Nurse Director Penny Ryant Receives Palmetto Gold Award




Pandora "Penny" Ryant

Orangeburg native Pandora "Penny" Ryant, nurse director of the MSSU/PCU/ 3 West/ Dialysis units at the Regional Medical Center, was honored as one of the 2014 Palmetto Gold Award recipients at the recent Palmetto Gold Gala in Columbia.

Presented by a coalition of South Carolina nursing organizations, this prestigious award honors the best of the best in nursing. The Palmetto Gold Nurse program recognizes registered nurses in South Carolina who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and a commitment to the nursing profession. This annual award honors 100 nurses (out of approximately 64,000 registered nurses in South Carolina).

“RMC applauds our nurse who recently earned the prestigious Palmetto Gold Award for exemplifying excellence in nursing,” commented Sonya Ehrhardt, nurse director in nursing administration at RMC. “Our nurses make our hospital a better place for our community and friends, and we would also like to thank all of our nurses for delivering high-quality, evidence-based practice care every day with empathy and compassion.”

Employed by RMC since 2002, Ryant served as nurse manager for the 3 West Medical-Surgical unit from 2010 until being named nurse director for the MSSU/PCU/3 West/Dialysis units in 2012. Previously she was a staff critical care nurse for seven years.

Ryant is a 2002 graduate of the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College associate’s degree program. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of South Carolina Upstate in 2008 and a master’s degree in nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2011.

According to Ryant, two of her proudest achievements during her nursing career are: being chosen by her peers to speak for both the ADN (2012) and LPN (2013) pinning ceremonies at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

Nursing is Ryant’s second career, and according to her, it became a necessity after her mother became sick, and Ryant felt helpless to help her. “Although family and friends have always told me that I am a caring listener who has a heart for people,” she commented, “my mother was the person who suggested I go into the medical field. I remember her telling me prior to her passing that ‘you may not be able to help me, but you could learn to help others’,” Ryant said.

Ryant’s husband, Edward, is also a native of Orangeburg and is a retired Army veteran.

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