Mattress storein Summerville, SC

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Sleep King – Where the Prices Are a Sweet Dream!

There are a lot of mattress companies in South Carolina that claim to have the perfect mattress for everyone. At Sleep King, we believe that every person is different and has different needs when it comes to their mattress. That’s why our mattress store in Summerville, SC, has a wide variety of beds and brands to choose from. That way, you can find the right mattress for your body and get the very best sleep quality possible.

As a family-owned and operated mattress store with more than 40 years of experience in the sleep industry, we know a thing or two about comfortable mattresses. Summerville residents choose Sleep King because we provide our customers with a personalized shopping experience. When you walk through our showroom doors, we want you to feel comfortable – both on our mattresses and with our store associates. At Sleep King, you won’t ever have to worry about pushy salespeople and limited selection. Instead, you will discover that we encourage you to take your time as you search for your next bed. Sleep is incredibly important, and by proxy, finding the right mattress for your body type is too.

When you visit our showroom in Summerville, know that we are a full-service store with mattress experts ready to help. From questions about mattresses and their warranties to financing and mattress delivery, there’s no question we haven’t heard before.

We carry some of the most popular brands in America, and unlike other mattress stores in Summerville, offer them at the lowest prices around, guaranteed. There’s a reason why we were voted your #1 mattress store in the Lowcountry – because we truly care about our customers and their quality of sleep!

Looking for discounts? Need to buy your mattress on a strict budget? We’ve got you covered at our new mattress clearance center in Summerville, where we have more than 50 models on display at 50-80% off retail value. Don’t forget to ask us about our flexible financing options, where no credit is needed to make a purchase. Paying cash? We’ll knock 5% off your bill!

As if that weren’t enough reason to visit, remember that we provide free delivery, setup, and removal of your old mattress for FREE when you make a purchase at Sleep king.

Why Choose Our Mattress
Store in Summerville, SC?

Our business model is simple – give customers quality beds from national brands at amazing prices, coupled with unmatched customer service. We know that your sleep is essential but also understand that normal folks aren’t made of money. You need a solution that isn’t going to break the bank, which is why we offer up to 75% off our products.

When we say we have a bed for every budget, we’re serious.
A few of our mix and match deals include:

Sets Prize
Twin Mattress Sets Beginning at $99
Full Mattress Sets Beginning at $139
Queen Mattress Sets Beginning at $149
King Mattress Sets Beginning at $299

Of course, a mattress would be incomplete without a headboard, footboard, and rails. For queen mattresses, those items combined are only $199. At our mattress store, we pledge to beat any competitor’s price on similar product specs – guaranteed! Here are just a few of the benefits of shopping at Mattress King

  • *FREE* Bed Frame for Your New Bed*
  • *FREE* Same-Day Local Mattress Delivery to Your Home*
  • *FREE* Set-Up & Removal of Old Mattress from Your Home*
  • *FREE* Mattress Pad Included with New Mattress*
  • Rest Easy with Our 60-Day Comfort Guarantee
  • We Have the Best Selection of Mattresses in Summerville with Five National Vendors
  • On-Time Delivery
  • Best Warranties in the Industry
  • Sleep King Will Beat Anyone’s Advertise Price by $50*(on purchases $299 and above)
  • 0% Financing for 48 Months (APR, With Approved Credit)
  • *See Store for Additional Details
Our Selection of National Mattress Brands

Our Selection of
National Mattress
Brands

At Sleep King, we carry the largest selection of high-quality national brand mattresses in Summerville.

Sleep King Tempurpedic Mattresses

Sleep King Tempurpedic Mattresses

Often considered the best mattress brand in the world, innovation sets Tempurpedic mattresses apart from others. Our customers love Tempurpedic mattresses because they are expertly built through decades of research and rigorous testing. The folks at Tempurpedic are committed to precision, meaning every detail of product detail they push is geared towards the ultimate satisfaction and comfort.

Sleep King Serta iComfort Mattresses

Sleep King Serta iComfort Mattresses

Serta iComfort: Serta’s iComfort line of mattresses are multi-layered beds with cooling foam technology that adds resilience, support, and temperature control. The result is a cool, comfy sleep that leaves you refreshed and ready to attack the day.

Sleep King Simmons Beautysleep Mattresses

Sleep King Simmons Beautysleep Mattresses

Every mattress in the Simmons Beautysleep lineup has a great combo of support and comfort, making for a restful night’s sleep. With heavy-gauge coils and high-performance materials, these mattresses are durable and built to last. Be sure to try one of these mattresses out in our showroom – our customers love the pocketed coils and minimal motion transfer.

