MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

December 14, 2013

Let your Comet pride show on Giving Hearts Day!


The Mayville State University Foundation will participate in Giving Hearts Day for the first time on February 13, 2014. 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.

Gifts made to the Mayville State University Foundation through the efforts of Giving Hearts Day will be applied to implementing Mayville State’s exciting new RN to BSN nursing program. Gifts of $10 or more (up to a total of $4,000) will be matched by the Dakota Medical Foundation. All gifts made to this project will also be matched at 50% by the North Dakota “Matching Fund for Enhanced Academics.”

This past summer, the State Board of Higher Education granted Mayville State University approval to proceed with a proposed RN to BSN nursing program. MSU is currently pursuing approval from its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission. The accreditation process should be completed in the summer of 2014.

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

A solution to the shortage of nurses is to educate more of them in the state and provide them with the working conditions that would make employment in the state an attractive option. Baccalaureate-prepared nurses can help address these concerns. With bachelor’s degrees, nurses can be involved in the education of future nurses as clinical instructors or preceptors. In that way, they can directly contribute to an increase in the number of nurses educated in the state. In practice settings, they can provide the leadership needed to create positive work environments, thus making North Dakota more appealing to prospective nurses.

Mayville State University already 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. Offering a bachelor’s degree program is a logical next step for Mayville State, and we will work in concert with Lake Region, the DNP, and others offering nursing programs to provide the best possible program at Mayville.

Money raised on Giving Hearts Day will be used to help with start-up and development costs of the MSU RN to BSN program, including funds needed to hire the faculty to teach in the program and purchase additional library resources. No new state appropriations will be used to support this program.

All Funds raised for Mayville State University on Giving Hearts Day will be eligible for a 50% match through “The Matching Fund for Enhanced Academics,” an amazing new program created by the 63rd Legislative Assembly to spur philanthropic giving to North Dakota’s state universities and enhance academic excellence.  In addition, DMF will be matching gifts to Mayville State up to a total of $4,000. DMF is also offering some fantastic incentive grants to the Giving Hearts Day participating organizations. The participating charity that earns the largest amount in total donations on Giving Hearts Day will receive $15,000 from DMF, and the organization raising the second-highest amount will receive $10,000. Grants will be awarded to the top ten earners. Other $500 grants will be awarded for the most creative marketing strategy, donations from the most people, best use of social media, and most donations from the most North Dakota cities and the most states.

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, February 13, 2014! Please join in helping us to achieve above and beyond and earn rewards for our new BSN nursing program which will help to supply much-needed nursing professionals for our area and all of North Dakota.

Dena Bergstrom, annual giving associate/phonathon coordinator, is coordinating the MSU Foundation’s participation in Giving Hearts Day 2014. She’s got lots of fun ideas and activities planned. Keep your eyes and ears open as details unfold. If you’re interested in volunteering to help with Giving Hearts Day activities, or if you have questions, please feel free to contact Dena at 701-788-4864 or You can also keep up-to-date with plans at