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College of Nursing

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About the College

More than 11,000 nurses have graduated from the College of Nursing since it became the state’s first nationally accredited baccalaureate nursing program in 1957. Our graduates, now located across the globe, have helped improve the accessibility and quality of health care throughout South Carolina, the US and around the world.

We provide undergraduate and graduate nursing programs of excellence to shape the future of nursing’s workforce. Our undergraduate program produces the largest number of BSN graduates in the state, have excellent NCLEX pass rates and high employability. Our  Masters, Certificate of Graduate Studies and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are offered online to allow additional flexibility for the working nurse. Both of these programs utilize our state-of-the-art simulation lab facilitated by national leaders in the field to enhance learning experiences, promote patient safety and facilitate student competencies in the clinical arena. In 2017, we launched the first Nursing Honors program (a.k.a. Smart Start Honors College) in South Carolina.  Our students have additional unique opportunities to include graduation with leadership distinction, research fellowships and distinguished summer externships.  With support from alumni, donors and sponsors we provided approximately $1.2 million in scholarships/fellowships for students in 2019-2021.

The College has active student groups, including the Student Nurses Association, Men in Nursing, Chi Eta Phi, Sigma Theta Tau International and Black Nurses Association. The Dean has an established undergraduate and graduate student advisory board to promote reciprocal communication among students and the College’s leadership. With a growing student population, our faculty size has grown to 145 full and part time faculty who engage our student learners in our education, practice and policy arenas.  All of our full time faculty are doctoral prepared or enrolled in a doctoral program.

Our research strengths are robust and are enhanced by two research centers—Cancer Survivorship Center and Advancing Chronic Care Outcomes Through Research and Innovation. Our PhD in nursing science program offers full and partial fellowships to qualified students who have career goals as nurse scientists. In the past five years, our researchers have generated over $17 million in new grant funding to address local and regional health needs and training opportunities. The College’s National Institute of Health’s rankings continue to rise very rapidly, from #60 in 2014 to the top #30s in the past three years. 

We extend our reach globally and facilitate exchange opportunities for students and groups from various countries, including Germany, Holland, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  In the past year, 101 students and faculty travelled to 20 countries through our study abroad programs. Besides study abroad, our faculty have research and education-based partnerships in multiple countries to expand and exchange nursing knowledge and new discoveries.

The Center for Nursing Leadership provides research and policy support for statewide stakeholders.  The Center conducts and reports nursing workforce research data for the state, both for the supply and demand perspectives. The Center manages the illustrious Cockcroft Leadership program, which is a year-long training for nursing leaders in practice, academia and public health.  The Center also provides expertise with “big data” and is currently building a statewide consortium to improve hospital readmission rates in systems across the region.

The college has an active faculty practice plan, in which our faculty participate in nursing practice innovations in various settings around the state. These experienced faculty lead our master’s and doctorate nurse practitioner programs, which received a #1 ranking by US News & World Report in 2021, and has been in the top 10 for the past five years.

The College of Nursing is enhanced by our partners, including the College of Nursing Executive Advisory Council, regional hospital and healthcare systems, our five UofSC Health Sciences Colleges (Public Health, Social Work, Pharmacy, College of Medicine-USC, College of Medicine – Greenville), other campus colleges (i.e., Engineering, Business, Arts & Sciences), alumni, and friends.  We invite you to come and visit us to experience the great momentum at the University of South Carolina, and especially at the College of Nursing.


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