Academic Catalog

Mary Black College of Nursing

Dean of the Mary Black College of Nursing:
Shirleatha Dunlap, Ph.D.

Assoc. Dean of the Mary Black College of Nursing:
Felicia Morell Jenkins, Ph.D.

The Mary Black College of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with two tracks leading to the BSN, as well as a biology and nursing dual degree option:

Bachelor of Science in Professional Nursing


The Mary Black College of Nursing is named in honor of Mrs. Mary Black Phillips and the late Miss Rosa Black in appreciation for the generosity of the Black Family for their role in securing funds for the building that houses the College of Nursing. The College began offering the Associate Degree in Technical Nursing in 1967 with the beginning of the University. This program closed in 2005. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program began in 1977 as an upper division program for registered nurses. In 1986, the first generic four-year track began.  In 2003 the University of South Carolina Upstate opened an additional campus for the University in Greenville, South Carolina at the University Center of Greenville (UCG). Classrooms, computer laboratories, a learning resource center and faculty offices support the undergraduate program at the Greenville site. In 2008, the Mary Black College of Nursing, Spartanburg campus, moved its offices and classrooms to the new Health Education Complex on North Campus Boulevard. In spring 2013 the Mary Black College of Nursing received approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for a Master in Science degree with an emphasis on the Clinical Nurse Leader and classes began fall 2014. The Master of Science in Nursing Education and Master of Science in Nursing Leadership were approved Fall 2019.


The Mary Black College of Nursing provides innovative and high-quality nursing education to Upstate South Carolina and beyond. We strive for excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship, embrace diversity and inclusion, and establish meaningful partnerships needed to graduate nursing students of choice who are prepared to serve as leaders and change agents in promoting health within the community.


The Mary Black College of Nursing will be recognized as a leader in nursing education, service, and scholarship that prepares practice-ready nurses from diverse backgrounds who promote health and wellness.

Person: A person is an individual who interacts holistically with their environment, interprets personal experiences, and seeks a higher level of self-awareness. This person interacts and communicates by respecting and caring for self and others by appreciating the values, beliefs, and behaviors encountered and by seeking knowledge within their learning community.

Nurse: A person who intentionally builds relationships with others to enable the condition of giving and receiving help. This person serves as a role model, teacher, and mentor and demonstrates nurturing and caring to others. Nursing is the art and science of attending to the discovery, creation, refinement of knowledge and ethical development of an authentic presence to facilitate wholeness.

Environment: The environment is the context in which teaching, learning, and nursing occur. In the learning environment, individuals seeking knowledge learn to create, modify, and promote optimal health by influencing the person to adjust as needed to the environment and by advocating for environmental support of the person.

Health: Deliberate actions that express caring and communicate physiological, psychological, social, spiritual wholeness and well-being. The illustration of health is a lived-experience of persons within their environment and is influenced by the reciprocal interactions as defined by that person's perspective of wellness.

Education: Nursing education responds to the needs and concerns of the public by developing a curriculum that are ethical, relevant, based on research, evidence, and considers future trends in health care and nursing. Students learn the art and science of nursing by the acquisition and application of knowledge, through thoughtful study, and by practicing skills in a variety of settings to develop into competent nurse generalist or nurse leaders that are prepared to meet the dynamic challenges of the Healthcare systems of today and tomorrow. Nursing education provides an environment that instills a quest for life-long learning through a sense of belonging and captures the essence of nursing, which is caring.

Faculty: The faculty at the Mary Black College of Nursing creates an environment that embodies caring, built on evidence, and support student learning. The learning environment is created by faculty that generates systematic inquiry, creativity, caring, and respect for self and others. Faculty facilitates opportunities for students to integrate the experience, service learning, information, and new knowledge to influence change in nursing, community, and healthcare. The commitment of the faculty is to design and implement curricula that prepare the student to become competent nurses entering the nursing profession and to develop nurse leaders to transform the practice of nursing. Creating innovative and evidence-based teaching strategies, the faculty engages students to apply and integrate critical reasoning, demonstrate and employ effective communications strategies, to become competent nurses or a transformational leader and clinical expertise to advocate for improving the well-being of individuals and community.

Student: A student is a person who is accountable and takes personal ownership of their learning. The student seizes learning opportunities, embraces various experiences, and gathers new knowledge that prepares them to become a professional nurse and a nurse leader. In a caring environment, students develop empathy, altruism, and respect for self and others. Upon completion, the student becomes a leader and responsible citizen, who influences nursing, the community, and healthcare.

