save_the_date_-_web.psdThe public is cordially invited to stop by the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center on the campus of Mayville State University Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, to learn more about the progress of the Mayville State RN to BSN online nursing program, and to hear about the importance of Giving Hearts Day 2016. An open house and social is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 14. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Mayville State University’s RN to BSN online nursing program has recently experienced milestones. Representatives of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) conducted an onsite evaluation at Mayville State Nov. 16-18, and now the university awaits word on the status of accreditation. CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency which is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency which contributes to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

Led by Mayville State University Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Keith Stenehjem, Mayville State University and area healthcare providers began informal discussions in 2009, based upon the results of the ten-year North Dakota Board of Nursing’s “Nursing Needs Study.” The focus of the discussions was to explore current and future nursing shortages, as well as challenges associated with recruitment of registered nurses to rural communities if they are trained in large communities or in other states. These conversations led to further investigation related to current challenges and barriers to continuing nursing education and to determine prospective preferences related to educational delivery method.

As a result, Mayville State officials determined the need to establish an online RN to BSN nursing program to fulfill an essential need focused on increasing the number of baccalaureate and higher-prepared nurses to meet the current and emerging needs of the health care community within North Dakota and beyond.

Mayville State University’s online RN to BSN nursing program was approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education in 2013. A program director, Tami Such, MSN, RN, PHN, was hired in the spring of 2014, along with a faculty member, Kari Matthys, MSN, RN. The Higher Learning Commission approved the program in July of 2014.

The university admitted the first cohort of seven students in the fall of 2014. A second cohort of eight students began in the spring of 2015, and a third cohort of 29 students began in the fall of 2015. With growth in the number of students enrolled, additional faculty members, Collette Christoffers, MSN, RN, PHN, and Monica Ptacek, MSN, RN, have also been hired. That first cohort of students who enrolled in the program in the fall of 2014 completed their studies and received their BSN degrees at the end of the Fall Semester of 2015, which concluded in December.

Gifts made to the Mayville State University Foundation through the efforts of Giving Hearts Day on Thursday, Feb. 11 will support scholarships for students enrolled in the RN to BSN program at Mayville State University. This is an opportunity for donors to help make a difference in the need for nursing professionals in the local area, as well as the state of North Dakota and beyond. Donations may be made online at Search for Mayville State University Foundation.

This is the third time the Mayville State University Foundation will participate in Giving Hearts Day, 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 of $10 or more (up to a total of $4,000) will be matched by the Dakota Medical Foundation.

“Giving Hearts Day is providing a fantastic opportunity for donors to get a super ‘bang for their buck’ on February 11,” said Dena Bergstrom, MSU Foundation annual giving associate/phonathon coordinator. “With the DMF match, a gift of $10 has the potential to become a gift of $20. To make it even better, since the contributions are designated to scholarships, they are eligible for a 50% match by the state of North Dakota, so that $10 gift becomes $30. This will go a long way in supporting the RN to BSN nursing program at Mayville State.”

Those interested in making a Giving Hearts Day contribution to the RN to BSN program at Mayville State may do so online from their own computers, or they may stop by the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center at Mayville State between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on February 11. Personnel will be on hand to assist donors with their online donations. There will also be an opportunity for socializing and to enjoy refreshments. Those who wish to make their Giving Hearts Day contributions early, may do so when they attend the January 14 open house and social.

For more information, go to or contact Dena Bergstrom at 701-788-4864 or