Nursing Programs to Grow Workforce

The Problem:

Nationwide healthcare staffing shortages coupled with an uneven distribution of workers hits rural areas especially hard, leading many of those hospitals to look toward new approaches to recruitment, retention and workforce supply.

The Goal:

Colleton Medical Center is the only hospital in Colleton County, and has had some difficulty maintaining an adequate workforce. Working with community and educational partners, their goal is to increase homegrown recruitment of a healthcare workforce within the county.

Method & Implementation:

Thanks to the assistance and support from Colleton Medical Center, a vibrant four-year nursing program is now available at the University of South Carolina-Salkehatchie. Students in the program also train at the hospital, which provides a natural conduit that can keep the system’s nursing workforce healthy.

The program, which works closely with professors at USC’s flagship campus in Columbia, equipped with a state-of-the-art simulation lab and provides quality education that also allows young people in the community to not travel away to school and encourages settling down roots and starting careers with Colleton Medical.

Challenges & Barriers:

  • Communication and coordinating with community partners
  • Funding new programs 
  • Changing the culture of the community towards careers in healthcare


To learn more about Colleton Medical Center's collaborative efforts in workforce development, a full SCHA story is available here.

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