Category Archives: Nursing

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

Nursing Student Group Receives National Chapter Award

 ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)


ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie
Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)

The East Carolina Association of Nursing Students has been named a Stellar School Chapter by the National Student Nurses Association.

The award, given to just five schools nationwide in 2015, recognizes chapters that demonstrate strong commitment to shared governance, professional development and ongoing involvement in NSNA.

Eight ECU nursing students traveled to Phoenix to receive the award at the 63nd Annual National Student Nurses Association Convention April 8-12.

“This student organization exemplifies the excellence and commitment that is worthy of national recognition,” said Gina Woody, professor of nursing and the group’s faculty advisor.

With more than 230 members, ECANS is the largest constituent member of NCNA in North Carolina. The group, which also earned accolades in 2014, promotes leadership and career development through ongoing membership meetings and a host of community service activities. Organizations served this year include the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Sunshine and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

One of ECANS’ keys to success is reaching out to students even before they officially join the College of Nursing. ECANS board members participate in pre-nursing “RX for Success” workshops, which share academic tips for intended nursing majors. The group holds two on-campus meetings each semester for pre-nursing students to learn about the organization. Its members also help intended nursing majors move into the Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village each fall.

Current ECANS President Jamie Williams, a senior nursing student, said that networking with fellow students, faculty and nurse leaders from all across the country has been a memorable part of her education.

“It has been a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic, hardworking board of directors,” she said. “I am proud to have been a part of an amazing pre-professional organization, and to be a part of the Pirate Nurse family.”

Stellar schools are recognized on the NSNA website. Stellar School status is awarded for five years and is renewable with resubmission of an application and supporting documents that demonstrate the chapter continues to meet program criteria.

– Elizabeth Willy

Scout Out Nursing Day introduces young people to nursing profession

Dressed in period nursing costumes, Gina Woody, co-chair of the Scout Out Nursing committee, provides instructions to nursing student Catherine Steed. (Photos by Conley Evans)

Dressed in period nursing costumes, Gina Woody, co-chair of the Scout Out Nursing committee, provides instructions to nursing student Catherine Steed. (Photos by Conley Evans)


By Elizabeth Willy
College of Nursing

More than 90 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts received an introduction to nursing during the fifth Scout Out Nursing Day, held April 11 in the College of Nursing at East Carolina University.

“The job outlook for nursing is exceptional and we hope that this event will allow the scouts to see the many opportunities the career of nursing has to offer,” said nursing professor Dr. Gina Woody. Woody was co-chair of the event’s organizing committee with fellow faculty member Bob Green.

Dr. Robin Corbett, a family nurse practitioner in the nursing graduate program, gives the scouts a primer on first aid.

Dr. Robin Corbett, a family nurse practitioner in the nursing graduate program, gives the scouts a primer on first aid.

Approximately 80 volunteers participated, including ECU nursing students, faculty and professional nurses. Attendees visited stations where they participated in hands-on demonstrations such as CPR and first aid.

A nursing history station featured volunteers in period costumes designed by the ECU School of Theatre and Dance, under the direction of theatre arts professor Cybele Moon. At another station, retired Air Force nurse and ECU nursing professor Phil Julian explained military nursing, while two nursing students played the role of patients resting on gurneys.

A simulated operating room featured nurse anesthesia faculty and students in full scrubs and surgical masks, along with a breathing, blinking and talking mannequin on the operating table. First aid topics were explained in a station set up like a campsite, with mannequins suffering from wounds sustained in a wooded environment.

Troop leaders and parents said they appreciated the opportunity to observe health care through their children’s eyes. Vidant Edgecombe nurse Jennifer Cooke said the event was an ideal way for her 7-year-old son to take a look at her profession.

“We came so he could see not only what I do when I’m at work, but also so he can explore some of the opportunities that are there for boys in health care,” she said.

Hosted by the ECU College of Nursing and the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Scout Out has educated more than 500 kids since its inception in 2007.

Scouts ask questions in the operating room lab with Dr. Maura McAuliffe and nurse anesthesia students Natalie Tyson and Lisa Foxworth.

Scouts ask questions in the operating room lab with Dr. Maura McAuliffe and nurse anesthesia students Natalie Tyson and Lisa Foxworth.

College of Nursing honors 2015 Hall of Fame inductees

Individuals honored at the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame induction ceremony pictured with College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown, far right, are Rita Coggins, Roseanne Leahy, distinguished alumna Dianne Marshburn, Madge Dews Thompson, Michelle Skipper, Becky Whitley and Pam Reis.

Individuals honored at the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame induction ceremony pictured with College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown, far right, are Rita Coggins, Roseanne Leahy, distinguished alumna Dianne Marshburn, Madge Dews Thompson, Michelle Skipper, Becky Whitley and Pam Reis.

The East Carolina University College of Nursing inducted nine members to its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held March 6 at the Hilton in Greenville. The event, which also recognized the college’s 2015 Distinguished Alumna, honored outstanding contributors to nursing in the areas of education, administration, research and practice.

This year’s class includes inductees from a range of impressive backgrounds, including a widely acclaimed Chicago-based speaker and author, the chief nursing officer of a major health system, two members of the college’s first graduating class, the former editor of the military’s Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook and several esteemed College of Nursing faculty members.

Not only does the Hall of Fame honor prominent nursing professionals, it also has raised approximately $85,000 for a merit-based student scholarship fund since its inception in 2011. Thanks to this program, the college will award its fifth Hall of Fame Scholarship this fall. This year’s recipient, Kelsey Leonard, a master’s student in the nurse anesthetist program, was recognized at the event.

“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.

The 2015 inductees join a list of 70 Hall of Fame members representing eight 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:

  • Barbee Bancroft
  • Rita Coggins
  • Jeanette Jones
  • Roseanne Leahy
  • Pam Reis
  • Michelle Skipper
  • Jacquelyn Jones Stone
  • Madge Dews Thompson
  • Becky Whitley

On a night set aside for celebrating influential nurse leaders, the college also recognized the recipient of its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award. This year’s awardee is Dr. Dianne Marshburn, who has three degrees from the ECU College of Nursing. Marshburn recently retired from a 33-year career at Vidant Medical Center, where she served as director of clinical research at Vidant since 2008.

Learn more about the Hall of Fame by visiting www.nursing.ecu.edu/hof.cfm.

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