Last week, Donna Waites and Meredith Mathews had the pleasure of going on a virtual tour of the USC Salkehatchie Nursing Sim Lab.  The tour was led by USC Salkehatchie Nursing Academic Program Manager April Cone and joined by USC Salkehatchie Dean Dr. Chris Nesmith, Palmetto College Senior Director of Development Chris DeWolf, and Director of Development-Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy Chris Segars.

In the Foundation’s Spring 2020 Grant Cycle, USC Salkehatchie received a Breaking the Cycle grant to support the purchase of new training equipment needed for its high-fidelity clinical nursing simulation lab as it expands to serve a larger nursing student cohort, growing from 16 to as many as 24 graduates each academic year. USC Salkehatchie’s Clinical Simulation Lab (CSL) enables access to high-quality, clinical training for students enrolled in the USC Salkehatchie BSN program.

Recognizing that South Carolina ranks fourth among all states in its expected nursing shortfall requiring as many as 10,000 additional nurses over the next 11 years, USC aims to address this crisis by investing in the education and health of South Carolinians through their BSN Nursing programs.  Research indicates a positive correlation between BSN-trained nurses and a decrease in medication errors, more positive patient outcomes, and lower patient mortality rates. It is also associated with a shorter length of stay, which can result in tremendous cost savings for both the patients and hospitals.

The CSL at USC Salkehatchie currently houses SimMan and SimMom manikins and will soon be home to a SimBaby. The introduction of the SimNewB manikin, the cost of which is partially supported by SOCF Breaking the Cycle grant funding, is essential in helping prepare nursing students to positively impact infant mortality rates and adverse childhood experiences in the Salkehatchie region and beyond. As April explained, “having this equipment allows students to participate in pediatric clinical rotations on campus, which are not readily available in the Salkehatchie service region and help them avoid significant out-of-town travel for these rotations.”

The Foundation is grateful to support this program that is providing an accessible pathway to high-demand careers in nursing for homegrown talent as well as connecting these new professionals to the health care needs faced by rural counties and communities of color in South Carolina. Thank you April for introducing the Foundation to Sim Man and SimMom and we look forward to meeting SimBaby soon!

To learn more about he nursing program at USC Salkehatchie, click here.