McLeod Health Partners in
Nursing Education Programs


McLeod Health representatives present a $75,000 donation to the FMU Nursing Program. Pictured from left to right, Paige Pierce, McLeod Scholarship Coordinator; Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center; Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, Dean of Health Sciences at FMU; Debbie Locklair, McLeod Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; and Darryl Bridges, Vice President for Development at FMU.

Contributions to Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University will help insure nurses for the region.

As a partner in nursing education for the region, McLeod Health has made continuing contributions to two area nursing schools. Support of these valuable educational offerings is again reflected in this year’s $75,000 gift to Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) and Francis Marion University (FMU) to help maintain their nursing programs.

Nursing represents the nation’s largest health care profession and the largest single component of hospital staff. By the year 2030, South Carolina will be one of four states with a nursing shortage of more than 10,000 according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additional nurses will be needed to care for the aging population, who typically have more medical problems, than younger people.

“The need for healthcare services is increasing as the number of aging baby boomers continues to grow,” stated Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center. “As a result, more nurses are needed to educate and care for patients. This is why it is vitally important to McLeod that Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University continue to educate nurses.”

According to Derrick, nurses serve an important role in the delivery of quality health care. “McLeod recognizes the value of the nurses’ contribution in patient care,” said Derrick. “Providing patient advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, participation in shaping health policies and patient education are also key nursing roles. It is a tough job but with competent nurses as part of the medical team, McLeod is capable of carrying out its mission of providing quality health care for patients in the region.”
Because nurses are essential to health care and the region’s economy, this area is very fortunate to have nursing education programs in Florence at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University.

“These two programs are the foundation for McLeod recruitment,” said Debbie Locklair, Chief Human Resources Officer for McLeod Health. “We are fortunate to have the support of these outstanding institutions. We rely on each graduating class for their well-educated qualified candidates.”

Florence-Darlington Technical College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) that allows students to prepare for Registered Nurse (RN) boards in five semesters.
FMU’s Department of Nursing offers a full range of nursing programs including BSN, RN to BSN, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner.

McLeod helps nursing students reach their educational goals through scholarships to the Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University Nursing Programs. Since 2006, McLeod has awarded in excess of $360,000 in scholarship monies to Florence-Darlington Technical College nursing students. Additionally, McLeod has awarded in excess of $1,730,000 in scholarship monies to FMU nursing students since 2006.

Asia Kennedy is a McLeod Nurse who received a McLeod Scholarship. She graduated from Francis Marion University in 2012 and now serves as a Clinical Nurse Manager on the Nephrology Unit.

“The McLeod Scholarship Program gave me the means to be able to go back to school and the inspiration to finish,” said Kennedy. “I have known since I graduated from Florence-Darlington Technical College that I wanted to go back to get my BSN. Thanks to this scholarship, my dreams became a reality.”

“We’re extremely grateful to our partners at McLeod Health,” said Edward Bethea, Interim President of Florence-Darlington Technical College. “I can’t say enough about the professionalism of their people and the willingness to help our nursing students goes above and beyond. We’re very fortunate to have McLeod as our educational partner and employer of our graduates.”

Lauren Dorton, Interim Executive Director of the FDTC Educational Foundation, said, “Since the inception of Nursing programs at FDTC, McLeod Health has been a strong and dedicated partner. By once again making this gift to our current Associate Degree of Nursing program, McLeod shows their continued support of our students and the quality education that they receive here at FDTC.”

Dr. Fred Carter, President of FMU, called McLeod’s latest contribution an important part of a vital and ongoing partnership. “McLeod has been a loyal partner and staunch supporter of FMU, especially in the area of healthcare education,” said Carter. “McLeod’s generous support has made nursing degrees a reality for hundreds of students, and their willingness to share facilities and provide staff for clinical work has been a critical element as we’ve grown our graduate-level programs. This is a substantial partnership and we look forward to seeing it continue in the years ahead.”

“The relationship and financial support of nursing education is imperative to McLeod and our area,” added Derrick. “The region and the state need these nurses. They are the lifeblood in the provision of top quality, competent health care in our community.”