Jun 032014
 
ECU ROTC cadet Teddy Protonentis

ECU ROTC cadet Teddy Protonentis holds the flag during a Veterans Day ceremony on campus. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

East Carolina University’s graduate programs in nursing and business rank among the nation’s best in online education for veterans, according to a listing released May 20 by U.S. News & World Report.

The ECU College of Nursing ranked second in the country for masters of nursing programs. The online Master of Business Administration program in the ECU College of Business ranked 15 in the nation.

Now in its second year, U.S. News ranked bachelor’s programs and online master’s programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing to help veterans and service members identify high-quality online degree programs to pursue college or advanced degrees under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“Veterans and active-duty service members face unique challenges as students, from transitioning between bases and grappling with deployment to balancing work and family life upon return,” said Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News, noting the programs’ flexibility.

ECU’s College of 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.

Students have previously completed undergraduate education in nursing and often have extensive clinical experience. Online coursework is augmented by periodic campus visits for hands-on training and education that is overseen by experienced faculty and community-based preceptors close to the students’ home.

“Our online graduate programs offer the flexibility that veterans and active-duty service members need,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, College of Nursing dean. “We’re proud that this flexibility gives those who have served our country access to a first-class nursing education.”

During the 2012-2013 academic year, 45 military veterans and active service members were enrolled in the College of Nursing’s online nursing programs.

The online program in ECU’s College of Business is the largest online MBA program in the UNC system. This spring, there were 21 graduate students and 92 undergraduate students identified as veterans who were enrolled in the College of Business.

“Ties between business institutions and the military are crucial to developing leaders who make a difference in their communities,” said Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the College of Business. “The College of Business is proud to enable members of the military to earn their business degrees online, providing new tools and knowledge that prepare them for their next chapter of life. In turn, veterans bring a level of leadership and maturity to our program, enhancing discussions and adding value for their fellow students.”

ECU’s bachelor’s programs ranked 52 in the listing.

ECU, geographically, sits in the center of the third most concentrated military corridor in the country. Craven, Cumberland, Onslow and Wayne counties are home to six major military installations – the biggest are Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune – with approximately 125,000 veterans living in the four counties or a neighboring county.

ECU’s Student Veterans Services provides a seamless transition for veterans – both academically and socially – by helping them become fully integrated into the ECU community, said Trish Goltermann, assistant director of Student Veteran Services. “Our office helps ensure that student veterans are successful in their academic pursuits, adjust to the campus environment, and eventually, transition to civilian employment,” she said.

To be ranked by U.S. News, an online degree program had to report participation in four key programs that offer educational benefits to people with military service, such as the GI Bill and membership in the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium. The programs also had to be included in the U.S. News 2014 Best Online Programs rankings released earlier this year. Those programs were measured on criteria including affordability, faculty credentials, student services and reputation, according to U.S. News.

The complete listing can be viewed at http://www.usnews.com.

Share/Bookmark
Apr 302014
 

When the National Student Nurses Association Convention was held April 9-13, in Nashville, Tenn., the East Carolina University College of Nursing was hard to miss. More than 20 East Carolina Association of Nursing Students members attended the 62nd Annual event, with several of those presenting research posters or being honored as awardees.

ECANS_webECANS President Rachel L’Esperance accepted the grand prize for NSNA’s InTouch contest at the event. ECANS won first place in the 2013-2014 membership recruitment contest by attracting 129 new NSNA members. In addition to sponsored prizes, the group received one trip to the convention, including airfare, accommodations and registration.

“I love helping others, and that’s why I want to be a nurse,” said L’Esperance, a senior nursing student. “I love helping others professionally as well and giving everyone an opportunity to know about our organization.”

ECNAS, the North Carolina Association of Nursing Students and the parent entity NSNA are pre-professional organizations meant to aid students’ entrance into the nursing profession by giving them access to resources such as networking and leadership opportunities.

Also honored at the convention was first-year nursing student Corrie Hansen. Hansen is recipient of the Thomas H. Edwards Memorial Endowed Scholarship, given by the National Student Nurses Association’s foundation. The $2,000 scholarship will help offset Hansen’s tuition costs.

Additionally, eight ECANS students presented two poster presentations at the conference. Kelsey Bergstedt, Sydney Howard, Corrie Hansen and ECU dental student Sarah Loren Moles presented “Oral Health: Interdisciplinary Approach to Community Health Education.” Aaron Seigh, Kristyn Ruitenberg, Kaitlin Meade and Miranda Brady presented “Dollars and Sense: The Journey to NSNA Chapter Success.”

Clinical Associate Professor Gina Woody and Clinical Assistant Professor Mark Hand, the group’s faculty advisers, also attended the conference. The convention featured keynote speakers, an exhibit hall and numerous networking events for the students as well as faculty in attendance.

(Pictured from left to right are: students and NSNA conference attendees Kelsey Bergstedt, Corrie Hansen and Rachel L’Esperance.)

For more CON news, visit www.nursing.ecu.edu/news.aspx and follow @ECUNursing on Twitter. Questions? Contact willye14@ecu.edu.

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.”

2014-04-08 13.11.09

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.

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.

rosem

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.

HOF_2014_web

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