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McLeod Health partners in nursing education programs

on Tuesday, 30 August 2016. Posted in Education, Local News

McLeod Health partners in nursing education programs
SUPPORTS NURSING – FMU nursing student and McLeod employee Eriel Pegram, center, presents a donation from McLeod Health to the FMU Nursing Program. Pictured with her, from left, front row, Tim Hess, McLeod Senior VP of Human Resources & Training; Tavy Smalls, McLeod Healthcare Recruiter; second row: Leah Ploeg, clinical mentor, MRMC; Heather Grier, director of Talent Management, McLeod Health; Liza Mcdowell, magnet coordinator, MRMC third row: Tony Derrick, McLeod Chief Nursing Officer; Dr. Fred Carter, FMU President; and Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, Professor and Chair for the FMU Department of Nursing.

Contributions to Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University will help insure nurses for the region 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 to help maintain their nursing programs.

Nursing represents the nation’s largest health care profession and the largest single component of hospital staff. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2025 the nursing shortage is expected to be more than twice as large as any nurse shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960’s. More nurses will be needed to care for the aging population, who typically have more medical problems, than younger people.

“Nurses tend to stay in the same markets where they received their education,” stated Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center. “Given the great need for registered nurses it is crucial to maximize funding for professional nursing education. This is why it is vitally important to McLeod that Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University continue to educate nurses.”

Recently, McLeod representatives: Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center; Tim Hess, McLeod Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Training; and FDTC Nursing Student and McLeod Employee Bryan Ham, and FMU Nursing Student and McLeod Employee Eriel Pegram presented the gifts and thanked the colleges for their commitment to the future recruitment and retention of skilled medical professionals in the region. According to Derrick, nurses serve an important role in the delivery of quality health care.

“McLeod recognizes the value of the nurses’ 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. “These two programs are the foundation for recruiting for McLeod,” said Tim Hess, Vice President of McLeod Human Resources & Training. “We are fortunate to have the support of two outstanding institutions. Together they are able to offer exceptional nurses from which to recruit.”

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. Bryan Ham is a nursing student at Florence Darlington Technical College. He is on target to graduate in August 2017. Ham is also employed as a patient transporter in McLeod Radiology while he is pursuing his nursing degree.

Ham is a McLeod Scholarship recipient. McLeod helps nursing students reach their educational goals through scholarships to the Florence Darlington Technical College Nursing Program. Since 2006, McLeod has awarded in excess of $320,000 in scholarship monies to Florence Darlington Technical College nursing students. “The McLeod Scholarship is a great support to me since I am unable to work full-time due to my class schedule,” said Ham. “I would encourage anyone interested, to pursue a career in nursing, but realize that it is very challenging.” Eriel Pegram is a nursing student at Francis Marion University.

She is on target to graduate in December 2017. Pegram is employed at McLeod through the Nurse Extern Program with McLeod Share the Care. “For anyone considering a career in nursing, my advice is to remain positive, have a passion for what you do, and have faith in knowing that you will live your dream of being a nursing,” said Pegram. Pegram is also a McLeod Scholarship recipient. Since 2006, McLeod has awarded in excess of $1,405,000 in scholarship monies to FMU nursing students. “We are so grateful for this continuing gift from our friends at McLeod Health,” said Dr. Ben Dillard, President of FDTC.

“Because of the generosity of McLeod, we will be able to continue the very important work of educating the next generation of nurses.” “McLeod Health once again proves it’s one of our college’s most valuable partners,” said Jill Lewis Vice President of institutional advancement. “We look forward to continuing the relationship that has grown over the fifty plus years of our college.” Dr. Fred Carter, president of FMU, said this most recent contribution was simply one more part of a vital and longstanding partnership between the university and McLeod Health.

“McLeod has been with FMU every step of the way as we have enhanced and enlarged our offerings in health care education,” said Carter. “Their ongoing support has made nursing degrees a reality for hundreds of students, and their willingness to open facilities and provide staff for clinical work is a crucial part of our growing programs in graduate-level medical education.

We’re proud of this partnership and look forward to seeing it continue for years to come.” “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 the lifeblood in the provision of top quality, competent health care in our community.”

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