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A message from the dean Nurse anesthesia graduate students listen as Dr. Sylvia Brown, left, dean of the ECU College of Nursing, welcomes students, faculty, staff and alumni on Aug. 26 to the college’s 50th birthday party, the first of many celebratory events.

Dr. Sylvia Brown

“As I travel, I frequently hear stories about how well prepared Pirate nurses are for their first job. I hear that Pirate nurses stand a little taller and walk with more confidence than other new graduates. We will strive to continue this tradition as we prepare our students for nursing careers.”

It seems like only yesterday I was an ECU nursing student. Much has changed since I was a wide-eyed, beginning student, yet even more has stayed the same. As the College of Nursing celebrates our 50th anniversary, I am nostalgic for the lore and history of our college. Technology has permeated our teaching and classrooms, but the college’s mission remains. We are still dedicated to serving rural populations and we believe everyone should be treated with dignity and compassion because caring relationships are the core of nursing practice. The college’s history abounds with insightful, visionary leadership. From Eva Warren (1960-68), Evelyn Perry (1969-81), Emilie Henning (1982-90), and Phyllis Horns (1990-2009), we have grown and embraced what it means to be a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, a leader in innovative nursing education. The tireless work of my predecessors, faculty and staff make the college the vibrant institution it is today. Our alumni bring pride and respect to our college through outstanding accomplishments and contributions to health care and the nursing profession. What’s next for the ECU College of Nursing? We are rapidly becoming a national leader in using technology and simulation in nursing education. Our students benefit daily from our investments in high-tech simulation equipment, software and expertise. Faculty members are publishing on best practices for integrating technology in nursing curricula. Our East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership advances ECU’s mission to develop a student body prepared to enter the work force as leaders. As I travel, I frequently hear stories about how well prepared Pirate nurses are for their first job. I hear that Pirate nurses stand a little taller and walk with more confidence than other new graduates. We will strive to continue this tradition as we prepare our students for nursing careers. The 50th anniversary celebration began in August with birthday parties for our students. Our homecoming celebration will be Friday, Oct. 22, where graduates of the first class and faculty emeriti will share ECU memories. Our students will have a float in the homecoming parade and we will support the Pirates at the football game. In November, the Dixie Koldjeski Lecture and the Sigma Theta Tau fall banquet will feature keynote speaker Dr. Beverly Malone, chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing. The inaugural induction of the College of Nursing Hall of Fame will be Feb. 25 to provide recognition to nurses who have significantly impacted the advancement of nursing through clinical practice, teaching, administration, or research. The celebration will conclude April 9 with a gala at Rock Springs Center. You are invited to attend all events for the 50th celebration. More information is available on our website and will be sent to alumni in coming weeks. This issue of Pulse takes readers through the history of our college through the familiar voices of Alta Andrews, Frances Eason, Belinda Lee and Karen Krupa, as well alumni from each decade. Their stories are humorous and poignant and I guarantee they will stir your own ECU memories. Again, I am awed by the growth and history of our college and I hope you will join the celebrations this year. Our anniversary is a time to reflect and honor the college’s achievements, reconnect with friends and colleagues, and dream about the future. I look forward to celebrating with you!

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


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Table of contents 4 Double duty

Twins tackle courses almost 50 years apart

6 Inspector ready

Uniforms change through the years

8 A look back

Graduates from each decade share their journey

18 Why we’re No. 1 in nurses

The College of Nursing has grown rapidly to become the biggest in the state

23 Beyond Band-Aids and boo-boos

Dr. Martha Engelke’s research shows importance of school nurses

26 Reaching out

Dr. Donna Roberson studies HIV awareness among women in jail

28 Painting passion

Calendar showcases Dr. Lou Everett’s art

If you are patient at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, chances are your nurse went to ECU. Of the roughly 26,495 nurses working in North CaroIina who hold bachelor’s degrees from a state institution, nearly 11 percent or about one in nine got their degree from ECU. In nine of 28 counties east of I-95, half or more of the nurses graduated from ECU.

30 In their own words

Karen Krupa and Alta Andrews

32 At the helm

Former deans’ vision guided college’s innovation, success

34 Passing the test

Dr. Frances Eason pushes students to succeed

36 Lasting recognition

Nursing Hall of Fame, new scholarships debut

38 Nurse scholars and student scholarships 40 Sigma celebrates

42 Class notes 43 New faculty 44 Faculty publications 46 Hope in Haiti

Dr. Lou Everett combines her passion for painting and helping others. She has provided artwork ranging from historical to present-day nursing symbols for a special 50th anniversary collectible calendar.


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DoubleDuty Twins tackle courses almost 50 years apart By Crystal Baity The Jones, Creasys and Armsworths may have graduated from East Carolina University almost 50 years apart, but they share a unique bond. They’re twins. Jacquelyn “Jackie” Jones Stone and Jeanette Jones entered nursing school with the first class in 1960, graduating in 1964. Brittany and Brandi Creasy and Stephanie and Amanda Armsworth graduated this spring. Having the built-in, lifelong support of a sibling going through the same nursing classes and clinical experiences helped in tackling the demands of college. “I don’t know what I would have done without her,” Amanda Armsworth said about her twin Stephanie. “We were able to keep each other on the right track. We would remind each other of assignments. We were in most of the same classes, and at the same clinical site, but not in the same group.” Having a regular study partner helped too. “If we had questions, we were there to help each other,” Brittany Creasy said. The Creasys lived together while in school as well. “We do share a lot of the same interests, and it’s been great to experience it together,” Brandi Creasy said. As two of the first students in nursing at ECU, the Jones stood out. There were only 17 in their graduating class, compared to 204 in the Creasys and Armsworths class. “Being a twin at ECU was very special,” Jackie Stone said. “Yes, professors got us mixed up, but then they separated us and put us in different groups, so there was no confusion on who they had.” Did they ever try a switcheroo? “We thought about it, but we didn’t do it,” she said. “When you got out on a unit, you had to pass inspection. It was hard to hide behind anything or do something. We really did study it, but we never thought we could come through with it.”

