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Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach on March 16, 2020. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

The first cohort of a new nursing college on the campus of Grand Strand Regional Medical Center will begin in March 2022, in hopes of addressing the current global nursing shortage.

“This will help us have a pipeline so we have a more steady flow of new grads coming out,” said GSRMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Tiffany Keys.

The Galen College of Nursing, based in Kentucky, was acquired by HCS Healthcare in 2020 and its Myrtle Beach campus will be the fourth of its kind, joining their campuses in Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

The new 19,000-square-foot campus facility will feature advanced patient simulation labs and classroom environments designed to encourage practice-based learning. Solely focused on nursing education, Galen strives to elevate the student experience with an emphasis on student support and courses carefully designed to prepare practice-ready graduates. Galen’s student support model has helped thousands of graduates enter the profession with consistently high NCLEX pass rates.

Keys said the admissions center will open next month with admissions personnel on site to enroll those interested for the first March classes.

The campus will be designed to cultivate learning with advanced classroom and simulation technology mixed with collaborative and creative space, and will initially offer two programs: an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and a Licensed Practical Nurse to Associate Degree in Nursing Bridge (LPN to ADN bridge).

“This is really geared for maybe second career students, people that want to go back to school later in life,” Keys said, saying hospital employees across different areas have shown interest in pursuing nursing. “We are really excited about the candidate pool … staff are really excited.”

Keys said it’s a great opportunity for GSRMC employees, and incentives and opportunities will be available for employees like tuition reimbursement and financial help.

“It’s exciting for me, our employees going back to school. They know our process … they are invested in Grand Strand,” Keys said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections 2019-2029, the Bureau projects 175,900 openings for registered nurses each year through 2029 when nurse retirements and workforce exits are factored into the number of nurses needed in the U.S. 

“Galen is uniquely positioned to stem the nursing shortage threatening the delivery of quality care across the country,” said Mark Vogt, Galen’s Chief Executive Officer. "With the addition of the Myrtle Beach campus, we are thrilled to help expand a diverse population of qualified, well-prepared, and compassionate nurses in the community. We are thrilled to bring our 30 years of experience exclusively educating nurses to South Carolina and look forward to providing new opportunities to those called to nursing in the Myrtle Beach area.”

Galen will also offer online RN to BSN and MSN programs for nurses aspiring to advance their education in support of career growth and development.

Admissions appointments can be scheduled by calling 877-223-7040 or going online to galencollege.edu.

“We are excited to work with Galen to recruit future nursing graduates who will expand and enhance our community’s workforce. With this Academic Practice Partnership, we are poised to provide the best education and patient care possible,” Keys said.

Reach Hannah Strong Oskin at 843-488-7242 or follow her on Twitter @HannahSOskin.

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