Coker University begins nursing program in fall 2022 after state council approval

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The South Carolina Board of Nursing has approved Coker University’s plan to offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

It comes as the healthcare industry has been hit hard by a nationwide nursing shortage.

“We have a lot or very good nursing programs here, but the reality is that South Carolina should be number four in all states for nursing shortages, so these programs, while excellent , cannot meet the demand, “said Dean of Nursing Dr. Carolyn Hart, said.

Hart was hired in January to lead the nursing program at Coker University.

Inside Hart’s office, the walls are filled with sticky notes and notice boards listing the schedules and classes they plan to offer.

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

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

Coker’s curriculum will offer the same content as every other nursing program in the country, but the difference is in how it will be taught.

Hart calls it a hybrid model.

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

“What’s really exciting about Coker is that we can say what nursing education should be like, what the future of the healthcare system looks like and how to prepare people to work in this system,” said Hart.

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

“Caroline Pines Regional Medical Center is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Coker University as they launch the Bachelor of Nursing program. Carolina Pines will serve as a site for clinical placements and hands-on learning for students in the nursing program at Coker. We believe this collaboration will greatly benefit students by gaining the knowledge, skills and education necessary to thrive in nursing. With the shortage of nurses nationwide, we hope this program will allow us to recruit and retain talent locally and employ these nurses upon graduation. 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, ”said Christy Moody, Head Nurse.

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