Jul 012014
 

“We had a class several times a week at night given by the Chicago Modeling Agency to teach us manners, how to walk properly, etc. At the time we hated it, but it was useful later.” – Nancy Thar Fiedler

Imagine having to take a modeling class as part of nursing training. As far-fetched as the idea seems in today’s world of theory and clinical-based instruction, Nancy Thar Fiedler, a 1960 graduate of the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing, shares her experience in the new display, “Nursing School Memories: Nursing Education in the Mid-20th Century,” currently on view at East Carolina University’s Family Medicine Center in Greenville.

The exhibit is located on the second floor across from the elevators in the Family Medicine Center, 101 Heart Drive. Memorabilia from Fiedler’s nursing school experience are featured along with objects, photographs and archival documents from the collections of The Country Doctor Museum. The items help tell a story of shared camaraderie of nursing school students as they advanced through rigorous programs marked by enduring traditions, high expectations and long hours.

The exhibit focuses on the history of three-year diploma training programs at local hospitals from 1940-1960. While attending classes, nursing students were scheduled to work in hospital wards and received on-the-job training.

Nursing school traditions including capping ceremonies, the awarding of class pins and lighting of Florence Nightingale lamps which signified students’ progress to graduation. These events occurred at nursing schools across the county and were augmented by banquets and graduation events to form an identity unique to each school of nursing. Caps, Florence Nightingale lamps, invitations and a junior class banquet poster from the Rex School of Nursing in Raleigh (circa 1947-1948) are on view in the exhibit.

By 1960, four-year baccalaureate degree programs were becoming more popular. By the end of the 1970s, most three-year diploma programs had closed and student nurses were pursuing their two or four-year nursing degrees at colleges and universities. An early style of ECU’s nursing uniform, cap and pin design also are on display to highlight the growing difference between hospital and university-based programs. Dr. Frances Eason and Dr. Kathleen Sitzman of ECU’s College of Nursing graciously reviewed the content and scope of the exhibit.

Fiedler considered nursing to be “a profession of dedication” when she entered nursing school in the late 1950s. Many would agree this description is still true today. The Country Doctor Museum invites you to take a few minutes to see this new exhibit in ECU’s Family Medicine Center.

Annie Anderson

The Country Doctor Museum

The Country Doctor Museum, located in Bailey, is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. All tours are guided and available every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Group tours can be arranged. For more information, visit http://www.countrydoctormuseum.org

 

 

 

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Jun 202014
 

Labor and delivery nurses care for women during one of life’s most transformative events. For Dorothy “Dot” Marshall Cummings, who guided hundreds of women through childbirth during her career, working with new mothers and babies was more than a job. It was her passion.

Cummings worked as a labor and delivery nurse for nearly four decades in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. A mother of six, she was known among colleagues for her eagerness to teach new moms how to care for their babies and for her commitment to mentoring young nurses.

Cummings, second from right in the front row, in her nursing class photo.

Cummings, second from right in the front row, in her nursing class photo.

“She adored children,” said her daughter, Sue Collier (BSN ’81, MSN ’91), who explained that even as she approached the end of her life at age 84, her mom drew others to her with the same engaging personality that so many of her patients loved.

To honor her mother’s lifelong commitment to nursing, Collier created the Dorothy Marshall Cummings Nursing Honors Scholarship. The new award will support full-time students who are enrolled in both the East Carolina University College of Nursing and the ECU Honors College. Students considered for the scholarship must, like Cummings, have an interest in maternal and child health care.

The award is one of two College of Nursing honors scholarships established this year. ECU alumni James and Selba Morris Harris of Alpharetta, Georgia, recently established the James and Selba Harris Honors Scholarship. That scholarship honors Selba Harris (BSN ’64), who graduated as part of the College of Nursing’s first class.

“It is the generosity of alumni like these that helps make the dream of becoming a nurse possible for our students,” said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. “We are so appreciative of their willingness to give back to their alma mater.”

It’s fitting that a nursing honors scholarship is named after Cummings, who embodied nursing’s motto of “service” long past retirement and years after learning she had Alzheimer’s disease. As a long-term resident at Golden LivingCenter in Greenville, she endeared herself to staff and other residents with her concern for the well being of others.

