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April 11, 2018

Brittany Ness graduated from Mayville State’s online RN-to-BSN nursing program in May of 2017. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Brittany, who earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing in 2007, had been working as RN for ten years when she decided to pursue the bachelor’s degree.  

Because of her previous coursework, the only class she needed to take outside of the core nursing classes was statistics, leaving her with 31 credits to take through the MSU RN-to-BSN program. She enjoyed the five-week courses, starting the program part-time, but bumping up to full-time after the first semester. 

Brittany found the coursework to be a great addition to the experience and knowledge she had gained while working in local public health. The courses focused on community and population health, evidence-based practice, leadership, importance of collaboration, and communicating effectively and professionally. 

“I wasn’t sure about going back to school,” Brittany said, “but I knew I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree and knew MSU would be a good fit.  When I got back into classes it renewed my interest in learning. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed learning about healthcare, and how we can apply what we learn in our classes to improving the health outcomes in our communities.”

Brittany feels that each faculty member in the MSU RN-to-BSN program is truly dedicated to making sure students are getting the most they can from each class. The resources that were shared were not only helpful for the specific class, but a good resource in the workplace as well. 

Brittany had been working as a public clinical preceptor for Mayville State students prior to enrolling in the program, so she had already met and worked with the faculty and knew the program would be a right fit for her.

“By earning my BSN, I feel I can better precept future students who want to get public health experience because I’ve been in their shoes, and know what most students are hoping to get in the clinical experience. It also allows me to practice with a wider scope of knowledge, which is also beneficial to students who I will precept in the future,” Ness commented. 

Brittany continues to work as administrator and registered nurse for Steele County Public Health, the position where she served prior to enrolling in the MSU RN-to-BSN program. She continues to act as a preceptor for students who need experience in community and public health.

“I love public health and the possibility of transitioning health care from focusing solely on treating illness, to moving care and focus to prevention,” said Brittany. “This program helped me realize my interest in the future of healthcare as well, and helped me decide to pursue a graduate program.”

Ness enrolled in a Master of Healthcare Administration program through Minnesota State University Moorhead in January. She is finding her experiences in Mayville State’s RN-to-BSN nursing program to be very helpful in her current role and she sees these experiences as an opportunity to contribute to meeting the healthcare needs in our rural community in the future. 

"Brittany Ness is a wonderful example of Mayville State's RN-to-BSN online nursing program accomplishing the purposes for which it was established," said Mayville State President Dr. Gary Hagen. "She was able to continue the good work she is doing in our community while furthering her education, and she is helping others to realize the goal of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree."

Mayville State’s RN-to-BSN program is designed to assist current registered nurses in pursuing baccalaureate degrees in nursing while maintaining their current employment and providing support to their families. Because of the nursing shortage in North Dakota and the need to retain nurses in the healthcare setting, healthcare facilities can’t afford to give their employees time off to pursue advanced education. By offering online courses at Mayville State, each in five-week blocks, registered nurses are able to meet their educational goals one to two classes at a time while continuing to contribute to the healthcare workforce.

For more information about Mayville State’s RN-to-BSN online nursing program, go to or contact Shannon Skovlund at 701-788-5289 or