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College of Nursing

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About the College

Over 12,000 nurses graduated from the College of Nursing since becoming the state’s first nationally accredited baccalaureate nursing program in 1957. Our graduates, located across the globe, improve the accessibility and quality of health care throughout South Carolina, the U.S. and around the world.

We aspire for excellence in all that we do. The college's undergraduate program produces:

  • By the numbers: the largest number of BSN and Master’s Entry in Practice Nursing (MEPN) graduates in the state, top NCLEX pass rates and high employability.

Our nationally ranked graduate programs are offered online to allow additional flexibility for the working nurse. These programs utilize our state-of-the-art simulation center facilitated by national leaders in the field to enhance learning experiences, promote patient safety and facilitate student competencies in the clinical arena.

In 2017, we launched the first Nursing Honors program (Smart Start Honors College) in South Carolina. Our students have access to unique opportunities --  graduation with leadership distinction, research fellowships and distinguished summer externships. With support from alumni, donors and sponsors we provided approximately $1.2 million in scholarships/fellowships for students.

The college has active student groups, including the Student Nurses Association, Chi Eta Phi, Sigma Theta Tau International and Black Nurses Association. The Dean's established undergraduate and graduate Student Advisory Board promotes reciprocal communication among students and college leadership.

With a growing student population, our faculty size has grown to 160 full and part-time faculty who engage our students in education, practice and policy arenas. All of our full-time faculty are doctoral prepared or enrolled in a doctoral program.

Our research strengths are robust and enhanced by multiple research centers. Our PhD in nursing science program offers full and partial fellowships to qualified students who have career goals as nurse scientists.

  • Go deeper: In the past five years, our researchers have generated over $20 million in new grant funding to address local and regional health needs and training opportunities.
  • The college’s National Institute of Health’s rankings continue to rise, from #60 in 2014 to the #28 in the past three years -- #1 in the state.

We extend our reach globally and facilitate exchange opportunities for students and groups from various countries, including Germany, Holland, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. 

  • 101 students and faculty traveled to 20 countries through our education abroad programs.
  • Besides education abroad, our faculty have research and education-based partnerships in multiple countries to expand and exchange nursing knowledge and new discoveries.

The Center for Nursing Leadership provides research and policy support for statewide stakeholders. The Center conducts and reports nursing workforce research data for the state, both for the supply and demand perspectives. The Center manages the illustrious Cockcroft Leadership program, which is a year-long training for nursing leaders in practice, academia and public health. The Center also provides expertise with “big data” and is currently building a statewide consortium to improve hospital readmission rates in systems across the region.

What's next: The college has an active faculty practice plan, in which our faculty participate in nursing practice innovations in various settings around the state.

  • These experienced faculty lead our master’s and doctorate nurse practitioner programs, which received a #1 ranking by U.S. News & World Report in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and has been in the top 10 for the past five years.

The College of Nursing is enhanced by our partners, including the College of Nursing Executive Advisory Council, regional hospital and health care systems, our five USC Health Sciences Colleges (Public Health, Social Work, Pharmacy, College of Medicine-Columbia, College of Medicine–Greenville), other campus colleges (i.e., Engineering, Business, Arts & Sciences), alumni and friends.

The bottom line: Come and visit to experience this great momentum.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.