ECU’s College of Nursing welcomes 152 new students

More than 150 students gathered in the auditorium of the Brody School of Medicine on Thursday morning to be officially welcomed into ECU’s College of Nursing.

Tiny gold lamps were pinned to the students’ purple scrubs during the bi-annual Lamp of Learning ceremony, symbolizing the beginning of their nursing educations.

New nursing student pinned

ECU’s College of Nursing welcomed 152 new students during the bi-annual Lamp of Learning ceremony, held in the auditorium of the Brody School of Medicine on Jan. 25, 2018. (Photos by Gretchen Baugh)

Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, told the students that nursing has been identified by a Gallup poll as the nation’s most honest and ethical profession. This is a distinction nurses have enjoyed for 16 consecutive years, she said.

“The ethics and professionalism are extremely important in the profession of nursing, and that’s one of the values that we can instill in you as you go through our curriculum and become nurses,” Brown said. “I hope that you’ll think about these values that our nursing profession, our first nursing students and our faculty and staff subscribe to, as we are sharing with you what the profession of nursing really is.”

Of the 152 students who were pinned during the ceremony, 125 joined the College of Nursing’s traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program and had an average GPA of 3.62. The remaining 27 students, who had an average GPA of 3.56, are part of the college’s Accelerated Second-Degree BSN program.

Admission to the College of Nursing’s highly-competitive programs is based on several different factors, including university and college requirements and the students’ scores on a national pre-admission exam, as well as their GPA and enrollment status.

Elizabeth Maxwell, the major gift officer for the College of Nursing, told the students that even though it took plenty of hard work to get into the nursing program, they were all about to be required to work harder than they ever have.

“And that’s OK,” Maxwell reassured the students. “Because you’re in the College of Nursing and a more caring and supportive environment does not exist. So if you work hard, you will succeed. And when the going gets really tough just remember, you wouldn’t have been admitted if you couldn’t do the work.”

Students recite College of Nursing pledge

Student recite the ECU College of Nursing pledge during the bi-annual Lamp of Learning ceremony.

Nichole Smith, a nursing student from Greensboro, said she was looking forward to the challenge.

“I worked a long time to be able to get into nursing school, so it’s kind of surreal to be in it and just get pinned. It feels real now,” Smith said. “The work has already started, and I know it’s going to be hard. I know that I’m going to put in a lot of time and effort, but it’s going to be worth it in the end. I’m really looking forward to helping people and changing peoples’ lives.”

For George Georgiev, a nursing student from Wilmington, the ceremony marked a significant step toward achieving his goal of serving others through health care.

“It was very important, it’s really the start of everything I want to do,” he said. “Right now, everything I’ve worked forward to my entire life is starting to come into play. And now I can finally apply everything I’ve learned along the way into a clinical setting, so it’s really exciting. It’s only the beginning.”


-by Rob Spahr, University Communications