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McLeod Partners in Nursing Education Programs

FLORENCE, SC (August 9, 2019) – As a partner in nursing education for the region, McLeod Health has made continuing contributions to two area nursing schools. Support of these valuable educational offerings is again reflected in this year’s $75,000 gift to Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) and Francis Marion University (FMU) to help maintain their nursing programs.

Nursing represents the nation's largest health care profession and the largest single component of hospital staff. By the year 2030, South Carolina will be one of four states with a nursing shortage of more than 10,000 according to an analysis by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Additional nurses will be needed to care for the aging population, who typically have more medical problems than younger people.

“The need for healthcare services is increasing as the number of aging baby boomers continues to grow," stated Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center. "As a result, more nurses are needed to educate and care for patients. This is why it is vitally important to McLeod that Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University continue to educate nurses."

According to Derrick, nurses serve an important role in the delivery of quality health care.  “McLeod recognizes the value of the nurse’s contribution in patient care," said Derrick. "Providing patient advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, participation in shaping health policies and patient education are also key nursing roles. It is a tough job but with competent nurses as part of the medical team, McLeod is capable of carrying out its mission of providing quality health care for patients in the region.”

Because nurses are essential to health care and the region’s economy, this area is very fortunate to have nursing education programs in Florence at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University.

“We are fortunate to have the support of these two outstanding institutions,” said Debbie Locklair, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “We rely on each graduating class for their well-educated, qualified candidates.”

Florence-Darlington Technical College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) that allows students to prepare for Registered Nurse (RN) boards in five semesters.

FMU's Department of Nursing offers a full range of nursing programs including BSN, RN to BSN, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner.

"FDTC has always been proud and pleased to partner with McLeod,” said Edward Bethea, Interim President of Florence-Darlington Technical College. "This generous gift is a great help to students and the community.

Dr. Fred Carter, president of FMU, called McLeod’s latest contribution an important part of a vital and ongoing partnership.

“McLeod is one of FMU’s staunchest supporters, especially in the area of healthcare education,” said Carter. "McLeod’s generous and ongoing support has made nursing degrees a reality for hundreds of students. Their willingness to share facilities and provide staff for clinical work has been a critical element in the growth of our graduate-level programs in the health sciences, and McLeod is, of course, the professional home for so many of our graduates. This is a mutually beneficial partnership that will only grow in the years ahead.”

"The relationship and financial support of nursing education is imperative to McLeod and our area," added Derrick. “The region and the state need these nurses. They are a vital component in the provision of top quality, competent health care in our community.”

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