The South Carolina Nurse Retention Initiative

The South Carolina Nurse Retention Initiative (SCNRI) is dedicated to attracting and retaining top nursing talent in Beaufort and Jasper Counties.

The fund is administered by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry with the sole purpose of awarding recent Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) grads and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) grads up to $12,000 (BSN) and $6,000 (ADN) over two years based on merit, dedication to the nursing profession, financial need, educational mobility and long-term commitment to practice in Beaufort or Jasper Counties – including specific geographic areas where funding has been made available. Applicants who represent the diversity of our community are welcomed.

Nurses are Critical

Nurses are both the heart and the backbone of our healthcare system. They’re often the first faces patients see when they walk into a clinic, the people who doctors rely on most, and the ones who support families through even their toughest moments. Hospitals and health centers wouldn’t be the same without nurses – which is why we’re committed to keeping them in Beaufort and Jasper Counties.

An Aging Population

The aging population in Beaufort/Jasper County is significantly outpacing the rate of local nursing hires over the next decade.

But we’re determined to change that.

The Need

Beaufort and Jasper County are both facing a critical nursing shortage, putting the health and wellness of the Lowcountry at risk.

South Carolina is designated as a Health Professional Shortage area (HPSA), and Beaufort County has one of the most insufficient nurse-to-patient ratios in the state.

According to Dr. Kimberly Dudas, Associate Professor of Nursing at University of South Carolina Beaufort,

“The impact on nurse demand is two-fold: 1. People with chronic health conditions are living longer and need high-quality healthcare services, and 2. The Lowcountry is experiencing rapid population growth and is among the fastest-growing regions in the state.


An Alliance by and for the Lowcountry

We care about the health and wellness of our residents. Creating a broad alliance with those who employ and with those who will benefit from high-quality BSN and ADN healthcare is our ultimate goal.

Not only citizens and nurses will benefit from this initiative. Many other stakeholders have a vested interest in the
program’s success. To ensure success, they must champion our program.

This includes:

• Healthcare Providers
• Hospitals, hospice, and home care centers, private clinics
• Local businesses
• State & Local Government
• Chambers of Commerce
• Economic development corporations
•Nursing schools, such as U of SC Bluffton and the Technical College of the Lowcountry

Why Do We Need Nurses?

Nurses play critical roles in early every facet of our healthcare system, from registered nurses to nurse educators and beyond.

And when the number of nurses declines, so does the ability to provide quality care for each patient. Healthcare costs are also directly affected by a shortage of nurses. Costs rise due to high turnover rates and avoidable errors.

By increasing the number of nurses on staff in local hospitals and employed in primary healthcare, we can ensure that each patient receives the care they need. Access to quality healthcare leads to improved overall healthcare of neighborhood, city, or state, better prevention in injury, disease, and mental illness, faster recovery times for patients, better education, longer lifespans, and more significant reductions in medical errors.

Why Focus on BSNs and ADNs?

All nurses are essential contributors to our wellbeing.

Both ADN and BSN graduates have fundamental nursing competencies and both programs require students to complete the NCLEX-RN Exam in order to practice nursing in a clinical setting.

An ADN degree can typically be earned in 18-24 months while a BSN degree is generally earned in 3-4 years.

Since the curriculum for BSN graduates is broader – they have a greater knowledge of nursing, and readiness for graduate study or advanced practice nursing.

ADNs and BSNs directly impact nearly every aspect of our healthcare system. Our goal is to attract and retain locally employed graduates so that no element of Beaufort and Jasper County’s healthcare system suffers.