The South Carolina Nurse Retention Scholarship

The South Carolina Nurse Retention Scholarship (SCNRS)
is dedicated to retaining top nursing talent in Beaufort County.

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 up to $24,000 over four years based on merit, dedication to the nursing profession, and financial need. Recipients of the scholarship must be employed in primary medical care in Beaufort County.

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 County.

An Aging Population

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

But we’re determined to change that.

The Need

Beaufort County is 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 Beaufort County residents. Creating a broad alliance with those who employ and with those who will benefit from high-quality BSN 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

•Beaufort County Council, Beaufort County Regional Chamber

• Economic development corporations

•Nursing schools, such as U of SC Bluffton

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?

BSN nurses enjoy career advancement, a greater knowledge of nursing, and readiness for graduate study or advanced practice nursing.
Nurses holding a BSN can provide higher-quality patient care and qualify for positions with more responsibility and leadership. BSN degrees open doors, including working with the fastest-growing category of patients: aging adults with complex, chronic health conditions. All nurses are essential contributors to our wellbeing. However, BSN graduates have the unique ability to specialize in a wide range of nursing professions, including:

• Clinical Nurse Specialist

• Nurse Manager

• Nurse Educator, Clinical Research Nurse

• Public Health Nurse

• Quality Assurance/Improvement Coordinator

• Case Management Nurse

Because of the range of professional opportunities, BSNS directly impact nearly every aspect of our healthcare system. Our goal is to retain locally employed BSN graduates so that no element of Beaufort County’s healthcare system suffers.