Jan 142014
 
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Dr. Sylvia T. Brown

East Carolina University’s graduate program in nursing ranks among the nation’s best in online education according to a recent listing by U.S. News & World Report.

The ECU College of Nursing ranked fifth out of 96 online masters of nursing programs in the country.

U.S. News ranked online master’s degree programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing on criteria including student engagement, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity, student services and technology and program ratings by peer institutions.

Nursing has been a leader in distance education on campus and since 2004 has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the largest distance education programs in the country. The current rankings assess quality categories over size.

“Our programs offer today’s working nurse the ability to pursue advanced education while remaining in the much-needed workforce,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing. “Our administrators, faculty and staff are committed to preparing nursing professionals who are making a positive impact on the health care of individuals in our region and around the world.”

Nursing offers seven online options in the master’s of science nursing program: adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing leadership and nurse midwifery. ECU offers the only nurse midwifery curriculum in North Carolina. 

Of 723 total students enrolled in the MSN program in the 2012-2013 academic year, 628 – or 86.9 percent – were distance education students.

One way in which the College of Nursing is using technology to enhance education is a web-based Virtual Community Clinic Learning Environment, a format similar to the popular Second Life virtual world, which creates case-based, health care scenarios for students to solve.

This is the second year that U.S. News has compiled numeric rankings on the overall quality of distance education programs. Nursing ranked 10th last year. The complete listing can be viewed at http://www.usnews.com/online. Highlights also will appear in the magazine’s “Best Graduate Schools 2015” and “Best Colleges 2015” printed guidebooks.

 

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Dec 102013
 

CON service day project 1 CON service day project2 CON service day project3 CON service day project4

 

 

 

 

 

Staff and faculty members from the College of Nursing have been bringing cheer to senior adults this holiday season.

More than a dozen faculty and staff decorated 13 wreaths and 26 stockings for residents at Golden Living Center in Greenville during a fall community service day on Nov. 1. They also raised funds to provide a gift card for a family in need.

The holiday decorations were delivered Friday, Dec. 6 in time for the staff at Golden Living Center to decorate for the annual holiday open house held Dec. 8.

The project planning committee was Traci Baer, Kuan Chen, Rachel Cherrier, Nik Fishel, Casey Holland, Lisa Ormond and Brenda Smith.

Nursing faculty and staff plan to do another service event in the spring.

 

Nov 222013
 

 

military panel Beta Nu banquet Nov 2013

Military officers and nurse leaders at the banquet were, left to right: Captain L. Pearson, director of nursing services at Camp Lejeune; Colonel Eleanor C. Nazar-Smith, commander of the 4th Medical Group, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base; and Colonel Kendra P. Whyatt, deputy commander for patient services at Womack Army Medical Center.

On Nov. 21, the East Carolina University College of Nursing’s Beta Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau hosted a military panel with representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force during a fall banquet at the Greenville Hilton.

Senior nurse leaders discussed their specific medical mission, nursing roles, current challenges, and successes. The intent was to raise awareness about military nursing.

The College of Nursing’s Dr. Donna Lake (Colonel, USAF Retired) facilitated the discussion to show the diversity in military nursing and stimulate thought on how ECU nursing faculty and students can partner with Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base nurses. Each speaker shared a wealth of knowledge about nursing in various settings from more than 60 years of military nursing experience collectively.

The Joining Forces national initiative was started in 2012 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support and honor America’s service members and their families. The initiative aims to educate and spark action from citizens, communities, businesses, and schools to ensure military families have the support they have earned. The campaign focuses on three key priority areas - employment, education, and wellness - while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing partnered with the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing and the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing to engage nursing schools nationwide, including ECU, in the Joining Forces campaign.

A special military tradition was demonstrated at the ECU banquet called “The White Table or POW/MIA Table,” which symbolizes a military family member who is missing at the dinner table. The small, unoccupied table is a familiar sight at military special events. No one ever sits at the table; it pays tribute to military veterans who cannot be there due to their sacrifice in defense of freedom.

Nov 112013
 
Pirate Nurse Network kickoff

ECU and Vidant nurses attended an inaugural meeting for the Pirate Nurse Network in September.

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing has partnered with Vidant Medical Center to launch its first alumni network in eastern North Carolina.

