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Nineteen Students Complete Practical Nursing Program

Nineteen Western Dakota Tech (WDT) Practical Nursing students were honored for completing the program during a virtual Pinning Ceremony Dec. 18. These graduates will help fill an important need in the workforce for entry-level nurses in the health care environment.

The Pinning Ceremony is a traditional symbolic welcoming of Nursing Graduates into the Nursing field. Although the event was not in person due to the pandemic, faculty read notes in the video ceremony from the students saying who would pin them and their personal thank-you remarks. Link to view the virtual Pinning Ceremony:

Western Dakota Tech Nursing Program Director Christi Keffeler, MSN, RN, provided the welcome. Opening remarks were by Donna Hanks, WDT Instructional Technology and Design Specialist. Closing remarks were provided by WDT President Ann Bolman, Ed.D. Student speakers were Hallee Hodges and Carol Matt.

Nursing awards, as selected by Nursing Faculty, were announced as follows:

  • Most Compassionate – Hallee Hodges.
  • Clinical Excellence – Katrina Burns.
  • Peer Mentor – Carol Matt.
  • Phoenix Award – Kendallyn Wounded Face.

The nurses honored during the pinning ceremony for completing the program are listed below. All hometowns are in South Dakota.

  • Sara Block – Box Elder
  • Trysten Bowman - Sturgis
  • Katrina Burns – Ellsworth AFB
  • Katy Charging Cloud – Rapid City
  • Lauren Fowler - Sturgis
  • Mataya Gustafson – Rapid City
  • Alexis Burtzlaff – Rapid City
  • Hallee Hodges – Box Elder
  • Jaci Kihlstrom - Summerset
  • Matthew Krogman – Rapid City
  • Matthew Linde - Spearfish
  • Carol Matt – Rapid City
  • Nicole McDonald – Rapid City
  • Karissa Munger – Rapid City
  • Karla Parisien – Hot Springs
  • Teshian Peterson – Rapid City
  • Hannah Valentine - Faith
  • Kendallyn Wounded Face – Rapid City
  • Danielle Yuhas – Black Hawk

Learn more about nursing education opportunities on Western Dakota Tech's Practical Nursing web page. More information is also available by calling Western Dakota Tech Admissions at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565 or emailing

About Western Dakota Tech

Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college serving the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

Ninety-nine percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military. [Placement information is derived from graduate surveys, faculty-collected data, placement surveys started six months after graduation, and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. Overall placement rate is figured by: (responding graduates employed, continuing education, or in military service)/(responding graduates who are seeking employment). The number of program graduates are unduplicated by CIP code.]

Western Dakota Tech faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

For information about Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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