The Jones Jackie Jones Stone and Jeanette Jones decided to be nurses in high school, when they were Girl Scout aid volunteers at Suffolk’s Louise Obici Memorial Hospital (now Sentara Obici Hospital). They volunteered more than 2,500 hours over four years. “The hands-on, practical experience helped us. We felt comfortable in being with patients and helping them feel better,” Jeanette Jones said. While at ECU, they joined the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International as charter members. Their psychiatric rotation was at Butner Mental Hospital, where Jackie Jones worked with a particularly troubled young man. “I apparently got too close to him. The attendants were out of the room, and I turned

Above, Brittany, at right, and Brandi Creasy graduated from the College of Nursing in May along with Amanda, at left, and Stephanie Armsworth Herrera, at far right. Top right, Jackie Jones Stone and Jeanette Jones were members of the first class of ECU nurses.


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my head, and he took a chair and attacked me,” she said. “It turned into a positive experience. I chose psychiatric nursing as my specialty and got my master’s degree. It impacted me.” She became a staff nurse in the Department of Psychiatry in the fall of 1964 at the Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University), where she worked until entering graduate school at the University of Maryland in 1968. She returned to VCU as a clinical nurse specialist in human behavior in 1971. She worked there in various positions from psychiatric liaison nurse specialist to human resources until 1995. She lobbied the Virginia legislature for psychiatric outpatient treatment and reimbursement, and helped initiate a peer assistance committee for treatment of impaired nurses. She moved to Hickory after marriage to develop a psychiatric home care program for Iredell County Memorial Hospital’s home care division, before moving back to Virginia in 1999 where she did pre-certification and utilization review for insurance companies until she retired. Jeanette Jones worked for the Virginia Department of Health in Virginia Beach as a public health nurse from 1964 until 1968, when she entered graduate school at the University of Maryland. She graduated with a degree in community health nursing and a concentration in education. She worked as a nursing supervisor for Baltimore County for a year before joining the community health nursing faculty at VCU, where she taught until 1996. Her subspecialties included gerontology and sports medicine, and she served in a part-time role as coordinator for continuing education for the Virginia

Nurses Association for 10 years. She worked in utilization review and pre-certification for the same insurance company as her identical sister from 2001 until 2004. Now, the sisters care for their 95-year-old father, Clarence “Red” Jones, originally from Rocky Mount. True Pirates, they only missed three homecoming celebrations at ECU from 1960 until 2004. “We’ve been so proud to represent East Carolina in the nursing circles,” Jackie Stone said. “It’s just great to be a Pirate and to be affiliated with ECU.” The Creasys Brittany and Brandi Creasy are fraternal twins from McLeansville. They graduated from Eastern Guilford High School, where a medical careers course taught by a former nurse exposed them to the field. They also worked in a nursing home. Through ECU’s Campus Christian Fellowship, they traveled to Togo, Africa on a mission trip with a group of nurses providing health care in a clinic. “There were a lot of leg wounds,” Brittany Creasy said. “Most people didn’t have shoes. There were a lot of farm injuries.” They also support Invisible Children, which works to raise awareness about child soldiers in Africa. As a N.C. Nurse Scholar, Brittany Creasy committed to work in North Carolina for four years, but she would eventually like to become a nurse practitioner and work overseas. Brandi Creasy wants to continue her education, with interest in nurse midwifery or nurse practitioner. In August, she married Landon Allen, who is starting medical school at the Brody School of Medicine. The sisters are members of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society for nursing.

The Armsworths Stephanie Armsworth Herrera and Amanda Armsworth grew up in a military family, moving seven times as children, from as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska, to nearby Fayetteville. The identical twins were thrilled to be accepted to ECU’s nursing program after developing an interest in high school. Herrera earned her assistant nursing license while in high school, and would eventually like to work in intensive care. Herrera became a first-time mother to a little girl, Autumn, in July, and

will take some time off before entering the work force, hopefully in a medical surgical area. She lives in Fayetteville while Amanda Armsworth recently moved to New Bern to work on the nephrology unit at Carolina East Health System. To have each other to lean on in nursing school was special, just as it was growing up in a military family and always having a playmate. They have an older brother who lives in Seattle. “As children, we pretty much looked exactly alike,” Herrera said. “Some people say we look alike now. Others say we don’t.” ■


