Northeastern Technical College nursing graduate Jamie Atkinson of Cheraw received the Palmetto Gold Nursing award at the annual Nurse Recognition and Scholarship Gala held April 14 in Columbia.
The Palmetto Gold award is presented by the South Carolina Nurses Foundation for excellence in nursing practices and commitment to profession. Atkinson was selected for her ability to promote the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community, her caring and commitment to patients, families and colleagues, her ability to demonstrate leadership and assist others in growth and development and because she contributes to overall outcomes in the practice area/setting, according to the foundation.
After becoming a licensed practical nurse in 1999, Atkinson worked for 15 years before choosing to return to school at Northeasern Technical. She is a 2014 graduate of the associate degree in nursing program there and said she chose the nursing field not only because of job security, but because she truly wanted a career in which she could help people.
“Nursing is never about the nurse,” Atkinson wrote in her scholarship essay. “A good nurse does not serve herself, but others instead, and it is this spirit of ‘selfless,’ rather than ‘selfish,’ service that first drew me to this field, and the same spirit is motivating me to further my education today.”
As part of the Palmetto Gold Nurse Award, Atkinson received a $1,000 scholarship. Atkinson, who is a mother of two, said that she eventually wants to go back to school to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“It was a real honor to get this award,” Atkinson said. “There were only 30 recipients throughout the entire state, so I am very happy to be recognized.”
Atkinson ended her scholarship essay with the following thought; “Nursing, like life, and as with family, is a learning process, but having a family and a nursing program that you can depend on, makes all the difference. I am blessed to have both — at home, and at Northeastern Technical College. I look forward to what the future holds!”
During the annual S.C. Palmetto Gold Nurse awards ceremony, attendees also were able to view the Tapestry of Caring, which was a quilt composed of contributions from various nursing schools and organizations throughout the state.
The contribution from Northeastern Technical was a quilt square depicting a heart-shaped puzzle with various nursing symbols. Student Sarah Rabon designed the square, after the design was finalized, classmate Jennifer Upshaw enlisted family member Barbara Watson of Columbia to bring the black and white drawing to “life” on fabric.