Hall named 2015 top nurse at ECU Physicians

 Brody School of Medicine, College of Nursing  Comments Off on Hall named 2015 top nurse at ECU Physicians
May 192015
 

A nurse specialist in vascular surgery has been selected by her peers as this year’s top nurse at ECU Physicians, the group medical practice of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Marquita Hall, a Duplin County native, works at the East Carolina Heart Institute. She has seven years of nursing experience and an undisputed reputation among her coworkers as “the calm amidst the daily storm.”

Marquita Hall

Marquita Hall

Her daily responsibilities include ensuring the vascular surgery clinic operates efficiently and patients’ needs are met quickly. She oversees patient scheduling and provides preoperative and postoperative education to all the clinic’s patients. All this she does, according to vascular surgeon Dr. C. Steven Powell, “in an excellent fashion and with a smile on her face.

“She is excellence personified,” Powell said. “She is cool and calm in all situations, always pleasant, has outstanding interaction with patients, and is always on top of getting things accomplished even in the busiest of situations. She is the best I have ever worked with.”

Hall’s primary source of motivation is her patients, she said. “Most of them have overcome many obstacles, and throughout it all, they continue to smile,” she said.

“I strive to provide my patients with the same quality of care I would want provided to one of my loved ones,” Hall added. “I wholeheartedly believe in treating others as you would want to be treated, and that is also what motivates me to care for my patients as I do.”

Her compassionate attitude is readily apparent, according to Hall’s coworkers. “She carries the biggest smile on her face, and it absolutely will light up a room and warm a patient’s troubled heart,” said physician assistant Brandy Wilson.

Dr. Dean Yamaguchi, a cardiovascular surgeon who works closely with Hall, said of her, “She has become the voice of patients who call into ECHI, helping to resolve often-complex medical as well as social barriers to providing appropriate medical care. She embodies what it means to be a nurse.”

Hall credits her grandparents with inspiring her original interest in nursing. Her grandmother has worked as a nursing assistant for 28 years and her grandfather has worked in mental health for Hall’s entire life.

“Growing up under their care, I witnessed the dedication, patience and compassion they exhibited toward their clients,” Hall said. “Their genuine caring natures inspired me to make a difference, as they have, in the lives of others.”

Hall’s academic success and leadership during high school garnered her a North Carolina Nurse Scholarship, and she graduated magna cum laude from the ECU College of Nursing in 2008.

After working approximately 18 months as a staff nurse in the Cardiac Intermediate Unit at Vidant Medical Center, Hall was employed for three years by ECU’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences in their electrophysiology division. She followed that job with a brief stint at the Pitt County Health Department before returning to ECU in her current role.

Hall is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key International Honor Society. In 2011, she received an ECU Treasured Pirate Award in recognition of her unique contributions to the university.

She has no intention of resting on her impressive list of accomplishments, however. Although she has no plans to leave her current position anytime soon, she eventually would like to pursue a career in nursing administration. To that end, she’s currently enrolled in the masters of nursing leadership program at ECU.

“I have a desire to not only make a difference in the lives of my patients, but to also make a difference within the nursing profession itself,” she said.

Hall’s colleagues have no doubt she’ll do just that. “Marquita is a woman who is going somewhere,” Wilson said. “She has the drive, the unlimited potential and the compassion to do great things.”

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Run or walk the 2015 Pirate Nurse 5K

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on Run or walk the 2015 Pirate Nurse 5K
Feb 032015
 
DSC_3983

Participants in the 2014 Pirate Nurse 5K braved the rain.

Get your running shoes ready! The 2015 Pirate Nurse 5K will take place on Saturday, March 28. All proceeds for this event, organized by the East Carolina University College of Nursing, benefit nursing students through the ECU Nursing Senior Class Scholarship Fund and the Linda Pynn Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Fund. Runners and walkers are welcome to enjoy the course, which traverses the ECU Health Sciences Campus. 

Registration
Visit www.runtheeast.com or click here to register.

Location
East Carolina University College of Nursing
600 Moye Blvd
Greenville, NC 27834

Start Times
7:30 a.m. Packet pick-up and day-of registration opens
8:45 a.m. Kids’ race start
9 a.m. 5K start

Registration Fees
Individual Registration: $25
ECU Student Registration: $15 (discount taken during online registration process)
Kids’ Fun Run (ages 3-8): Free but registration is required

Register by March 6 to guarantee you receive a race t-shirt. You must be present the day of the race to get your shirt. There will be two male and two female award winners in each age group.

Questions? Contact willye14@ecu.edu or call 252-744-6424.

ECU producing most nurses in North Carolina

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on ECU producing most nurses in North Carolina
Jul 082014
 

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing continues to produce the most registered nurses in North Carolina and its graduates pass the state nursing exam at a rate above the state average, according to data in a report prepared for the UNC Board of Governors.

The annual tracking report, received by the board at its June 20 meeting, said that 95 percent of the 273 graduates of ECU’s bachelor of science in nursing program who took the state exam in 2013 passed it.

The average state exam passing rate of all 12 UNC system campuses with nursing programs was 90 percent that year. The passing rate of all nursing programs in North Carolina, including those at private colleges and universities, was 85 percent in 2013, the report said.

Enrollment in all UNC nursing programs soared by 31 percent in the past five years, rising from 2,985 in 2009 to 4,212 in 2013, according to the report. Three UNC campuses launched nursing programs in recent years.

With more students in the pipeline, the UNC campuses with nursing programs are graduating 20 percent more RNs now than five years ago, the report said.

But despite the rise in nursing school enrollment, 3,500 nursing jobs remain unfilled across the state, the report said in citing March 2014 employment data.

Across the UNC system, enrollment in master’s degree programs grew from 1,471 to 1,637, or 11 percent, between 2009 and 2013. The number studying for doctoral degrees rose from 119 to 157, or 32 percent, in that time period, according to the report, which is based on data submitted by each campus.

At ECU, enrollment in master’s degree programs grew from 486 to 547 in that five-year period, while enrollment in doctoral programs grew from 31 to 49 in that period, the report said.

The Board of Governors has encouraged growth in enrollment in nursing programs since 2004 when, in conjunction with the N.C. Institute of Medicine, it created the UNC Committee on the Future of Nursing. The committee concluded that graduating more nurses was critical to improving access to health care.

More recently, the Board of Governors green-lighted new master’s and doctoral programs to increase the supply of nurses specially trained to take on more of the health care workload. An example is the doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP) created in 2013 at ECU and five other campuses.

Sylvia Brown, dean of ECU’s College of Nursing, said the DNP program will produce graduates critical to improving health care in the region. She said the program “will help to achieve our mission of improving the health of citizens through the preparation of expert practitioners who deliver primary care in rural areas of the state and assume leadership roles to advance health care delivery.”

The DNP prepares nurses for direct clinical practice and for executive roles in areas that support clinical practice, such as administration, organizational leadership, academics and health policy.

East Carolina’s DNP program coursework is totally online, and clinical practice sites include primary care clinics, hospitals, and public health care agencies. Students are required to attend skills sessions at the College of Nursing several times a year.

Twenty-one students were accepted to the first DNP class in fall 2013. More than half were from eastern North Carolina.

Remembering Dot: A nursing legacy honored through philanthropy

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on Remembering Dot: A nursing legacy honored through philanthropy
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.

ECU’s online nursing, business graduate programs rank among best for veterans

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on ECU’s online nursing, business graduate programs rank among best for veterans
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.