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INSPECTOR READY Uniforms change throughout the years By Crystal Baity Reminiscent of a military muster, Belinda Lee remembers daily inspection of her East Carolina University nursing student uniform, including a ruler to measure how many inches her neatly-pressed hemline was above her knee. Two inches or less, or there would be an infraction. When Lee started clinical nursing classes in 1969, a below-the-knee skirt was required. But hemlines inched up as fashion changed.   A student dared not step on the hospital floor without a head-to-toe review from an instructor. “Professional appearance was very important,” said Lee, who received a bachelor’s in nursing in 1972, and retired as RN/BSN director at ECU in 2005. “The faculty expected us to look professional. Shoes had to be polished every day. Cleanliness was very important.” Uniforms helped instantly identify a nurse, and create a sense of unity among nurses themselves. “To tell you the truth, patients liked seeing nurses in dresses and caps,” said Dr. Marie Pokorny, historian and director of the doctoral program in the College of Nursing. “In any occupation, there are rules about how you are to look and be professional,” Pokorny said. “Even in our handbook today, the students follow rules and guidelines.” Beginning with the first class in 1960, ECU student nurses wore a blue and white pin-striped shirtdress, complete with starched white

collar, white cuffs and white stockings. There was a white cap, with folding instructions, and a name badge to identify them as ECU nurses. Students added a black stripe to their cap as seniors, having earned the honor as upperclassmen. “I was thrilled to get that uniform,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing who received her bachelor’s in nursing in 1975. And while she likes the contemporary purple scrubs and its functionality, “In some ways I am a little traditional. It’s hard to differentiate a nurse from other health care providers. There is some value in being easily recognized by patients.” For Jeanette Jones, a member of the first nursing class and retired nurse faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, the stiff and

starched uniforms of the day “gave you distinction and, by your education, you were identified by the band on your cap,” Jones said. “In the course of my career, there was a phasing out of the caps and dress types. I think men entering the profession influenced the choice of uniforms and it evolved.”   The cap – which was often secured with bobby pins or sewn-in hair combs - went the way of infection control somewhere in the 1980s. The cap was in some ways the most recognizable part of the nurses uniform. “It was a big historical loss because nurses had always worn caps because it was part of the evolution of the field,” said Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor of health sciences at ECU and a 1969 graduate of the nursing school. In 1978, a blue-and-white pinstriped pant suit became

Belinda Lee adjusts her cap before seeing patients.


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optional for women, and men wore blue-andwhite pinstriped jackets, but there were rules on pant length and where the hemline touched the shoe. “I’m telling you, they were looking at it,” Lee said of the faculty. After 33 years, the ECU uniform changed in 1993 to a white tunic with purple and gold bands and white pants. Then, students could wear tennis shoes or some other type closed-toe shoe instead of the standard-issued nursing shoe. The last change came in 2003, with the move to purple scrubs and white lab coats with a College of Nursing logo embroidered above the heart. “I think nurses need to be comfortable in order to do their job well,” said Lee, who works

part-time as a nurse practitioner at the Pitt County Health Department. “I think comfort and freedom of movement are essential in order to perform job functions easily. I can remember lifting my arms (in the shirtdress), it was really constraining.” Students today still must wear their hair pulled back, keep short nails and wear simple jewelry for sanitation reasons. While less formal today, some traditions remain. The ECU nursing pin, with the university’s motto, “servire,” or to serve, across the center, has been a mainstay. Early classes wore white uniforms at their pinning ceremony at graduation time. In 1990, students began wearing academic regalia, but still receive the pin at convocation. “I think traditions are very important because there are not that many anymore,” Pokorny said. “We have let go of so many.” ■

The modern purple scrubs and white lab coats that students wear as uniforms today were preceded by a white tunic with purple and gold bands and a pin-striped blue and white dress complete with cap.

A look back 8

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Graduates from each decade share their journey

In searching for items to commemorate 50 years of nursing education at East Carolina University, the actual audio by guest speaker Margaret Baggett Dolan to the first graduating class was quite a find. “It was surprising how much was relevant from back then,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, of the 17-minute archive housed in the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The speech is about caring and love of people, which is the heart of nursing.” At the time of her speech, Dolan was a public health nurse, professor and chair of the department of public health nursing at UNC and president of the North Carolina Nurses Association and American Nurses Association.

Back in the late 50s, state officials were trying to decide whether to buy a state airplane or start a nursing school, Brown said. Luckily for ECU and the rest of the state, leaders chose nursing. About 7,000 ECU nursing alumni practice all over the world. “It’s always nice to look back at the accomplishments and feel positive about all we’ve done to impact health care in eastern North Carolina and worldwide,” Brown said. The celebration began in August and will end in April with a 50th gala. On the following pages, we are pleased to spotlight an outstanding graduate from each of the five decades of nursing at ECU.

First class Dr. Donna Thigpen: Change maker for nursing education By Crystal Baity From nurse to community college president and lobbyist, Dr. Donna Thigpen has been a change maker for nursing education. As president of Bismarck State College, she successfully lobbied the North Dakota legislature to start associate degree nursing programs in the state’s community college system. Before 1997, nurses working in North Dakota were required to have baccalaureate degrees. “We need both,” said Thigpen, a Beulaville native and member of the first class of ECU nursing graduates.

Dr. Donna Thigpen addresses the student body at Bismarck State College, where she was president. Spearheading the effort to get the law changed and working with legislators, health care advocates and other community college administrators was a shining moment in her long nursing career. “I spent a lot of time on it,” Thigpen said. “In this country we need twice as many nurses as we have. There’s going to be a lot of old folks and no one to take care of us.”

