Charleston Southern University officially began construction on an expansion of its nursing building Friday to meet rising demand for its bachelor’s degree in nursing program. (Photo/Andy Owens)
Published Oct. 23, 2012
With a track hoe surrounded by upturned earth and workers doing site prep among stalks of rebar, Charleston Southern University officially began construction on an expansion of its nursing building Friday to meet rising demand for its bachelor’s degree in nursing program.
“It’s just hard to believe that we’re going to finally get this building. We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years,” said Johnny Ward, a member of the CSU board of trustees before the ground breaking. “It’s happening because of a whole lot of friends coming together.”
President Jairy C. Hunter said the ground breaking for the expanded Derry Patterson Wingo School of Nursing is part of an exciting time at Charleston Southern.
The 16,000-square-foot expansion of CSU’s nursing building will include classrooms, teaching labs, a home health section and offices. (Photos/Andy Owens)
Hunter said the expansion of the nursing school goes beyond the physical structure, and more money will be needed for technology and equipment for the two-story, 16,000-square-foot expansion that includes classrooms, teaching labs, a home health section and offices.
“The future of any good academic program has to be secured with endowments,” he said. “We have a lot of money to raise for this new addition.”
Charleston Southern has an existing partnership with Trident Technical College for associate degree nursing students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at CSU. Trident Tech broke ground on a 90,000-square-foot nursing and science building in June as part of an expansion of its own program to meet rising demand for nursing education.
“Through this expansion, CSU is responding not only to campus needs but also community and national needs in nursing,” said Tara Hulsey, dean of the CSU nursing school.
Hulsey said CSU has seen a consistent increase in enrollment the last four years for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
“We attribute this to our small student-to-faculty ratio, which we will maintain through this expansion, and our consistently high pass rate on the (registered nurse exam). We currently have the highest six-year pass rate — it’s 96% — of all the accredited BSN programs in the state of South Carolina,” she said.
Hulsey said CSU has seen admissions go from 40 a year to 60, which has allowed for an increase in nursing faculty, including adjunct professors who also graduated from the program.
“Regardless of this expansion, we still continue to turn away a large number of qualified applicants,” she said. “Ninety-percent of our BSN graduates stay in the state of South Carolina and practice here, so the benefits of increasing our number of BSN graduates stretches farther than this campus and this community.”
A project manager with M.B. Kahn Construction, which is building the expansion of the nursing facilities along with an expansion of the school’s reception center, said the project should be finished in July.
Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.