Sleep King Bed Boss Mattresses

Sleep King Bed Boss Mattresses

The Bed Boss brand is lesser known than some, like Tempurpedic. Still, it is a quality product with many foam and non-foam options that we think you’ll love. Choose from standard memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring options while visiting our showroom in Summerville.

Tips on Choosing the Best Bed

There’s much more to choosing a good bed than how you think it will look in your bedroom. There’s plenty to think about, from innerspring options to memory foam and even hybrid mattresses. At Sleep King, our priority is our customers. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. We want to do right by you, which why we want to be sure you find the perfect bed when you visit our mattress store in Summerville, SC. To help you get started, here are a few tips on choosing the best bed for your sleep needs.

Visit a Showroom

Visit a Showroom

This tip might seem like a no-brainer to some, but it’s important that you visit a showroom so that you can lay on different beds to get a feel for what you like. At Mattress King, you will have the chance to explore different styles, designs, and shapes, and mattress materials. Finding a bed online at a price you can afford is great, but you should lie on the bed first, not just look at it on a screen.

Determine Budget

Determine Budget

Here’s a surprising fact: just because a mattress costs more money, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a better bed. Sure, more expensive beds might have newer technologies and materials, but not everyone has the budget to walk into a mattress store in Summerville and spend $3,000. Figure out what price range you’re comfortable paying and look at the best options for your bottom line.

Consider Bedroom Size

Consider Bedroom Size

Before you swing by our showroom and start trying out beds, it might be a good idea to measure the space where your new mattress will go. If your bedroom is on the small side, a king-sized bed might be too big. Similarly, a small bed in a huge room might make for strange aesthetics. Aim for a reasonable amount of room around your bed – enough where you can walk around comfortably. As mentioned above, get specific measurements of the area you plan to use. That way, you have peace of mind knowing your new mattress will fit in your bedroom.

Consider Bedroom Size

Choose a Mattress Material

This tip often comes down to personal preference. It will take a little bit of trial and error to figure out which material works best for your back – innerspring, memory foam, or latex. While your friend’s and family’s opinions matter, keep in mind that their mattress choice was subjective. What works for them won’t necessarily work for you.

Need a quick refresher on different mattress materials? Here’s a quick overview

Innerspring

Also called coil mattresses, innerspring beds are probably the most well-known on this short list. Innerspring mattresses are often more affordable than their latex and memory foam counterparts. These beds are ideal for people who want a lot of support and a cooler night’s sleep.

Latex

This material is known for its great cooling properties and overall comfort. With latex, there are no strange off-gassing odors like you sometimes get with memory foam. Latex mattresses are ideal for people who want a responsive, bouncy feel and may have problems sleeping hot.

Memory Foam

First developed by NASA in the 70s, memory foam is probably the most popular material in the modern mattress market. Memory foam conforms to every inch of your body, giving you maximum comfort and support. Memory foam is also know for its anti-motion properties. Memory foam can be a great choice if you tend to toss and turn at night and sleep with a partner who wakes up when you do. Memory foam mattresses are ideal for people who need pressure relief, good support, and refreshing comfort.

Think About Your Back

Think About Your Back

If you have a bad back, it’s crucial that you find a mattress with proper support. Slat and spring beds often offer plenty of support, but latex and memory foam options have come a long way. If you want memory foam or latex but find the support to be subpar, consider an adjustable base instead of a normal platform. That way, you can always sleep in a comfortable position that benefits your back.

Your Premier Furniture Store
Summerville, SC

You read that right! Sleep King is the first choice for quality beds in Summerville, but we also have a huge selection of furniture for your home. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for mattresses and furniture alike, you have come to the right place. If you’re shopping for a new mattress at the best price possible, why not throw in a bedroom suite at an amazing price too?

A few common furniture items that our customers love to add
to their mattress purchase include:

Living Room Sets – from traditional-style suites with classic textures to modern sets with attractive upholstery, we will help you find the best living room set for your home.

Bedroom Suites – our bedroom suites range from contemporary to classic and come in a variety of colors and styles to compliment your new mattress purchase.

Daybeds – from English-style daybeds available in espresso and cherry colors to multi-purpose beds with pull-out trundles, our selection of daybeds is unbeatable.

