Shining Bright in Palmetto Gold

by Sarah McClanahan

The South Carolina Nurses Foundation has honored three Lexington Medical Center nurses with the prestigious Palmetto Gold Award. Amanda Baker, Eileen Beasley and Kimberly Connor received the award, which recognizes 100 nurses from across South Carolina each year for excellence and commitment to the nursing profession. South Carolina Nurses Foundation will present the Palmetto Gold awards at a gala banquet this month.

Employers throughout the state nominate nurses for the Palmetto Gold Award. Nominees must meet four criteria:

 Promotes and advances the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community
 Displays exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families, student nurses and colleagues
 Demonstrates leadership and assists others in growth and development
 Promotes the profession of nursing and contributes to the advancement of nursing through civic, community and/or professional association activities

Thank you to the 2012 Palmetto Gold recipients for your commitment and dedication to Lexington Medical Center. Congratulations!

Amanda Baker


Amanda Baker, certified registered nurse anesthetist, is a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the South Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the South Carolina State Board of Nursing. She also serves as a liaison for the South Carolina State Standards and Practice Committee. In addition to her work as a full-time CRNA, Baker is the anesthesia clinical coordinator for the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School for Anesthesia. She has given presentations on vascular anesthesia as well as emergent obstetric cases with complicated, co-morbidities, which received approval for departmental continuing education credits. Baker also gives to her community by participating in the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes and volunteering in a vascular screening clinic.

Eileen Beasley


As a certified critical care nurse, Eileen Beasley provides direct patient care. But as a Medical Intensive Care Unit clinical mentor, she orients and provides education to staff. She researched and developed a proposal to purchase the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Essentials of Critical Care Orientation Plan, which received approval for purchase and implementation in 2012. Beasley also developed bedside quick reference guides for nurses and a cardiovascular education packet for MICU nurses. In addition to pursuing a master’s degree in Nursing Education, Beasley currently conducts weekly classes for a 30-bed Surgical Unit on cardiac education. In addition, she volunteers to feed the homeless and teaches at-risk children how to read. And she recently volunteered for Mission 2011, a free medical clinic for Midlands’ residents coordinated with United Way.

Kimberly Connor


In addition to patient care, Kimberly Connor serves as the Unit Based Practice Committee secretary. She is responsible for preparing and distributing the agenda and recording meeting minutes each month. A member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the South Carolina Nurses Association, she is an adjunct faculty member for nursing students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. She also works as a unit preceptor for new and student nurses. Connor helped to write the application for the Beacon Award, which recognizes excellence in practice for critical care units, by providing input on section questions and assisting with editing. Her volunteer efforts reach a global scale with annual medical mission trips to Honduras. Not only does she help meet the health needs of this country, but she and her husband also sponsor a child there.

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