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. 

 

 

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Jun 182013
 

From now until mid-July, nearly 5,000 new students will visit ECU’s campus for summer orientation. All over campus, students who just graduated from high school are learning about college classes and visiting residence halls to get a feel for life at ECU.

During the two-day orientation visit, intended nursing majors will meet with advisors and administrators from the College of Nursing to learn about the curriculum and student resources. The prerequisites for the nursing program are rigorous and students are well-prepared for entry to the College of Nursing.

The top questions/answers from today’s sessions were:

How many students are admitted to the BSN program each year?
The College of Nursing admits 130 students each semester (260 each year). Students enroll in approximately 60 semester hours of prerequisites before they apply to the College of Nursing in their sophomore year.

What if my child does not get admitted to the College of Nursing?
Fortunately, ECU is a large university that offers 102 undergraduate degree programs for students to explore. Often, students are interested in a healthcare career but nursing is not the best fit for them. We encourage these students to consider their interests and keep their options open by making good grades and taking elective courses that count for several different majors.

Where will my clinical rotations be?
The College of Nursing has partnerships with clinical agencies all over eastern North Carolina. In order to provide students with clinical experiences in many different healthcare settings, students may travel up to 90 minutes from Greenville.

What makes ECU College of Nursing special?
ECU graduates more new nurses than any school in North Carolina. With over 7500 alumni, Pirate Nurses work and live in all parts of NC and the nation. ECU ranks very high state-wide with an average of 96% percent of our students passing the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on the first attempt.

In her orientation welcome presentation, Dean Sylvia Brown proudly tells students that Pirate Nurses are honest, committed and passionate about helping others. As a Pirate Nurse herself, she knows firsthand what the students will experience when they arrive in August!

Visit www.nursing.ecu.edu for more information about ECU College of Nursing.

Laurie Evans, MA
Director of Marketing
ECU College of Nursing

Mar 052013
 

Spring is the time when high school seniors (and their parents) make final decisions about college for the fall. Students who are considering a career in nursing have multiple options and pathways to become a nurse. So, which path will you choose?

Traditional BSN Students
Traditional students who enter East Carolina University as first-year students devote two years to pre-requisite courses before they apply to the College of Nursing. Admitted nursing students begin taking nursing classes in their junior year. Students who bring in transfer hours or Advanced Placement hours may apply to the nursing major early.

FPNLLV: Making ECU Feel like a Small School
Traditional first-year ECU students may apply to live in a learning community for intended nursing majors. Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village students live in one residence hall and are registered for several pre-requisite classes together. Students say the village-model helps them adjust to university life and makes the university seem like a much smaller environment. Registration is now open for the 2013-2014 FPNLLV, and the Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village application is available on the College of Nursing web site.

RIBN
ECU also offers RIBN (Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses), an option that allows students to enroll at the university and an area community college at the same time. In this partnership, students take classes at both schools and earn an associate degree and a bachelor degree in four years. RIBN is often less expensive than attending the traditional on-campus program at ECU.

RN-BSN Option
The RN-BSN Option is for students who complete a two year associate degree nursing program in a community college and return to school to get their bachelor of science in nursing degree. RN-BSN students are Registered Nurses who are seeking the BSN. The curriculum is 100% online, allowing students to work while they go school.

Even though there are several pathways to become a Pirate Nurse, all of the options guarantee that students will have a first-rate experience at a university with a strong record of nursing excellence. ECU graduates more new nurses than any school in North Carolina, and our graduates score high pass rates on the NCLEX-RN national licensure exam.

Which path will you choose?

Jan 292013
 

ECU College of Nursing’s online graduate program received a huge accolade last week when US News & World Report released the 2013 Best Schools ranking which put the program in the #10 spot.

Unlike previous online program rankings, the 2013 list compares quality, not just the number of students enrolled in programs. Schools are evaluated on factors like student engagement, faculty credentials, admissions selectivity and student services and technology.

Online education is especially good for nurses because these professionals are desperately needed in the workforce while they pursue an advanced graduate degree. With online education, students are able to work and go to school at the same time. Students also participate in virtual clinic simulations and complete practicum hours in hospitals or agencies near their home.

ECU’s nursing online graduate program areas of study are:

Nursing Leadership
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Family Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Nurse-Midwifery
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Nursing Education

Many graduates of the program provide primary care to citizens, especially in eastern North Carolina, while others serve as leaders in hospitals and health centers. The nursing education focus prepares instructors for colleges and universities so that more new nurses may enter the profession.

Pirate Nurses rank high in patient care and U.S. News & World Report!

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