McLeod Health Partners in Nursing Education Programs


Contribution to Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University
will help provide nurses for the region.

Charity Gerald and Tony Derrick are pictured with President Dr. Fred Carter and Lauren Stanton, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Francis Marion University Nursing Program Endowment.

As a nursing education partner in the region, McLeod Health has continued to contribute to two area nursing schools. Support for these valuable educational offerings is again reflected in this year’s gift of $75,000 to Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) and Francis Marion University (FMU) to help sustain their nursing programs.

Nursing represents the nation’s largest health care profession and the largest single component of the hospital workforce. By 2030, South Carolina will be one of four states with a nursing shortage of more than 10,000, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additional nurses will be needed to care for the aging population, which typically has more medical problems than younger people.

“The need for healthcare services is increasing due to many factors: supply and demand struggles as a result of the COVID pandemic, the national nursing shortage, as well as the growing number of aging baby boomers,” said Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for Regional Medical Center McLeod. “As a result, more nurses are needed to educate and care for patients. That is why it is vitally important to McLeod that Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University continue to educate nurses.”

According to Derrick, nurses play an important role in providing quality health care.

“McLeod recognizes the enormous value of the nurse’s contribution to patient care,” Derrick said. “Providing patient advocacy, promoting a safe environment, participating in shaping health policies and educating patients are also key roles for nurses.”

Because nurses are essential to the health care and economy of the region, this area is very fortunate to have nursing education programs in Florence at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University.

Florence-Darlington Technical College offers an associate degree in nursing (ADN) that allows students to prepare to become registered nurses (RN) in five semesters.

FMU’s Department of Nursing offers a full range of nursing programs, including BSN, RN to BSN, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and Doctor of Nursing Practice.

“FDTC has always been pleased to partner with McLeod,” said Dr. Jermaine Ford, president of Florence-Darlington Technical College. “This generous gift will benefit both students and our community by allowing us to continue to provide a quality education for students pursuing careers in nursing.”

Dr. Fred Carter, FMU president, called McLeod’s latest contribution an important part of a vital and ongoing partnership.

“McLeod is the longest continuous nursing scholarship participant at Francis Marion University,” Carter said. This generous donation is just one aspect of our partnership. McLeod also provides clinical opportunities for our students in the health sciences and most importantly: they employ so many of our graduates. McLeod has been one of our strongest partners in this community, certainly in the 23 years I’ve been here, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

“The relationship and financial support of allied health nursing education is imperative for McLeod and our area,” Derrick added. “With competent nurses as part of the medical team, McLeod is able to fulfill its mission of providing quality health care to patients in the region.”

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