Historically Black College/University in South Carolina Now Offers an RN to BSN Program

Reviewed by Abbie Jacobs, RN, BSN

Claflin University became the first Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in South Carolina to offer an RN to BSN program in the fall of 2016.

Originally a liberal arts university, the school has been expanding its STEM offerings and online programs. In fact, Claflin received a United Negro College Fund Pathways Initiative with funding provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. The university used the funding to expand its programs in nursing and other healthcare professions.

Applicants to the program must be RNs with an AD from an accredited institution. Claflin continued its history of partnering with nearby Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College to provide a seamless transition for graduates from its associate nursing program. Students from the college can earn their BSN at Claftin within 18 months.

The partnership offers both schools the chance to “collectively address a growing need” in their region. The federal government designated Orangeburg and some of its surrounding counties as medically underserved areas.

In addition, Orangeburg’s Regional Medical Center partners with the BSN program and also serves as a source of potential students. Giving the fast pace of change in nursing, Tom Dandridge, the Center’s President & CEO, said that providing RNs with the opportunity to remain competitive in their field by continuing their education locally serves as a great asset for both the nurses and their employers.

The new RN to BSN program combines rigorous courses with online ones in a hybrid format. Students meet on campus for two classes one Saturday month for each eight-week term. Offering much of the coursework online makes it easier for working nurses to earn their BSN degrees.