Futons – if you have younger children, they will love our futons. Who are we kidding? Adults do too! Futons are incredibly useful in small spaces and convert into comfy-cozy beds perfect for kids of all ages.

Bunkbeds – bunkbeds are another great option to consider if you have kids. Whether you have a classic-style home or an apartment, we have a style that fits you.

At Sleep King, we are proud to have the lowest prices in the Lowcountry

If you like what you see but don't have time to visit our mattress store in Summerville, don’t worry. Our online store is bursting with new items and deals every day. From mattresses and bedding to furniture sets and special sale items, Mattress King has got it all. With the highest quality mattresses, the best prices in Summerville, a giant showroom with all the options, and a full team of helpful sales associates, you won’t ever need to find another mattress and furniture store again!

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Latest News in Summerville

Dorchester District 2 finalizes contract to start superintendent search

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) – Dorchester School District Two board members discussed a variety of topics, such as the district’s health and safety protocols, a new middle school and finalized a contract to start its search for a new superintendent.During the full meeting on Monday, board members voted unanimously to finalize a contract with a firm to begin their search for Superintendent Joseph Pye’s replacement. Pye will be retiring at the end of the school year.“This is when things begin to happen,”...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) – Dorchester School District Two board members discussed a variety of topics, such as the district’s health and safety protocols, a new middle school and finalized a contract to start its search for a new superintendent.

During the full meeting on Monday, board members voted unanimously to finalize a contract with a firm to begin their search for Superintendent Joseph Pye’s replacement. Pye will be retiring at the end of the school year.

“This is when things begin to happen,” Board Chairperson Gail Hughes said. “As I stated in our board meeting, you will see as early as tomorrow things will begin happening.”

The school district said they will be creating a survey to hear from parents as they start their search for a new superintendent.

During a workshop held before the full meeting on Monday, board members were brought up to speed on the state’s latest COVID guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard on Monday reported that 157 staff members were in isolation due to positive tests, as well as 431 students. The dashboard also reported that 1,995 students and 67 staff members have been quarantined as of Jan. 9.

Hughes said the district has no plans to hold classes virtually or mandate masks.

“We don’t know what the future is going to hold with this,” Hughes said, “but as it stands right now, we have, I have not even thought about going virtual nor have we considered the mask mandate.”

Ken Greenstreet is a parent of two DD2 high school students. He said he agrees with the district’s stance on COVID numbers and said masks can have an impact on his children.

“I am for vaccinations,” Greenstreet said. “I’m not necessarily a fan of masks just because if you talk to my sophomore daughter, it’s very difficult to make friends when you can’t see somebody’s smile.”

Board members also set meeting dates to draw attendance lines for the district’s middle schools because of a new middle school that will open in the fall in the Beech Hill area off U.S. Highway 61.

The meetings will be held on:

The final attendance lines for middle schools will be brought to the board on Feb. 14, according to the district.

The board did not name the new middle school during the meeting.

However, they will be holding a workshop before their next board meeting on Jan. 24 to discuss that name.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Preparing for the next big earthquake is vital as SC sees uptick in seismic activity

Thirteen earthquakes have rattled parts of South Carolina since Christmas Day. And although none have been major earthquakes — defined as a 7.0 magnitude or higher — now presents an opportune time for the state’s residents to prepare for the next big tremor.Twelve of the most recent quakes were recorded in the Lugoff-Elgin area of the Midlands. They ranged from 1.4 to 3.3 magnitude.One earthquake, a magnitude 1.4, was recorded on Jan. 9 near Ladson in the Lowcountry. The two latest events were both reported in...

Thirteen earthquakes have rattled parts of South Carolina since Christmas Day. And although none have been major earthquakes — defined as a 7.0 magnitude or higher — now presents an opportune time for the state’s residents to prepare for the next big tremor.

Twelve of the most recent quakes were recorded in the Lugoff-Elgin area of the Midlands. They ranged from 1.4 to 3.3 magnitude.

One earthquake, a magnitude 1.4, was recorded on Jan. 9 near Ladson in the Lowcountry. The two latest events were both reported in the Lugoff-Elgin area on Jan. 11, according to state data.

Despite these recent reports, scientists are not alarmed by the uptick in seismic activity, and say it falls in line with historic trends.

The severity of an earthquake is unpredictable, just like the ability to determine when one will happen. So knowing what to do in the event the ground begins to move is vital.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare.

Earthquake insurance

Events like earthquakes are not covered by typical homeowners insurance policies. But a separate policy, specifically for earthquakes, can cover the structural and foundational damage that typically occurs to a home or building during major seismic activity.

