Aug 302013
 

We are thrilled to welcome an outstanding class to the inaugural Doctor of Nursing Practice program to the College of Nursing at East Carolina University!  Our first class includes clinical leaders from a variety of areas and advanced practice registered nurse roles.

The DNP degree is a practice-focused terminal degree earned by specialists in advanced nursing practice. The DNP focuses on developing nursing experts in translating and applying research findings in clinical practice. The post-master’s DNP curriculum expands the competencies of the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) from the master’s level to encompass knowledge required as nurse leaders in increasingly complex healthcare systems to assess published evidence informing practice, improve systems of care to improve healthcare outcomes, and to make changes to enhance the quality of care. Graduates of the DNP program will provide nursing leadership to inform clinical practice, evaluate and improve health care delivery systems, improve health care outcomes and effect positive change for the citizens of eastern North Carolina and beyond.

Twenty-one students were accepted to the first class. The majority of students were from eastern North Carolina (56 percent).  The remaining students were from central N.C. (29 percent) and western N.C. (15 percent).  The majority of students enrolled in the part-time program of study (57 percent).  Of those admitted, 14 percent were male and 15 percent were identified as ethnic minorities.

When broken down by APRN role, the majority admitted were nurse practitioners (90 percent), certified nurse midwives (5 percent), certified registered nurse anesthetist(5 percent) and one applicant dually certified as adult nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist (5 percent). The inaugural cohort brings a rich diversity of clinical, policy and interprofessional expertise that will enrich the shared experiences of peer to peer learning. One of the students shared “…I could have applied to any DNP program, but ECU has a reputation and history of excellence…I wanted to go someplace for my DNP where things are done right.”

The new program supports the mission of our college to serve as a national model for transforming the health of rural underserved regions through excellence and innovation in nursing education, leadership, research, scholarship, and practice. Our college has a long history of preparing excellent advanced practice nurses and is a nationally recognized leader in online education, having been named in the nation’s top 10 masters or doctorate of nursing practice programs in the country in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report.

Building on this history of excellence, the DNP program is offered in a distance education format with requirements for four executive on-campus sessions in September, February, June, September. The inaugural cohort will be on campus Sept. 9-11. 

The DNP program emphasizes and extends the interprofessional work of a number of existing programs of research, community engagement, and service at ECU (East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute, the East Carolina Heart Institute, the ECU Center for Health Disparities Research and the Bariatric Nursing Consortium) as opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty involved in research and community engagement.

Additionally, the DNP program addresses specific priority outreach initiatives identified by ECU including the military population and the needs of vulnerable populations in this region.

Welcome to our first class!  We look forward to working with you over the time ahead as you transition into Pirate nursing leaders who will transform the health of eastern North Carolina and beyond!

Bobby Lowery, PhD, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor
Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
College of Nursing
3131 Health Sciences Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Office PH:  252-744-6363
Email:  Lowerybo@ecu.edu

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Aug 302013
 

Along with the barbecue and fried chicken, water should be a staple at your tailgate.

The Pirates kick off the 2013 season at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 against Old Dominion. Tailgate lots open at 1 p.m. providing several hours for socializing with friends in the hot and humid weather. At a media briefing this week, Lt. Chris Sutton of the East Carolina University Police Department said tailgaters should drink more water. Ideally, they should start hydrating two days before the contest especially if their tailgate will include alcoholic drinks, which dehydrate the body. “Alcohol works against your body,” Sutton said. “The longer the tailgate, the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before the game increases.” 

The American Academy of Family Physicians has the following tips on staying hydrated year-round:    

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
  • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.
  • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!

Why is it so important to stay hydrated? Your body depends on water for survival because water makes up more than half of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.

How does my body lose water? You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid fluid loss. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated? Symptoms include:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • No tears when crying

 Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act.  Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water every day.

Go Pirates!

