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State budget includes $10 million initiative to address state’s nursing shortage

Last month, the State’s FY22-23 Budget included $10 million in lottery revenue intended to help address a very real impediment to South Carolina’s critical nursing shortage – the nursing faculty and instructor pipeline.  
The big picture: The University of South Carolina College of Nursing, in partnership with other state public institutions collaborated with the Governor in developing this initiative and with legislators to include funding in the final budget.
Why it matters: National and state data identify key factors contributing to the shortage of nurses.

  • Inadequate funds to hire and pay faculty who are preparing our nurses.
  • Nursing faculty can earn more working in healthcare practice than in teaching due to market competition.
  • Doctoral prepared nurses, and nurses with specialty training like advanced practice nurses, nursing informaticists, and nurse scientists can earn substantially more than as faculty. 

 “We are thrilled that Governor McMaster and legislators have partnered with the state’s public colleges of nursing to address South Carolina’s nursing workforce and faculty shortage. This is a great win for South Carolina. These funds are a great step in our journey to tackle this complex challenge and will further expand public nursing programs across the state,” said UofSC College of Nursing Dean Jeannette O. Andrews, PhD, RN, FAAN. 
Details: Half of these funds will be used by nursing colleges to improve pay for clinical nurse faculty in South Carolina’s public colleges, universities and technical colleges.

  • The balance will provide scholarships or tuition reimbursement for graduate-level students in nurse education.
  • DNP or nursing-related PhD candidates who agree to accept a faculty role in an in-state nursing program upon completion of their studies will also qualify.
  • Investments will expand the pipeline of nurses that South Carolina needs in the years to come. 

“We are so grateful to Governor McMaster and state legislators. Nursing is vital to the health care system, so the benefit of this support will be significant in improving health and health care for South Carolina. Our goal is to advance solutions that make a difference. So, it is exciting to anticipate next steps, and the opportunity to collaborate with peers, develop strategies, and leverage the funding to address faculty and nursing workforce shortages.” USC Upstate Mary Black College of Nursing Dean Shirleatha Lee, PhD, RN, CNE. 
The bottom line: Nine new faculty members will join UofSC College of Nursing in fall 2022. This dedicated financial support for current and future faculty recruitment and retention will help mitigate the further reduction in preparing and graduating new nurses to enter the workforce, to function in advanced practice roles and who have specialty training to serve South Carolina citizens across the state, including rural and under serviced areas, and to generate the science to inform practice.

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