CSU dedicates new College of Nursing building
Student nurses and area medical professionals joined in Friday, Oct. 11 as Charleston Southern University dedicated the 16,100-square-foot expansion to the nursing building, designed to accommodate the growth of the College of Nursing and Allied Health.
The Charleston Southern bachelor of science in nursing program has a 95 percent seven-year average pass rate on the national exam required to receive a license to practice (NCLEX). Charleston Southern has the highest seven-year pass rate of all accredited BSN programs in the state of South Carolina.
“Roper St. Francis has long enjoyed a beneficial relationship with CSU,” said Pennie Peralta, vice president of nursing and senior nurse executive for Bon Secours St. Francis. Roper St. Francis is the largest employer of CSU nursing graduates.
Todd Gallati, president and CEO of Trident Health System, praised the values that Charleston Southern nurses bring to their patients in addition to their competency in nursing. “I had a sneak peek in the skills lab Trident Health System sponsored, and I would be a little intimidated if I was a student in there. But it’s the kind of pressure students need to have to enter the workforce.”
May graduate Stephanie Daniels is a nurse in surgical intensive care at Roper Hospital. She said, “I learned from some amazing professors and had a strong foundation for my nursing career.”
The CSU nursing program is tripling enrollment by 2014 in response to a nationwide nursing shortage and a national call for 80 percent of the nation’s nurses to have a minimum of a bachelor of science in nursing by 2020. Only 30 percent of nurses in South Carolina currently hold a BSN.
“BSN prepared nurses possess greater knowledge of health promotion, disease prevention and risk reduction as well as illness and disease management and are prepared to assist individual groups and communities to prevent disease and achieve optimum levels of wellness," said Dr. Tara Hulsey, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health. "A BSN degree is necessary for professional certification in specialty areas of nursing practice and leads to an expanded role as a provider, designer, manager and coordinator of patient care. It also provides the foundation for graduate and doctoral education.”
The CSU nursing program provides a seamless program with Trident Technical College to educate ADN nurses at the BSN level. Muriel Horton, dean of nursing at Trident, said, “We are delighted that the graduates of our associate degree nursing program have a local barrier-free option for completing their BSNs. Thanks to Dr. Hulsey’s visionary leadership and her commitment to educating nurses, students who may not have otherwise obtained a BSN now have that opportunity.” CSU also offers a master of science in nursing program with a nurse educator track. “This has already proved to be a major benefit for us as we have had the privilege of hiring several of CSU’s graduates,” said Horton.
Tanya Lott, a 1999 CSU BSN alum, is the coordinator of Roper St. Francis’s magnet program. Only six percent of U.S. hospitals have achieved magnet status. Lott said, “CSU provided me with the education, nurturing and leadership development I needed to begin a career in nursing that has been filled with so many wonderful opportunities. I am so thankful that my nursing roots were formed here. The growth of the program means that there will be more CSU graduate nurses available to deliver exceptional care to the people of the Lowcountry and beyond.”
A touching end to the program was a Blessing of the Hands ceremony performed by the Baptist Nursing Fellowship, a Christian professional fellowship for nurses, healthcare professionals and nursing students. Sophomore nursing students, affectionately called “newbies,” participated in a litany of affirmation led by Becka Moore, BNF executive director for South Carolina. BNF members symbolically washed the student nurses’ hands and spoke a prayer over them.
The Charleston Southern nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the largest and oldest accrediting agency for nursing, and is a member of the National League for Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
A Blessing of the Hands
Blessed be these hands that have touched life.
Blessed be these hands that have felt pain.
Blessed be these hands that have embraced with compassion.
Blessed be these hands that have drawn blood and administered medicine.
Blessed be these hands that have cleaned beds and disposed of wastes.
Blessed be these hands that have comforted the dying and held the dead.
Blessed be these hands we hold the future in these hands.
Blessed be these hands for they are the work of Your hands, O Holy One. Amen
-- Baptist Nursing Fellowship