Category Archives: Nursing

ECU nursing dean named Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education

ECU College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown was recently inducted as a Fellow in nursing education’s most prestigious organization, placing her among the country’s most respected nurse educators.

Brown was one of 14 distinguished nurse educators inducted in the National League for Nursing’s 12th class of fellows of the Academy of Nursing Education in September.

In a competitive application process, the Academy of Nursing Education review panel considers a multitude of factors before recommending fellowship candidates to the NLN Board of Governors. Evaluations take into account applicants’ contributions to innovative teaching and learning strategies; nursing education research; faculty development activities; academic leadership; promotion of public policy that advances nursing education and collaborative educational, practice or community partnerships.

Dr. Sylvia Brown, center, was recently inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education.

Dr. Sylvia Brown, center, was recently inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education. (Contributed photo)

“I’m so honored and humbled to be named among this prestigious group of nurse educators, who have dedicated their careers to improving not only patient care but the nursing student experience,” Brown said. “The National League for Nursing’s dedication to improving nursing education has been such a critical driver of the quality of care in this country. My goal is to provide a learning environment to ensure student success resulting in competent and caring nurses.”

Brown has served as a faculty member in the ECU College of Nursing for four decades and the past 20 years in multiple administrative roles.

“Dr. Brown’s visionary leadership has drastically improved the quality and accessibility of health care education options available to students,” said interim vice chancellor for health sciences, Dr. Mark Stacy. “As a result, the patients whom ECU nurses serve worldwide can access a higher level of specialized care than ever before, particularly in rural, underserved areas.”

Among her many contributions to nursing education is the implementation of one of the first online nursing programs in the state of North Carolina, the online nursing education concentration in ECU’s Master of Science in Nursing program.

Since being named dean of the college in 2009, Brown spearheaded the college’s adoption of the RIBN (Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) program, partnering with area community colleges in 2012 as an effort to enhance the educational preparation and diversity of the nursing workforce. The same year, seeing an urgent need for advanced practice nurses, Brown worked with five other deans in the state to obtain approval from the UNC System to offer Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in their institutions.

In 2017, she implemented a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program to help address workforce shortages in this much-needed specialty.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I congratulate individuals who represent the enterprise, creativity and drive that is the foundation of excellence in nursing education,” said G. Rumay Alexander, the president of the NLN and professor and associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We applaud their critical role in preparing nursing school graduates to deliver sustainable, accessible, culturally-sensitive care to a diverse patient population, which advances the health of the nation and global community.”

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications

ECU College of Nursing welcomes new students at Lamp of Learning ceremony

The ECU College of Nursing welcomed 122 future nurses on Sept. 6 during a ceremony at the Brody School of Medicine.

Parents beamed while their daughters and sons crossed the stage to receive a gold lamp pin signifying service and light as part of the twice-annual Lamp of Learning ceremony that serves an official welcome to the college’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Nursing students Hanah Terhune, left, and Edirin Tebehaevu pin each other with the gold lamp pin at the ECU College of Nursing’s Lamp of Learning ceremony.

Nursing students Hanah Terhune, left, and Edirin Tebehaevu pin each other with the gold lamp pin at the ECU College of Nursing’s Lamp of Learning ceremony. (Photos by Conley Evans)

The lamp symbol, representing the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, also appears on the pin that students receive upon graduating. During the ceremony, Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, urged students to reflect on the pin’s meaning when they wear it.

Nursing students Jeremy Wilson, left, and Samantha Williams, affix each other’s lamp pins at the Lamp of Learning ceremony on Sept. 6.

Nursing students Jeremy Wilson, left, and Samantha Williams, affix each other’s lamp pins at the Lamp of Learning ceremony on Sept. 6.

“Think about your role in providing service, not only when you graduate, but also right now as nursing students,” Brown said.

Students also recited the college’s pledge, which includes promises to respect patient confidentiality, to collaborate with other health professionals, to participate in the advancement of the profession and to advocate for patients.

Natasha Walker, a nursing student who grew up in Germany and Georgia, was among those receiving a pin to wear on her purple scrubs.

“I feel like all my work has paid off to get here,” she said. “I know that it’s going to be hard, but it’s all worth it in the end. This is what it was all about, being a nurse.

Admission to the College of Nursing’s BSN program is very competitive. In addition to meeting the university and college requirements, students’ scores on a required national pre-admission exam are taken into account along with their GPA, enrollment status and other factors. Students accepted into the program this fall had an average GPA of 3.8.