Thigpen, who retired in 2006, speaks around the country on how to lobby legislators and get bills passed that are favorable to nurses. Before joining BSC, Thigpen was dean of student services at Trident Technical College in Charleston, S.C., a large community college with 14,000 students at the time. She served from 1990 until 1995, completing her doctorate at


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North Carolina State University while there. Her administrative skills were honed the previous 17 years at James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, where she was hired to start the associate degree nursing degree program, another highlight in her career, she said. She hired three ECU graduates – Rhonda Ferrell, Gayle Weeks Kabes, and the late Arlene Collins Rhodes - to help develop the school’s nursing curriculum. Thigpen later moved out of nursing to become dean of administrative services. “No other degree would have prepared me better to be a college president,” Thigpen said, because nursing teaches you to work with people, think critically and solve problems. Mary Taylor Wood of Warsaw worked with Thigpen at James Sprunt Community College, and they drove together to Raleigh while pursuing their doctoral degrees. Wood became president of JSCC while Thigpen was president of BSC. “Donna was very innovative in her approach to community college education,” Wood said. “She was always on the cutting edge. She had very strong leadership skills.” Thigpen decided to be a nurse after rejecting the other two most accepted occupations for women in the late 50s or 60s: teacher or secretary. “I knew I didn’t want to teach little kids. I couldn’t type. I couldn’t do shorthand,” Thigpen said. “I liked people and excitement.”

She came to ECU although she already had been accepted at the Watts School of Nursing in Durham. ECU’s nursing program was brand new in 1960. She married husband Sloan (ECU ’65) her senior year, and went to work as a public health nurse at the Pitt County Health Department after graduation, while working at Pitt County Memorial Hospital some on the weekends. “Back then, they had granny midwives,” said Thigpen, who was put in charge of the midwives at the health department. “I learned from them.” She recorded birth certificates and checked on babies born at home. “The baby I remember most was three pounds. They had her in a pasteboard box surrounded by flat whisky bottles. That’s how they kept her warm.” She was premature, but healthy. Thigpen traveled a lot of dirt roads in Pitt County as a young public health nurse. “I was by myself, but I never had any fear. The uniform was my shield, and people knew I was there to help.” After two years, she and her husband moved to Richmond, Va., and she began working at the health department. From there, she was awarded a federal scholarship for graduate school that paid all expenses and a small stipend at the University of Maryland. She chose nursing education as her concentration. She taught at the Medical College of Virginia, now Virginia Commonwealth University, then moved back home to Duplin County.

“You know the funny things that make your life what it turns out to be,” Thigpen said, recalling a chance meeting in a restaurant between her father and JSCC administrator and Thigpen’s late mentor, Louise Bullock. She brought Thigpen on board, along with her husband, who taught drafting. During those transformative years, Thigpen was appointed by former Gov. Jim Hunt and served five years on the North Carolina Board of Nursing. She was a two-term president of the North Carolina chapter of Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Thigpen’s career spotlights the different paths a nursing graduate can take. “I think other than the values my family taught me, nursing shaped my career, nursing shaped my philosophy of life, nursing shaped my parenting skills and is responsible for more than 50 percent of who I turned out to be,” Thigpen said. “Those core values were reinforced with nursing.” She and her husband retired four years ago from the North Dakota weather, which averaged 30 inches of snowfall each year, to Topsail Island. Five grandchildren ranging in age from 8 to 17 and her children, Stephen and Kendra, live nearby. “Students are the only thing I miss about working,” Thigpen said. “Young people teach you to stay young.” ■

Milestones... 1957–1969 1957 – N.C. Rep. Walter B. Jones of Farmville introduces the idea of a nursing school at East Carolina College to the General Assembly.

1959 – Jones and other eastern lawmakers push through funding approval for a four-year nursing program at ECC. 1960 – Eva W. Warren is named the school’s first dean. The school is housed in a suite in the Rawl Building and admits its first students. 1961 – The School of Nursing moves to the third floor of the Graham Building. The uniform, insignia and cap are designed and adopted. 1963 – Nursing moves again, this time to an eight-room house owned by the college at 505 E. Fifth St. Also that year, the Veterans Administration hospital in Oteen and the John B. Umstead Hospital in Butner are added as clinical facilities. 1964 – Seventeen students were the first graduates of the School of Nursing. The school pin is designed and in December the National League of Nursing accredits the school. 1967 – East Carolina College becomes East Carolina University. The School of Nursing moves into a brand new building, Rivers, located at the east end of campus on Fifth Street. 1969 – Dean Warren retires and Evelyn Perry becomes dean.

Eva W. Warren


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A look back

Bill and Julie Vurnakes

Spirit of ’76: Bill Vurnakes ‘One lucky somebody’

By Doug Boyd East Carolina University’s College of Nursing has long focused on helping non-traditional students learn and excel. Bill Vurnakes was about as non-traditional as they come. But the older, male, Vietnam veteran and son of Greek immigrants, with help from others he willingly thanks, made it work. ECU was not Vurnakes’ first stab at college. A few years earlier, he had been a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and before that earned an associate’s degree at Wingate College. “The best thing that happened to me was I dropped out before I flunked out at Carolina, joined the Navy, then went to East Carolina instead of (back to) Carolina,” he said recently. His first degree, in 1972, was in business. He

then entered nursing school with the goal of becoming a nurse anesthetist – a common career path for men in nursing in those days. He was already experienced in health care. He had been a Navy hospital corpsman at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia. He then served nine months in Vietnam as a corpsman with a Marine infantry battalion in 1968-1969, then served with another Marine unit in Okinawa, Japan. “When it came to patient care, I was way ahead of my classmates,” Vurnakes said. Dr. Phyllis Horns, now vice chancellor for health sciences at ECU, was Vurnakes’ pediatric nursing instructor. “As a non-traditional student having been in the military, he brought a perspective that other students didn’t have,” Horns said. “He asked challenging questions and participated in discussions. In those days

we didn’t have that many male students. He was hard-working, engaging and a pleasure.” While in school, Vurnakes worked the 3-11 shift as a technician in the emergency department at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, doing “whatever needed to get done,” he said. Upon graduating from nursing school in 1976, Vurnakes was accepted into the School of Nurse Anesthesia at the Medical College of Virginia. But in his first year there, he nearly died of a ruptured appendix. He took a medical drop, then returned to PCMH as an operating room nurse. Two years later, he went on active duty as a Navy Nurse Corps officer for 10 years, then back to anesthesia school at Norfolk General Hospital. He admits he wasn’t a unanimous choice of the admissions committee, so he worked that much harder. “When my clinical rotation

