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New programs feed grads into health fields

Three medical-related fields at the University of South Carolina are graduating their first classes this spring.

Twenty-four nursing students from USC’s Salkehatchie and Lancaster campuses are the first graduates of a program that allows students there to earn BSN degrees from the College of Nursing without traveling to Columbia for most of their classes or clinical training.

Salkehatchie and Lancaster faculty teach the first two years of nursing prerequisites, including anatomy, physiology and microbiology. USC Columbia nursing faculty teach the upper division nursing courses through distance education technology. Fourteen students from Salkehatchie and 10 from Lancaster received their nursing degrees through the program.

“This is a multi-dimensional public/private effort aimed at putting more people to work in health care,” said Ann Carmichael, dean of USC Salkehatchie. “It addresses the rural nursing shortage, puts people to work in higher-paying jobs, and offers opportunities for students who can’t leave their communities because of personal obligations.”

USC is also graduating its first class in biomedical engineering, with 10 students earning bachelor’s degrees. The program has 143 undergraduate students in the program, with 105 new students expected to arrive in the fall, and is the only Biomedical engineering program in the state.

“The biomedical engineering degree programs represent Carolina’s commitment to a true synthesis of biology, medicine and engineering,” said program director Abdel Bayoumi.

The program was designed and developed “to train students to initiate, to integrate, to imagine and to invent new processes and new products in order to improve human health,” said Bayoumi, who is also a mechanical engineering professor.

The South Carolina College of Pharmacy graduates 183 students in the first class of the integrated University of South Carolina and Medical University of South Carolina pharmacy school. The two schools joined in 2004, bringing together the resources of a major academic medical center and a large comprehensive university. The idea was to leverage the resources of the two colleges of pharmacy to create a college on par with the best in the country. Classes are held at both the Charleston and Columbia campuses.

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New programs boost health

  • Nursing: Students at Salkehatchie and Lancaster earn BSN degrees without having to travel to Columbia
  • Biomedical engineering: Undergraduate degree a synthesisy of biology, medicine and engineering
  • Pharmacy: Joint program with MUSC graduates 183 students in first class

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