Nursing student DaCaria Adams leads the line of nursing students into the auditorium at the Brody School of Medicine for the Lamp of Learning ceremony.

Nursing student DaCaria Adams leads the line of nursing students into the auditorium at the Brody School of Medicine for the Lamp of Learning ceremony.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications

ECU Physicians nurse practitioner earns dermatology certification

A nurse practitioner with ECU Physicians has earned a certification in dermatology.

Erin McGillicuddy Hurd has been awarded the Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) designation by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board (DNCB) – a certification held by only two others in the state and 270 individuals nationwide. While many nurse practitioners and physician assistants work in specialized fields, only a small percentage of them are board-certified in their specialty.

Erin McGillicuddy Hurd

Erin McGillicuddy Hurd (Contributed photo)

For the past four years, Hurd has worked in ECU Physicians’ dermatology clinic, seeing patients from across eastern North Carolina.

The Greenville native holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Wake Forest University, a bachelor’s in nursing from ECU’s College of Nursing and a master’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Erin has been an incredible addition to ECU Dermatology,” said ECU dermatologist Dr. William Burke. “Her compassionate care as well as her tremendous increase in knowledge of dermatology has been a welcome help in meeting the high demand for dermatologic patient care in eastern North Carolina.”

“I want my patients here at ECU to know that I was trained by the most amazing teachers North Carolina has to offer,” said Hurd. “I want to truly show what an amazing program ECU Dermatology is, and me passing the certification test is just a testament to that. I am ecstatic to be a part of this prestigious group.”

Hurd and her colleagues see patients at ECU’s Moye Medical Center, 517 Moye Blvd. in Greenville. Appointments can be made by calling 252-744-3109.

 

-Contact: Kelly Rogers Dilda, Health Sciences Communications, rogerske@ecu.edu, 252-744-2232

Boys & Girls Club members explore nursing at ECU

Farmville Boys & Girls Club members hear from faculty about the nursing profession.

Farmville Boys & Girls Club members hear from faculty about the nursing profession. (Photos by Conley Evans)

A group of middle school and high school students from the Farmville Boys & Girls Club paid a visit to the ECU College of Nursing Thursday, July 19, to learn more about the nursing profession.

During their visit, faculty members explained the variety of career options available to nurses as well as the ways to get started down the career path toward being a nurse.

The club members see a hands-on example of how the college trains its nursing students.

The club members see a hands-on example of how the college trains its nursing students.

A club member “bandages a patient” with toilet paper.

A club member “bandages a patient” with toilet paper.

The group then traveled to one of the college’s simulation labs for a hands-on example of how the college trains its nursing students. Using one of the college’s state-of-the-art manikins, students learned to care for a diabetic patient.

They ended their visit with a relay race that included putting on nursing scrubs and “bandaging a patient” with toilet paper.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications

After wife’s death, professor creates nursing scholarship in her name

Dr. Tom Irons keeps a voicemail on his phone of his wife laughing. It’s just a short giggle in an otherwise mundane message, but her laugh is one of the many things he adored about her.

When she passed away unexpectedly in May 2016, Irons struggled not only with the shock of her death, but how to keep her memory alive.

Dr. Tom Irons with his wife, Carol

Dr. Tom Irons with his wife, Carol (Contributed photos)

Here was a woman who lived life so fully, who was so strong and vivacious. Carol Irons loved music, theater and Pirate athletic events. She laughed loudly and often and was not afraid to use colorful language. She was a fierce friend, a devoted mother and an empathetic and accomplished nurse. She was outspoken about social injustices and equality and was an advocate of women’s and children’s health.

“She really knew how to take care of other people,” Irons said.

He decided to create a scholarship in Carol’s name for Honors College students who are interested in women’s and children’s health, show commitment to service and demonstrate financial need.

“I think the primary reason I chose to do this with the support of my children was that I wanted the things she stood for to continue. To have something in her name that would give aspiring nurses the opportunity to enhance and fund their education,” he said.

Irons is a professor of pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine, director of ECU’s generalist physician program and associate vice chancellor for regional health services. He is a Greenville native who returned home in 1981 to join the faculty at Brody. After he and Carol raised three children, Carol went back to school to get her master’s degree in nursing from ECU and later joined the faculty as well. Both of their sons, Tom Jr. and James, graduated from ECU. Their daughter, Sarah, did not attend ECU but is a physician like her father.

Nurses are uniquely prepared to cultivate their empathy, and Carol was good at it, whether it was opening their home to neighborhood children and strangers in need or deciding at age 60 to go to Africa and start a health clinic in Zambia. To her core, she believed in service, a tradition she shared with her husband and ECU.

