MSU’s Department of Nursing honors Sister Mabel Meng
Since the establishment of Minot State University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 1969, the program has had more than 1,200 graduates. Sister Mabel Meng, who was a moving force in the creation of the B.S.N. degree at MSU and the first director of its nursing program, was recognized April 17 by having the Department of Nursing’s conference room named after her. She was at the dedication ceremony.
Sister Meng, a member of the religious community of Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, initially came to Minot in 1955 as a dietician at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Members of her religious community saw that a need for a nurse educator existed and asked her to obtain a nursing degree. She received her nursing diploma in 1960 and later obtained her B.S.N. from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisc., and a master’s degree in nursing education from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Upon her return to Minot, Sister Meng became director of Sisters of St. Francis School of Nursing in 1962. She was asked to serve on the North Dakota Joint Committee on Nursing Needs and Resources Study. This group recommended a B.S.N. program in the northwestern quadrant of the state. Sister Meng, along with Dr. Richard Larson of Velva, Rolland Redlin and other local legislators, lobbied for a B.S.N. program at Minot State University. They were unsuccessful in 1967, but the MSU program was approved in April of 1969. Gordon B. Olson, president of Minot State, asked Sister Meng to be the university’s first director of nursing, and she continued in that role until 1975.
Sister Meng, who recently fully retired from active teaching in nursing, resides in Alliance, Neb. She continues to be active in her religious community.