The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation today gave $250,000 to the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing for a project called “Expanding the Pipeline of Primary Care Nurse Practitioners.” The project includes adding 70 doctoral students per year who will become nurse practitioners.

“This grant allows us to double the numbers of advanced practice nurses who will serve the people of our state,” said Gail Stuart, dean of the nursing college.

Most of the students are from South Carolina, stay in South Carolina and many go into primary care in the rural areas where there is a critical need for more medical practitioners, said foundation Executive Director Harvey Galloway.

Since the foundation was established in 2003, it has allocated more than $40.4 million to address health issues.