A member-driven support organization, the Pirate Nurse Network will offer educational opportunities, social and professional networking for ECU nursing graduates who work at Vidant in Greenville. Already 140 alumni have joined, and members say they are looking forward to continued growth and activities in the coming months. 

“The College of Nursing is very proud of its alumni and wants to stay connected with them,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of nursing. “It is our desire that networks of Pirate nurses can be established throughout our state and beyond as a strategy to support fellow ECU nurses and a way for them to stay in close contact with our college.”

Many ECU graduates serve as clinical preceptors for students, and the network is one way to show appreciation for their service to the college, Brown said.

Mark Alexander, director of development and major gifts in the College of Nursing, is working closely with liaisons at Vidant to facilitate network events. 

“Keeping our alumni connected will allow us to do a better job of spreading awareness on all of the great things that we are accomplishing in nursing education as well as raise awareness for areas of need and support,” Alexander said. “When working as a team, there is not a more dedicated group of people than nurses, especially Pirate Nurses.”

Two inaugural meetings were held at Vidant in September. New members toured ECU’s state-of-the-art nursing simulation labs on Oct. 17.   

“Pirate nurses can now access an organized support system within our hospital as they share their Pirate pride and engage in educational, community service and recreational activities with nurse colleagues,” said Jessica Griffin, who serves as network liaison where she is a staff nurse in the special care nursery of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant. Griffin also was president of the class of 2001 in the ECU College of Nursing.

Griffin worked with Dr. Linda Hofler, the medical center’s senior vice president-nurse executive, and Cathy Jackson Bunch (BSN ’94), staff development assistant in rehabilitation services and MSN student, to set up the network.

Initially, interested members were invited to complete a survey on how the network should function and activities that they would be willing to engage in with other alumni. Responses included a desire for monthly educational and professional networking events, opportunities for community service, mentorship and, in the future, scholarships. Nurses who are enrolled wear a “Pirate Nurse” badge reel on their uniforms, officials said.

Vidant Medical Center is one of four academic medical centers in the state and serves as the teaching hospital for ECU. The hospital is a tertiary referral center and provides acute, intermediate, rehabilitation and outpatient health services to more than 1.4 million people in 29 counties, according to its website.

Any Vidant employee and alumni of the ECU College of Nursing may contact jgriffin@vidanthealth.com or cbunch@vidanthealth.com for more information on Pirate Nurse Network. 

 

 

Nov 052013
 

nurse anesthesia pinIf you recently had a pain-free surgery, you might have a Pirate nurse anesthetist to thank. 

The College of Nursing will honor the 10th anniversary of the nurse anesthesia concentration in the MSN program during East Carolina University’s homecoming. Dean Sylvia Brown, Dr. Maura McAuliffe, director of the nurse anesthesia concentration, and Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences, will welcome guests at a reception on Nov. 8.

More than 100 students have graduated from the ECU nurse anesthesia program since the first class was admitted in 2003. All have passed the National Certification Examination and are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). Of those, 85 percent practice in North Carolina and 58 percent practice in eastern North Carolina, McAuliffe said. 

CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in a variety of practice settings and for every type of surgery or procedure.

ECU’s program was created through a partnership between ECU, Vidant Health and East Carolina Anesthesia Associates to help alleviate a shortage of certified registered nurse anesthetists in eastern North Carolina and to provide specialty training for nurses close to home.

The campus-based program requires full-time study for 28 consecutive months involving 50-60 hours of clinical and didactic education each week. Nurse anesthetist students take rigorous basic science classes with ECU medical and physical therapy students, followed by applied science courses in anesthesia. They also take nursing core courses with other graduate nursing students. Throughout the program, the students learn to integrate classroom and procedural knowledge into clinical practice in the state-of-the-art simulation lab in the ECU College of Nursing.

Students accepted into the program must be registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a minimum of one year of intensive care unit experience.

Students receive most of their clinical instruction at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, but also work at Vidant SurgiCenter in Greenville, Vidant Chowan Hospital in Edenton, Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie and Vidant Pain Management Center. Students are supervised one-on-one by a credentialed CRNA or anesthesiologist as they administer anesthesia. By graduation, the Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists have an average of 800 cases, logging from 1,900 to 2,400 hours delivering anesthesia, McAuliffe said.

For more information, go to http://www.pirateanesthesia.org