FMU expands its medical reach


FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Francis Marion University is marking a major milestone by adding its first doctoral program.

A lot of hoops had to be jumped to make this possible for the area. Getting a doctorate program to any state university requires an act of state legislator.

It was only after the state House acted last week that Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill allowing FMU to offer a doctorate in nursing practice.

When ready, the program will be offered out of the newly built Carter Center in downtown Florence.

FMU President Dr. Fred Carter said the university is already equipped to take on the extra load.

“We anticipate adding no new faculty to offer this program. We think the way that we are staffed in regard to the nursing program, our school of health sciences will allow us to offer that program without additional expenditures,” Carter said.

The students enrolled in the new program will spend on average an extra two years in school. Carter noted those who suffer from health problems across the Pee Dee, such as heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, will benefit from FMU’s new doctorate program.

“Creating more and more degree programs in the health sciences is a logical and rational extension,” he said.

The new degree must still get final approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. FMU expects to get that approval before the program launches in 2018.

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