Despite the Lowcountry being one of the country’s fastest-growing economies, Beaufort and Jasper Counties are at the brunt of a nationwide nursing shortage. As the demand for quality healthcare rises, the limited number of nurses available to meet the needs of the community is becoming increasingly evident.
The Magnitude of the Nursing Shortage
According to recent reports, the United States is projected to experience a deficit of over one million registered nurses by 2030. In the Lowcountry, the shortage is particularly acute due to population growth and aging demographics. Despite the high demand for nurses in the region, there are currently over 1,000 RN job openings within a 25-mile radius of Bluffton.
There are over 500 nursing students who graduate from local nursing programs every year, but few remain local. Many nurses decline jobs in the area because salaries for nurses in South Carolina are lower than the national average. For an ADN graduate, the local salary averages at about $68,000 per year while ADN graduates are paid roughly $76,000 per year in Charleston, and $81,000 in Georgia, leaving us at a competitive disadvantage. Those nurses who are willing to work in the Lowcountry are then left with a choice: accept a lower salary and endure a grueling commute every day because they can’t afford to live in the area or leave the home they’ve built here to seek employment elsewhere.
Our Community, Our Responsibility
The average nurse will see between 8,000-10,000 patients per year. As the local nursing shortage grows, imagine how many patients won’t be cared for – including you or your loved ones.
Together, we can give them a reason to stay: a fund that provides them with up to $12,000 (BSN) or $6,000 (ADN) over a 2-year period. The South Carolina Nurse Retention Initiative won’t only help them financially, but it will show our appreciation for their care and dedication, too.
Become a “Friend of the SCNRI” and make an investment in this important initiative to attract and retain nurses here in Beaufort County and Jasper County to help mitigate this growing nursing shortage. Click here to make a donation today, and join us in our mission to keep the Lowcountry healthy for years to come.