MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A nursing college will open and start accepting students next month in Myrtle Beach.

“We’re coming into the community to supplement what is already there,” said Audria Denker, the college’s executive vice president. “There are great nursing programs in the state of South Carolina, but what we found from our conversations with our healthcare partners is it is still just not enough to meet the need for the turnover and the growth in healthcare.”

Galen College of Nursing has three other existing campuses in Miami, Austin and Nashville.

Denker said that while there is a nationwide shortage of nurses, the growth of the Grand Strand and the increasing aging population means the existing resources need more support.

She said the college’s curriculum is unique because it offers courses year-round and accepts students four times a year — rather than once, like most nursing schools. Galen also exclusively teaches nursing, which she said helps students get their degree faster. 

“Someone could come in off the street, per say and not have any college credits or anything like that, start in our program and graduate in exactly two years with an associate’s degree in nursing to be able to sit for the licensing exam,” Denker said.

Tiffany Keys, the chief nursing officer for Grand Strand Health, describes the addition of Galen College of Nursing as “game changing.”

Keys said that not only does the program at Galen appeal to people not currently working in health care, it can also be a valuable tool in retaining their current staff who want to further their education.

“Our employees can walk across the lot to go to class, come back and go to clinical, work a shift, work a half shift — there is just so much flexibility,” she said.

Galen College of Nursing will be on the third floor of a Grand Strand Medical Center office building. It will begin accepting applications in January and classes will begin in March.

To learn more and apply, click here.