Author Archives: Laurie Evans

Spring News


Welcome to this issue of Pirate Nurse Notes! Spring has been very exciting in the College of Nursing with projects as complex as finalizing our request to begin the DNP program to hosting the first annual Pirate Nurse 5K. In between, faculty and students are engaged in international and interprofessional projects that truly advance nursing practice and care. I am excited to share our news and I hope you enjoy this issue. Please stay in touch–we love hearing from you!

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



DNP Program begins in August
ECU recently received approval from the UNC Board of Governors to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program beginning fall 2013. Program coursework will be 100 percent online, and clinical practice sites will include primary care clinics, hospitals, and public health care agencies. Students will be required to attend skills sessions at the College of Nursing several times a year. Interest in the program is very strong and competitive applicant pool is expected. Please visit the DNP web site if you are interested in this exciting new program.

BB&T 2013 Leadership Enhancement Grant
The College of Nursing received funding for a project titled “Expanding and Enhancing Leadership Opportunities for Undergraduate Nursing Students” from the BB&T 2013 Leadership Enhancement Grant. The project seeks to enhance the professionalism content in a current nursing leadership course. State and national nursing leaders will be invited to campus to discuss professionalism and leadership during an etiquette luncheon that will be held each semester. The first guest will be Gale Adcock, Director of Health Services at SAS and mayor pro-tem for Cary, North Carolina. The event is scheduled for April 30, 2013 in the Health Sciences Building.

5KRGBFirst Annual Pirate Nurse 5K
The first annual Pirate Nurse 5K was held on April 6 on the Health Sciences Campus. Race proceeds support the Linda Pynn Nurse Practitioner Scholarship and the May 2013 BSN Senior Class gift. On a cold April morning, 204 runners navigated through the only officially certified 5K course on the ECU Health Sciences campus. Local businesses provided awards, prizes and refreshments for the runners.


2013 College of Nursing Hall of Fame
The College of Nursing Hall of Fame inducted eleven members on March 1, 2013. The Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding contributions to the nursing profession through clinical practice, teaching, administration and research. The 2013 inductees are:

Becky Bagley
Linda Bolin
Susan Brinkley
Nancy Leggett-Frazier
Kathleen Johnson
Maura McAuliffe
Frank Moore
Tommie Pratt
Gene Tranbarger
Cheryl Whitaker
Joan Wynn


2013 Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Frances Eason received the 2013 College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award during the Hall of Fame celebration. Dr. Eason’s prominence as an outstanding leader in nursing education and her dedication to ECU nursing students continues to provide meaningful and significant experiences for aspiring nurses.




Nursing Study Abroad in Spain
Dr. Donna Lake and two nursing leadership graduate students will travel to Spain this summer for a study abroad experience. The students will spend two weeks in Madrid, and Dr. Lake will teach Nursing Management and Leadership Principles. The collaboration between Universidad Europea de Madrid and ECU College of Nursing provides courses taught in English. Visit the College of Nursing Global Health web site for more information.

ECCNL: “Moving from Managing to Leading”

This summer, East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership will offer the third Leadership Institute titled “Moving from Managing to Leading” for nursing frontline middle managers, both experienced and novice. Participants will conference on-campus May 30-31, work in online modules through the summer and reconvene on campus August 8-9. This interactive experience is focused on developing a personal leadership development plan that will benefit the participant organization. Register for the summer institute.

Larson, Kim

Larson selected as 2013 Woman of Distinction
The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women honored Dr. Kim Larson, Associate Professor, as one of ECU’s women of distinction. The committee recognized Dr. Larson with the following praise: “Dr. Larson takes her expertise beyond campus to help others. She has been recognized for her work with Latino communities in eastern North Carolina, and helped a class of nursing students raise money to provide a well for a small Guatemalan village. Her unique integration of teaching, research, and service has impacted students, faculty, and patients and has led to her substantial contributions to nursing education.” Dr. Larson also received the 2012-2013 ECU Scholar-Teacher Award.



King appointed to Military National Nursing Research Team
Dr. Ann King, Clinical Assistant Professor, was appointed as an Army Nurse Officer to the Triservice Nursing Research Team, a joint program with all branches of the military represented that funds and supports rigorous research to advance military nursing science. Dr. King and her colleagues will review research proposals for clinical relevance with funding recommendations.




Reis, PamReis recognized by ECU’s Organization of African American Staff
Dr. Pam Reis and Sharon Mallett were recognized by the ECU Organization of African American Staff at the Red Carpet Affair on February 23, 2013. The ECU African American Awards for Excellence recognize outstanding contribution by ECU African Americans in areas of leadership, professional excellence, initiative, innovation, community engagement, spirit and ambition.