Graduates from each decade share their journey started, I was consistently the first one in and last one out,” he said. In 1991 at age 48, he took his first job as a new nurse anesthesia graduate at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville and is still there. But to get the rest -- and perhaps best -- of the story, one must back up a few years. While Vurnakes was stationed at Cherry Point in the early 1980s, he had a residence in Greenville. One morning in 1983 at the McDonald’s at the corner of Tenth and Cotanche streets, he saw Julie Hicks. Vurnakes walked up to her, admitted he had no clever lines, but nevertheless struck up a conversation. He looked up her phone number and needed two more weeks to work up the nerve to call her, wondering if she would even know who he was. “Oh, I remembered him,” Julie Vurnakes said. “I just thought he was very charming and attractive. We had a nice conversation.” The fact he was 15 years older didn’t bother her. They married two years later. When Bill Vurnakes talks about people who influenced his years at ECU, it’s like a who’s who of local health leaders. Dean Evelyn Perry led the nursing school at the time. Current Dean Sylvia Brown was a fellow student. Marion Leiner was his medicine/surgery instructor. Dr. Ira Hardy, a neurosurgeon, urged Vurnakes to stay in the medical field. Ann Bennett Maxwell, a graduate student in counseling, helped him deal with anger he felt toward antiwar demonstrators and stay focused on his goals. “I was one lucky somebody,” Vurnakes said. “The best thing I ever did was go back and get that degree in nursing.” At age 60 – shortly after fulfilling a dream of buying a fast car, a black Chevrolet Impala SS – he had chest pains and underwent triple-bypass surgery. He said the experience helps him relate to patients and also helps him lead younger anesthetists. “I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t do anything else,” Vurnakes said. ■


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Scholarship Established Future students at the College of Nursing will benefit from the generosity of an alumna and her late mother. Julie Hicks Vurnakes (’83) is the daughter of Ethel Smith Hicks of Rocky Mount, who died in 2009. Hicks left gifts for the College of Nursing and ECU College of Education, where her two daughters graduated, and identical amounts to colleges at Auburn University, where three of her sons graduated. Vurnakes is adding funds to reach the necessary amount to endow a scholarship. She works as a post-anesthesia nurse at an outpatient surgery center in Fayetteville. Vurnakes’ father was Dr. Robert Hicks, a Rocky Mount veterinarian, and her parents stressed education. “Ten years ago, Mother created a charitable trust and discussed her desire to have the money go to East Carolina and Auburn universities,” Vurnakes said. “Growing up in the Hicks household, we were never asked by our parents are you going to college, but instead, where are you going to college.” While details are still being worked out, Vurnakes said the scholarship likely will go to students who are working their way through college, which is what her mother would have wanted, she said. Her husband, Bill, is also an ECU nursing graduate. “We are proud to have alumni like Bill and Julie Vurnakes, who have generously supported the College of Nursing throughout the years since graduating from ECU,” said Dean Sylvia Brown. “The establishment of an endowed scholarship in memory of Julie’s mother will leave a lasting legacy that will honor her mother as well as support future nursing students who have financial need. In our current economic climate, scholarships are more important than ever. Bill and Julie exemplify pirate nurses at their best — giving back to their alma mater to help others.” 

Milestones... 1970–1979 1974 – Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing, is chartered at ECU.

1977 – The master’s of science in nursing program is established and the first graduate students enroll.

1978 – First two graduates of master’s program receive their degrees.


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A look back

Nurses’ nurse

A new game plan for Donna Zekonis By Crystal Baity

Donna Zekonis is a family nurse practitioner in the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville.

Donna Zekonis transferred to East Carolina University to play basketball, but a life changing event inspired a new game plan: nursing. She had to sit out a season because of eligibility requirements after playing two years for the University of Delaware. While working toward a bachelor’s degree in physical education, her father and twin brother came to Greenville to pick her up from summer classes on July 2, 1983. On the drive home to Monroe, a drunk driver hit their car, killing her father and brother and leaving Zekonis seriously injured. An older brother was in graduate school. Her mother had died the year before, and she lost a sister in a car accident in 1972. “My intentions were to be an exercise psychologist or basketball coach, but I had an epiphany. Maybe the world didn’t need another coach,” Zekonis said. Finishing what she started, she completed her degree in 1985, but not before playing as a walk on for ECU volleyball and serving as a trainer with her minor in sports medicine. She immediately enrolled in nursing school for a second bachelor’s degree. She took an EMT course and began a long association with the Eastern Pines rescue squad, where she volunteered 21 years as an emergency medical technician and paramedic. She learned to start IVs and other medical procedures, including delivering her first baby. “I definitely got on-the-job training there,” Zekonis said. Bill Brown, former captain of the Eastern Pines Fire and Rescue, said if he was ever asked to rate someone’s performance, he rarely gave a top score because he believed there was always room for improvement. Zekonis was an exception. “She was top notch in her dedication, was highly qualified and very caring for the patients,” said Brown, adding Zekonis received lifetime member status, only the seventh person to receive the designation for their contributions since Eastern Pines EMS started 28 years ago. Her fellow nursing students, instructors and