Just like automobile or homeowners insurance, there are deductibles associated with earthquake policies. But they are generally higher, said Ray Farmer, director of the S.C. Department of Insurance, and can range from zero to 20 percent of the value of the property.

Property including a home, belongings and outside structures like detached garages may all have individual deductibles, according to the Insurance Department.

Coverage details and rates vary by location and company. People should ultimately pick the plan that works best for their budget and needs, while also considering the cost to replace possessions, the value of the home and where they would live if it becomes uninhabitable, said Mary Joseph, a State Farm agent in Charleston.

Joseph urges potential buyers to first check with their carrier to see if earthquake insurance is an option and under what conditions damage would be covered.

“There are different variables as far as what kind of deductible would I (the policy holder) have to shoulder before my coverage would take into place,” Joseph said.

And there could be stipulations on when earthquake coverage can be added on to an existing policy.

Insurance companies only sold $48.2 million in earthquake premiums in 2020, but $1.97 billion in homeowners’ insurance and $147.6 million in flood insurance premiums, Farmer said.

“I would encourage all of our citizens to take these gentle reminders and focus on what would happen to your property, to your home in the event that we have a major earthquake,” he said.

When an earthquakes shakes the ground

Earthquakes can happen any time of the day, and several of the latest ones felt in South Carolina occurred late at night or during the early hours of the morning.

Residents should be prepared no matter when the ground begins to shake.

The S.C. Emergency Management Division encourages people to keep a pair of shoes and flashlight secured underneath their bed, but within reach, in case they wake up to the ground shaking.

If in bed, folks should stay there during the earthquake, turn onto their stomachs and cover the head and neck areas with a pillow. Stay that way until the shaking has stopped.

“Once the ground does stop shaking, you want to put on those shoes that you have secured to your bed just in case anything’s fallen to the ground and becomes a hazard,” said Brandon Lavorgna, a public information coordinator with the EMD.

Survey the area and assess anyone in the home using the flashlight.

Lavorgna said a lot of people want to run to the doorway or outside when the ground starts shaking, but “it’s the last thing you want to do.”

If it’s daytime when an earthquake occurs, quickly get down on the floor and underneath a sturdy desk or table.

“Cover your head. Hold on to that item, that piece of furniture with your other hand, and hold on until it stops shaking,” Lavorgna said.

People who are outside should also fall to the ground and cover their head and neck. If possible, stay away from trees, powerlines, signs and anything that could fall.

It is important to not leave a safe location, whether inside or outside, until the shaking has ended.

Secure property

Common earthquake hazards include picture frames, desktop computers, ceiling fans, bookcases and TVs.

EMD recommends securely fastening frames to walls and relocating heavy pictures and mirrors away for beds or areas where they could fall on people. Strap bookcases and shelves to walls to prevent them from tipping, and make sure computers are secured to the desk with double-sided Velcro or some other means.

TVs are less hazardous when fixed to a wall, table or other surface.

“If you haven’t had your ceiling fan checked out in a while, have someone come in and make sure it is properly installed and properly secured,” Lavorgna said.

Know where to find utilities like water heaters and how to shut them off. Appliances should have flexible connections.

It is not a bad idea to have chimneys checked out, too, especially in older-model brick homes. The goal is to make sure it is up to code, secure and won’t fall through the roof or on someone who is outside.

For more information

An S.C. Earthquake Guide can be found on EMD’s website and provides more safety tips, including what to put in a disaster supply kit.

The recent low-magnitude earthquakes in the Palmetto State haven’t caused reported damages or injuries, Lavorgna said, adding, “that’s all we can hope for when these happen because you can’t predict earthquakes.”

Damage does not usually occur unless an earthquake magnitude reaches somewhere above 4 or 5, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

Research has concluded that a magnitude 5 is the biggest earthquake to likely ever have been felt in the Midlands, according to state geologist C. Scott Howard.

“The faults just aren’t capable of anything bigger,” Howard said.

That could change, but more research and a better understanding of the eastern Piedmont fault system are needed to be sure.

DD2 virtual learning based on individual school’s COVID-19 numbers

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - In a special called meeting Friday morning, the Dorchester District Two school board gave their blessing to allow the superintendent to move specific schools or grades to virtual learning when necessary.According to superintendent Joseph Pye, Friday’s meeting was a way to inform parents and the community of the district’s plan going forward when it comes to handling COVID-19.They want to avoid moving the entire district to virtual learning at all costs. So they plan to handle switching to ...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - In a special called meeting Friday morning, the Dorchester District Two school board gave their blessing to allow the superintendent to move specific schools or grades to virtual learning when necessary.

