According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for advanced practice nurses and other MSN-prepared RNs is expected to increase in coming years because of an aging U.S. population and healthcare policy changes. South Carolina is no different from the rest of the country in this regard.
According to the Office of Healthcare Workforce Research for Nursing, 8.2 percent of South Carolina's RNs hold advanced degrees, which is five percent lower than the national average. Most of these are advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives. Fifty-one percent of advanced practice nurses are employed in South Carolina hospitals, and 26 percent of RNs work in physicians' office and clinics. The South Carolina Department of Health reports that there is a particular need for CRNAs in hospitals, followed by CNSs and NPs. Hospitals are increasing their recruitment efforts for these specialties and even offering higher salaries.
Nursing education is a priority in the state, and in 2007, the Critical Needs Nursing Initiative Act was created to address the nursing faculty shortage. For more information, check out the South Carolina Board of Nursing and the South Carolina Nurses Association.
Programs to consider:
Clemson University (Clemson, SC). Clemson offers a number of MSN tracks in advanced practice, including those with a focus on gerontology. There are also non-clinical tracks such as administration and education.
South University (Columbia, SC). South University offers an online MSN for some tracks that can be completed in as little as 18 months. The job placement rate for graduates is 100 percent.