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Trinity-MSU partnership increases number of nursing graduates

Date:  November 16th, 2015

Randy Schwan - Trinity Health (701) 857-5635
Alysia Huck - Minot State University (701) 858-3065

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Trinity-MSU partnership increases number of nursing graduates
Trinity Health Board Member Karen Krebsbach, third from left, presented a $200,000 check to MSU President Steven Shirley Monday. The sum is the final payment in a five-year $1 million commitment to MSU to increase the number of nursing graduates. Also shown are Karen Zimmerman, RN, MSN, Trinity Health Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, and Niki Roed, chair of the Department of Nursing at MSU.
(MINOT, ND)— An unqualified success. That’s how Trinity Health and Minot State University officials describe a program aimed at generating more baccalaureate degree nurses for North Dakota’s future.

In 2011, Trinity Health committed $1 million over a five-year period to expand enrollment capacity in MSU’s Department of Nursing and increase opportunities for nurses to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. With the fifth and final payment presented, Trinity and MSU officials are taking stock of the initiative, calling it a clear winner.

“This generous donation, coupled with our own resources, enabled our Department of Nursing to significantly increase the number of nursing graduates,” said Dr. Niki Roed, chair of the Department of Nursing at MSU. “This partnership has helped MSU increase its nursing graduates by roughly 50 percent.”

MSU utilized the $200,000 per year to help fund three full-time positions, including two nursing faculty positions and an administrative assistant to help manage the surge of students.

Trinity Health Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Karen Zimmerman, RN, MSN, said Trinity also benefitted from the investment by ensuring a more robust pool of nursing graduates from which to recruit. “It’s been an honor to partner with Minot State University,” she said. “By working together we’ve set up an effective strategy to meet the demand for nurses in our region and provide students an opportunity to receive their education at MSU, which has an outstanding reputation for graduating caring, proficient nurses.”

The five-year initiative has been just one of the ways Trinity and MSU have collaborated through the years. Trinity Health provides a wide variety of clinical experience for student nurses, a critical component of nursing education. MSU Nursing Faculty collaborate with nursing staff and leaders at Trinity Health to provide excellent learning opportunities and experiences. In addition, Trinity’s own Nursing Scholarship Program for employees affords staff with LPN and associate certificates a chance to pursue their BSN degrees.

“This has been a terrific collaborative effort, and these graduates will be well prepared to lead the next generation of nursing professionals.” said Dr. Steven Shirley, president of Minot State University. “We look forward to further possibilities of partnering with Trinity Health on additional initiatives to benefit our students as well as the health needs of our region.”

A 2010 Institute of Medicine report on the future of nursing recommends that 80 percent of the nurse workforce be educated at the baccalaureate level by 2020.

About Trinity Health
Founded in 1922, Trinity Health was organized as an expression of faith by the immigrants who settled Northwest North Dakota. It quickly grew to become the region’s premier healthcare provider. Today, Trinity Health keeps faith with that tradition of caring and leading-edge technology. As a fully-integrated healthcare system, its network of doctors, hospitals, nursing home, clinics and other services has been recognized for its dedication to patient safety and high quality medical care. More information can be found at

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a regional, public institution located in the northwest region of North Dakota. Committed to high academic standards and professional support for students, the university is dedicated to student success, engaged and life-long learning, advancement of knowledge, effective student service and development of students of character. These commitments are grounded in effective and motivated teaching and learning, scholarship and service. The university values critical and creative thinking, vitality of communities and cultures, stewardship of place and the multicultural and global environment. The university honors and supports the dignity and rights of diverse individuals, freedom of expression, academic freedom, ethical and moral behavior, integrity, fairness and honesty. For more information, visit SPACE index.php