Preparing the Next Generation of Nurses

This week, which is National Nurses Week, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Essentia Health announced an exciting partnership to prepare the next generation of nurses. The partnership creates the Essentia Health Center for Nursing on the MSUM campus, where the first cohort of a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was launched last fall.

The BS in Nursing complements MSUM’s existing Master of Science in Nursing program and RN to BSN program (which prepares registered nurses who do not have bachelor’s degrees) while building on the University’s 45-year history of delivering high-quality nursing education to our region. An accelerated program in which students are enrolled year-round for six semesters, the new program will graduate its first cohort in the summer of 2022.

Already, the partnership is achieving extraordinary outcomes. Nearly 97% of students in the first cohort have been retained in the program—well above the national average. And, even during the pandemic, students have completed more than 3,000 collective clinical hours at Essentia Health during the past year. In addition to providing clinical placements and faculty, Essentia has donated beds, supplies, and equipment to furnish the newly constructed learning lab on the MSUM campus. The lab also includes state-of-the-art simulation mannequins and technology.

The partnership demonstrates the power of collaboration to address Fargo-Moorhead’s talent and workforce needs. By sharing resources, MSUM and Essentia are tackling together the primary contributors to the national nursing shortage: a scarcity of clinical faculty and clinical sites, inadequate classroom space and technology, and limited financial resources.

MSUM is proud to join with Essentia Health to address one of the greatest challenges facing our region. Together, we will accomplish what neither of us can do alone: ensure a strong pipeline of well-prepared nurses to care for our community.

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