News Releases

News Releases

DHEC Celebrates South Carolina’s Courageous Nurses During National Nurses Week

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May 6, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) applauds the 78,798 licensed nurses across the state and encourages residents to do the same during National Nurses Week. This year’s celebration of these valued healthcare workers runs from May 6-12 and comes after nurses have spent the last two years on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Simply put, nurses are heroes and healthcare could not exist without them,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “Lives are saved every day because of nurses who provide evidence-based, effective, skilled, compassionate care for their patients. We are grateful for their tireless work and urge South Carolinians to share their appreciation for these incredible people.”

DHEC employs 289 public health and healthcare quality nurses. Many of the public health nurses work at the agency’s clinics around the state where they provide a myriad of services, including those for maternal and child health, immunizations, sexually transmitted infections, and WIC, among others. Public health nurses at DHEC also take part in emergency response, disease control and other efforts.

Equally important to the safety and care of patients are healthcare quality nurses. These nurses specialize in making sure healthcare facilities are following health and safety standards that protect and ensure quality care of patients. Healthcare quality nurses at DHEC conduct inspections, surveys, and investigations of healthcare facilities and service providers. They use their extensive knowledge of nursing techniques and patient care to ensure facilities across the state provide the best possible care to patients and their families.  
“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful team of nurses in Healthcare Quality,” said Gwen Thompson, DHEC Healthcare Quality Director. “They are committed to ensuring that quality care is being provided at our healthcare facilities. Inspecting facilities is a challenging job and their dedication and expertise are extraordinary. They are an indispensable part of our team.” 

For more than two years, nurses in South Carolina and across the nation have been an integral part of saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. These nurses have worked countless hours in hospitals and medical facilities that have regularly been at maximum or greater capacity and have had to perform at their best under strenuous conditions for long periods of time. We owe our state’s nurses, among other healthcare professionals, a debt of gratitude for their selfless service during one of the most trying times we have faced in our world, nation and here at home.

To learn more about National Nurses Week, visit the American Nursing Foundation or the South Carolina Nurses Association

Those interesting in pursuing a nursing career with Team DHEC can look at our available positions and apply.



Media Relations Registered Nurse Statewide