“If there was a resident who was upset across the room, she would try to get to them and comfort them,” said Tracy Taft, who cared for Cummings as an aide at Golden Living Center. “She still tried to help, even it was just holding your hand. That was her heart, that was the kind of person Dot was.”

Cummings’ love for nursing was so great that it inspired others to pursue it as a profession. Witnessing her dedication to helping others inspired Taft to go back to school and become a registered nurse.

“I knew she was a nurse and I wanted to give my life to helping take care of people, even if it wasn’t her,” she said.

Sue Collier

Sue Collier

Collier herself was inspired by her mother to become a nurse, dreaming of entering the profession from the time she was a little girl. Today the ECU College of Nursing graduate serves as a performance improvement specialist for patient-family engagement with the NC Quality Center at the North Carolina Hospital Association.

The scholarship is a way of building the future of the profession that has been so important to both Collier and her mother.

“A scholarship like this can be the difference between someone not finishing the program or not going to school and becoming a future nurse,” she said, urging others with the means to join her giving efforts.

And the fact that the scholarship honors a wonderful woman at the same time? It doesn’t get much better than that for Collier.

“I think the greatest way to remember someone is to help someone else,” she said.

If you are interested in contributing to this scholarship or setting up your own, please contact Mark Alexander at alexanderma@ecu.edu or 252-744-2324.

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.

May 242013
 

Chances are good that you have encountered a nurse who has played a big role in helping you recover from and illness or injury during your lifetime. But, chances are low that your nurse was a male. In fact, only 6-7% of practicing nurses are men, but this statistic is beginning to change.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, based in Washington, DC, estimates that more than 11% of students currently enrolled in nursing undergraduate programs are men. East Carolina’s College of Nursing reflects this trend with approximately 80 males enrolled in our BSN program. However, specialized graduate fields like nurse-midwifery do not have as much gender diversity. In fact, Ben Kitchin is the first male nurse-midwifery student at  ECU College of Nursing.

Kitchin, a Registered Nurse from Goldsboro, spent the majority of his career working as a critical care nurse and as a flight nurse for EastCare. Now working as a labor and delivery nurse at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Kitchin began his nurse-midwifery coursework this spring. Ben makes a great point that “Good care is not gender dependent; good care is a result of good nursing care!” Nurse-Midwives care for women throughout the lifespan, as well as provide prenatal, labor and birth care.

ECU offers the only nurse-midwifery education curriculum in North Carolina. Started in 1990, over 150 nurse-midwives have graduated from the ECU College of Nursing’s MSN Nurse-Midwifery concentration. Nurse-midwifery coursework is 100% online at ECU, and students complete clinical components of the degree in healthcare centers near their hometown.

The number of male nurses is increasing every year and it is likely that you will see a male nurse in a clinical setting soon. Take a minute to ask a male nurse why he chose nursing and you will be impressed with the dedication and passion of the response!

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor
ECU College of Nursing

 

Apr 022013
 

Even though health care legislation is on the minds of everyone, it is important to take a step back and think about how important it is to care about yourself, your colleagues and your patients.

Dr. Jean Watson visits ECU this week to talk with nursing faculty, students and guests from Vidant Health Systems about her human caring theory which is a staple in clinical agencies and academic programs around the world. Watson’s theory encourages nurses to consider a caring model that includes her Ten Caritas Processes™. The processes urge nurses to be reflective and aware of patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Watson is the guest speaker for the annual Siegfried Lowin Distinguished Scholar Series Lecture, created by Drs. Mary Ann Rose and Walter Pories in 2007. It is named in memory of Dr. Pories’ relative, Siegfried Lowin, who died in 1989. Lowin greatly respected the nurses who cared for him throughout his extended illness and the lecture series was given to the ECU College of Nursing in his honor.

Nurses touch many lives during their daily work. Sometimes, patients and nurses do not immediately realize the significance of these touches. Be sure to notice the impact you have on others—your kind words will stay with a patient for a lifetime.

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor
ECU College of Nursing