South Carolina currently hosts a Nurse Practitioner workforce of 1,250 (BLS, 2012) taking advantage of the role these valuable healthcare professionals play in our nation. Whether providing primary care services, pediatric care, or specialized services such as women's health, mental health or cardiac care, NPs represent a step forward in the evolution of healthcare. Bringing a solid foundation in assessment and clinical skills to the table, transitioning your nursing practice to advanced level is one way to make a significant difference.
South Carolina NPs work in collaboration with their physician counterparts. A collaborative agreement with a South Carolina physician is required before a NP can practice or prescribe medication in South Carolina. This allows for a high degree of collaboration and care coordination, while furthering the profession of nursing, one step at a time.
The mean annual salary for a nurse practitioner in South Carolina is $87,780 according to (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012), which is often a tier above traditional RN salaries.
As you look into your options for NP school, keep in mind that there are many programs that now offer online and distance education options, allowing you to complete your degree on your own timeline, and in often completing clinical requirements nearby. NP programs for South Carolina nurses include:
- Clemson University. NP students at Clemson gain primary care experience by caring for individuals of all ages during their clinical experiences. Students can ultimately choose to pursue certification as a family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner or gerontology nurse practitioner. Clemson also gives its NP students the opportunity to study healthcare genetics.
- Medical University of South Carolina. MUSC offers a variety of master's-level online NP programs, including family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. Minimal travel to campus is required to complete the program.
- University of South Carolina. Currently, students can choose from either the MSN-level or DNP-level nurse practitioner programs at the University of South Carolina. The school was the first in South Carolina to offer a DNP program. Students can choose to focus on either acute care or primary care.
Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. also offers an online NP program that is available to South Carolina nurses.