Lexington Medical Center and the University of South Carolina have two new partnerships that will provide workforce development and clinical training for UofSC’s growing nursing student population and help meet local and statewide needs for primary care physicians through an affiliation for graduate medical education.
As part of its partnership with the UofSC College of Nursing, Lexington Medical Center is building a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab and teaching space on the hospital’s campus and providing clinical instructors to help train students. UofSC will provide equipment for the simulation lab and classrooms, as well as furnishings. UofSC College of Nursing expects to welcome its first students to the facility in fall 2024.
Partnerships like this one are especially important with registered nurses in short supply — especially in South Carolina. In May, UofSC graduated 220 nurses from its Columbia campus. With this new space, 400 nurses will graduate per year in the Midlands — an 80% increase annually — to help meet the state’s growing health care needs.
“South Carolina was projected to have the fourth highest nursing shortage in the country by 2030,” said Melissa Taylor, RN, MSN, NE-A, BC, vice president and chief nursing officer at Lexington Medical Center. “We’re excited about this partnership, which will grow the pipeline of skilled nurses for our organization and the entire state.”
Graduate Medical Education
Construction began this year on a 45,000-square-foot building to house the GME programs’ instructional space and patient care clinics. The hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program is poised to be one of the largest in South Carolina, increasing available residency positions in the state by 12%. Recruitment is underway for the first family medicine residents, who will begin training in 2023. Lexington Medical Center plans to establish additional primary care-focused residency programs over the next five to six years, including Transitional Year, Internal Medicine and OB/GYN.
“As the area’s only independent health system, Lexington Medical Center has a long-held commitment to excellence in primary care. Training the next generation of primary care providers is aligned with our mission of providing quality health services that meet the needs of our communities,” said Brent Powers, MD, MBA, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Lexington Medical Center.
The university’s School of Medicine Columbia is the top medical program in the country for graduates who practice in areas where there is a shortage of health care professionals, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School rankings. Lexington Medical Center hopes to attract a number of UofSC School of Medicine Columbia graduates to its GME program.
“I applaud the vision and commitment of Dean Andrews, Dean Hall and the leadership of Lexington Medical Center in creating greater educational experiences for our nursing and medical students," said UofSC President Michael Amiridis. “Education in the health sciences is of great importance for the future of both the university and South Carolina.”