May 8, 2014

Three Providence nurses named to South Carolina’s top 100

Three nurses from Providence Hospitals were honored at the South Carolina Nurses Foundation’s 13th Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition awards and celebration May 7. The honor, limited to the state’s top 100 nurses, included Providence’s Carmen Garcia, Christine Power and Vickie Williams. The three were honored at the annual gala for exemplifying excellence and outstanding commitment to the profession. 

The nurses joined a prestigious group of more than two dozen past honorees from Providence Hospitals, who continue to serve and contribute to the overall outcome of care to patients each year. In honor of nurses week, their portraits were hung in a small in the downtown hospital during a ceremony May 7.

Since 2001, the Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition and Scholarship Program has annually honored outstanding registered nurses across South Carolina. Each spring, the Palmetto Gold Gala is held to salute these men and women who exemplify high standards of health care. The proceeds generated from this gala contribute to the Palmetto Gold scholarship fund for RN students. To date, the program has established an endowment exceeding $100,000, and more than $232,000 has been awarded in nursing scholarships.

Providence Hospitals’ Honored Nurses

Carmen Garcia: As a Clinical Educator, Carmen recognized the importance of retention for newly hired nurses. She implemented an 18-month tracking program to identify areas of concern during a nurse’s orientation phase. Currently, her program is tracking 82 new graduate nurses. Carmen provides support to the tenured nursing and clinical support staff. She rounds regularly and provides education as needed. She teaches a “crucial conversations” class to departments and is a resource to areas implementing best practice strategies.

Christine F. Powers: A coronary care nurse with more than 17 years of experience, Christine serves as the unit’s chief nursing preceptor, helping new nurses to develop as they start their nursing careers. Christine serves as the charge nurse for the pulmonary rehabilitation class working with chronic lung disease patients. Collaboration with other disciplines has resulted in phenomenal outcomes for her patients. Both cardiac and pulmonary patients report a 96 percent improvement in their overall health. She is known to perform random acts of kindness for co-workers and is a tireless volunteer in the community. Christine works to educate the community about heart disease in women through participation in community events, speaking engagements and visiting physician practices.

Vickie Williams: Vickie’s commitment to continuing education and evidence-based practice led her to institute a change of protocol in IV insulin. After researching the issue and presenting her findings to the Providence Hospitals Critical Care committee, where she serves as the ICU representative, she collaborated with the physicians and pharmacists to create this new protocol. Vickie led a pilot study on this protocol in the ICU. As a patient advocate, Vickie goes the extra mile to meet her patients’ and families’ psychosocial needs. When a critically-ill father was physically unable to attend his daughter’s wedding, Vickie intervened and arranged for a hospital chapel wedding where her father could participate in the ceremony.

Providence Hospitals is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.


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