Nurses Benefit From Claflin University and Regional Medical Center Partnership
Aug 11, 2016
Claflin University and the Regional Medical Center (RMC) joined forces on Wednesday to address an impending shortage of health career professionals with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale and RMC President and CEO Thomas Dandridge signed a partnership agreement that will enable registered nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree through the University’s new RN to BSN program.
“This partnership is the result of more than a year of conversations and research,” Tisdale said. “The RN to BSN program will make a significant impact on students in the region who are pursing nursing careers. Claflin and Regional Medical Center have enjoyed a long relationship and partnerships in other projects. But this is really special and will benefit both Claflin and RMC.”
Claflin’s RN to BSN program offers mostly online classes. However, students must attend one Saturday class each month. Students can earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing in 18 months. Only registered nurses (RN) with an associate degree in nursing are eligible to enroll in the program.
“We will offer scholarships and tuition discounts to RMC nurses and other employees who qualify for the program,” said Dr. Shannon B. Smith, director of Claflin’s RN to BSN program. “This will be a great partnership and our goal is to increase the number of similar agreements both in the state and throughout the region.”
Claflin begins the 2016 fall semester on August 22.
“Not many hospitals are as fortunate as we are. In the past, our nurses had to attend colleges outside of the area. Now they attend classes only a few blocks away. It’s a win-win for both institutions,” Dandridge said.
To provide this opportunity for as many registered nurses as possible, Claflin signed a partnership with Orangeburg –Calhoun Technical Community College in June. The partnership provides a pipeline for registered nurses who may want to further their education in the field.
Claflin’s RN to BSN program is vital to the community because it will improve and enhance the skills and academic preparation of nurses in this area. Orangeburg, Calhoun and many other neighboring counties have been identified as being medically underserved areas.
Medical experts are predicting a shortage of quality nurses in these areas in the future due to retirement and career opportunities outside the state of South Carolina. The demand will be great and new job qualifications will require nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Standing – Claflin Provost Dr. Karl Wright, Dr. Verlie Tisdale, Dean, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Claflin); Dr. Cindye Richburg-Cotton, Executive Director for Center for Professional and Continuing Studies (Claflin); Anthony L. Shuler, Jr., Recruiter/Academic Advisor (Claflin); Elizabeth Mahaffey, Director, Online Education (Claflin)
Seated (Left to Right;) Dr. Shannon Smith, Director, RN to BSN Program, Claflin University, Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale; President/CEO Thomas Dandridge, Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties; Mickey Whisenhunt, RMC Interim Chief Nursing Officer