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Alumni Spotlight: Nurses Make the Difference

We're celebrating National Nurses Week 2024, May 6 - May 12, and throughout May. This year's theme, "Nurses Make the Difference," honors the incredible nurses who embody the spirit of compassion and care in every health care setting.

Gamecock Nursing Alumni share their stories

anna carol
Anna Carol Ptacin, USC Beaufort Nursing Instructor | MSN 2022, BSN 2015

After eight years of dedicated service in bedside nursing, six years spent in a progressive care unit, followed by two years in an emergency department, Ptacin returned to where her journey began — USC Salkehatchie.

Last year, she embraced a full-time nursing instructor role with USCB, focusing her efforts solely on the USC Salkehatchie-Walterboro campus. As Ptacin marks her first year as a nursing educator, she is filled with gratitude for the opportunity to shape the future of aspiring nurses. Her passion for guiding nursing students towards their dream shines through as she witnesses their growth and progress through the program.

mary snelling
Mary Snelling | BSN 1976

Mary Snelling dedicated over 30 years of service to the VA system, primarily stationed in Augusta, Georgia. One of Snelling's most significant contributions to USC Nursing, as a new NP graduate, was playing a role in hiring the college's Dean of Nursing.

“[Dean Andrews] elevated the status of NPs [at USC] through her hard work, persistence and high standards. She also worked tirelessly to elevate the influence, status and overall perception of the nursing profession. Now, she continues her hard work to educate and prepare the current and future generations of nurses. I am proud to have been a small part of her trajectory and influence.”

mandy felder
Mandy Felder, Prisma Health Children's Hospital | MSN 2018, BSN 2002

As a Pediatric Trauma Program Manager at an American College of Surgeons Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, Mandy Felder collaborates with regional, state, and national leaders to enhance pediatric patient care. Her focus lies in Pediatric Emergency and Trauma Care, specifically pediatric readiness across all emergency departments, regardless of size or type.

Felder has led quality improvement projects, notably reducing time in Pediatric Massive Transfusion Drills, significantly improving process timing. Her team's work was presented at the Pediatric Trauma Society and other regional, state, and national platforms.

amy redd
Amy Redd, Midlands Technical College Professor | DNP 2022, BSN 1994

Amy Redd has been a nurse for 30 years. The past eight years she's focused on caring for persons with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. Redd advocates for the Alzheimer's Association at both the state and federal level, attending the Alzheimer's Associations Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC. There, she had the opportunity to share her experience and advocate for bills to advance the treatment, care of, and workforce education of persons with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia with South Carolina senators and Capitol Hill representatives. 

emily jackson
Emily Farley Jackson, Fort Mill School District School Nurse | BSN 2010

“School nursing is definitely not as difficult as working in the CVICU, but I would not call it easy! Each day is a new adventure with the students. I know a lot of people think school nursing is just handing out band aids and ice packs. Although there is a lot of that, there are also so many opportunities to make a difference. Every day I educate my students on healthy choices at home and school to keep their bodies healthy and fight off sickness. School nurses are important in keeping students healthy and in school learning! And I am so thankful my path led me here, making a difference in health care as a school nurse!“

mary slade
Mary Slade | BSN 1971, MSN 1986, NP Certificate 1997

While completing her MSN degree, Slade was one of the first nurses to practice Home IV Therapy in the Midlands, educating patients and caregivers on caregiver competency techniques. She also wrote SC DHEC's first teaching protocol for Home Care Program Nurses. Slade was Richland Memorial Hospital's (now Prisma Richland) first Oncology Case Manager. Here she led a team to successfully streamline timely administration of chemotherapy. The wait time was decreased so patients could return home quickly.

sarah willard
Sarah Willard, Lexington Medical Center Labor and Delivery | BSN 2022

“I love my job even on the tough days. I get to be here for the biggest and sometimes hardest moments in my patients and their families lives. On the good and hard days I go home knowing I have made a difference and strive every day for that difference to make a beneficial impact on my patients lives. I may not remember all my patients names or faces, but I will always know I got to help bring their tiny humans into this world making a positive impact during these monumental life moments!”

mason williams
Mason Williams, Prisma Health Richland Labor and Delivery | BSN 2023

"As a new graduate nurse, I started working at my dream job in Labor and Delivery providing care for women during their antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum experiences. I am constantly learning and developing relationships with my patients. I am so grateful to the college for providing me with the education and knowledge to care for women in my community. Forever to Thee!"

victoria kroeger
Victoria Kroeger, Acute Care Nurse Prisma Health Baptist, Columbia SC and Clinical Instructor USC, Columbia | BSN 2019

"When working at the bedside, I make my patients feel safe and taken care of. When precepting new nurses, I encourage them to feel confident and safe in their practice. As a clinical instructor, I teach my student nurses about patient safety and medicine administration. I also focus on teaching them to be confident and that asking questions and jumping in is how to learn in nursing."

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