Coker University begins nursing program fall 2022 after approval from state board

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Board of Nursing approved Coker University’s plan to offer a bachelor of nursing degree.

This comes as the healthcare industry has been hit hard with a nationwide nursing shortage.

“We do have a lot or really good nursing programs here, but the reality is South Carolina is set to be number four in all state in terms of a nursing shortage, so those programs while excellent cannot meet up with the demand,” Dean of Nursing Dr. Carolyn Hart said.

Hart was hired in January to spearhead Coker University’s nursing program.

Inside Hart’s office, the walls are full of sticky notes and poster boards listing timelines and classes they plan to offer.

The university’s program will be available to first and second year students beginning next fall.

“Our hospital systems are really asking for more nurses, so we are responding to employer requests for nursing programs,” Hart said.

Coker’s program will provide the same content as every other nursing program in the country, but the difference is the way it’ll be taught.

Hart calls it a hybrid model.

She said students will study the lecture material online at their own pace, while case studies and hands on training will be conducted inside the classroom.

“That’s the really exciting thing about being at Coker is we get to say what should nursing education be, what does the future of the healthcare system look like and how do we prepare people to work in that system,” Hart said.

Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville released a statement in response to the approval Coker’s nursing program.

“Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center is excited for the opportunity to partner with Coker University as they launch the Bachelor of Science Nursing program. Carolina Pines will serve as a site for clinical rotations and hands-on learning for students in the nursing program at Coker. We believe this collaboration will benefit the students tremendously by gaining the knowledge, skills and education to thrive in the nursing field. With the shortage of nurses nationwide, we hope this program will allow us to recruit and retain talent locally and employ these nurses upon completion of their degree. This educational offering is an extremely beneficial opportunity for Hartsville and Carolina Pines and we look forward to seeing this program grow and flourish in the years to come,” Chief Nursing Officer Christy Moody said.

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