McLeod Health Partners inNursing Education Programs

McLeod Health Partners inNursing Education Programs


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

Charity Gerald and Tony Derrick are pictured with President Dr. Fred Carter and Lauren Stanton, VP of Institutional Advancement, a donation to the Francis Marion University nursing program.

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 US 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 due to many factors: the supply and demand struggles as a result of the COVID pandemic, the national shortage of nurses as well as the growing number of aging baby boomers,” 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 enormous value of the nurse’s 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.”

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.

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, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

“FDTC has always been pleased to partner with McLeod,” said Dr. Jermaine Ford, President of Florence-Darlington Technical College. “This generous gift will benefit both students and our community by allowing us to continue providing a quality education for students pursuing a nursing career.”

Dr. Fred Carter, President of FMU, called McLeod’s latest contribution an important part of a vital and ongoing partnership.

“McLeod is the longest continuous contributor to nursing scholarships at Francis Marion University,” said Carter. This generous donation is only one aspect of our partnership. McLeod also provides clinical opportunities for our students in the health sciences, and most critically:  they hire so many of our graduates. McLeod has been one of our strongest partners in this community, certainly during the 23 years I’ve been here, and we couldn’t be more appreciative.”

“The relationship and financial support of allied health nursing education is imperative to McLeod and our area,” added Derrick. “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.”

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