Doctor of Nursing Practice degree coming to ECU

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Feb 152013

East Carolina University College of Nursing will be home to a new degree program in the fall! The UNC Board of Governors gave approval for ECU to offer a doctor of nursing practice degree beginning in August 2013.

Recent studies by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine call for nurses to achieve higher education levels to meet changing healthcare needs. For nurse practitioners and other advance practice nurses this means additional education with a strong focus on clinical practice.

East Carolina’s doctor of nursing practice program coursework is 100% 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.

As a leader in distance education, ECU has invested in the technology and resources to make the program successful. The College of Nursing is nationally recognized for online graduate education, so the new degree will be a natural fit in a graduate program with a proven history of successful online course delivery. Students can expect interactive coursework and considerable experience with our virtual clinic environment.

The initial DNP student cohort is for master’s prepared advance practice nurses. The program will be available to Registered Nurses with bachelor’s degrees in fall 2014. Prospective students may contact Dr. Bobby Lowery, director of DNP implementation, for application information.

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor

Nov 302012

This post is the first in a series from the College of Nursing highlighting what draws nurses to the profession. We invite our nurse-readers to comment and share your “Why I Became a Nurse” story.

As I write this narrative I am looking at a photograph in my office taken at Christmas when I was about five years old.  There I am in front of a Christmas tree in a nursing uniform hand-made by my Grandmother, complete with a nurse’s cape and cap alongside a bassinet with a baby doll.

So, I guess from an early age the idea of becoming a nurse was ruminating in my mind.  However, my real ambition to become a nurse began when I was a sophomore in high school.  At this time, my Grandmother,  who I loved dearly, (the one who made my nurse’s uniform) suffered a stroke and was hospitalized.  I saw the competent care that she received by nurses in the intensive care unit, as well as the care and compassion that was shown to her and my Grandfather.  This event made it clear to me that this was the career path that I wanted to take. I then decided to take a health careers class in high school which was taught by a nurse.  She was an excellent role model and further influenced my decision to study nursing.  The reputation of ECU School of Nursing was stellar and I knew that I wanted to pursue my study at ECU.  I loved nursing from the very beginning class.

As I was completing my undergraduate degree, I knew that one day I wanted to also teach nursing.  I truly admired the faculty and loved the teaching aspect of nursing as well as the clinical aspect.  One of the great attributes of nursing is the variety in roles one can have while in this profession.  I have been in a variety of roles– from clinician, educator, researcher, and administrator during my career.  Each role has been fun, rewarding and challenging.

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor