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Belmont University’s Masters of Science in Nursing Graduates Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate

For the 11th year, graduates pass certification exam on first attempt

IMG_0529 (2)Since 2004, all graduates of Belmont’s Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), totaling 150 students, have passed the nursing certification exam on their first attempt. The most recent class of 28 graduates passed the exam this spring.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences Cathy Taylor said, “This is marvelous recognition for our outstanding students and a testimonial to the passionate dedication of an expert graduate nursing faculty team led by Dr. Leslie Higgins. We are so proud of this remarkable accomplishment.”

The School of Nursing began offering its MSN degree 20 years ago and with the creation of the Doctorate of Nursing, the graduate programs have grown to a record enrollment of 87 students in the fall of 2014. Prepared to practice in a variety of settings, FNPs provide primary health care to families and individuals of all ages. Graduates from Belmont’s program have gone on to practice in pediatrics, genetics, family practice and public health, among others.


Belmont Raises $75K During Bruins4Bruins, Far Exceeding Initial Goal

Bruins4BruinsBelmont recently launched Bruins4Bruins, its first philanthropic social media campaign, created to raise $50,000 for the University’s Annual Fund in one week, March 8 – 14. Designed to engage with donors in a new and unique way, Bruins4Bruins utilized a variety of digital tools to spark conversation among a group of donors that, for many, were being engaged for the first time.

Focusing on daily e-mails, frequent social media updates, videos from a variety of Belmont community members and digital campaign endorsements, Bruins4Bruins’s primary goal was fundraising, but Director of Annual Giving Luisa Wilsman said the campaign was equally focused on philanthropic education for first time donors. “I am delighted that we were able to raise above and beyond the $50,000 goal set for ourselves, but I am even more delighted that we were able to educate so many people on the importance of financially supporting organizations you value and making lasting contributions that will have a real impact on people to come,” Wilsman said.

With Monday’s most recent tabulation, more than $75,000 was raised in just a week’s time, far surpassing the goal of the campaign and the hopes of its leaders. Wilsman said the team knew they’d reach the goal, but were amazed at the reaction of their audience, donors and friends of the University. “The feedback that we received was tremendous,” Wilsman said. “Donors were excited to be engaged in a new way and loved hearing stories from members of the Belmont community on how Annual Fund dollars have directly impacted them and the student experience.”


Belmont Launches Online Parent Community

parents.jpgContinuing the momentum started with the Parent and Family Weekend held Sept. 28-29, the Student Affairs office recently launched an online site designed for Belmont parents. The Belmont Parents Online Community is an interactive community intended to connect parents regionally, socially and professionally. With groups for every state and most major cities, parents will have the opportunity to interact through group specific event postings, message boards and emails. Furthermore, the online community provides resources to post upcoming university events, Belmont news, athletic events and other pertinent communications. The online community will serve as the foundation for the new Belmont Parent Association to be launched June 1, 2008. For additional information or to sign-up, visit or e-mail

Belmont Students On Missions Blog Their Experiences

nursing-team.jpgPictured at right: The Belmont nursing team in the Nashville International Airport before departing for Cambodia
Three groups of Belmont University students traveling abroad are using blogs (online journals) to keep daily accounts of their experiences:
The Rio Journal 2007
Belmont’s volleyball team is competing internationally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will be working with local missionaries and congregations in ministry. Betty Wiseman, senior women’s administrator in the athletics department, is leading the group along with head volleyball coach Dean Webb and assistant volleyball coach Tony Howell.
Mission to Cambodia
Six students from the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing are serving in Cambodia working with local clinics, hospitals and other health professionals. Dr. Sharon Dowdy, assistant professor of nursing, is leading the nursing team.
South Africa Studies Abroad
Twenty students are studying and serving in South Africa and Botswana. Students will be taking classes on social entrepreneurship, writing and religion as they serve others. Students will work with local organizations involved in AIDS prevention and education in Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana. Dr. Darrell Gwaltney, dean of the School of Religion, leads this team.

Belmont Students Create Fair Trade Coffee Brand to Benefit Farmers, Local Hispanic Community

coffee.jpgBelmont University students on the Belmont Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team hosted an event at Nashville coffee shop Bongo Java Thursday, May 3, to announce and unveil a fair trade coffee brand the students developed to be served at Belmont with plans to extend distribution to other local businesses. The Belmont SIFE team partnered with Sodexho and Conexion Americas to create the new, organic, private fair trade coffee.
As a project to fulfill the entrepreneurship requirement of the SIFE team’s yearly objectives, Belmont students JonEric Pettersson, Renee Reyle, Victoria Aleksina, Janice Dotti and Lauren Winfield developed every aspect of the fair trade coffee, from working with the farmer to marketing and labeling the new brand, RumbaRoast. The students created the coffee to fund entrepreneurial and financial literacy programs, to teach Hispanic adults how to develop and sustain new businesses and to financially support the fair trade coffee growers of Central America.
“Our mission is to connect people with people one cup at a time across the table and around the globe,” JonEric Pettersson, a Belmont student involved with the RumbaRoast Coffee project, said. “Buying RumbaRoast fairly traded and organic coffee is caring for the families of farmers in Latin America, the support of local business and the highest quality in coffee we can share. The ultimate goal of RumbaRoast Coffee is to create a social and entrepreneurial means for the community to invest in itself and those we are connected to around the world. ”
Bob Bernstein, owner of local coffee shops Bongo Java and Fido, was instrumental in the creation of RumbaRoast Coffee. As a member of a consortium of privately-owned coffee houses, Bernstein was able to negotiate reduced prices for Belmont SIFE in importing fair trade coffee beans from Latin America. He was also able to match Belmont SIFE with a locally owned roaster to produce RumbaRoast at a lower price than the students would have paid independently.
The students adopted a three-phase approach in implementing their business plan for RumbaRoast coffee:
1. Belmont SIFE will launch and manage the new venture.
2. Belmont SIFE will develop a strategic plan for capturing commercial accounts and use the business as a platform to teach local Hispanic entrepreneurs.
3. Belmont SIFE will choose two – four entrepreneurs from the Hispanic community to take full control of the business, while continuously providing business-consulting services.
To date, the SIFE team has developed the coffee blend, bag labels and a marketing campaign and has sold over 200 pounds of coffee. RumbaRoast is estimated to gross $50,000 in the first year of operation. Belmont SIFE will allocate 80 percent of the profits made off of the fair trade coffee to the development of projects within the local Hispanic community and 20 percent back into the SIFE program.
One of the biggest developments in recent years in the coffee industry has been the rise of fair trade coffee. “Fair trade” refers to a rising political and economic movement that is designed to create an equitable and fair partnership between coffee buying and coffee producers in major coffee growing regions. Fair trade coffee is designed to assist poor coffee farmers that often produce high quality gourmet coffee in organic conditions.
To purchase RumbaRoast Coffee and learn more about Belmont SIFE, click here.
Click here to watch a short video of Belmont student JonEric Pettersson discussing RumbaRoast coffee.
Click here to watch a short video of Dr. Pat Raines, dean of the College of Business Administration, discussing the mission of Belmont SIFE.
Click here to watch a short video of Dr. John Gonas, faculty adviser of Belmont SIFE, discussing the nonprofit organizations that Belmont SIFE has worked with over the past two years.

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