Graduates from each decade share their journey rescue squad colleagues became her second family and Greenville her adopted home. She bought a house on Warren Street (which was later lost to Hurricane Floyd flooding) so she could walk to classes in the Rivers Building off West Fifth Street. She became involved in the student nursing association and Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society for nursing. “I was a very serious student,” Zekonis said. “My edge was I had the EMT training.” Nursing students in the mid-80s still wore uniform dresses and caps, and at 6 feet 1 inches tall, “I couldn’t fit in my Honda Civic with my hat on,” Zekonis said. After graduation in 1989, she became a staff nurse in the emergency department at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where she worked the night shift more than 16 years in a variety of roles from direct patient care to staff education and forensic evidence collection. This summer, she began as a family nurse practitioner in the East Carolina Heart Institute at PCMH. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from ECU and became a certified family nurse practitioner in 2009. “I always knew I wanted to go back. I wanted to serve my patients better,” Zekonis said. Returning to school was a big transition with online courses replacing the traditional classroom. When she started graduate school, she had a dial-up modem that could take up to

five hours to download documents. State-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and technology supporting nurses and patient care are some of the biggest changes Zekonis has seen in more than two decades of nursing, she said. “What was once considered critical care is now intermediate care. A lot of the procedures we used to do in the emergency room we now do at the bedside. What was in patient care, people are now sent home,” she said. “The acuity of the patients increased, and the expectations of the nurse increased with the technology.” Zekonis remembers when they didn’t have defibrillator pads, and used saline and water to transfer electricity to shock a patient’s heart. Karen Krupa, Dr. Alta Andrews, Dr. Laura Gantt and Dr. Judith Kuykendall are some of the mentors Zekonis said have helped her achieve through the years, as well as a supportive husband, Scott Maust. Gantt, assistant professor and executive director of learning technologies and labs in the College of Nursing, describes Zekonis as a “nurse’s nurse,” and one of the very best she has known in 31 years of practice across the United States. They met in 2003 when Gantt was administrator for emergency and transport services at PCMH. “She has been my employee, good friend, co-author for publications and a preceptor/ instructor for my BSN students,” Gantt said. “Donna is highly respected by everyone


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because of her incredible personal integrity in working with patients and colleagues at the bedside. I don’t think wild horses could take her away from nursing.” Zekonis is a founding member of Fanning the Flame, a retention project for nurses who have worked 10 or more years at the bedside. She and Kuykendall have been facilitators for the project the past seven years. “She is an excellent presenter with an awesome sense of humor that she uses to teach other nurses,” said Kuykendall, a PCMH consultant. “Donna gets very high marks in what nurses call the ‘stretcher test,’ meaning that if you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself on a stretcher, Donna is the nurse you want to look up and see. She is one of the most caring, conscientious and expert nurses that I have ever had the privilege to work with.” Zekonis has won numerous awards including the outstanding senior award in both the ECU School of Physical Education and School of Nursing, ECU Alumni Association Award, and service awards from the ECU Department of Emergency Medicine, PCMH and the N.C. Center for Nursing. “My sense of who I am as a person is affiliated with ECU and the School of Nursing,” Zekonis said. “I was a terribly shy kid who came to school six weeks after my mother died. Then, to lose my father and brother in the next year. You have to grow up real quick.” ■

Milestones... 1980–1989 1981 – Dean Perry retires. 1982 – Emilie Henning, EdD, is appointed dean. 1987 – The School of Nursing joins the School of Medicine and School of Allied Health Sciences in the ECU Health Sciences Division. 1989 – The nursing alumni association becomes part of the ECU Alumni Association and changes its name to the School of Nursing Alumni Professional Society.


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A look back

Brenda Myrick shares her passion and experience with colleagues everyday at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.


Myrick By Crystal Baity Her grandmother knew before Brenda Myrick recognized it. She should go to nursing school. “She was right,” Myrick said. When Myrick first arrived at ECU in 1977, she explored psychology and speech language pathology before taking a biology course that she really enjoyed. She entered Pitt Community College, where she earned an associate’s degree in nursing and became a registered nurse. “After completing the associate degree program at PCC, I realized nursing


was the right choice for me,” said Myrick, who returned to ECU in 1991 to advance her nursing career when her son, Patrick, was three. With the support and encouragement of her grandmother, Evelyn Boone, her mother Nellie Darden, her three sisters and her son, now a 20-year-old student-athlete at Washburn University, Myrick graduated with a bachelor’s of nursing degree in 1992. Now a graduate student in ECU nursing’s leadership concentration, Myrick loves her courses and instructors although there was an initial adjustment after 18 years away from the classroom. “All my courses are online. It is totally different from being in a

Graduates from each decade share their journey classroom setting,” Myrick said. Myrick is administrator of operative services at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where she has worked 25 years. She manages a 23-bed operating room, and 132 full-time employees in the level one trauma center, ensuring the quality and safety of patients and the operating room team, high standards of care, financial expectations, regulatory and credentialing requirements and helping cultivate leaders, especially nurse leaders. “I’ve had the privilege to witness the cardiac program grow from infancy to a world-renowned leader in robotic surgery, and to see the benefits of bariatric research and the evolution of laparoscopic and robotic surgeries,” Myrick said From 1999 until 2008, she worked in nursing informatics as a systems analyst in the information systems department. She previously worked as a pediatric, operating room and intensive care nurse at PCMH. Myrick has enjoyed expanding her knowledge base and the variety of jobs, from bedside nursing to information technology. “I’ve learned so much from so many talented and innovative men and women,” Myrick said. “Paying it forward is the right thing to do.” A longtime volunteer, Myrick is past chair and centennial member of the East Carolina University Alumni Association and ECU Black

“Her leadership and service is a shining example to the Pirate Nation.” —Paul Clifford, president and chief executive officer of the East Carolina Alumni Association.

