Southeast Technical Institute in various roles including Surgical Technology Instructor, Supervisor of Health, and Special Projects Coordinator.

She started her nursing career as a staff nurse at the 130th General Army Hospital in Neurnberg, Germany. Returning to South Dakota she worked in the following nursing areas: Operating room, Infection control and Same Day Surgery.

Judy lives in Sioux Falls and enjoys bird watching, reading, hiking and time with family.

Education: RN, MEd, South Dakota State University, BSN, South Dakota State University
Afton Zediker, RN, BSN
Chamberlain/Pierre Program Instructor
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Afton Sue Zediker is a LPN TAACCCT Grant Nursing Instructor. She began teaching at Southeast Tech with the Grant program in 2014.

Afton has been a Nurse since 2005. She is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner from Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska.

She has accrued her nursing experience, having worked in following areas:

• Avera McKennan in Cardiology, Neurology, Pulmonary, and Intensive Care
• Sanford Clinic General Surgery, Colon-Rectal Surgery/GI, and Breast Surgery
• Clinical Supervisor with Sanford Orthopedic and Sport Medicine Clinic
• Basic Cardiac Life Support Instructor

Afton's interests include spending time with her husband, Jeremiah and two young daughters, Brooklyn and Brystol. She enjoys watching all sports but truly loves Duke Basketball and Yankees Baseball.

Education: RN, BSN South Dakota State University; DWU Dakota Wesleyan University
Britney Mower, RN
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Britney began teaching with the Southeast Tech Nursing Department in 2014. She is an alumna of the Southeast Tech LPN program and holds an Associate Degree in Nursing from Western Iowa Tech.

She is currently enrolled at the University of Texas and will complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree in December of 2015.

Britney has experience as a Registered Nurse in Critical Care, Women’s Health/Postpartum and Pediatric Nursing. Her teaching philosophy encompasses “a measure of success in teaching is how effectively an instructor prepares the students for professional nursing practice.” She enjoys incorporating her industry experience with hands on learning in the lab and clinical settings. She states “witnessing each student progress from a novice nursing student to obtaining a professional career as a Licensed Practical Nurse is very rewarding.”

Britney lives in Lennox with her husband and children. She enjoys camping, reading, watching sports and spending time with family.

Education: BSN, University of Texas, currently enrolled, RN, ASN, Western Iowa Tech, LPN, Southeast Tech






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