CIU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing receives state approval

Manikins in the CIU Skills and Simulation Center

CIU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing receives state approval

CIU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing receives state approval

Manikins in the CIU Skills and Simulation Center

March 24, 2022

The South Carolina Board of Nursing has approved Columbia International University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program to open this August for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The program comes at a time when the need for quality nurses is greater than ever. The average age of a registered nurse is 50 years old, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects nearly 176,000 openings for Registered Nurses each year through 2029. Despite this shortage, nursing schools in the United States turned away over 80,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2019.

The nursing program is led by Dr. Jill McElheny, a nurse with 27 years of diverse health care experience. A native of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, McElheny first felt the tug toward nursing as a child, a commitment that has led her to challenging opportunities around the world including service with the Samaritan’s Purse medical disaster team.

All the Columbia area hospitals as well as an organization serving lower income population centers are ready to welcome CIU nursing students for clinical experience required for their education. But before that, the students will practice on manikins in CIU’s state-of-the-art Skills and Simulation Center, located on the CIU campus. Additionally, on-campus science labs are under construction that will provide nursing prerequisite science courses.   

“With every clinical course they will spend four weeks in simulation on campus before they spend four weeks in the hospital or the clinical setting,” McElheny said. “During those four weeks of simulation, we’ll debrief and learn from the mistakes they may have made, and then they’ll be checked off before they can enter the clinical facilities. They will be very well prepared.”

McElheny notes that professional organizations such as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and all branches of the military support the BSN degree for entry to practice nursing.

Applications are being accepted for the nursing program at or (803) 807-5024. A CIU Nursing Information Session is scheduled for April 7 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the William H. Jones Center at the entrance to the CIU campus, 7435 Monticello Road in Columbia.

CIU also offers an online RN-BSN program giving registered nurses the opportunity to advance their careers with the BSN degree.   

With record enrollment for five straight years, CIU consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report, as well as a Best Value Regional University in the South. Apply or request information on enrollment by contacting Admissions at (803) 807-5024 or

Dr. Jill McElheny, director of CIU nursing programs.

Dr. Jill McElheny, director of CIU nursing programs