Clemson University and Greenville Health System (GHS) jointly opened a $31.5 million, 78,000-square-foot education and research facility on Greenville Memorial Medical Campus that will be home to Clemson’s School of Nursing. The collaborative effort between GHS and the university, the facility will bring an expansion to the school’s nursing program that will help meet the growing need for nurses and bolster health innovation and research efforts in the state.

The high-tech facility is adjoined to the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine Greenville by a two-story connector to foster interprofessional education. Because of the new building, the School of Nursing was able to increase freshman enrollment by 109 to 173, said Kathleen Valentine, director of the School of Nursing, and by fall 2021, the School of Nursing’s baccalaureate program is anticipated to reach a maximum capacity of 704 students, tripling its capacity from 2015. This expansion does not include graduate degree, accelerated second degree and registered nurse-to-Bachelor of Science programs.

South Carolina is one of seven states projected to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. South Carolina’s nursing shortage is expected to top 10,000, one of only four states expected to have that significant a shortage, according to the report.

This collaboration will help ensure GHS and nearby areas will have high-quality nurses in spite of a nursing shortage, says GHS President Spence Taylor, MD. “Not only will we be able to educate and graduate more practice-ready baccalaureate nursing students, but we’ll be able to recruit and retain more nurses because of the additional options open to them.”