Tom and Carol Irons on a medical mission trip in western Zambia.

Tom and Carol Irons on a medical mission trip in western Zambia.

“Something that was important to Carol and I was that, if we were to be remembered for anything, we wanted to be remembered for what we gave, and I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about how we served,” Irons said. “I believe we give for the students of the future, the young faculty of the future. To show that this university stands for what it says it does.”

The Carol Irons Nursing Scholarship is also about Carol’s legacy for her family.

“I’d like my (seven) grandkids to look at this scholarship and say, ‘That’s named after my grandma,’” Irons said. “I’d like them to know what a great nurse she was, and a great citizen. I think this is an opportunity to let other people know what she stood for.”

 

-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

ECU College of Nursing inducts 11 into Hall of Fame

The ECU College of Nursing inducted 11 new members to its Hall of Fame on Friday, March 16, and honored its newest Distinguished Alumni Award winner during a ceremony at the Hilton Hotel Greenville.

The Hall of Fame, which honors outstanding contributors to nursing in education, administration, research and practice, has raised $116,000 for merit-based student nursing scholarships since 2011. It is one of only two academic hall of fame programs at ECU. This year’s event raised $25,000 in scholarship funds which were distributed among five students equally.

Eleven new members were inducted into the College of Nursing Hall of Fame on Friday, March 16, 2018, during a ceremony at the Hilton Greenville. The ceremony also honors a distinguished alumnus each year. (Photos by Conley Evans)

Eleven new members were inducted into the College of Nursing Hall of Fame on Friday, March 16, 2018, during a ceremony at the Hilton Greenville. The ceremony also honors a distinguished alumnus each year. (Photos by Conley Evans)

This year’s class includes inductees who have served in leadership roles for major medical centers, national health care non-profit organizations, higher education and the military. Two inductees were honored posthumously and their awards were accepted by family members on their behalf.

“This Hall of Fame not only recognizes our outstanding leaders, but is another way to give back to future generations of nurses,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing.

Inductees to the College of Nursing Hall of Fame receive a flame-shaped award that mirrors the flame featured in the College of Nursing pin, representing a vibrant life.

Inductees to the College of Nursing Hall of Fame receive a flame-shaped award that mirrors the flame featured in the College of Nursing pin, representing a vibrant life.

The 2018 inductees join 100 other Hall of Fame members. Each receives a flame-shaped award that mirrors the flame featured in the College of Nursing pin, representing a vibrant life.

Two of this year’s Hall of Fame Scholarship recipients — Shana-Ann Caballes and Aaron Jamison — attended the event.

“Most people don’t know the process you have to go through to be a nurse anesthetist. It involves taking graduate-level courses in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and clinical anesthesia courses as well. That’s the first 15 months. The following 15 months includes clinical aspects as well,” said Caballes, a senior in the college’s master’s program in nurse anesthesia. “Needless to say, it leaves absolutely no time for any outside employment. … I really appreciate this scholarship. It’s changed my life.”

This year’s Hall of Fame class:

  • Daphne Brewington, Winterville, NC
  • Beth Bryant, Greenville, NC
  • Howard Burtnett, Winterville, NC
  • Patricia Crane, Asheboro, NC
  • Phyllis DeAntonio, Greenville, NC
  • Mark Hand, Raleigh, NC
  • Janet Joyner, Greenville, NC
  • Deborah K. Kornegay, Wilmington, NC
  • Sandra Manning, Greenville, NC
  • Ann Schreier, Greenville, NC
  • Wanda Snyder, Garner, NC

The college also recognized the recipient of its 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr. Annette Wysocki. Wysocki received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and Master’s of Science in Nursing from ECU and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She serves as Associate Dean for Research and Professor at the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusettes, Amherst. She is also the Pilot Project Core Director of a $1.2 million P20 Center Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications

UnitedHealthcare donates to ECU College of Nursing

UnitedHealthcare Community & State of North Carolina presented East Carolina University’s College of Nursing with $25,000 on Friday, Feb. 12 to fund scholarships for students enrolled in the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program.

A new grant from UnitedHealthcare will help students, especially those in rural parts of the state, earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

A new grant from UnitedHealthcare will help students, especially those in rural parts of the state, earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The RIBN program helps students, especially those in rural parts of the state, earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The program operates through an innovative partnership with seven local community colleges and ECU. The scholarships funded by UnitedHealthcare will support access to education for aspiring nurses and allow them to better serve the health care needs of North Carolinians.

