Category Archives: Nursing

College of Nursing graduate named Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate

Jonathan Jeffries, a recent graduate of East Carolina University’s College of Nursing, was named a Distinguished Graduate at his Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony in December.

The honor is given to the top 10 percent of the Air Force ROTC graduating class nationwide, which this year included 1,815 graduates from 144 detachments. The award is predicated on success and leadership in academics, ROTC and in the community.

Jonathan Jeffries, right, receives a sabre in recognition of being named a Distinguished Graduate during his Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony in December. (Contributed photo)

Jonathan Jeffries, right, receives a sabre in recognition of being named a Distinguished Graduate during his Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony in December. (Contributed photo)

“I think he’s the whole person concept as far as what we would need as a leader,” said Lt. Col. Roxane Engelbrecht, Jeffries’ commanding officer who nominated him for the award. “He is physically fit and he excels academically — those are the first two things. The third is leadership quality and his ability to lead groups of people, not only in the Air Force and Air Force ROTC, but his demonstrated leadership at the university is somewhat unparalleled by most cadets.”

Jeffries was the College of Nursing’s fall 2016 senior class president. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing in December with a 3.89 GPA. He helped to organize a relief effort to aid Greenville flood victims following Hurricane Matthew in the fall of 2016. He also spearheaded his class’s efforts to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society during the 2016 Walk MS fundraiser.

Engelbrecht has nominated five cadets for the award since she came to ECU in 2014. Of those, Jeffries is one of four to have been selected as a recipient.

“It was a huge shock and a huge honor,” Jeffries said of the award, which came in the form of a sabre Engelbrecht presented him at the ceremony. “I’m not one to care about being recognized, but when it does happen it’s definitely nice to see all the effort and all the hard work you’ve put in – throughout your time either with ROTC or at the College of Nursing – be recognized. It was a surreal moment. It was probably one of the best days of my life so far.”

Prior to attending ECU, Jeffries served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three and a half years, but separated from that branch after being injured in pre-deployment training.

Jeffries plans to make a career as an Air Force nurse. He will go to Arizona in February for the Air Force’s 10-week nursing training before being stationed at Eglin Air Force base in Florida.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich

Laupus Library celebrates scholarship in health sciences

Faculty and staff from across East Carolina University’s Division of Health Sciences recently gathered for an annual celebration of research and scholarship.

Dr. Leigh Cellucci, professor in Health Services & Information Management, receives the Laupus Bronze for authoring a book this year. (Photo by Kelly Dilda)

Dr. Leigh Cellucci, professor in Health Services & Information Management, receives the Laupus Bronze for authoring a book this year. (Photos by Kelly Dilda)

The William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library held its 11th Health Sciences Author Recognition Awards at the Hilton Greenville on Nov. 15, sponsored by the Friends of Laupus Library. Laupus is “proud to be a partner in the research and publication process,” noted Elizabeth Ketterman, interim director.

“It is inspiring to see the breadth of research that occurs in the division over a year’s time,” she added.

There were 114 authors honored this year, who contributed to nearly 375 journal articles, book chapters, books and other creative works between July 2015 and June 2016.

Book author Dr. Laura Gantt, associate dean for nursing support services, is congratulated by Vice Chancellor Phyllis Horns.

Book author Dr. Laura Gantt, associate dean for nursing support services, is congratulated by Vice Chancellor Phyllis Horns.

“Every year we do this we have a longer and longer list of faculty and staff who are fully engaged in the work of the university,” remarked Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences.

Dr. Nicholas Benson, interim dean of the Brody School of Medicine, applauded authors’ “effort to share your knowledge and generate wisdom…to make a real difference in the wellness of eastern North Carolina, from Murphy to Manteo, and across the nation and world.”

It was College of Allied Health Sciences Dean Dr. Robert Orlikoff’s first appearance at the event, having arrived at East Carolina this fall from a prior leadership post at West Virginia University.

“The reason that ECU exists is for our students…and how our students represent the future,” he said. “But this event focuses attention on our talented faculty who make all of that (learning) possible. Their scholarship is directly tied to the student experience, and advancing health care and transforming the region.”

