A message from Dean Linda W. Weglicki

Dean Linda Weglicki
November 01, 2021
Dean Weglicki

In August, MUSC achieved a significant milestone in its sustained mission to provide outstanding care to all South Carolinians: the welcoming of Midlands communities to our MUSC Family through the acquisition of Providence Health in Columbia, KershawHealth in Camden, and a freestanding emergency department in Winnsboro. This alliance is an important step in MUSC’s continued efforts to serve the pressing needs of our communities, and the College of Nursing is central to that dynamic partnership.

By 2030, the nursing shortage in South Carolina will reach devastating levels, a grim projection made more troubling by the fact that our border states are projected to have a surplus of nurses. As a leader in nursing education for over a century, MUSC CON must play a central role in providing a better pipeline for growing the nursing workforce in our state. Collaborating with our new partners offers exciting, innovative pathways to combat this shortage.

Recently, I had the chance to visit MUSC Health’s Lancaster Medical Center and Florence Medical Center, both of which merged with MUSC in 2019. Joined by Dr. Patti Hart, chief nursing officer (CNO) of MUSC-Charleston, I observed firsthand the many opportunities these new partnerships provide for us to fulfill our goals and practice our values, including:

  • Increasing degree access via CON programs for undergraduate and graduate education. Through innovative technology and incentive scholarships, we are able to serve the nursing populations of our new partners via our nationally recognized curriculum as well as help spur professional growth and retention.
  • Expanding nursing placements and meaningful learning experiences. MUSC’s new partnerships extend CON’s reach into South Carolina’s rural areas, benefiting families in these communities and providing CON students with unique clinical interactions.
  • Opening avenues for actionable research. Our partnerships increase access to new patience populations and outcomes, both immensely valuable as we strive to produce research projects that directly improve the lives of those under our care.

For these strategies to become a reality, we all must invest in their success, and I could not be more encouraged by the warm reception Dr. Hart and I received during our visit. The CNOs of Lancaster Medical Center and Florence Medical Center are knowledgeable, experienced, and committed nursing leaders, and our time and conversations with them, as well as their department nurse managers and leaders led to productive idea generations and plans for next steps.

Now, the addition of our newest MUSC practice partners, Providence Health and KershawHealth —which includes three community hospitals, a freestanding emergency department and affiliated physician practice locations serving communities in the Midlands—provides the college with expanded opportunities to be more transformative and impactful in our education, research and practice priorities. I look forward to meeting our new partner leaders.

CON has an essential role to play in supporting MUSC’s initiatives and improving the lives of all South Carolinians. As we join together to ensure the professional growth of our future nursing leaders, I am invigorated to undertake this meaningful work with you and on behalf of the college.

In service and respectfully,

Linda S. Weglicki, Ph.D., R.N.
Dean and professor