Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health

South Dakota Board of Nursing Facility Administrators


Effective July 1, 1997, in order to become licensed as a nursing facility administrator in South Dakota and individual is required to:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree with emphasis on administration or long term care.
  • Have successful service as an administrator in training, serving a minimum of 240 hours within six consecutive months or have completed a practicum in a regionally accredited higher education program.
  • Have successfully passed the national nursing facility administrator examination, with a passing scale score of 113 and a state examination covering the rules of the South Dakota Department of Health governing nursing facilities.  A passing score on the state examination is 75 percent.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony and are not in arrears for court ordered child support.

Professional Examinations

The board requires the NAB Nursing Facility Administrators Licensing Examination for licensure.  This exam is computer-based and administered only by making application through the board office.  The examination date is determined by NAB and you are informed in writing.  The examination costs $235. If failed, the reexamination fee is $285.

If special testing conditions are necessary, please contact NAB (National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators) at 202-712-9040 or

The Board also requires the successful completion of the state examination.  It is administered by the Board staff or Board members located around the state on a mutually agreed upon date.  Applicants must register through the Board office.  The examination fee is $50.

Reciprocal Licensure

Persons licensed as nursing facility administrators in other states may apply for reciprocal licensure in South Dakota provided that the following requirements are met:

  • The state in which the applicant is licensed gives similar recognition to the South Dakota nursing home administrators license.
  • The applicant is familiar with the South Dakota Department of Health regulations governing nursing facilities and successfully passes the Board’s written examination covering these rules.
  • The applicant completes an orientation with a Board recognized preceptor.  The preceptor shall file a report of this orientation with the Board’s Secretary-Treasurer.
  • The applicant has never had a license as a nursing facility administrator in any state revoked or suspended.
  • The applicant has not been convicted of a felony by any court.   The conviction of a felony is the conviction of any offense which would be a felony under the laws of South Dakota if it was committed in this state.
  • The applicant has served as an administrator of a licensed nursing facility for at least six months or has completed at least 240 hours within six months as an administrator in training or has completed a practicum in long term care from a regionally accredited higher education program.

South Dakota Board of Examiners for Nursing Facility Administrators forms are available in ADOBE .PDF format (Portable Document Format) which is both device and resolution independent.  The printed version of these PDF documents will be similar regardless of the device used to print.  In order to view, print or download these forms, you must have the free ADOBE Acrobat Reader  for Windows, DOS or for Macintosh.