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Alumna Appointed Nursing Director of Women's and Children's Services at Prisma

Kelly Melton (BSN '01, MSN '18), has been appointed Director of Nursing for Women’s and Children’s Services at Prisma Health Richland Hospital and Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Midlands. "This is an important milestone, as it is the first time the Director of Nursing position for these two service lines has been appointed to the same individual," says Prisma Health. 

Q. What makes you passionate about women and children’s services?

Honestly, I feel like nursing was my calling.  I can look back on things from kindergarten; when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said a nurse. As I gradated from Carolina with my BSN, the Women’s world kind of, fell in my lap. I had an amazing preceptor who really inspired me with the way that she loved her patients. 

As I cross-trained throughout the Women’s world, there is just something very holistic, and grounding about caring for women. The miracle of birth never gets old, and being able to experience that with someone is emotional, and life changing- every time.

As my knowledge grew, so did my love for both the mom and the baby. I got to see them in their happiest moments.  Now, being able to help them navigate after the birth day and care for their children, is even better than I expected. This field is always interesting, challenging, and engaging. That never gets boring.

Q. Can your  describe your leadership journey from beyond the bedside?

As I started to have children of my own and my kiddos started school, I knew that I wanted different hours than the normal three 12’s that I was working. Throughout my career, I had been in management and was ready to transition away from the bedside.  Working as a nurse in a hospital is 24/7. The hours are tough, but I just loved it. I knew that I could still be a voice to my patients while not being at their bedside.

Nursing gives us so many options to love what we do while juggling the demands of being a wife, mother, and daughter.

The passion that drives me beyond the beside is coaching and developing other nurses for the future. Helping them to discover their passion and love for nursing means a lot to me. As a leader, I ensure that I am their voice, but I also help them discover their own voice, which is very powerful. Nurses must own their practice and I would like to think that behavior is modeled by each of them every day.

Q. How did the UofSC Nursing Cockcroft Fellowship benefit your leadership?

The Cockcroft Fellowship was the greatest leadership Fellowship that I could have ever imagined. The leaders are inspiring and motivating. In a pandemic where the whole world seemed on edge, this Fellowship provided compassion, direction, and friendships that expanded past the last meeting.

It gave leaders a place to speak freely and collaborate on quality metrics that affect our communities.

It gave us an opportunity to think outside our box and how we want to be remembered. It helped me to learn how to focus on my strength and what’s important for my success. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.