Apr 112014
 

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses a public health intervention you developed, you know you’ve done something right.

For Dr. Anonia Villarruel, that “something right” was conducting extensive research to determine the efficacy of ¡Cuídate!, a sexual risk-reduction program for Latino adolescents. The program is one of only several such initiatives to have demonstrated effectiveness for both Spanish and English speakers.

Villarruel, the Nola J. Pender Collegiate Chair and Associate Dean for Research and Global Affairs at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, discussed her research as part of the Siegfried Lowin Visiting Scholar Lecture Series at the East Carolina University College of Nursing on April 8.

Villarruel, who will assume the role of dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in July, said that ¡Cuídate! uses activities such as role-play and group discussion. The program helps adolescents develop knowledge and skills to reduce their risk of STDs, HIV and unplanned pregnancy through strategies such as sexual abstinence and correct condom use.

She tested the intervention with at-risk youth in Philadelphia, with both youth and parents in Mexico, and with parents in a computer-based version of the program. The randomized controlled trials she conducted showed that participating youths had reduced incidence of unprotected sex and increased condom use.

“You have an adult that’s engaged with a student, listening to them, not talking down to them, accepting to them,” she said about the program. “That’s what I think the magic is.”

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It was that success that caught the attention of Dr. Kim Larson, associate professor in the ECU Department of Undergraduate Nursing Science. She consulted with Villarruel over the course of several years to bring ¡Cuídate! to eastern North Carolina in 2013. Larson and a team of academic and community partners worked with two public schools to study the program’s efficacy with a new Latino sub-group in a rural region of the southern United States.

“Our pilot study successfully implemented ¡Cuídate! with adolescents of Mexican and Central American origin in a rural, conservative geographic region of the country using a community-based participatory research approach,” Larson said. “This was a pilot study that will provide data for a community-level intervention trial to further advance the research in this area.”

In closing her talk, Villarruel encouraged the audience to consider the policy implications of their research. She also emphasized the importance of communicating research results not just with medical practitioners but also with the public.

“It’s about somebody else taking on that banner and moving it forward to better their community,” she said. “I think that is the work that we are all about.”

The Siegfried Lowin Visiting Scholar Lecture Series is sponsored by the ECU College of Nursing and the Sigma Theta Tau Beta Nu chapter.

The series began in 2007 through the generosity of ECU faculty members Dr. Mary Ann Rose, professor and chair of the department of graduate nursing science, and Dr. Walter Pories, professor and surgery and biochemistry. The couple named the series in memory of Pories’ uncle, who greatly respected the nurses who cared for him throughout an extended illness.

(Pictured from left to right are: Brenda Nuncio, program director at Wayne County Cooperative Extension; Larson; Villarruel; and Dr. Sharon Ballard, chair of the ECU Department of Child Development and Family Relations. Ballard, Larson, Nuncio and two school health nurses who are not pictured made up the research team that implemented ¡Cuídate! in North Carolina.)

Want more CON news? Visit our news page or follow @ECUNursing on Twitter. Questions? Contact willye14@ecu.edu.

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Apr 012014
 

Nurses who work in bariatric surgery units or care for patients who are morbidly obese face unique challenges. A conference being held Thursday, May 1, and Friday, May 2, at the Greenville Hilton Hotel will give the health care professionals educational tools they need to help care for this specific type of patient.

The conference, “The Many Faces of Bariatric Nursing,” is co-sponsored by the East Carolina University College of Nursing and the National Association of Bariatric Nurses. It will kick off with a networking reception at 7 p.m. Thursday and continue with daylong programming on Friday. Sessions will cover topics such as caring for children affected by obesity, the relationship between obesity and exercise, the effect of bariatric surgery on couples’ relationships and more. (The conference brochure, available for download here, includes the complete agenda.)

“These obese patients present many nursing challenges,” said event organizer Dr. Mary Ann Rose, explaining that issues range from safety concerns for nurses transferring patients to skin care problems for patients with a lot of weight bearing down on their joints.

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Rose, who is pictured at left, is professor and chair of the department of graduate nursing science as well as founding president and emeritus board member of NABN. She said the event is an excellent continuing education opportunity. Organizers have requested that it count as .7 contact hours, which will be awarded to participants upon completion of the program.

Registration costs $100 for regular admission, $50 for ECU faculty and Vidant employees, or $25 for ECU students. Fees include the evening networking reception and daylong program as well as a one-year membership in the National Association of Bariatric Nurses.

Rose pointed to North Carolina’s relatively high obesity rates as one motivating factor for holding the event. About 28 percent of adults in the state are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The statistics are even higher in eastern North Carolina,” she said, “so we wanted to provide nurses here with an educational opportunity to support them in serving this population.”

Want more CON news? Visit our news page or follow @ECUNursing on Twitter. Questions? Contact willye14@ecu.edu.

