Nursing at Minot State University

Dr. Steven W. Shirley
President, Minot State University
Published January 18, 2020 in the Minot Daily News

One of the largest and highest profile majors we have at Minot State University is Nursing. It is one of the academic programs about which I receive the most questions and feedback. The nursing field seems to constantly be in the headlines, both across the state and nationally, due to the ongoing shortage of nurses required to fill the huge number of jobs available. And, with an approaching wave of retiring nurses on the horizon coupled with our aging American demographic, the job opportunities for nurses will not be diminishing anytime soon. A recent taskforce convened by Governor Doug Burgum concluded that North Dakota will need nearly 4,000 additional nurses during the next decade, and further concluded the shortage is particularly acute in the most rural regions of our state.

Nursing began at MSU when Lynn Aas and Dr. Richard Larson led a community-wide effort introducing legislation to establish a Minot State Nursing program in 1968. The ND Legislature passed a resolution in 1969 officially authorizing the establishment of nursing education at then-Minot State College. The first class, consisting of 17 graduates, earned their degrees in 1973.

Today, MSU graduates between 55-65 nurses annually, and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program as a four-year course of study where students attend classes and complete coursework on campus, in simulation labs, and through clinical and practicum experiences in a variety of healthcare settings. MSU also offers a BSN Completion Program for students who are already licensed in the nursing field (typically with a two-year degree), but have not completed a bachelor’s degree. The BSN Completion Program is offered in an online format with some additional clinical components.

MSU’s Nursing program is nationally accredited, approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing, and has an exceptionally strong reputation, both in the state and nationally. MSU Nursing graduates regularly pass their NCLEX-RN (the national nursing licensure exam) at rates that are higher than both the North Dakota and national averages. In fact, this past spring, 100% of all MSU nursing graduates passed the exam. Our graduates also regularly enjoy a job placement rate near or right at 100%.

It is also important mentioning a key supporter of MSU’s nursing program, Trinity Health. Trinity is an invaluable partner to our nursing professors and students. In 2011, Trinity and MSU embarked on a “Nursing for the Future” collaboration whereby Trinity agreed to invest $200,000 per year into MSU’s Nursing program for five years. In 2016, Trinity announced it was reaffirming the partnership with a new five-year commitment of $250,000 per year toward MSU’s Nursing program and an additional $100,000 per year to support the Nursing program at Dakota College at Bottineau. Both campuses are incredibly grateful to Trinity Health for its support of strengthening the nursing educational infrastructure within Minot and north-central North Dakota. As a result of this investment, MSU is now graduating nearly 40% more nurses each year as compared to the number of graduates in 2011. This has truly been a “win-win” partnership. We are most appreciative to Trinity for their support, trust, and partnership in creating this wonderful model of success!

MSU is proud of our long and strong tradition in nursing education, and so proud of all our graduates who have dedicated their professional lives to the field of nursing. Nursing impacts every single one of us and our families. The nursing profession is an absolutely critical component of our nation’s healthcare system, and MSU is pleased to play a role in helping ensure the exceptional quality we all expect every time we visit a healthcare provider.

As always.....Go Beavers!