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BlueCross' $1.5 Million Nursing Scholarships to Ease Nursing Faculty Shortage
Date:6/18/2008

COLUMBIA, S.C., June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation will grant $1.5 million to establish graduate-level nursing scholarships through the South Carolina Nurses Foundation, Inc. Distributed over three years, the grant will enable financial support for at least 30 nurses who will then become faculty in nursing education programs across the state.

South Carolina is experiencing a serious nursing shortage due to the retirement of a large number of nurses and the inability of state nursing education programs to expand enrollments sufficiently to meet demand. Colleges and universities currently must limit enrollments based on faculty-to-student ratios required by the South Carolina Board of Nursing (8-10 students per faculty member). Faculty are required to hold higher degrees -- a minimum of a master's degree in associate degree programs and a doctoral degree in baccalaureate and graduate programs.

"The rate of new graduate degrees for the preparation of nurses for faculty roles has not kept up with faculty retirements," said Foundation Executive Director Harvey Galloway. "We hope our new scholarship will entice some who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford higher education to pursue a graduate degree and go on to teach others. It's imperative to the health of people in our state to have a sufficient number of working nurses."

The grant will be administered by the South Carolina Nurses Foundation (SCNF), a nonprofit established in 1974 to advance the nursing profession through scholarships, awards and programs of excellence.

"This grant will make a significant impact in meeting prospective faculty requirements in our state," said Renatta S. Loquist, SCNF past president who solicited the grant. "We are grateful to the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for their vision and commitment to the health of the citizens of our great state. We hope to sustain the project beyond t
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SOURCE BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
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