Officials with Clemson University and Greenville Health System broke ground today for a $31.5 million building on the Greenville Memorial Hospital campus that will expand Clemson’s School of Nursing program.
Students are expected to begin coursework at GHS’ Greenville Memorial Medical Campus site in the fall of 2018, after completing their first two years at the Clemson campus, according to a news release. The program will be housed in a new four-story, 78,255-square-foot clinical learning and research building at GHS that offers a hospital-like environment with virtual reality IV simulators and high-fidelity human patient simulators, classrooms and offices.
The building also will include space for academic collaboration. More than 90 Clemson faculty health researchers are already working across the GHS campuses with clinicians on projects with immediate potential impact, the release said.
“This innovative collaboration will help ensure that GHS and the entire region and beyond have high-quality nurses in spite of a nursing shortage,” said GHS President Spence Taylor, in the release. “Not only will we be able to train and graduate more practice-ready BSN nurses, but we’ll be able to recruit and retain more nurses because of the additional training options open to them.”
Clemson and GHS will expand Clemson’s traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program from 352 students to an anticipated 800 students over the next six years. Historically, the School of Nursing has been able to enroll only about 8% of its applicants because of limited seats and clinical placements. The nursing program expansion will increase the number of clinical placements within GHS, according to the release.
“The School of Nursing is thrilled to work with Greenville Health System to develop a collaboration that will not only expand our enrollment but will also provide an opportunity to integrate teaching and clinical practice in innovative ways that will positively impact nursing education and patient outcomes,” said Kathleen Valentine, director and associate dean of Clemson University’s School of Nursing and GHS chief nursing academic officer, in the release. “The clinical immersion experiences afforded this cohort of students will make them attractive as future employees.”
The building is being funded initially by Hughes Development Corp., which has a ground lease with GHS for the property where it will be built. GHS, which will continue to own the land, will enter into a fair-market-value space lease with Hughes for occupancy of the building. GHS anticipates more than $33 million in savings from reductions in supplemental staffing, nurse turnovers and residency/training programs over the next 10 years.
Greenville-based Batson Associates is the architect for the project, and Greenville-based Brasfield & Gorie LLC, is the general contractor.