A nursing student practices on a mannekin while a professor observes.

Columbia, Upstate campuses to receive Prisma Health funding for nursing programs

The University of South Carolina’s Columbia and Upstate campuses are recipients of an investment in scholarships by Prisma Health to help counter the state’s critical nursing shortage.

Prisma’s pilot nursing recruitment program will provide $5 million for scholarships at five South Carolina colleges and universities, as well as additional advisor positions, educational and student-success resources, collaborative approaches that partner employers and educators, and expansion of the hiring pipeline from the schools to Prisma Health hospitals. The program will support student learning, enhance the student experience, and prepare students for the workforce. And the opportunity to win scholarships will relieve some monetary strain from students.

“UofSC College of Nursing is preparing and graduating new nurses to enter the workforce who are well-prepared to meet South Carolina's health care needs,” College of Nursing Dean Jeanette Andrews says. “We thank Prisma Healthcare for their commitment to provide our students with opportunities during their training and after graduation.”

Nursing student Charlotte Burns says scholarships can have a life-changing impact. “Scholarships have helped me feel more connected into the college, they have relieved stress about financial burdens, and have allowed me to refine my resourcefulness and responsibility in my college years,” Burns says. “These scholarships have opened so many doors for me relating to my academic and extracurricular success, and I look forward to continuing to pursue more scholarships and opportunities in my future semesters at the University of South Carolina.”

The College of Nursing in Columbia has nationally ranked programs, and investments like Prisma’s Health Nursing Scholars program can further bolster UofSC leadership in nursing and the health sciences by building and maintaining relationships that will ultimately improve health care for people in the Palmetto State.

UofSC nursing students are in the top 1% in the nation for their pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examinations for Registered Nurses, and the school has a 100% board pass rate for family nurse practitioners and adult gerontological acute care nurse practitioners. The College of Nursing has the nation’s best graduate nursing online program overall and also ranks No. 1 for veterans, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report. Since 2015, the college has increased prelicensure nursing student enrollment by 33%.

Scholarships have helped me feel more connected into the college, they have relieved stress about financial burdens, and have allowed me to refine my resourcefulness and responsibility in my college years.

Charlotte Burns, nursing student 

This new program comes at a much-needed time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina can expect a 24% nursing staff shortage over the next few years. According to the federal Bureau of Health Workforce, the state has the lowest nurse-to-population ratio in the United States — 7.89 nurses per 1,000 people, compared with a national average of 12.06.

The Prisma Health Nursing Scholars program should impact more than 200 students statewide. UofSC Upstate’s program, which includes 24 students, launched last month. The UofSC program will launch in January 2023. Both schools will collaborate with Prisma Health on fundraising to further support the program.

Clemson University, Greenville Technical College, and Midlands Technical College are the other three institutions partnering with Prisma for the pilot program.

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