The national nursing shortage creates a critical need in health care. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than a million professional nursing job openings within the next five years. Unfortunately, South Carolina is projected to have one of the worst nursing shortages in the U.S., according to a recent report by RegisteredNursing.org.
Left unaddressed, this projected shortage could have negative and far-reaching impact on patient care in the Palmetto State, including:
- A possible decline in patient care quality
- An increase in nurse fatigue
- Possible increases in medical errors and 30-day morality rates
- Delays in hospital admission due to lack of nursing staff
- Increased health care costs
- Burden of care and care coordination being shifted to families and communities
At MUSC College of Nursing we are taking important steps address the projected nurse workforce shortage – but we cannot do it alone. We need your help.
The cost of a college education is high. For many, it is the only barrier standing between them and a career in nursing. Between 2018 and 2019, 92% of MUSC’s College of Nursing students received financial aid. As students prepare to enter our nursing programs, we must be able to provide them not only with an outstanding nursing education, but also with the financial support they need to attend MUSC and complete their program of study.
Here’s how you can help. We need benefactors to support nursing scholarships so that we can remove cost as a barrier and recruit the top students into the nursing profession.
In addition to financial support, nursing students need opportunities to develop and practice important clinical and cultural competency skills. They do this through clinical practice and research sites both locally and globally. With an increasingly diverse U.S. patient population, providing access to a variety of cultural experiences is important for our students as they learn about addressing the complex and unique needs of rural and underserved patients. Global Initiatives provides nursing students with unique opportunities to interact and provide care to underserved populations from a wide array of cultural backgrounds. Funded in part by the Mary Swain Global Initiatives Endowment and the Falk-Griffin Global Initiative Endowment, we are building these opportunities in places like India and Ghana.
In 2018, more than 64,000 qualified applicants to accredited baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs were turned away due to an insufficient number of nurse educators. According to the latest data by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2018), more than 1,500 faculty positions were unfilled, leading nursing schools to limit enrollment.
In order to address the issues associated with open faculty positions and subsequent effects on student enrollment, we have developed a multi-pronged approach to provide our faculty with the resources needed to be academic leaders, researchers, and educators.
This initiative, the Faculty Excellence Project, is aimed at providing us with additional resources to recruit, develop, and retain the best nursing faculty – those who are the top educators, researchers, and clinicians needed to educate our nurses and prepare them to facilitate advances in education, practice, science, and health policy.
Once we recruit outstanding faculty members, we intend to use the Faculty Excellence Project funds to empower them with the resources and opportunities needed to achieve continual growth as nurses, educators, leaders, and “agents of change” in the profession. As we nurture the number of expert faculty within the MUSC College of Nursing, we will be able to increase the number of students admitted as well as those who graduate from our programs and seek healthcare positions across South Carolina and the Southeastern U.S.
Another strategy is our commitment to raise funds for new endowed chairs positions. Being able to recruit and appoint an endowed chair in a focused area important to nursing is an honor as the position is typically supported by private funding, in an area that the donor often is passionate about.
Because endowed chairs carry such prestige for those who hold them, chairs are invaluable in recruiting and retaining world-class educators and researchers. They also provide a means by which educational progress within a certain field of study may continue and grow in the future since this type of fund is permanent and grows in perpetuity. In that sense, the endowed chair leads to a deeper understanding of the subject matter at hand – a vital growth process for a healthcare institution such as ours.
Are you ready to help us meet the challenges of the nursing shortage that will affect Charleston, South Carolina, and the nation?
Please join us in supporting our students and faculty by giving to an initiative that interests you. Your investment in our students and faculty helps ensure that we effectively educate and retain the best and brightest students.
For a full list of philanthropic opportunities, to include naming opportunities, please contact us.