MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 9, 2016 

RN-to-BSN nursing program is making an impact on shortage of nurses


Mayville State’s RN-to-BSN online nursing program continues to flourish! To date, 29 new students have been accepted for the fall semester. The program is designed to accept up to 36 new students each fall and spring semester, a mix full and part-time students. With 23 returning students in the fall, nursing program enrollment for the fall is projected at approximately 59 students. In addition, there are several other pre-RN-to-BSN students who are enrolled in non-nursing courses with a plan to begin program enrollment in a future semester.

Mayville State University’s online RN-to-BSN nursing program was approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education in 2013. Program director, Tami Such, MSN, RN, PHN, was hired in the spring of 2014, along with 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, were also hired.

Some of those first RN-to-BSN nursing students completed their course work in December of 2015, and others will finish up in August. A total of 24 RN-to-BSN students were eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony in May.

We were delighted to learn recently that Mayville State University’s RN-to-BSN nursing program was granted full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Official notice was received May 31, 2016, and the accreditation effective date is November 16, 2015, extending to June 30, 2021. Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

Through the generosity of the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation, we have been able to award a total of $38,000 in Larson Nursing Leadership Scholarships to the RN-to-BSN nursing students since January 2015. Plans are to continue to fund $25,000 to eligible nursing students each year for three years.

An additional nursing scholarship will become available beginning in the spring of 2017. This scholarship is being funded through funds raised during the MSU Foundation’s participation in Giving Hearts Day in February. Our generous alumni and friends contributed more than $14,000 through this 24-hour give-a-thon. With the addition of match funding, the total funds available for this scholarship will be approximately $21,000.

Mayville State University’s RN-to-BSN nursing program was established in an effort to assist with the severe shortage of nursing professionals in the state of North Dakota and in response to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation to increase the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to 80% by 2020.

The online RN-to-BSN nursing program is educating nurses who wish to achieve baccalaureate degrees while maintaining their employment and continuing to support their families. In addition, because of the nursing shortage, healthcare facilities can’t afford to give their employees leave time to pursue educational goals, since they are needed in the healthcare setting. Mayville State’s entirely online RN-to-BSN program is able to meet the needs of the working nurse, offering flexibility and affordability.

To be considered for admission to the program, an individual must have earned a nursing degree leading to RN licensure and hold a current RN license. Three courses are offered per semester, each in five-week blocks with both full-time and part-time enrollment options. Partnerships have been established with various clinical agencies who are providing clinical placements local to the student’s residence.

Applications for the fall semester are still being accepted. However, only a few full-time spots remain available. If you, or someone you know, may be interested in applying to the program for fall semester, please act quickly. You can find out more at or by calling 701-788-5289.