Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

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Bright Start Free Personal Nurse Program

Bright Start Referral Form Button. 
Use this form to refer patients, loved ones, or yourself and we will get back to you with information on the program.Bright Start supports expectant, first-time moms by connecting you with a free personal nurse to walk alongside you every step of your pregnancy. Bright Start nurses meet you where you're comfortable and they're a text away to connect over everything from common concerns to preparing for childbirth. Most importantly, your nurse helps you build confidence in your decision-making as a mom.

As you build a relationship with your nurse, they'll help you access essential services like prenatal care and learn more about child development. From the start of your pregnancy, until your child turns two, your Bright Start nurse will guide you in setting personal goals while encouraging you along the way. To begin receiving clarity and support for your pregnancy, refer yourself to Bright Start today.


Photo of pregnant woman outside holding belly.
A Bright Place to Start

  • Access prenatal care and nutritional guidance.

  • Learn about child development.

  • Practice breastfeeding, home safety, and safe sleep positions.

  • Set personal goals and design strategies for your family.

  • Connect to resources that give you and your child a bright start, like healthcare, family planning, pediatric care, childcare, early childhood programs, job training, and continuing education.

"My nurse makes me feel like I'm an amazing mom."

As we expand Bright Start across the state of South Dakota, you'll join a long list of moms who had their pregnancies supported by their own free personal nurse. Here's how Bright Start impacts their lives:

  • "My nurse became like family to me."

  • "It's a validating feeling for your emotions, your concerns."

  • "My nurse helps me sort through the advice I get from friends and family to help decide what I want to do."

  • "My nurse really listens and is open to any conversation."

  • "This information I get is just right for my baby's age–potty training, temper tantrums, how she learns."


Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for Bright Start?
If you're a first time-mom living in South Dakota and meet our income requirements or are experiencing a qualifying risk factor, you're eligible for a free personal nurse. To know for sure, please fill out our referral form.

Is Bright Start unique to South Dakota?
While the Bright Start brand is unique to South Dakota, the South Dakota Department of Health helps implement the program using the Nurse-Family Partnership model. Learn more about how NFP supports first-time moms and trains our nurses.

Who provides the Bright Start program?
The South Dakota Office of Child and Family Services partners with the Black Hills Special Services Co-op, Children's Home Society of South Dakota, and the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care. Find your match by filling out our referral form, or contact a nurse in your region below.

Can I invite my family and friends to my visits?
Absolutely! While you are your nurse's main focus, building a support system creates a positive environment for you and your baby. Your baby's father, family members, and friends are all welcome to join visits.

How long do I get to work with a nurse?
You'll start working with a free personal nurse from pregnancy up until your child's second birthday.

Can I begin Bright Start after I have my baby?
Since Bright Start is designed to start during your pregnancy, the program isn't the right fit for new moms. However, if you're a new mom who needs extra support, we recommend visiting Strong Families South Dakota to see all of the support the state has to offer.

Who can make referrals?
We accept referrals from expectant mothers, friends and family, healthcare providers, clinics and hospitals, schools, and community agencies.


Talk to a Bright Start Nurse in Your Area

If you would rather talk directly to a nurse in your region before filling out our referral form, text or call a Bright Start office near you today.

Aberdeen - 605-626-2654
Belle Fourche - 605-642-6915
Brookings - 605-274-0233
Chamberlain - 605-501-3480
Custer - 605-721-4353
Hot Springs - 605-721-4353
Huron - 605-353-7135
Mitchell - 605-501-9385
Pine Ridge - 605-867-5911
Rapid City - 605-394-2516
Sioux Falls - 605-274-0233
Sisseton - 605-501-3518
Spearfish - 605-642-6915
Sturgis - 605-642-8286
Vermillion - 605-274-0233
Winner - 605-501-3480
Yankton - 605-274-0233

Coming soon:
Pierre and Watertown



2020 Statewide Home Visiting Needs Assessment Report

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