According to superintendent Joseph Pye, Friday’s meeting was a way to inform parents and the community of the district’s plan going forward when it comes to handling COVID-19.

They want to avoid moving the entire district to virtual learning at all costs. So they plan to handle switching to virtual learning on a case by case basis.

They’re using 30 percent of students and staff who are out as a general guideline of when they will switch.

Pye says he want didn’t to call a special meeting every single time a school or grade needed to switch to virtual. Friday’s meeting was a way for him to have permission to make the decision himself as he would in other emergency situations.

According to district officials, this all stems from the rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases in the community plus the toll that teachers and staff at schools in the district are facing.

Several principals who spoke today say they have administrators and guidance counselors covering classes. Spanish teachers covering AP Calclulus classes. Multiple classes held at the same time in the library. All of the principals say their staff is burnt out and that safety and quality of learning is being jeopardized.

So the district will use that 30 percent of students and staff out as a loose guideline to switch a school to virtual learning.

“We want them to know that’s how we’re looking at it. Just because it’s 30, we may call it,” Pye said. “There are many other things. It could be a school that’s at 25 or 28, but it could be the size of the school, the amount of help they have. It could be a severe issue with operating the school, and that’s why we have to do it.”

There is one school that the superintendent says will be moving to virtual learning next week but he did not announce which one at this meeting because he wanted all parents to learn at the same time.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

“Small Town Christmas” films in Summerville

Summerville recently attracted national attention as film crews for the first-ever season of UPtv’s “Small Town Christmas” stopped by on their tour of small towns throughout the nation.Summerville was one of four towns that the crew explored, along with Branson, Mo., Bethlehem, Pa., and Natchitoches, La. Megan Alexander, who is the executive producer and host of the show, said the towns were selected from a list of places she was interested in visiting.“We needed to find four small towns that kicked thin...

Summerville recently attracted national attention as film crews for the first-ever season of UPtv’s “Small Town Christmas” stopped by on their tour of small towns throughout the nation.

Summerville was one of four towns that the crew explored, along with Branson, Mo., Bethlehem, Pa., and Natchitoches, La. Megan Alexander, who is the executive producer and host of the show, said the towns were selected from a list of places she was interested in visiting.

“We needed to find four small towns that kicked things off early in November to get things on air for TV,” Alexander said. “I made a list of small towns that I would love to try to visit and ultimately came down a lot to logistics and scheduling.”

Alexander, who is a mom to three children, said the idea was born from her family’s love of traveling during the holiday season as a way to experience what Christmas is like in different places. When COVID-19 hit, Alexander’s itch to start up the show and travel only continued to grow. This year, she set off to each selected small town to finally film and experience the holidays.

“I thought this would be a boost to local tourism and small businesses,” Alexander said. “The big cities tend to get all of the attention, but I thought, ‘Let’s bring the cameras to them, let’s show them what’s happening in our small towns.’ There’s so many wonderful people, and I knew there would be such an appetite for it.”

Christmas in Summerville

Alexander was joined by a crew of seven other team members, including Kevin McIntyre, who is the director of photography, Kassidy Sell, who is the field producer, and Matt Disbrow, Benji Robinson, Sean Conlon and Nick Smiga, who are members of the film crew.

Tina Zimmerman, who is tourism director for Summerville, said there was a group effort throughout town to help showcase Summerville while the film crew visited.

“Everyone in the town pulled together to make it happen,” Zimmerman said.

During her time in town, Alexander said she visited with local merchants and community members. She filmed segments of the show during the Old Time Summerville Christmas Celebration and the Summerville Christmas Parade.

From staying at the Linwood Inn, located off Palmetto Street, to sipping a peppermint mocha from Cuppa Manna downtown, Alexander said that she feels as though she got the full Summerville experience.

“I felt like I got to experience Southern hospitality by staying there,” Alexander said. “We got to experience the live windows displays and Christmas trees on Mistletoe Lane.”

This year, Zimmerman said, the town’s participation in local events, including the live window displays during the Old Time Summerville Christmas Celebration, was at an all-time high.

“It was a lot of work for them to do the live windows, especially this year with a shortage of staff and what they’ve been through,” Zimmerman said. “But we had record participation and adorable creative windows.”