“The goal of the RIBN program is to help provide a pipeline of baccalaureate nurses to underserved and rural parts of the state by making it easier and more affordable for students from those communities to obtain their BSN,” Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of ECU’s College of Nursing. “Through our partnership with UnitedHealthcare, we will be able to support the educational attainment of these aspiring nurses by helping them overcome economic barriers they may face.”

UnitedHealthcare Vice President of Business Development Brian Cresta spoke before presenting a check to the ECU College of Nursing for student scholarships in the RIBN program. (contributed photos)

UnitedHealthcare Vice President of Business Development Brian Cresta spoke before presenting a check to the ECU College of Nursing for student scholarships in the RIBN program. (contributed photos)

The community colleges participating in the RIBN program are Beaufort County Community College, Carteret Community College, College of the Albemarle, Craven Community College, Lenoir Community College, Pitt Community College and Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

Students in the RIBN program spend the first two years of their coursework at a community college campus while completing at least one online course per semester through ECU. They receive an associate degree in nursing at the end of their third year, and after passing the state licensure exam, they progress to the program’s fourth year with online coursework at ECU in preparation for their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“By collaborating with partners like ECU’s College of Nursing, we hope to help increase access to quality healthcare throughout North Carolina, particularly in rural communities where there is a dire need,” said UnitedHealthcare Community & State of North Carolina CEO Anita Bachmann. “This program provides quality training to prepare a much-needed nursing workforce to meet the needs of the residents of North Carolina.”

UnitedHealthcare donated $25,000 for student scholarships in the ECU College of Nursing’s Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program.

UnitedHealthcare donated $25,000 for student scholarships in the ECU College of Nursing’s Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program.

Students may apply for the scholarships online at AcademicWorks.com, and recipients will be announced in mid-April. The UnitedHealthcare RIBN Scholarships will cover the 2018-2019 school year. This scholarship program financially assists seniors in the RIBN program as the last year is the most expensive for these students. Preference will be given to students who excel academically, demonstrate financial need, and wish to begin or continue to work in rural underserved areas.

 

For more information on the RIBN program, visit ecu.edu/cs-dhs/nursing/ribn.cfm

 

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

ECU alumna named NC School Nurse Administrator of the Year

From her 30-year career as a school nurse and nurse administrator, Terri Joyner knows that healthy children learn better— and that school nurses are key to making that happen.

The ECU alumna was recently named the School Nurse Administrator of the Year by the School Nurse Association of North Carolina.

Joyner said she was “overwhelmed” by the recognition, and that the award is an acknowledgment of the hard work school nurses and nurse administrators do on a daily basis.

Liz Newlin, former president of the School Nurse Association of North Carolina (left), presents Terri Joyner (right) with the 2017 School Nurse Administrator of the Year Award.

Liz Newlin, former president of the School Nurse Association of North Carolina (left), presents Terri Joyner (right) with the 2017 School Nurse Administrator of the Year Award. (contributed photo)

“Most people think it’s all Band-Aids and boo-boos, but it’s not that at all,” Joyner said. “Kids face much bigger health needs than most people realize. School nurses can make a really big impact on overcoming those barriers.”

Joyner received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from ECU in 2005 and Master of Science in Nursing in 2013. After working as a school nurse for 10 years, she became the manager of the School Health Program at Vidant Medical Center, where she oversaw the 20 school nurses serving Pitt County’s 37 schools. She retired in January.

“Terri (was) responsible for 24,000 students—24,000 sets of parents—and 3,000 staff,” Catherine Dews Nelson, senior administrator for Community Health Programs at VMC said in a press release. “The scope alone is mind-boggling, especially when you consider anything can happen at any time, any day that might require a nurse’s attention. The entire community benefits greatly from the dedication and expertise Terri brings to the work.”

Because there is not a nurse at every school each day, nurses in Pitt County must ensure schools can handle health needs when they aren’t there. They also help families navigate health care systems and find health resources.

About 20 percent of children in Pitt County have chronic health conditions, Joyner said. Nurses work with those children to guarantee access to education regardless of health needs. Joyner managed the county’s school nurses, helped them locate resources and coordinated care between the school system, the hospital and the health department.

Her favorite part of the job was the staff, she said. “I worked with the best group of women nurses out there. They are so passionate about the kids in Pitt County and helping the kids be successful academically and with their health.”

Joyner also works part-time with ECU’s College of Nursing. She said she enjoyed ECU’s program as a student and chose it for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees knowing “it was the place where I would get what I needed to improve my own practice as a nurse.”

 

-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

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