Alumni Chapter. She is a member of the ECU Board of Visitors, ECU Foundation, College of Nursing Advancement Council, ECU Women’s Roundtable, Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and an honorary member of Pi Kappa Pi and the Golden Key Society. She has volunteered for the Children’s Miracle Network, American Heart Association and Juvenile Diabetes Association. Myrick lives the university’s motto “servire,” or to serve, in all aspects of her life, said Paul Clifford, president and chief executive officer of the East Carolina Alumni Association. “Brenda is among the most amazing people I have been associated with in my time at East Carolina,” he said. “She breaks down barriers with class, diplomacy and a servant-leadership style that is an example to others.”


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She is the first African-American to serve as president or chair of any of the university’s affiliated boards. “Her leadership and service is a shining example to the Pirate Nation,” Clifford said. In addition to her family, Myrick has the support of friends like Roswell Streeter of Greenville, who has been influential in both her personal ambitions and professional growth. “I have great friends who share in my passions and are supportive,” Myrick said. “I admire and am extremely grateful to all of them.” Her grandmother was not alone in recognizing Myrick’s ability. Dr. Judith Kuykendall, consultant with PCMH and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, taught Myrick as a student at PCC. “I knew then that she had great potential and encouraged her to continue her education,” Kuykendall said. “I have enjoyed following her career and I am so proud of all that she has accomplished in nursing.” Myrick is rarely without a smile, and is an outstanding role model for other nurses, Kuykendall said. “In terms of her approach to patient care, Brenda has very high expectations of herself and others. She insists that everything is done according to the highest possible standards.” ■

Milestones... 1990–1999 1990 – Dean Henning resigns and Phyllis N. Horns, DSN, a 1969 ECU School of Nursing graduate, is named dean. 1991 – The school starts a plan of studies for registered nurses who want to earn a BSN. 1992 – The school begins its nurse-midwifery option in the MSN program, the only nurse-midwifery curriculum in the state. 1994 – The school starts the family nurse practitioner option in the MSN program. 1995 – One hundred thirty-one graduates begin the next 30 years of School of Nursing Alumni. The school marks its 35th anniversary. 1998 – The school offers its first online course, the beginning of a nationally recognized distance education program.


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A look back

NCNA’s Rookie of the Year

Ryan Lewis Nurse first, teacher second By Jennifer Julian Growing up in Wayne County, Ryan Lewis always knew he wanted to go into health care. He saw himself on the “doctor road” until about his junior or senior year at Charles B. Aycock High School, when he joined the junior volunteer program at Wayne Memorial Hospital. That was when he began to consider a career in nursing. Simply put, Lewis believed nursing was a better fit for his personality. “From my experience, medicine is more concrete and diagnostic, and nursing is more about being therapeutic and serving others in the spirit of humility,” Lewis said. “And that is me. I’m very giving of myself.” Lewis graduated from the East Carolina University College of Nursing in May 2008. As a student, Lewis’ positive attitude and strong resolve made an impression on his professors and peers. His classmates voted him “most likely to become a nurse educator,” a much-deserved title that he is fast fulfilling. Now 24, he is enrolled in graduate school at ECU and expects to earn his master’s degree with a concentration in nursing education by 2012. In nursing school, Lewis admits that some of his most difficult classes were those that taught him the most about himself. He cites his pathophysiology course and instructor, Dr. Lou Anne Baldree, as great motivators. “Ryan was a very determined student and one of the few students who readily sought out his instructors as a learning resource,” said Baldree. “Even if he was struggling with a particular concept, he persisted until he understood it.” Other encouraging professors who played a role in Lewis’ academic development include Kathleen Simpson, Phil Julian, Bob Green,

Dr. Donna Roberson and Dr. Frances Eason. “When I think of the nursing faculty that taught me, I always tried to gain something from each of them,” Lewis said. During Simpson’s leadership class, Lewis attended the North Carolina Nurses Association Ryan Lewis works at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, convention, which drew him toward where he juggles a demanding schedule of intensive care unit rotations, involvement with professional graduate coursework and participation in professional organizations. associations. In his final semester of college, he entered an essay contest that won him NCNA membership. role in the hospital’s nursing informatics Now, he serves on the northeast region board department as a member of the computof directors and is a representative for the erized physician order entry team helping test NCNA’s Professional Practice Advocacy upgrades to the current electronic medical Coalition. record system. Mentors like Green and Julian sparked Lewis’ “I have always teased Ryan that he may be interest in becoming an advocate for men in my boss one day,” said Betty Wood, director the nursing profession. He served in various of patient services at Wayne Memorial. roles with the ECU chapter of the American “However his interest seems to be education, Assembly for Men in Nursing and now is a and I am trying to help facilitate his progress national board member for the AAMN. toward his dream.” “That organization gives me a greater Recently, his efforts have been acknowlappreciation for the impact that a group edged. Lewis received NCNA’s 2009 Rookie of individuals can have for moving a cause of the Year award, presented annually to an forward,” Lewis said, referring specifically to NCNA member who has demonstrated excepAAMN’s promotion of gender diversity in tional leadership and who has belonged to the the workplace. association for two years or less. Lewis’ award AAMN has fostered in Lewis a greater cited him “not only as an NCNA leader, but a appreciation and admiration for his career. nursing leader in general.” “I don’t see myself as a male nurse,” he said. Lewis enjoys racquetball and a good cup “I see myself as a nurse. And that’s really of Starbucks coffee to unwind from stressful important.” days. He also is a volunteer board member of Lewis works at Wayne Memorial the Community Soup Kitchen in Goldsboro. Hospital in Goldsboro, where he juggles a In the next five years, he sees himself transidemanding schedule of intensive care unit tioning into the role of a nurse educator. rotations, graduate coursework and partici“I hope I am able to give students the pation in professional organizations, which same devotion that I give to each of my are, he said, his “opportunity to be a voice, patients, and am able to instill in them the to be a change agent.” same values that have led me to the point I This summer Lewis took on an expanded am today,” he said. ■

