MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune 

December 3, 2016 

Let your Comet pride show on Giving Hearts Day, Thursday, February 9!


The Mayville State University Foundation will participate in Giving Hearts Day for the fourth time on Feb. 9, 2017. Giving Hearts Day is a 24-hour online give-a-thon for non-profit organizations in western Minnesota and North Dakota. The event is hosted every year by the Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) and Impact Foundation to help participating charities dramatically increase fundraising success by creating awareness and a 24-hour window of participation that spurs donors to action. The event has grown tremendously since it began in 2008, when charities received a combined total of more than $300,000. Giving Hearts Day 2016 proceeds totaled $8.3 million for all charities involved.

This year, gifts made to the Mayville State University Foundation through the efforts of Giving Hearts Day will be used to provide for general needs of the Mayville State online RN-to-BSN nursing program. Gifts of $10 or more (up to a total of $3,000) will be matched by the Dakota Medical Foundation. In order to activate the match, we’ll need to raise our own match of $1,000 before Feb. 1. If you are interested in contributing to the match before Feb. 1, please contact Dena Bergstrom at 701-788-4864.

Mayville State’s RN-to-BSN program is designed to assist current registered nurses in pursuing baccalaureate degrees in nursing while maintaining their current employment and providing support to their families. Because of the nursing shortage in North Dakota and the need to retain nurses in the healthcare setting, healthcare facilities can’t afford to give their employees time off to pursue advanced education. By offering online courses, each in five-week blocks, registered nurses are able to meet their educational goals one to two classes as a time while continuing to contribute to the healthcare workforce.

In the summer of 2013, the State Board of Higher Education granted Mayville State University approval to proceed with a proposed RN-to-BSN nursing program. MSU subsequently received approval from its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission and from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program got off to a great start and has grown tremendously. Mayville State University admitted the first cohort of RN-to-BSN students in the fall of 2014. Additional cohorts have begun in subsequent semesters, and the first cohort of students completed their studies at the end of the fall semester of 2015.

Mayville State University works closely with Lake Region State College and the Dakota Nursing Program (DNP) in the education of nurses by providing pre-requisite courses for their practical and associate degree nursing programs, both of which are offered on campus at Mayville State University. Offering a bachelor’s degree program was a logical next step for Mayville State, and we work in concert with Lake Region, the DNP, and others offering nursing programs to provide the best possible program at Mayville.

Through the RN to BSN online nursing program, Mayville State is educating nurses at the baccalaureate-degree level in order to equip them to better serve the healthcare needs of the citizens of North Dakota and beyond. The need for nurses is especially great in rural areas, including our own. This benefits all of us by supplying much-needed nursing staff for our local, area, and regional healthcare facilities, as well as facilities nationwide.

On Giving Hearts Day, donors can easily participate with just a few minutes of time, and without regard to the weather or the need to attend an event. Let your Comet pride show on Giving Hearts Day, Feb. 9, 2017! Please join in helping us to earn rewards for our BSN nursing program which is helping to supply much-needed nursing professionals for our area and all of North Dakota and beyond.

On Feb. 9, you can make your Giving Hearts Day donation from your own computer at Search for Mayville State University Foundation. If you’d rather, you may stop by the MSU Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day and personnel will be on hand to assist you with your online donation. You’re invited to join in the fun! Refreshments and treats will be served throughout the day. Be sure to stop by for lunch, which will be served between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

If you have questions or concerns, you may check with Dena Bergstrom, MSU Foundation annual giving associate/phonathon coordinator. She can be reached at 701-788-4864 or You can also keep up-to-date with Giving Hearts Day plans at