Supporting the SD Nurses… | South Dakota Community Foundation

Supporting the SD Nurses Foundation

The South Dakota Nurses Association (SDNA) is an organization focused on creating a unified voice for Registered Nurses (RNs) in South Dakota, and it is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association. The SDNA’s mission is to support professional nursing through advocacy, communication, networking, and collaboration across nursing specialties.

In 1999, the SDNA established a charitable foundation branch, the South Dakota Nurses Foundation (SDNF), to offer financial support to RNs and their work throughout the state. The SDNF offered its first scholarship in 2005 and has awarded over $50,000 dollars in scholarships since then. The foundation has partnered with the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) for several funds ranging from scholarships to research funding and donor-advised funds (DAFs).

Thomas E. Stenvig, PhD, MPH, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director at the SDSU College of Nursing

Thomas E. Stenvig, PhD, MPH, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, serves as an Associate Professor, and PhD Program Director at the South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing. He is also the current President of the SDNF and has served in that role since SDNF was created.

Tom joined Jeff Veltkamp – Director of Development of the SDCF, to discuss the organization’s founding pillars, education research, and partnership with the SDCF to achieve their funding goals to support registered nurses in South Dakota.

When the SDNF was first conceptualized in the 1980s, Tom, who helped start the foundation, saw an opportunity for supporting better education through scholarship opportunities and to support the work of nurses in other ways through charitable giving. The foundation’s board of directors is a mix of SDNA nurse leaders and non-nurse consumers who advocate for the nursing profession, and Tom is thankful for the continuity it has created.

“We have some really dedicated people, and that has been a blessing for us,” Tom said s as he discussed the creation of the organization.

The SDNF’s three core pillars (education, research, and service) were established as SDNF went through changes and growth in its first few years of existence. In 1999, the SDNF officially partnered with the SDCF to achieve its funding goals.

“SDCF takes care of all of the details, and it makes it easier for us to focus on how a donation is used and applied to advance our purposes,” shared Tom.

He also emphasized that the SDNF does not employ any paid staff members, so even the smallest actions like the way the SDCF facilitates donor acknowledgments to anyone who gives to the SDNF’s funds are greatly appreciated.

When asked what Tom hopes for the future of the SDNF, he touched on the fact that the foundation’s main focus currently is offering scholarship opportunities for students who want to pursue a career or advanced degree in nursing. When looking to the future, the foundation’s goals are to facilitate the funding to further research for advancements in nursing and create opportunities for outreach capabilities through community-based service work.

“There are many people whose lives have been impacted by a nurse; and if that is something one can see and recognize, we invite them to help us further the nursing profession,” Tom said excited about the foundation’s potential to grow. “You can make a difference.”

Learn more about the South Dakota Nurses Foundation here.