Authors from Laupus, the ECU College of Nursing and the School of Dental Medicine were also recognized.

Registration for the 2016-17 author event will begin in February. More information about the annual awards ceremony – including a complete listing of this year’s published authors – is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/laupuslibrary/HSAR/.

Dr. R. Todd Watkins and Dr. Geralyn Crain, both faculty in ECU's School of Dental Medicine, enjoy this year’s Author Recognition Awards Ceremony. (Photo by Peggy Novotny)

Dr. R. Todd Watkins and Dr. Geralyn Crain, both faculty in ECU’s School of Dental Medicine, enjoy this year’s Author Recognition Awards Ceremony. (Photo by Peggy Novotny)

 

–Kathryn Kennedy

Kennerly, Sitzman inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing

Two East Carolina University faculty members have been inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. College of Nursing Professors Dr. Susan Kennerly and Dr. Kathleen Sitzman were honored during a ceremony at the academy’s annual conference Oct. 20-22, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

“I am delighted to welcome this superb cohort of talented clinicians, researchers, policy leaders, educators and executives as they join the ranks of the nation’s leading nursing and health care thought leaders,” said Academy President Dr. Bobbie Berkowitz.

Selection criteria for fellowship include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel of elected and appointed fellows.

Kennerly is an eminent scholar known for her work in geriatric nursing and on the influence of nursing culture on care practices. She led entrepreneurial practice activities that enhanced nursing care delivery and outcomes and informed the science behind nursing practice environments by co-authoring the Nursing Culture Assessment Tool, the first of its kind, now used nationally and internationally to evaluate and shape nursing culture.

Kennerly

Kennerly

Kennerly is widely recognized for her pioneering work testing systematic interventions for pressure ulcer prevention in nursing homes. She was a co-investigator on the seminal research that aimed to reduce pressure ulcers by using music to cue staff to reposition nursing home residents every two hours. The pioneering study — which resulted in a 45 percent protective effect against pressure ulcers — was broadly reported in high-impact journals and serves as a key reference for subsequent work in advancing nursing best practices.

Kennerly currently serves as the co-principal investigator on a nearly $3 million National Institutes of Health grant that aims to determine if every two hour repositioning frequency can be extended to three or four hours without negative outcomes for residents at risk of pressure ulcer development. In 2014, she was a member of a working group that published standards for the International Clinical Practice Guideline for Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment. Kennerly is wound care certified and a certified nurse educator, and serves as a team leader and evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Sitzman is an internationally respected expert for her knowledge and research on human caring in nursing. One particular area of her expertise is virtual caring, in which Sitzman explores the scholarship of teaching in ways that convey and sustain communities of caring among students and faculty in online classroom settings. She has been primary investigator for eight studies on this topic alone. In addition to ECU, she is an adjunct professor with the Watson Caring Science Institute and created the College of Nursing’s first Massive Open Online Course, on the topic of Caring Science, which has been attended by over 2,000 people internationally since its first offering.

Sitzman

Sitzman

In addition to publishing more than 100 journal articles, she has co-authored four successful nursing textbooks. Her book A History of American Nursing: Trends and Eras won the American Journal of Nursing Textbook of the Year Award in 2009. Two of her books are being translated: Caring Science, Mindful Practice is coming out in Chinese and Spanish; Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists is being translated into Spanish.

Sitzman serves as assistant editor and peer review board member for the International Journal for Human Caring. She is a peer reviewer and editorial board member for Nursing Education Perspectives, the journal of the National League for Nursing. She was inducted into the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education in 2015. In November, she will be a keynote speaker at the Third International Congress of Nursing in Lima, Peru, where she will receive an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Privada Norbert Wiener S.A.

Also inducted as a fellow was North Carolina State Rep. Gale Adcock, an ECU alumna, College of Nursing Hall of Fame member, and recipient of nursing’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The academy comprises more than 2,400 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. Fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers. With the new class of 164 inductees, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 28 countries are represented.

