The nurse’s nurse: remembering Joyce Grimaud

Three women stand side-by-side in a large banquet room.
Photo by David Russell Photography LLC

The “Nurse’s Nurse.” That’s how the College of Nursing and the Augusta community remember Joyce Grimaud. Grimaud passed away on January 1, 2024, but the legacy of the Augusta native continues through the impacts of her 51-year nursing career and the scholarship established in her honor.

Grimaud graduated from the Barrett School of Nursing – University Hospital in 1962. From that point, she dedicated her life to the profession, working at the VA Hospital and teaching at the Medical College of Georgia. The appreciation for her contributions to future nurses is evident by her accolades: the MCG Dean’s Award of Appreciation (2009) and the MCG Outstanding Contributor (2007) award.

As a nurse, she was known as a patient advocate and a mentor to many. One such mentee is her own niece, Jeannette Andrews, PhD, dean and Helen Gurley Wolford Professor of Nursing at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing.

“Aunt Joyce inspired, encouraged and mentored so many young students and nurses throughout her entire career. I learned so much from her during my early years as a young, registered nurse at the VA and throughout my career. Not only her expert skills and the ‘science’ of nursing, but her compassion, her professionalism, and her advocacy for the patients she cared for. After meeting her and exchanging introductions, the first thing you learned from Joyce was that she was a nurse. She carried this role 24/7 whether at the bedside, the simulation center, or at the supermarket. She will always remain a giant to me as a role model for nursing,” recalled Andrews.

Andrews, a College of Nursing alumna (1987), established the Joyce R. Grimaud Cardiovascular Nursing Scholarship in honor of the woman who inspired her to become a nurse. This scholarship awards $500 and recognizes a student who desires to become a cardiovascular nurse. The recipient is announced at the College of Nursing Annual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony.

“I had the absolute honor of receiving the Joyce Grimaud Cardiovascular Nursing Scholarship in November of 2023. This was the one and only scholarship I applied for since I will be moving into a RN position in the cardiac unit after graduation. At the scholarship ceremony, I got to meet Ms. Joyce and her niece, Dr. Andrews. I had a wonderful time talking with Ms. Joyce about her career in cardiac nursing. She was very interested in my love for cardiac, as we shared the same love,” said the most recent scholarship winner Leah Skinner, a senior BSN student. “Hearing how long she worked as a nurse and the years she spent specializing in cardiac was very special and personal for me. She shared her journey of working her way through nursing school and her special moments after. Mrs. Joyce had a smile that would light up the whole room, accented with some beautiful bright red lipstick. She was calm and poised. Receiving her scholarship and meeting her really confirmed that I am doing exactly what God put me on this earth to do, and that is to be a cardiac nurse. When I found out of her passing, I was very saddened, but I felt a sense of honor to have met her and spent time with her. I know she left a lasting impression on every family member and patient she met.”

Three women stand next to each other and smile for a photo while one holds a certificate.
Joyce Grimaud, Leah Skinner and Jeannette Andrews, PhD, at the 2023 College of Nursing Annual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony [David Russell Photography LLC]
Grimaud personally attended more than half of the College of Nursing Scholarship Ceremonies since the establishment of her scholarship. Nine students have been given her award and $4,500 total has been awarded in her honor. To contribute to the Joyce R. Grimaud Cardiovascular Nursing Scholarship, select in memory of and comment Joyce R. Grimaud Cardiovascular Nursing Scholarship.

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Nina Siso
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