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American Indian Endowed Chair

The Bemidji State University (BSU) Department of Nursing is seeking $1.5 million to create an endowed chair (permanent full-time position) for an American Indian nursing faculty member. This faculty member will focus on recruitment and retention of American Indian nursing students as well as teaching and conducting culturally specific research. The Department of Nursing provides a nationally accredited nursing program designed for registered nurses to obtain their Bachelor of Science degree, as well as a four-year Baccalaureate program for on-campus nursing students. 


American Indians comprise less than 1% of the nursing student population in Minnesota. Presently, American Indians represent approximately 3% of our BSU nursing student population and 0% of our faculty. Bemidji State University is centrally located among three large Indian reservations (Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth). Due to the large number of American Indian people in our region, a deep respect for and understanding of Native culture and the recruitment/retention of American Indian nursing students are essential to the health care of the people in this region. The National Advisory Council reports, "Minority faculty are pivotal in attracting and nurturing future minority nurses to practice in their communities."


  • Increase American Indian nursing student enrollment and retention. 
  • Develop curricular materials to increase knowledge and skills in culturally competent care of American Indians. 
  • Prepare American Indian professional nurses for the region who will provide culturally competent care and serve as role models for other students. 
  • An American Indian faculty member will serve as a role-model to American Indian nursing students. 
  • Educate baccalaureate-prepared American Indian nurses who are then eligible to go on to graduate school to become advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and faculty members, etc.). 

Responsibilities of the Endowed Chair Faculty Member:

  • Teach in the nursing program in areas appropriate to her/his expertise and education.
  • Develop curriculum to increase culturally competent care of American Indians. 
  • Recruit, retain, and mentor American Indian nursing students to the profession of nursing and our program. 
  • Collaborate with area Tribal Colleges. o Develop stronger ties with American Indian communities and health facilities and conduct relevant research. 
  • Prepare nurses who are eligible for Public Health Nurse Certification, which is especially important considering the rural, community-based, health care delivery systems for reservation communities. 

Relationship to the Department of Nursing: 

This person will have an office in the Department of Nursing and will be a full-time faculty member. Recognition in the Department of Nursing, the College of Social and Natural Sciences, and the University will occur. A plaque on the door will include acknowledgment of the sponsoring foundation(s) and the endowed chair status. Financial Plan: Interest from the $1.5 M endowment will provide an annual source of income to the University to be used to fund the position permanently. The endowment allows for flexibility in work assignment so that research, student recruiting and retention, and Tribal Community involvement is possible (instead of the required 24 credit teaching load). The endowment will be established within the BSU Foundation.


For More Information

To learn more about naming opportunities at the University, please contact:

Joe Czapiewski
Director of Development
College of Social and Natural Sciences