Lexington Medical Center and the University of South Carolina will break ground next week on a new building to train nurses on the hospital campus in West Columbia. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, according to a news release.
This project will grow a public-private partnership between the university’s College of Nursing and Lexington Medical Center. A 52,000-square-foot state-of-the-art nursing simulation center and teaching space will be built on the hospital’s campus to provide clinical training for the University of South Carolina’s growing nursing student population, according to the release.
“Our partnership with the University of South Carolina will ensure that we can help teach skilled, compassionate nurses who want to keep working in South Carolina and take care of our families, friends and neighbors in the future,” said Tod Augsburger, president and CEO of Lexington Medical Center. “This partnership will improve the health of our communities for generations.”
Lexington Medical Center will build the new nursing facility and provide clinical instructors, while the university will fund equipment needed for the simulation center as well as equipment and furnishings for classroom spaces, according to the release. The new facility is expected to be complete in 2024.
Officials at the university and the medical center say the new nursing facility will help to address a growing shortage of nurses in South Carolina. Currently the USC College of Nursing graduates about 220 nurses from the Columbia campus each May. Officials estimate that the new facility will enable the university to eventually graduate 400 nurses per year in the Midlands.
“This partnership with Lexington Medical Center will provide advanced clinical training for our nursing students in a state-of-the-art learning environment,” said University of South Carolina President Michael Amiridis. “It demonstrates the commitment of our combined leadership to work together to improve health care and patient outcomes in the Midlands and across the state.”
The new building will be used primarily for clinical training of the university’s third- and fourth-year nursing bachelor’s students as well as master’s program students. The university’s health sciences interprofessional education program also will use classroom space. The facility is expected to open for the first cohort of nursing students in fall 2024.