HARTSVILLE, SC (March 21, 2022) – The Duke Energy Foundation has provided Coker University a $25,000 grant to support the launch of Coker’s new nursing program, providing funds to support scholarships to Coker’s first cohort of nursing students this fall.
In October, the South Carolina Board of Nursing approved Coker University’s plans to offer a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree as the first part of its innovative approach to nursing education. Through the new Coker program, students will experience a hybrid learning environment, providing them the opportunity to complete pre-work at home on their schedules to prepare for hands-on, job-applicable learning during class meeting times. The Coker BSN program includes:
- Online content available to help students master important content, meaning they can move quickly through information that is not new or repeat difficult content as many times as needed
- A nursing sequence beginning in the third semester of study
- Available options for working students that limit required time on campus
“South Carolina is currently on track to be fourth in the nation in terms of nursing shortages. Duke Energy is proud to partner with Coker University to do what it can to address the critical issue in the Pee Dee and across South Carolina. Coker’s new nursing program will help fill the shortage, graduating students who excel in providing the care South Carolinians need and deserve,” said Mindy Taylor, Duke Energy’s district manager for government and community relations.
With more regional students seeking undergraduate programs such as nursing and with many local employers looking to strengthen the pipeline of available healthcare workers in the region, Coker has committed to ensuring that its new BSN is an affordable investment for aspiring nurses. Currently, 95% of all Coker undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, with scholarship aid awarded to Coker students averaging nearly $17,500 per student. Last year, Coker granted more than $10 million in student scholarships to its students.
“Coker is grateful for the support the Duke Energy Foundation is providing for our nursing program and for the generosity it has shown to Coker for many years,” noted Coker University President Natalie J. Harder. “Coker University is building a state-of-the-art nursing program designed to meet South Carolina’s healthcare needs, both for today and tomorrow and we are committed to addressing this important need in the Pee Dee. We look forward to welcoming the region’s next generation of outstanding nursing students to Hartsville in the fall.”
Coker’s nursing program is one of the first programs nationwide to be specifically geared to meet the revised standards of baccalaureate nursing education released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. For more information about Coker’s nursing program, please visit: https://www.coker.edu/programs-degrees/nursing/.
"Gifts like these make it possible for Coker University to provide outstanding educational opportunities," said Jessica Cloud, Coker Vice President for Institutional Advancement. "Anyone interested in supporting our nursing program, scholarships, or any other program at Coker can contact the Office of Institutional Advancement for support in making their gift."