Three Clemson University School of Nursing faculty have won a Palmetto Gold Award and one student has won the Palmetto Gold Scholarship.
Lecturer and Doctor of Nursing Practice student Melinda Jenkins, Assistant Professor Nicole Davis and Senior Lecturer Lindsey Garrard were three of 100 recipients of the Palmetto Gold Award in South Carolina.
This award recognizes registered nurses in South Carolina who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession. This is accomplished through an annual nomination and selection process that includes nurses from across the state and from a variety of practice settings.
Heather Hufnagel was one of 20 undergraduate and graduate students who received a $1,000 scholarship. Since its inception in 2002, Palmetto Gold has awarded over $392,000 in nursing scholarships.
Kathleen Valentine, Ph.D., Clemson University Chief Academic Nursing Officer and Director of the School of Nursing, said she is proud of the way the award winners have represented the School of Nursing through their accomplisments.
“We, at the School of Nursing, are extremely proud of these four honorees from the South Carolina Nurses Foundation,” Valentine said. “Dr. Davis, Ms. Jenkins, Ms. Garrard and Heather were nominated because of their dedication to the profession and the work they do in health care.”
Meet the awardees:
Nicole Davis, Ph.D., is also the program coordinator for both the Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Master’s in Nursing-Education programs. She is a board-certified Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with expertise in urinary incontinence, the needs of the aged, and using health information technology to support family caregivers. She is a National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing, which recognizes her commitment to gerontological nursing education and the care of older adults. Davis is a faculty associate in the Institute for Engaged Aging, a Clemson University School of Health Research Faculty Scholar, an Embedded Scholar at the Prisma Health Center for Success in Aging, and a member of the Board of Directors of Upstate Area Health Education Center.
Melinda Jenkins works as lecturer in the simulation lab, helping faculty with simulations and leading student debriefing sessions, and also co-teaches health policy for nurse practitioner students. She also works in the Joseph F. Sullivan Center on the mobile clinic. A nurse practitioner, Jenkins worked on a team that helped develop an inpatient unit at Piedmont Heart Institute-Athens prior to coming to Clemson. After her experience, she decided to enroll in Clemson’s doctor of nursing practice. She also serves as a mentor in clinical placements for nurse practitioners throughout her 25-year career and as a clinical associate for the American College of Cardiology.
Lindsey Garrard is a family nurse practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of mental health nursing experience. In addition to being board certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an FNP, she holds a national certification through the Pediatric Nurse Credentialing Board (PNCB) as a Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS). She currently teaches Mental Health Nursing classes at Clemson and continues to work as an FNP as needed for Lutheran Hospice.
Heather Hufnagel is an undergraduate nursing student who was nominated and awarded a Palmetto Gold Scholarship. A native of Marietta, Georgia, the 22-year-old will complete her degree in May. During her time at Clemson, she has found a passion with global health nursing and nursing research. As a member of nursing departmental honors, she has had the opportunity to participate in research focused on the impact of massage therapy for end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Another research project she participated in focused on reducing health risks for students and faculty in low-resource countries through enhanced education and preparedness. Her participation in the Global Health Certificate Program sparked her interest in this research. She was also a 2019 nurse extern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and she recently accepted a position into the nurse residency program at the hospital in the PICU.
The Palmetto Gold Steering committee is an all-volunteer committee that is responsible for the program implementation. It is a special committee of the South Carolina Nurses Foundation, Inc. a 501 C-3 organization.
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