Claflin University and the South Carolina Technical College System signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday, July 29, that will enhance the seamless transfer of Registered Nurses (RNs) who also have earned an associate degree from one of the 16 schools in the SCTC System to Claflin University's RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Students who complete the registered nursing program at a South Carolina technical college will enter Claflin's RN to BSN program as juniors. The partnership will potentially increase the number of nursing graduates from minority and other underrepresented populations. It also supports the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that health care organizations increase their BSN nursing staff to 80 percent by the year 2020.

"This partnership is good for the entire state of South Carolina," said Dr. Tim Hardee, president of the SCTC System. "What we are able to achieve at our 16 colleges throughout the state is to provide access and affordability that will enable students to begin their higher education journey. Our partnership with Claflin creates the next step for our students who want to earn a bachelor's degree. We graduate approximately 1,100 nurses each year. This is an opportunity for our nursing graduates to continue their advancement in this field. We hope to contribute to producing better nurses and improve the quality of health care in the state of South Carolina."

Claflin has similar agreements with nearby Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College to admit graduates who are RNs and The Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, which is encouraging its RNs to earn a bachelor's degree.

Claflin's RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has received accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners retroactive from October 1, 2018, until June 30, 2024.

Claflin launched the RN to BSN program in August 2016.

Since the program's inception, more than 50 graduates have completed the 100 percent online program and have earned the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Claflin is the only institution of higher education between Columbia and Charleston, S.C., and the only historically black college/university (HBCU) in South Carolina that offers a bachelor's degree

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