Mar 262014
 

The East Carolina University College of Nursing inducted nine members to its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held March 7 at Rock Springs Center in Greenville. The event, which also recognized the 2014 Distinguished Alumna, honored outstanding contributors to nursing in the areas of education, administration, research and practice.

The Hall of Fame has raised nearly $80,000 for a merit-based student scholarship fund since its inception in 2011. Thanks to the program, the college will award its fourth Hall of Fame Scholarship this fall. This year’s recipient, senior nursing student Katherine Waters, was recognized at the event.

“The Hall of Fame is a way to acknowledge the accomplishments of exemplary leaders in the field of nursing,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “It’s fitting that we honor them by supporting the education of some of our brightest students.”

The 2014 inductees join a list of more than 60 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 service and a vibrant life.

This year’s Hall of Fame class is Barbara Adams, Michelle Brooks, Dr. Robin Webb Corbett, Dr. Cheryl Duke, Carol Hallisey, Dr. Marie Pokorny, Helene Reilly, Linda Siegrist and Joanne Suggs.

On a night set aside for celebrating influential nurse leaders, the college also recognized the recipient of its 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Debra Wallace. Wallace is a Hall of Fame member from the class of 2011 and an alumnus of the college’s master of science in nursing program. Wallace is the Daphine Doster Mastroianni Distinguished Professor and associate dean for research at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Nursing. She also is director of the UNC Greensboro Center for the Health of Vulnerable Populations.

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Pictured left to right: Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, Linda Siegrist, Barbara Pendergrass (attended in honor of her aunt, inductee Barbara Adams), Dr. Marie Pokorny, Anne Suggs (represented her mother, inductee Joanne Suggs), Michelle Brooks, Dr. Robin Webb-Corbett, Dr. Cheryl Duke, Helene Reilly and Debra Wallace.

If you are interested in nominating a Hall of Fame member, contact Mark Alexander, major gifts officer, at alexanderma@ecu.edu or 252-744-2324. You can also learn more about the Hall of Fame at http://www.nursing.ecu.edu/hof_guidelines.htm

 

Mar 172014
 
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Students take the nursing pledge during the annual ceremony.

The East Carolina University College of Nursing introduced first-year nursing students to the profession at its spring Lamp of Learning ceremony on March 6.

Each student received a pin that symbolizes their commitment to nursing to wear throughout their undergraduate career. The ceremony derives its name from the pins, which are shaped like a lamp of learning and meant to remind students that they are lifelong learners who take responsibility for themselves and their patients.

The lamp also is one of the primary icons illustrated on the ECU nursing pin, which each student receives upon graduation. Dean Sylvia Brown described the meaning behind ECU’s nursing pin. Created by the college’s first graduating class in 1964, she said the shield-shaped pin represents the values the college holds dear: love, compassion, understanding and knowledge.

“I hope that all of you will think of those characteristics as you’re studying in our program and once you go out into practice,” Brown told the students, “and that you’ll be proud to be an ECU pirate nurse.”

The Lamp of Learning ceremony included a welcome from nursing faculty members and the president-elect of the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing. Attendees also learned about the college’s Student Emergency Needs Fund. The fund is made possible through a monetary gift that Brown makes in the name of each first-year student and is meant to support students facing unexpected emergency expenses. Students then took the nursing pledge and gathered with faculty to enjoy cupcakes.

“It felt like kind of an initiation to nursing school,” Rebecca Moye, a first-year student from Goldsboro, said about the event. “It’s reassuring to hear them say how big a deal it is and what an honor it is to be in nursing school, especially at ECU.”

Feb 282014
 

About 20 East Carolina University nursing students helped fit elementary students with new bicycle helmets to encourage safe rides on Feb. 26.

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Nursing students Paige Eming and Karina Dierolf check the helmet’s fit.

The undergraduate students, led by College of Nursing clinical instructor Rachelle Denney, worked with 125 fourth-graders at Ridgewood Elementary School in Winterville. The students are in a pediatric clinical rotation this semester.

The event was sponsored by the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program and Safe Communities Coalition of Pitt County at Vidant Medical Center.

The injury prevention office usually works in about six to eight schools and fits helmets for 800 to 1,000 students annually, said Jennifer Smith, manager of the program.

Many parents and children are not aware of local and state laws about helmets and why it’s important to wear a helmet.

On July 5, 2001, North Carolina enacted the Child Bicycle Safety Act. The law requires every person under 16 years old to wear an approved bicycle helmet when operating a bicycle on any public road, public bicycle path or other public right-of-way.

The purpose of the law is to reduce the number of head-related injuries and deaths from bicycle crashes. Studies show that helmets prevent 60 percent of head injury deaths and reduce the overall risk of head injuries by 85 percent. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries, and at least 10,000 kids have injuries that require a hospital stay. For more information, call Smith at 252-847-8668.

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Nursing student Charles Mosley adjusts the strap for a Ridgewood elementary student.

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ECU College of Nursing student Anna Bunch chooses a helmet for a student.

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