Boykin, Benner, and Pender Guide the Philosophy of Mary Black College of Nursing A Brief Description

Boykin & Schoenhofer - Nursing as Caring

  • Nursing is an academic discipline and a profession grounded in knowledge and intentional, authentic presence within the nursing situation.
  • Person encounter is valuing human wholeness
  • Focus on nursing is a nurturing person living and growing in caring
  • Nurses attend to the call for caring
  • "As an expression of nursing, caring is the intentional and authentic presence of the nurse with another who is recognized as a person living to care and growing in caring. Here, the nurse endeavors to come to know the other as a caring person and seeks to understand how that person might be supported, sustained, and strengthened in her or her unique process of living to care and growing in caring" (p.13)

Boykin & Schoenhofer (2001) Nursing as Caring. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers

Benner - Novice to Expert

  • Focus on the development of skills and understanding of the patient over time.
  • Acquisition of knowledge is obtained through practice, research, and understanding
  • The growth of a nurse is built over time by practical experiences and building on, and refining abstract principles gained through clinical experience guided by research and structure education process to grow to nurse
  • Nursing practice is a study of the lived experiences of health, illness, and disease and the relationship between these three elements.
  • Nurses use critical thinking & clinical judgment to provide evidence-based care to individuals, families, aggregates, and communities to achieve an optimal level of client wellness in diverse setting/contexts.

Benner, P. (2001). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Pender - Health Promotion Theory

  • Increasing a person's well-being
  • Multi-dimensional interaction within their environment in the pursuit of health.
  • The role of the nurse is the exert influence on persons throughout their lifespan.
  • The nurse must have a deep understanding determinates of health behaviors in order to promote the persons to promote the person's perceived strategies toward well-being.
  • These strategies are with the client, family in changing behaviors to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
  • Nursing collaborates with individual, families, and community to create the most favorable conditions for the expression of optimal health and high-level of well-being.

Pender, N. (1996). Health promotion in nursing practice (3rd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Goals

  1. Apply critical reasoning in nursing judgement and ethical decision-making, using a broad knowledge base, to make evidence-based decisions grounded in standards of nursing practice.
  2. Demonstrate effective communication using various modalities and technologies to provide caring, competent, and holistic nursing care to diverse populations across the lifespan.
  3. Practice competent nursing care that is evidence-based, safe, holistic, and therapeutic to individuals, families, and communities in a variety of clinical settings.
  4. Operate as a professional role model and assumes responsibility of accountability for personal and professional behaviors, ethical practice, and client advocacy.


The College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is also approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. Inquiries can be made to the CCNE at:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
655 K Street NW Suite 750
Washington, D.C. 20001

Inquiries may also be made to the South Carolina Board of Nursing at:
110 Centerview Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29210


The College of Nursing utilizes the facilities and resources of the entire university, the community and upstate health care agencies.  The College of Nursing has two campuses that offer the undergraduate program in nursing, one at the main campus at USC Upstate and one on the Greenville campus at the University Center at Greenville (UCG). Both campuses are equipped with state of the art classrooms, computer labs in addition to a separate Simulation Center.

The College on the main campus is located in the Health Education Complex housing state-of-the-art educational technology. The Simulation Center assists students to learn in multiple modalities, including human patient simulators.

The College of Nursing offers a diversity of clinical sites for student experiences. Spartanburg Regional Health System, Prisma Health Upstate, AnMed Health, and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital are some of the primary sites used for clinical experiences.  The College has contracts with more than 60 additional health care agencies supporting the variety of clinical learning experiences for all students.


Clinical learning experiences are varied in settings and are located in both Spartanburg and Greenville and surrounding counties.  Students are expected to travel to and from all clinical experiences. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation and carrying appropriate insurance. The College of Nursing is not liable for any traffic violations or auto mishaps during the students’ commute.

Responsibilities to Clinical Agencies

Students are responsible for complying with policies and procedures required by clinical agencies.  Failure to meet these requirements may lead to exclusion from required clinical educational experiences and prevent progression in the program.

Computer Literacy

The College of Nursing acknowledges that health care delivery systems are evolving at an accelerated rate and becoming increasingly reliant on computer technology.  Computer literacy is rapidly becoming a basic communication skill.  Prior to enrolling in nursing courses, it is required that students familiarize themselves with basic computer skills.  Students should be able to use a computer to log onto their e-mail account to communicate with other students and faculty.  They should be able to log on to the Internet to access class content.  Ability to use a word processing program and perform Internet searches for health care related materials are also required skills.

Advising and Assistance

The focus of advising in the College of Nursing is to assist students to successfully progress toward their educational objectives. The baccalaureate degree program is divided into two components:  the lower division and the upper division. All lower division students will be advised by personnel in the Office of Nursing Student Support Services and/or Nursing faculty.  All upper division students are advised by Nursing faculty.  It is very important that students meet with their assigned advisor each semester. The advisor will speak with students about their academic plan of study as well as future employment and educational goals.