Flag_of_Nicaragua.svgNicaragua: Project Health for Leon
Drs. Donna Lake and Debra Kosko joined three Brody School of Medicine physicians on a semi-annual mission to Nicaragua. Six medical students and three MSN students also participated in the project. The group treated hundreds of patients in cardiology (adult and pediatric), general medicine, gynecology. In addition, Lake and Kosko deepened our relationship with the nursing school at UNAN-Leon while teaching seminars, leading quality improvement projects and continuing a research project that will hopefully be published.

D-J-022 jean head purple scarf


Jean Watson visits for Lowin Lecture
Dr. Jean Watson was the keynote speaker for the Lowin Lecture on April 2, 2013. In addition to the keynote address, Dr. Watson also shared her human caring theory in sessions for students (graduate and undergraduate) and Vidant Medical Center leaders. A passionate and enriching speaker, Dr. Watson inspired many attendees to be more thoughtful and compassionate in their everyday nursing practice.





Scout Out Nursing
Sigma Theta Tau Beta Nu Chapter held another successful Scout Out Nursing event on March 23, 2013. Over 140 eastern North Carolina Girl Scouts attended the event which introduces the nursing profession to young people. Some of the topics Scouts learned about were the history of nursing, first aid, CPR and military nursing. High school participants networked with current nursing students and had the opportunity to discuss admission requirements.

2012 ECU Nurse-Midwifery MSN graduates earned a 100% pass rate on the Midwifery Certification Board Exam!

January 2013

From the Dean’s Desk…

The College of Nursing is looking forward to the start of a new year and a new semester. We have lots of news to share with you and we are looking forward to the many new opportunities that lie ahead as we continue to build on our reputation of excellence. Here are a few of the reasons you can be proud to be a Pirate Nurse…

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



Like mother, like daughter

On December 15, 2012, CON faculty member Cindy Winstead shared a special moment with her daughter, Iva Marie, during the College of Nursing unit graduation recognition program. Like her mom, Iva Marie is now a graduate of the college’s BSN program and received her pin and the CON pin her mother earned 1988. Cindy also completed the College of Nursing’s MSN program in 2007. What a special way to celebrate Iva Marie’s graduation from ECU!



Lt. Col. Felicia Rivers, RN, PhD visits ECU

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Lt. Col. Felicia Rivers, RN, PhD visited the College of Nursing to share her experiences as a nurse researcher. Rivers’ presentation discussed the reintegration of US Army nurses after deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. This engaging discussion also highlighted the important work nurse researchers are doing in the military, both abroad and stateside. Dr. Patricia Fazzone organized the visit through collaboration with the ECU Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development in support of the College of Nursing’s commitment to the national Joining Forces campaign. Dr. Rivers has been approved as adjunct faculty for the College of Nursing.

Faculty and staff send gift packages to nurse researchers in Afghanistan
After Dr. Rivers’ visit in November, faculty and staff in the College of Nursing came together to send gift packages to nurse researchers deployed to the Joint Combat Casualty Research Team at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. This unit is a joint team of Army, Air Force and Navy nurses. Dr. Carol Ann King organized the project and reported that the nurses were excited to receive ECU purple and gold sweatshirts nestled in the bottom of boxes containing things like DVDs, nursing journals, coffee, tea, candy and personal items.

Dr. Elizabeth Jesse recognized by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville

The University of Tennessee recognized Dr. Elizabeth Jesse as part of their Fabulous 40 celebration of the college’s 40th Anniversary. The 40 outstanding alumni were nominated and selected because of the difference they make in the lives of individual patients, organizations and/or the community. Dr. Jesse received her PhD from UT-K in 1999.






Fall/Summer graduation in the College of Nursing
Fall graduation brought a change of venue for the fall College of Nursing graduation recognition program. With more than 250 graduates receiving degrees, the December program was held in Minges Arena. While everyone missed the traditional quaintness of Wright Auditorium, students and families appreciated the space and no restrictions on the number of guests invited to celebrate graduations. Here is a snapshot of the fall/summer degrees awarded:

BSN                109
RN/BSN         37
MSN:              75
Post-Masters: 7
PhD:                4

ECU East-West Campus Collaboration Award
Dr. Kim Larson and Dr. Sharon Ballard (Human Ecology) received funding from the ECU Division of Research and Graduate Studies for their project, “ Feasibility and Efficacy of !Cuídate! An Evidence-based Sexual Risk Reduction Program with Mexican and Central American Youth in Rural Eastern North Carolina.” The 2012 East-West Collaboration Program supports new scholarly projects including research and creative activity that involves researchers from ECU’s East and West campuses. We are excited to build on our relationship with the College of Human Ecology through this project.

