(4/01/10) - As a partner in nursing education for the region, McLeod Health has made continuing contributions to area nursing schools. Support of these valuable educational offerings is again reflected in this year's $100,000 gift to Florence-Darlington Technical College to help maintain and expand its nursing program. This is the seventh consecutive year that McLeod has provided support directly to the nursing program at FDTC.
This is particularly important in offsetting the state and national shortage of nurses. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the nation's nursing shortage is expected to reach 29 percent by the year 2020. The success of area nursing programs, coupled with strong recruiting efforts, will continue to help McLeod and other health care providers in the region improve their vacancy rates considerably.
"Our region needs nurses for hospitals, home health services, hospice care, physician offices, school nursing programs and a variety of other areas of health care," stated Leannne Huminski, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center.
On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, McLeod representatives: Senior Vice President and Administrator of McLeod Regional Medical Center Marie Segars, Chief Nursing Officer Leanne Huminski, and FDTC graduate and registered nurse at McLeod, Kristin O'Neal, presented the gift to Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) officials Dr. Charles Gould, President; Dr. Sharon Davis, Associate Vice President of Health and Sciences; Dean of Nursing Sharon Stafford; and Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Development Jill Heiden, thanking the college for its commitment to the future recruitment and retention of skilled medical professionals in the region.
According to Huminksi, nurses serve an important role in the delivery of quality health care. "McLeod recognizes the value of the nurses' contribution. Physicians place patients in the hospital because their condition requires acute observation and assessments, which a nurse is trained to do. Without competent nurses, McLeod would be incapable of carrying out its mission of providing quality health care for patients in the region."
Because nurses are so vital to health care and the region's economy, the Pee Dee is very fortunate to have nursing education programs in Florence at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University. McLeod Health provides funds in support of both.
"These two programs are the cornerstones for McLeod's recruiting," said Tim Hess, Associate Vice President of McLeod Human Resources. "We are fortunate to have a continuous supply of exceptional nurses graduating locally from which to recruit."
Huminski stated, "These nursing programs are also vital to McLeod as the medical center continues to grow and expand to meet the needs of the region's patients as well as offer enhanced services which will require additional staffing and nurses."
Florence-Darlington Technical College offers an associate degree in nursing (ADN) that allows students to prepare for Registered Nurse (RN) boards in five semesters. "We are extremely grateful to McLeod Health for their generous donation to Florence-Darlington Technical College's nursing program. In light of the severe state budget cuts that the college has received in the last three years, McLeod has once again recognized that its assistance will help sustain a program that contributes to the high level of quality health care that McLeod is known for," said Dr. Gould.
"The relationship and financial support of nursing education is vital to McLeod and the Pee Dee," added Huminski. "The region and the state need these nurses. They are the lifeblood in the provision of top quality, competent health care in our community."