Aug 272013
 

It’s another stellar class at the Brody School of Medicine. Check out these statistics:

BSOM at ECU Class of 2017 (Entering Class of 2013)

  • 80 of 80 are NC residents (out of 884 NC applicants)
  • 27 counties of residence are represented, from Transylvania in the west to Dare in the east
  • 41 of 80 (51%) are male, while 39 (49%) are female
  • The average age is 24, with a range of 19 to 35
  • 28 of 80 are re-applicants (35%)
  • 43 of 80 (54%) are Caucasian, while 37 (46%) are non-Caucasian
  • All have undergraduate degrees, while 12 also have done graduate study
  • 23 different undergraduate schools are represented: UNC (22), ECU (17), NCSU (15), UNC-C (3),      UNC-W (3), Catawba (2), Clemson (2), Wake Forest (2), & 15 other schools in NC & 8 other states
  • The average GPA is 3.7 undergraduate & 3.8 graduate
  • The average MCAT is 9.8 (29.5 total of 3 numerical sections)

The class includes three Brody Scholars, Hugh Quach of Belmont, Mia Marshall of Elizabethtown and Amanda Saad of Cary. In its 30th year, the scholarship program pays tuition and living expenses and encourages participants to design their own summer enrichment program that can include travel abroad.

The Brody Scholars program honors J. S. “Sammy” Brody, who died in 1994. He and his brother, Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina. The legacy continues through the dedicated efforts of Hyman Brody and David Brody. Subsequent gifts through the Brody Foundation have enabled the medical school to educate new physicians, conduct important research and improve health care in eastern North Carolina. The scholarship is administered through the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation.

Also among the students is Arun Ajmera, 19, the youngest ever to enroll at Brody. The Greenville resident was one of seven who entered medical school this year through ECU’s Early Assurance Program. That means when he began his undergraduate studies at ECU, he was guaranteed admission to medical school, provided he met certain academic goals, without having to take the medical school entrance exam.

Also in the class is Patrick Dennis of Durham who received the Bost Scholarship, worth $2,500 each year.

Dr. David Holder, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at ECU, spoke at the school’s annual white coat ceremony on Aug. 16 where the medical students receive their white coats and recite the Medical Student Pledge of Ethics before beginning their studies.

He told the new medical students about caring for a dying cancer patient – a high school student – last year. “Despite the diagnosis, prognosis or death… medicine gives us a unique opportunity to express the highest of values: compassion and love,” Holder said.

Welcome to ECU’s newest medical students!

Aug 192013
 

Hospital mental health services across the state will get a boost thanks to the expansion of an East Carolina University program that delivers expertise through a telemedicine network.

Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos joined ECU leaders in Greenville on Aug. 16 to announce the expansion.

State appropriations of $4 million over the next two years will grow a program that has served 14 hospitals in eastern North Carolina to 60 to 80 hospital emergency departments across the state. The majority of North Carolina emergency departments do not have access to a full-time psychiatrist, according to a 2010 study.

“There are a lot of other things that get publicity, but the thing that keeps me awake at night is substance abuse and mental health,” McCrory said during the announcement at Ross Hall on the campus of ECU. “This is an issue we can’t run away from. We have to reach out and help them.”

The statewide telepsychiatry program will begin operating in January. It will link hospital emergency departments to mental health professionals who can initiate treatment for emergency department patients in mental health or substance abuse crisis.

By using secure, real-time interactive audio and video technology at the bedside, telepsychiatry will enable mental health providers to diagnose and treat people needing care at any remote referring site. The program will be overseen by the DHHS Office of Rural Health and Community Care.

Dr. Sy Saeed, chair of psychiatric medicine at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, was out of town during the announcement but spoke earlier about the impact of the telepsychiatry program.

“There is no health without mental health,” Saeed said. “If you don’t have professionals in the area, you have a problem. (The program is) growing, and we serve a much larger number of patients with telepsychiatry than we were ever able to reach.”

The expansion builds on the success of ECU’s Center for Telepsychiatry and e-Behavioral Health and the Albemarle Hospital Foundation Telepsychiatry Project. The General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services recommended this project.

To expand the program, ECU will develop a provider network and set technology infrastructure and guidelines for administering the program. An advisory group will work with the Statewide Telepsychiatry Program to promote collaboration among partners.

ECU’s telemedicine program has been in continuous operation since its inception in 1992, making it one of the longest running clinical telemedicine operations in the world.

Read more about the program and watch a video at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/telepsychiatry.cfm