Mary Smith, MSN, RN, BSN, BC, clinical mentor in the Progressive Cardiac Unit, has been honored with this year’s prestigious Palmetto Gold award. This honor recognizes 100 nurses from across South Carolina each year for excellence and commitment to the nursing profession.
Employers throughout the state nominate nurses for Palmetto Gold. Nominees must meet four criteria:
1. Promote and advance the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community
2. Display exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families, student nurses and colleagues
3. Demonstrate leadership and assists others in growth and development
4. Promote the profession of nursing and contribute to the advancement of nursing through civic, community and/or professional association activities.
As a clinical mentor for the Progressive Cardiac Unit, Mary champions process improvements that positively affect patient care and patient satisfaction, as well as support nursing satisfaction and advance the profession. She actively participants in interdisciplinary initiatives, including improvement of catheter-associated urinary tract infection and Foley catheter usage rates, hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rates and electronic health record order processes. With her leadership, the nursing satisfaction scores for the unit have ranked in the 90th percentile in the nation. One of her most notable contributions has been critical-care orientation. Since implementation of these classes, nurse retention and turnover rates have significantly decreased for the unit.