Category Archives: Nursing

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

Laupus Library pampers dedicated scholars

It was a busy time for Laupus Library over the last week as every study room and quiet space was filled with studying students preparing for final exams. From Dec. 5-11 Laupus offered special treats and pampering to the dedicated scholars to help them push through their studies.

Students enjoy breakfast snacks delivered to them by Laupus staff. (contributed photos)

Students enjoy breakfast snacks delivered to them by Laupus staff. (contributed photos)

“Laupus loves our students,” said Beth Ketterman, Laupus Library director. “We know that they are especially dedicated and hard working since they’ve chosen to pursue future health careers, so we do whatever we can to brighten their really intense preparation for exams.”

Forty pizzas, delivered and served to students the evening of the Dec. 5, kicked off the week and kept them fed and fueled for all-night cramming. Because most students hunker down in our study spaces, rarely leaving their chosen spot, Laupus decided to bring the spoils to them.

No hot cocoa is complete without whipped cream.

No hot cocoa is complete without whipped cream.

On several mornings a Laupus Library continental breakfast cart was taken to all study areas of the library, and students were served pastries and other morning snacks.

“I might cry,” said Kaitlin Oward, a first-semester nursing student. “This is the best thing ever.”

Free hot coffee and tea was offered on the library’s reference floor at all hours throughout the week. During the afternoons, a cram cart from ECU Dining Services served students energy bars and healthy refreshments.

A Laupus Library Mug Night was held on Thursday evening and allowed students to choose a keepsake mug to color and take home — but not before filling it up with all the offerings of a hot cocoa bar.

The library’s ongoing pet therapy program, sponsored by the Friends of Laupus Library and offered to students on several days, was a big success as many students were eager to spend a little time with man’s best friend.

“This is why we are proud to become ECU Pirate nurses,” said Jessie Cooke, a first-semester nursing student. “You guys are awesome for doing this for us.”

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

 

ECU faculty members inducted as FAANS

College of Nursing faculty members Dr. Sonya Hardin, left, and Dr. Donna Lake, right, were inducted as Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. They are pictured at the induction ceremony with Dr. Susan Kennerly, a professor in the College of Nursing who was inducted as a Fellow in 2016. (Contributed photos)

College of Nursing faculty members Dr. Sonya Hardin, left, and Dr. Donna Lake, right, were inducted as Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. They are pictured at the induction ceremony with Dr. Susan Kennerly, a professor in the College of Nursing who was inducted as a Fellow in 2016. (Contributed photos)

Two East Carolina University (ECU) faculty members were recently inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. The College of Nursing’s Dr. Sonya Hardin and Dr. Donna Lake were honored during a ceremony at the academy’s annual conference Oct. 5-7, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

“I am proud to welcome this talented cohort of nurses as they join the ranks of the nation’s foremost health care thought leaders,” said Academy President Bobbie Berkowitz. “They bring a rich variety of expertise to the table, and we look forward to recognizing their accomplishments at our policy conference, and then working with them to transform health policy, practice, and research by applying our collective nursing knowledge.”

Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, and sponsorship by two current Academy fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel comprised of elected and appointed fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and wellbeing of all.

Dr. Sonya Hardin

Dr. Sonya Hardin

Hardin is a professor and the associate dean of Graduate Nursing Programs in the College of Nursing. She leads an interdisciplinary team as the program director for a $2.5 million Health Resources & Services Administration-funded Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant.

With extensive national service with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses setting national standards and developing the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care, Hardin has impacted more than 80,000 acute and critical care nurses currently certified worldwide in adult, pediatric and neonatal critical care. She has disseminated the model through consulting at hospitals across the United States. She is certified in critical care and as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. She received her nurse practitioner training from ECU, a PhD from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and post-doctoral fellowships at UNC-Chapel Hill and Stanford University.

“It is an honor to be selected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing,” Hardin said. “My goal has been to make a difference in the outcomes of patient care and to strengthen the profession through patient advocacy. I am excited to have an opportunity to work with leaders within the US and from around the world to advance health policy and clinical practice.”

Lake is a clinical associate professor of advanced nursing practice and education. She has extensive international experience leading healthcare and academic teams within the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Prior to ECU, she spent 25 years in various executive and clinical nursing roles culminating as Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. She has also played an instrumental role in the improvement of corporate quality policies, health promotion and primary care for 68 medical facilities worldwide.

Dr. Donna Lake

Dr. Donna Lake

Lake is the only nurse representative on the $11 million American Medical Association grant-funded initiative Redesigning Education to Accelerate Change in Healthcare (REACH), creating the first of its kind “Teachers in Quality Academy.” She received her BSN from Stony Brook University of New York, a Master’s of Education from the University of Oklahoma and a PhD from Touro University.

“Being inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing is a very exciting and a prestigious honor,” Lake said. “Having met many of the Fellows during the induction and conference, it was incredible to learn of their expansive clinical, research, and global and national leadership impacts to the profession of nursing and healthcare delivery systems.

“I am more energized and look forward to my Fellow responsibilities and ECU faculty role to continue my work in engaging with other health leaders in transforming American’s health system, strengthening nursing and health delivery systems, nationally and internationally.”

Hardin and Lake are among 11 inductees from the state of North Carolina this year. They join five other current ECU College of Nursing faculty members as FAANs.

The academy is comprised of more than 2,500 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. Fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans and renowned scientific researchers.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications

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