–Elizabeth Willy

Gantt named Journal of Emergency Nursing Reviewer of the Year

Dr. Laura Gantt, associate dean for nursing support services in the East Carolina University College of Nursing, has been awarded the Journal of Emergency Nursing Reviewer of the Year Award. The first-ever award recognizes Gantt for more than ten years of service that has included work both as a manuscript reviewer and a member of the journal’s editorial board.

Journal of Emergency Nursing is the peer-reviewed publication of the Emergency Nurses Association, which has more than 40,000 members representing over 35 countries. Gantt’s selection was the result of a multi-stage process, the journal’s editorial board said, and was based on the quality and quantity of her manuscript reviews.

Gantt

Gantt

“The editorial board appreciates Laura’s willingness to participate in the review process, her timeliness in completing reviews, and the expertise consistently demonstrated in her thorough, insightful and helpful feedback to authors and editors,” the group stated when presenting the award at an Emergency Nurses Association awards gala on Sept. 17 in Los Angeles.

Gantt’s own referred articles include three papers in Journal of Emergency Nursing on emergency department administrative issues and in publications such as Clinical Simulation in Nursing Education and Journal of Nursing Education.

Also an associate professor of nursing at ECU, Gantt joined the College of Nursing in 2006 to run its simulation and skills labs. She has helped shape the College of Nursing’s simulation labs — in which students practice real-world scenarios using manikins and other lifelike technology — into a cornerstone of the ECU nursing education. In 2015, she published the book “Healthcare Simulation: A Guide for Operations Specialists.” As associate dean, she oversees the simulation labs, instructional technology, student services, and student development and counseling.

Gantt has been a member of the Emergency Nurses Association since 1995. Her extensive experience with emergency nursing has included work as flight nurse and an administrator overseeing emergency and transport services. She continues to practice nursing in the Vidant Health Minor Emergency Department.

–Elizabeth Willy 

College of Nursing celebrates donors, scholarship recipients

Like many East Carolina University College of Nursing graduate students, Tikia Yelverton works full-time in addition to taking courses. So when Yelverton, a nurse at the Vidant Medical Center Ambulatory Surgery Unit, earned a scholarship, it made it that much easier to continue her studies.

“It meant a little bit of the financial burden lifted,” said Yelverton, who is expected to graduate from the doctor of nursing practice program in 2018.

Yelverton was one of 93 students who received $283,350 in scholarship support from the College of Nursing for this academic year. The college honored this year’s awardees — along with the donors who made their scholarships possible — at a Sept. 30 event held at Rock Springs Center. The merit and need-based awards range from $500 to $6,500 and were open to undergraduate and graduate nursing students through a competitive application process.

Speaking at the event, Dean Sylvia Brown highlighted the College of Nursing’s 56-year tradition of excellence in education, research and practice. The college prepares students who pass licensure and certification exams at rates well above the national average. In order to continue this legacy, Brown said, the college must enable students to focus on their educational goals and worry less about financial constraints.

Dean Sylvia Brown, Tikia Yelverton, and Laura Lloyd (contributed photo)

Dean Sylvia Brown, Tikia Yelverton, and Laura Lloyd (contributed photo)

“Your gifts enable many of our students to pursue their dreams of becoming nurses or continuing their education in nursing,” she said.

Many of the scholarships given were created to honor individuals who have or had exceptional dedication to the field of nursing. The event represented a unique opportunity for donors and the students who benefit from their generosity to meet and learn about each other.

Donors like Hal Pierce, who consistently attends the annual ceremony, said it’s a way to stay connected with the college and honor a loved one. He established the Hal and Eldean Pierce Beta Nu Scholarship in memory of his late wife, former ECU faculty member and alumna Eldean Pierce.

“I always enjoy meeting the person that gets it,” he said. “I like knowing what their goals are, what direction they’re going in.”

–Elizabeth Willy

College of Nursing honors 2016 Hall of Fame inductees

The East Carolina University College of Nursing inducted 11 members to its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel Greenville on Friday, April 15. The event, which also recognized the college’s 2016 Distinguished Alumnus, honored outstanding contributors to nursing in the areas of education, administration, research and practice.

