WCH earns national designation as place where nurses excel

Skip to Content

The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on May 05, 2014

WCH earns national designation as place where nurses excel 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Waccamaw Community Hospital (WCH) is one of the best hospitals in the nation for nurses to work and excel, according to a prestigious designation by a national nurses association.

The award, called the Pathway to Excellence, is from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a division of the American Nurses Association. WCH joins 114 hospitals nationwide to have the designation, which is awarded for three years and is renewable after a review by the ANCC.

Pam Maxwell, vice president of operations – WCH administrator, said the award’s impact extends well beyond hospital nurses’ work environment and definitely shows the high standards that nurses set for themselves in caring for patients.

“Achieving Pathway to Excellence is a rigorous process that required us to not only examine hard data but also to ask tough questions and engage in self-reflection,” Maxwell said. “It validates what we have known to be true, that Waccamaw Community Hospital is a nurturing environment where nurses can flourish, but most of all, where patients can be confident that their nurses approach their care knowing that they are valued and supported by our hospital.”

 Maxwell said that a satisfied nursing work force, where communication, teamwork and opportunities to develop higher skill are encouraged and valued, energizes and motivates nurses to go that extra mile for their patients.

“That sets up a very special nurse-patient relationship,” Maxwell said. “I see it in their faces every day, and I hear it from our patients, who tell me that our nurses are a cut above.”

Sandra Raynes, M.Ed., RN, WCH director of nursing operations and leader for the 18-month effort to obtain the designation, said it sends a strong message of support to nurses.

 “I think it validates that our nursing department is always striving to do the right thing for the patient and that we provide an environment where nurses are comfortable asking questions so they can provide what is best for the patients,” Raynes said. “This organization, through our shared governance and our leadership, supports nurses’ independent thought and questioning attitude.”

To earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, an organization must successfully undergo a thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives for creating a positive work environment — as defined by nurses and supported by research. These initiatives must be present in the facility’s practices, policies, and culture. Nurses in the organization verify the presence of the criteria in the organization through participation in a completely confidential online survey. 


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.