MSN student wins statewide award
Palmetto Gold, an annual statewide nursing recognition program, awarded Charleston Southern University’s Morgan McCall as its 2021 graduate student recipient in South Carolina. McCall is the first Charleston Southern student in the Master of Science in Nursing program to receive the award—a highly competitive scholarship with graduate student nominees from the state’s public and private nursing programs.
The scholarship program supports the future of nursing by using proceeds from its Palmetto Gold Gala to provide an annual $1,000 nursing scholarship to each registered nurse undergraduate program in the state. It also selects only one graduate student statewide to receive the Renatta Loquist Graduate Nursing Scholarship—a $2,000 award.
“Morgan is a standout among her peers!” said Dr. Vicki Ball, associate professor of nursing and director of the MSN program at CSU. “From day one of orientation, she fully engaged and immersed herself in the coursework and pursuit of graduate education.”
A Charleston native, McCall is a 2012 alumnus of Charleston Southern’s undergraduate nursing program and is a certified hospice and palliative nurse (CHPN). She currently serves as the director of palliative care for Intrepid USA Healthcare, president for the Lowcountry Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, a member of the national Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, a member of the South Carolina Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill, and also serves on the Women’s Council at Charleston Southern.
When McCall read the Palmetto Gold award letter, she was overcome with gratitude. She said it was both an honor and humbling experience given that only one graduate level nurse in the state is selected to receive the award each year.
With six months left in her program, McCall is excited for what’s next. She meditates daily on Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much will be required.”
“I will diligently continue my professional efforts to expand access to palliative care. For me, the MSN was not necessarily something that I needed to do, but something that I wanted to do,” McCall said. “I have been given much, and while I have had numerous opportunities to give back through my nursing career, there is still much work to do. I am seeking an advanced degree to ensure that I am equipped in every way possible to continue to contribute to a greater cause. I want to do more. I want to change healthcare. I want to open doors, and effectively support, inspire, and prepare others to make a difference, as we all work together to advance expert, high quality care in serious illness and end-of-life care.
Ball said that McCall’s leadership is evident both in and outside of the classroom.
“As a member of the education committee for the South Carolina Coalition for Care of the Seriously Ill, she is working on an initiative to extend end-of-life educational opportunities into nursing and medical programs in South Carolina,” Ball said. “Additionally, she is the only graduate nursing student who participates in the Charleston Southern University Student Nurses Christian Fellowship, an organization that empowers and encourages students in spiritual growth. She is a shining example for our undergraduate students of how to successfully balance academics, work, and family life, while continually focusing on personal and professional growth.”
McCall encourages nurses considering an advanced degree to seek a trusted colleague who can help guide and mentor and coach throughout their professional journey.
“Education is one thing no one can ever take away from you,” she said, adding her own experiences at CSU. “In my experiences at CSU, I have felt well-supported, and appropriately challenged by the nursing faculty. The culture at CSU aligns with my values, and I have always appreciated the effortless connection to the faculty and staff.”
The MSN program at CSU supports students like McCall through a curriculum built on contemporary nursing standards as a means of preparing RNs for advanced nursing practice roles. Learn more about CSU’s nursing programs at charlestonsouthern.edu/nursing.