2016 Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Sandra Smith, Sue Edwards, Wendy Leutgens, Jane Pearson, Donna Lake, Janice Neil, Annette Peery, Mary Chatman and Gina Woody, with Dean Sylvia Brown.

2016 Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Sandra Smith, Sue Edwards, Wendy Leutgens, Jane Pearson, Donna Lake, Janice Neil, Annette Peery, Mary Chatman and Gina Woody, with Dean Sylvia Brown. (Contributed photos)

This year’s class includes inductees from a range of impressive backgrounds, including two nurses who serve as leaders of major health systems; two who led accomplished, decades-long careers in the U.S. Military before pursuing inspired careers in health care and education; and several esteemed College of Nursing faculty members.

Not only does the Hall of Fame honor prominent nursing professionals, it has raised approximately $95,000 for a merit-based student scholarship fund since its inception in 2011. The 2015-2016 Hall of Fame Scholarship recipient, Tyler Knowles of Conover, North Carolina and a master’s student in the nurse anesthetist program, was recognized at the event. The college will award its sixth Hall of Fame Scholarship this fall.

“We created the Hall of Fame when we realized there were so many respected leaders who were graduates or supporters of our college and who have been leaders in our profession,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “It’s an opportunity to honor their contributions and also a way to give back to future generations of nurses through the scholarship program.”

Distinguished Alum Wendy Leutgens is pictured with Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. Wendy is president of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, IL. (Contributed photo)

Distinguished Alum Wendy Leutgens is pictured with Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. Wendy is president of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, IL. 

The 2016 inductees join a list of 79 Hall of Fame members representing nine states. Each new member receives a flame-shaped award that resembles the lamp illustrated on the college’s nursing pin. The lamp and its associated flame symbolize a commitment to service and a vibrant life. This year’s Hall of Fame class:

  • Mary Chatman, Savannah, Ga.
  • Sue Edwards, Ayden, N.C.
  • Ann King, Clayton, N.C.
  • Donna Lake, Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Wendy Leutgens, Oak Park, Ill.
  • Janice Neil, Winterville, N.C.
  • Jane Pearson, Forest, Va.
  • Annette Peery, Greenville, N.C.
  • Loretta Ritter, Milford, Pa.
  • Sandra Smith, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Gina Woody, Winterville, N.C.

On a night set aside for celebrating influential nurse leaders, the college also recognized the recipient of its 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award. This year’s awardee is Wendy Leutgens (MSN 87), who serves as the president of Loyola University Health System, an 801-bed academic medical center and health system in Maywood, Illinois.

Learn more about the College of Nursing’s Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumnus Award by visiting www.nursing.ecu.edu/hof.cfm.

–Elizabeth Willy

State flag gift honors nursing legacy, family ties

ECU Nursing student Sydney Howard and her grandmother, NC Rep. Julia Howard. (Contributed photo)

ECU Nursing student Sydney Howard and
her grandmother, NC Rep. Julia Howard. (Contributed photo)

One of Sydney Howard’s favorite childhood memories is helping her grandmother, Rep.Julia Howard, campaign for political office.

“We would give out mints to people and say, ‘Vote for Nanny,” laughed Sydney, an East Carolina University Honors College student studying in the College of Nursing.

Now her grandmother, who is serving her 12th term in the North Carolina House of Representatives, is reciprocating that support. She requested a North Carolina flag to be flown over the state capitol building to recognize the College of Nursing – an honor typically reserved for veterans and important personages.

Rep. Howard presented the framed flag with a letter from North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory at a Nov. 19 banquet held by ECU’s Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

“Everything you’re doing, you’re doing right,” Rep. Howard said of ECU. “When these young folks come out, their future is set.”

Beta Nu members donated more than $500 to the group’s annual scholarship fundraiser the night of the banquet so that the flag could be gifted to the college as a permanent keepsake. The college will permanently display the flag in the Health Sciences Building.

Rep. Howard said it made her proud to know the flag will still be at the school 20 years from now, a sentiment that College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown shares.

“Our mission at the college is to educate the next generation of nurse leaders to serve our state,”Brown said. “To have those efforts recognized with the help of Julia Howard at the state level is an amazing honor.”