Zimmerman thinks the publicity Summerville will get from being featured on the show will bring more tourists to the area.

“If we did the same thing we did this year next year, everyone will be glad they visited,” Zimmerman said.

The Summerville episode of the show will have its world broadcast premiere on Christmas Eve at 9 p.m. The show will be aired on UPtv on channel 124.

“I just felt like it was such a blessing and a privilege to tell those stories, to showcase these small towns and the faces behind these small towns,” Alexander said.

Help wanted: Augusta Tech and University Hospital ink deal to produce more nurses

A new partnership between Augusta Technical College and University could provide much-needed nurses but also open the door to hundreds looking to get into health care, officials said.University CEO Jim Davis and Augusta Tech President Jermaine Whirl signed a letter of intent to move part of the School of Health Sciences program to University Hospital Summerville's campus to expand its programs."It’s a nice combination," Davis said. "We have space, Dr. Whirl needs space. We have clinicians, he...

A new partnership between Augusta Technical College and University could provide much-needed nurses but also open the door to hundreds looking to get into health care, officials said.

University CEO Jim Davis and Augusta Tech President Jermaine Whirl signed a letter of intent to move part of the School of Health Sciences program to University Hospital Summerville's campus to expand its programs.

"It’s a nice combination," Davis said. "We have space, Dr. Whirl needs space. We have clinicians, he needs people to help train. It’s a great marriage and he’s got the Technical College to make it happen."

University would retrofit a medical office building on Summerville to provide instruction space and Augusta Tech, once it receives the necessary approvals, would move its Nursing and Medical Assisting programs to the campus in the initial phase, Whirl said. The goal is to eventually move the whole school to the campus, he said. Within five years, the partnership hopes to produce a minimum of 200 nurses a year and double the amount of other Allied Health professionals produced, Whirl said.

It is a "unique partnership," he said, not only in Augusta but in Georgia and one he hopes could become a national model for other schools and health care systems.

The announcement Thursday took place in the lobby of University Hospital Summerville, which had previously served a critical role with units to treat COVID-19 patients earlier in the pandemic. Since then, however, University has been unable to reopen the space to patients because of staffing.

"I have an empty hospital because I don’t have any nurses" to staff the units, Davis said. "I can tell you that today we would be very happy to hire probably 200 nurses at University Health Care System if they were available. But they simply aren’t available."

For its part, Augusta Tech has been limited by space for decades, and its Health Sciences program has a waiting list of 600 students, Whirl said.

"We know the only way to grow our pipeline is to increase the number of students who are coming into the School of Health Sciences," Whirl said. Augusta Tech currently graduates 30-35 Associate Degree nurses each year and 15-20 Practical Nursing graduates, said Dr. Kristie Searcy, Dean of the School of Health Sciences. The partnership would likely increase that four-fold.

The agreement would appear to have fortuitous timing. In his State of the State address Thursday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced his budget proposals will include funding for the Technical College System to add 700 Allied Health students a year. Kemp is also including funding to expand nursing programs by 500 students a year over five years in the University System of Georgia.

Nursing enrollment at Augusta University was identified in November as "one of the programs with the greatest potential for growth, so we are taking a serious look at it but no decisions have been made at this time," College of Nursing Dean Tanya Sudia said.

Staffing, particularly nursing, is "maybe our No. 1 problem in healthcare right now," Davis said. That is particularly true for South Carolina and Georgia. Even before the pandemic, South Carolina had the lowest nurse-to-population ratio in the country at 7.89 per 1,000 people while Georgia was fifth-worst at 10.23 per 1,000, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The U.S average is 12.06 per 1,000, and 19 states are at 14 per 1,000 and above.

"The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly worsened that shortage," Davis said.

The Augusta Tech program offers a way for students to complete the Associate Degree in Nursing and be eligible to take the exam to become Registered Nurses. Requiring 72 hours at $100 a credit hour makes that a good investment for those students, Whirl said.

"Ideally, it will be affordable, and it will be accessible to students who want to have those opportunities," he said. "And more importantly, they do make very good wages, so return on investment will be there."

Producing a host of other Allied Health professionals, from surgical techs to Certified Medical Assistants, is also needed, Whirl said.

"All of which we could use today," Davis added. "We think we have found a great partner in Augusta Technical College to help us solve this problem not just for University but for this community."

"We’re thrilled and we know that this will have a major impact for years to come," Whirl said.

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