Dr. Elaine Scott to lead Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing
Dr. Elaine Scott began her term as president of the Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing on January 1. Patricia Yoder-Wise, immediate past-president of the organization, welcomed Dr. Scott to the role by describing her as a “dynamic, bright, and fun” leader. CGEAN’s purpose is to further the development and improvement of graduate education for administration in nursing. Dr. Scott previously served as director the College of Nursing MSN nursing leadership concentration and is the director of East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership.




RIBN students attend day-long workshop at ECU College of Nursing
Our first group of RIBN students (Regional Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) spent the day at ECU on Nov. 17. The group learned time management and stress management strategies for beginning college students during the morning session and they gained valuable teamwork skills at the ECU Ropes Challenge Course in the afternoon. RIBN students are concurrently enrolled at ECU and one of the four RIBN community colleges in eastern North Carolina. Visit or contact Kelly Cleaton (  for more information about RIBN. The deadline for fall admission is January 31.



NC Board of Nursing to present “Just Culture” on Jan. 31
College of Nursing faculty will have the opportunity to attend a 2-hour workshop on “Just Culture,” an innovative model that addresses nursing workplace incidents on Jan. 31. Crystal Harris, from NC. Board of Nursing, will present the workshop. “Just Culture” is based on the work of David Marx and the model has been adopted by many healthcare agencies throughout the world. Space is limited and ECU faculty will receive preference in registration; however, the workshop will be open to the nursing public if space is available. The presentation qualifies for 2 contact hours of CNE credit. Contact Jane Boardman ( or (252) 744-6504) if you are interested in attending.

Collaborative Research Day–Feb. 8, 2013
The 22nd annual Collaborative Nursing Research Day will be held on Feb. 8, 2013, at East Carolina Heart Institute. This year’s guest is Greta G. Cummings, BNSc, MEd, PhD, from the University of Alberta. The keynote address for the event will be “Leading for Improved Patient Outcomes in Healthcare.” Collaborative Research Day is co-provided by Vidant Health Systems, ECU College of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau, Beta Nu Chapter to highlight research partnerships between CON faculty and employees at Vidant Health Systems. The event is relevant to registered nurses in any practice setting, faculty in schools of nursing as well as graduate and undergraduate nursing students. The event is free and is eligible for 3 contact hours of CNE credit. Registration is required. Register online at

College of Nursing Hall of Fame Nominations
We will accept 2013 nominations for the College of Nursing Hall of Fame until Jan. 31. The Hall of Fame provides public recognition for the significant impact that a nurse has made to the advancement of nursing through clinical practice, teaching, administration, and/or research. This unique commemorative opportunity allows you to recognize and acknowledge a nurse that you would like to honor. A minimum gift of $1,000 will secure a plaque inscribed with the name of the honoree and his/her inclusion into the College of Nursing Hall of Fame, which will be displayed in the College of Nursing. New members of the College of Nursing Hall of Fame will be honored at an annual banquet hosted by the ECU College of Nursing and the ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation. The members will also be listed in the annual alumni publication, Pulse, and on the college’s website. Contact Mark Alexander ( or (252) 744-2324 if you are interested in submitting a nomination. Click here for more information.

College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award
The College of Nursing is still accepting nominations for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is designed to recognize ECU College of Nursing alumni who have made exemplary contributions to the nursing profession. One recipient is selected each year and this person is invited to speak at the College of Nursing homecoming festivities in the fall. This individual also serves as the College’s candidate for the ECU Outstanding Alumni Award. Send your nomination to Laurie Evans, College of Nursing, 4165 K Health Sciences Building, ECU, Greenville, NC 27858 or . Click here for more information.



November 2012

From the Dean’s Desk…


The fall semester is in full swing at ECU! Our College is busy finalizing documents to gain approval for our upcoming Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) and moving our 4th semester students into their capstone clinicals. We have lots to share with you in this issue of Pirate Nurse Notes—read on to hear about Homecoming, the PhD 10th Anniversary, exciting plans for our 2012 Annual Fund , our Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village, a large grant announcement and an addition to the College of Nursing administration. These are just a few of the reasons we are proud to be Pirate Nurses!

–Dean Sylvia Brown


Homecoming and the PhD 10th Anniversary
The College of Nursing celebrated Homecoming and the 10th Anniversary of the PhD in Nursing Program on October 12, 2012. We were thrilled to welcome 15 of our 19 PhD graduates back to campus for a special luncheon and celebration. Current doctoral students had the opportunity to visit and network with our PhD alumni as they shared news about their current positions and research endeavors. If you are in the area, please stop by the College of Nursing to see our lobby display honoring the work of these graduates.

