FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees took action Friday (March 2) to address the state’s growing shortage of nurse educators and improve access to quality health care in the Pee Dee region and throughout the state.
During its quarterly meeting, the board approved resolutions to establish the Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Educator Degree Program and one approving the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies Degree Program.
“In rural South Carolina, accessibility to health care is limited severely by an acute shortage of physicians,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “These two degree programs will produce nurse practitioners and nurse educators in sufficient numbers to alleviate this problem and enhance the delivery of health care.”
The Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Educator Degree Program is designed to give graduates with advanced nursing knowledge an additional nursing education focus. Graduates are prepared to teach in a variety of nursing programs, including those at the vocational, associate and baccalaureate levels. It enables experienced professional nurses to combine their clinical expertise with a passion for teaching. The proposed date of implementation is spring semester 2013.
The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies Degree Program will provide students with an introduction to the major areas of the pharmaceutical sciences as well as a general education.
In other business, the board approved a resolution for the naming of Lake Coleman. The boot-shaped, five-acre lake is named in honor of William W. Coleman of Florence.
Affectionately referred to as “W”, Coleman has served as an alumnus, friend, supporter, advocate and trustee since the school’s inception. A 1971 graduate of FMU, he has served more than two decades as a member of the FMU’s Board of Trustees, including two terms as chair of the board. Coleman is one of the longest serving trustees in the history of the university.
Lake Coleman will feature a wooden bridge with a platform in the middle and a sidewalk along the lake’s circumference. There will also be three floating fountains inside the lake.
In addition, the trustees unanimously approved a resolution for the adjustment of the information technology fee over a three-year period.
In the president’s report, Carter gave an update concerning the following: Griffin Athletic Complex construction; opening of Wildsumaco Biological Station on the east slope of the Andes in Ecuador; tuition and accountability based funding; budget priorities; the Marion Medallion; plans to offer a physician’s assistant program; and the university’s strategic plan.
In addition, Carter unveiled plans of the university to offer a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. Over the next two years, the university will develop the relevant curriculum, hire faculty, and pursue the necessary approvals within the university, from the Commission on Higher Education, and from the accrediting entities.