For Sydney Howard, a member of Beta Nu who will graduate in May 2016 with her bachelor of science in nursing, the flag gift represents the convergence of two things she loves dearly. One reason the Lewisburg, Penn., native chose ECU nursing was because she knew it would put her close to her grandmother.

College of Nursing again named Center of Excellence

(Video courtesy of ECU College of Nursing)

By Elizabeth Willy

For the third time, the East Carolina University College of Nursing has been designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.

Center of Excellence selection is by competitive application reviewed by a panel of leaders in nursing education. ECU was recognized for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development, one of several criteria used to evaluate candidates. It will carry the distinction from 2015 to 2020.

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of our continued college-wide efforts to provide positive learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “Through carefully crafted evidence-based nursing curricula, interprofessional collaboration and community engagement, our mission is to prepare the best nurses possible.”

As designees, Center of Excellence schools are celebrated for their outstanding contributions to nursing education. Faculty and administration serve as advisers and sounding boards to other institutions seeking Center Of Excellence status.

“Their visionary leadership and dedication to creating environments of inclusive excellence nurture the creation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community,” said National League for Nursing CEO Dr. Beverly Malone.

The ECU College of Nursing was formally awarded its Center of Excellence status during an Oct. 2 ceremony at NLN’s Education Summit of nursing leaders, administrators, faculty and health care executives in Las Vegas. Twelve schools received the honor in this cycle, bringing the total number of designees to 41.

The college was established in 1959, and has an enrollment of 1,200 students in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral nursing programs. It is the largest producer of new nursing graduates in the state and offers the only nurse midwifery plan of study in the state.

The college is known for innovative online outreach efforts and is perennially ranked among the top 20 online master of science in nursing programs in the country by “U.S. News and World Report.”

College of Nursing receives 10 years of accreditation

The East Carolina University College of Nursing has received 10 years of accreditation, the maximum granted by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accreditation follows an extensive self-study and fall 2014 site visit, and applies to ECU’s baccalaureate, master’s and post-master’s certificate, and doctor of nursing practice programs.

nursingThe DNP program, established in 2013, received the maximum five years allowed for programs undergoing initial accreditation. All of the ECU programs assessed met CCNE’s four accreditation standards and with no recommendations for changes.

“We are pleased to receive such a strong endorsement of the outstanding ongoing work of our faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “The accreditation process itself was a team effort by every member of the college, both faculty and staff. We owe a special thanks to our taskforce for their extensive work in coordinating and collecting information for the self-study.”

The College of Nursing, which has been accredited since 1964, has more than 8,500 alumni and prepares the most new nurses of any institution in the state. It provides three pathways for nurses to earn their bachelor of science in nursing: the traditional BSN program, an accelerated second-degree option for students who already have a baccalaureate degree in another major, and the RN to BSN option for students who already have their two-year nursing degree and want to earn their BSN.

The college offers seven options in the master’s of science nursing program: adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, neonatal clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthesia, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing leadership and nurse midwifery. The midwifery program, which is the only program of its kind in North Carolina, undergoes accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. The nurse anesthesia also undergoes a process with a specialized accrediting body, with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

The doctor of nursing practice program offers a BSN to DNP option for students with an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner focus. It also provides a post-master’s DNP option for advanced practice registered nurses. The college’s doctor of philosophy in nursing program prepares nurse scientists, with entry points for students who have their BSN, MSN or DNP.

A report provided by CCNE following the site-visit noted that testimonials from both students and community partners demonstrated the excellent quality of the college’s faculty. The accreditors also praised college staff, including the business and administrative affairs office, technology support, concept integration labs, student development and counseling, student services and marketing offices.

“The feedback we received from the accreditation team was stellar and the dedication of our faculty and staff was clearly evident,” Brown explained. “It takes a village to create such a positive learning environment for our students.”

The ECU College of Nursing is also designated as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, an honor bestowed on just 35 schools nationwide for outstanding achievements in student learning and professional development.

– Elizabeth Willy

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