$1.098 million grant to expand online education and collaboration
Dr. Pam Reis, assistant professor in the Nurse-Midwifery MSN concentration was awarded a $1.098 million federal grant for students in nurse-midwifery, medicine and other health-related disciplines at East Carolina University to team up in a virtual clinic to improve women’s health. The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration is the largest in the College of Nursing’s history.

The project aims to improve primary care of women through the lifespan by expanding an existing web-based Virtual Community Clinic Learning Environment, a format similar to the popular Second Life virtual world. Students from the Nurse-Midwifery concentration will collaborate with third-year medical students on web-based scenarios.

The grant will also expand our Mini Business Institute to teach skills that students need to build a successful health care practice. The Mini Business Institute will be offered to nurse-midwifery MSN students, ECU obstetrics/gynecology and family medicine resident physicians and interested students and faculty in the health sciences division.

First class of the Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village adjusts to campus life
Twenty-seven intended nursing majors joined our first Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village (FPNLLV) in August. The village members live together in Umstead Hall and have several classes together. One of the aims of the village is to return to the idea of nurses living, learning and working together as they did in the past. Contemporary nursing education has veered away from the living and learning module; however, our Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning module revives this tradition.

In addition to living together and having common classes, the students participate in activities to build teamwork and leadership and programs designed to help them be successful when they apply to the nursing program in the future.

Students in the village are quick to comment about the advantages of living and studying so closely with each other. They have nightly group study sessions and approach chemistry and other prerequisite courses with the benefit of a strong support system. One student summed up the village by saying that the FPNLLV makes ECU feel like a small school. With over 27,000 students, the small 27-person Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village definitely provides students with a small college atmosphere!

Students who have been admitted to ECU for fall 2013 may apply for a spot in the next FPNLLV. Traci Baer ( is the contact person for FPNLLV applications and information.

Annual Fund 2012
During the 2012 College of Nursing annual fund drive, we are excited to offer an incentive to all donors who give a gift of $200 or more. ECU College of Nursing professor emerita and renowned artist, Dr. Lou Everett, has generously offered three of her works of art to give away exclusively to our Pirate Nurses! All gifts of $200 or more are eligible to receive a giclee reproduction of one of the paintings listed below. Hydrangeas and College in the Snow are 8 x 10 inches and Breakers is 12 x 24 inches. Simply include a note with your annual fund check specifying which print you would like to receive. Prints will be mailed in January 2013. We certainly appreciate Dr. Everett’s generosity for this campaign!

College of Nursing leads “Crossing Borders” interprofessional event
Dr. Donna Lake, clinical assistant professor, recently led a group to plan and host a first-of-its-kind event that united students on the health sciences campus to explore cultures, hidden misconceptions and their own beliefs. The planning group  was made up of faculty and staff from all areas of the Health Sciences Division.

On October 25, about 240 students and 50 faculty members in allied health sciences, dental medicine, medicine, nursing and Laupus Library watched the documentary “Crossing Borders,” which follows four Moroccan students and four American students studying abroad in Spain as they travel for a week through Morocco. The students, strangers before their trip, learned about themselves and each other through candid conversations on politics, religion, poverty, conflict and education.

After the movie, ECU students divided into 25 smaller groups, led by two faculty members from different colleges or schools, to discuss how the film’s themes related to their personal lives and their roles as health care providers. Students and faculty who participated in the film viewing and pre- and post-film discussions reflected positively on the experience. Students and faculty, alike, expressed an interest in future opportunities to work together. One of our nursing students commented, “Just the hour discussion that I had today with other students opened my eyes and really helped me to realize the total circle that is involved in patient care.”

Interprofessional discussion and collaboration is important to how we prepare nurses and other health care professionals. Patients have better outcomes when their providers are comfortable communicating with each other.

The “Crossing Borders” movie has been seen by students worldwide. Director Arnd Wächter said the film is designed to empower youth by deepening intercultural empathy and initiating student dialogues. To learn more, visit . If you are interested in the model used for this collaborative project, you may contact Dr. Donna Lake (College of Nursing) at

Dr. Kathy Sitzman named Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program
Kathy Sitzman, PhD, R.N., has joined the College of Nursing administration as professor and associate dean of the undergraduate program. Dr. Sitzman most recently served at Weber State University where she was an associate professor of nursing and received many teaching awards. She has published over 100 articles in national peer-reviewed journals, two nursing textbooks, and has served as principle investigator for several studies related to caring and home visiting nurses. Dr. Sitzman can be reached at