Graduates from each decade share their journey


Milestones... 2000–2010 2000 – The school celebrates 40 years.

2001 – On May 11, the UNC Board of Governors approves the establishment of the doctor of philosophy in nursing degree. It is the second doctoral-level nursing degree offered in North Carolina. Dean Horns also serves as interim vice chancellor of health sciences from June 2001 until August 2002. 2002 – The doctoral nursing program enrolls its first students. 2003 – Enrollment begins in the new nurse anesthesia option in the school’s MSN program. 2004 – The National Association of Bariatric Nurses is formed by ECU and PCMH nurses to support and explore the challenges facing nurses in the care of morbidly obese patients. The school’s graduate program is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the nation’s fifth largest in nursing distance education. 2005 – The first student graduates from the doctoral program. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing ranks the ECU School of Nursing as the “Best Nursing School or College for Men.” The school’s first distinguished alumni award winner is named. The school celebrates 45 years. 2006 – The school moves to the new $66 million Health Sciences Building on west campus joining the School of Allied Health Sciences and Laupus Library. The schools’ proximity to Brody School of Medicine and Pitt County Memorial Hospital make the campus a true academic health center. Sylvia Brown is named acting dean of the nursing school. Dean Horns is named interim dean of the Brody School of Medicine and interim vice chancellor for the health sciences division. 2007 – Enrollment reaches 1,000 students in all nursing programs. The East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership is officially designated as a university center. The name is changed from school to College of Nursing. The first endowed distinguished professorship is named in honor of university Chancellor Emeritus Richard R. Eakin announced, and Dr. Martha “Marti” Engelke is named distinguished professor. 2008 – The college is ranked in the top 10 in distance education nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report. The first Unity Day is held. The college is designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing. The college inducts 47 inaugural members in the Golden Lamp Society in recognition of annual giving. 2009 – Sylvia Brown named permanent dean of the College of Nursing. Phyllis Horns named permanent vice chancellor for the ECU health sciences division. The college again is ranked in the top 10 in distance education nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report. 2010 – The Nurses Hall of Fame is established in celebration of 50 years of nursing education. College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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Why we’re

No. 1 in nurses With more than 1,100 students enrolled this fall, the College of Nursing has grown rapidly to become the biggest in the state. But growth hasn’t changed the expectation that an East Carolina nurse be smart, savvy and dedicated to improving health care in the rural east. By Marion Blackburn Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of East, the magazine of East Carolina University. It has been updated for this special 50th-anniversary edition of Pulse. They wore crisp white uniforms, prim caps and a pin bearing the motto, Servire, when the first graduates of ECU’s new School of Nursing received their diplomas in 1964. The 17 graduates, all women, shared the belief that nurses should be scholars, as well as care givers. Today, the College of Nursing, East Carolina’s oldest professional school, provides the state with more nurses—women and men— than any other four-year institution. Of the roughly 26,495 nurses currently working in North Carolina who hold bachelor’s degrees from a North Carolina institution, nearly 11 percent or about one in nine got their degree from East Carolina. In 9 of 28 counties east of I-95, half or more of the nurses went to ECU, according to figures from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In fully half of those counties, 40 percent or more obtained their BSN from ECU. In 2009, the College of Nursing added another honor when the National League for Nursing designated it a Center of Excellence. Pursuit of this distinction began in 2005, when a task force began the required 50-page application and self-study package. In addition, of about 800 four-year nursing programs across the country, ECU

A nursing student assesses a patient at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

“We take very seriously our commitment to serve. Our school has always been deeply engaged with our community and with the profession at large. We have aimed to be visionary in what we’ve done, from the start.” —Dean Sylvia Brown


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Total nursing graduates working in North Carolina East Carolina


UNC Chapel Hill


UNC Greensboro


UNC Charlotte


Winston-Salem State


Western Carolina




UNC Wilmington


NC Central










Fayetteville State




Source: Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 2008 data from the N.C. Board of Nursing.

As of October 2008, the state had 87,743 active nurses with all degree types. Of them, 26,495 held BSN degrees, and about 15,660 received those degrees in the state. About 18 percent, or 2,876, received degrees from ECU, making it the largest source of degreed nurses in the state, according to data provided by the Sheps Center for Health Services Research in Chapel Hill. Of all BSN-holding RNs in the state, nearly 11 percent have a degree from ECU. In the 28 counties east of I-95, the percentage of ECU nurses runs from about 7 percent to 68 percent, with the percentage increasing in proximity to Greenville. In five counties clustered around East Carolina, half or more of the nurses graduated from ECU. In Pitt County, 63 percent of the 1,198 RNs hold degrees from ECU, according to the Sheps Center data. Three of the five RNs in Perquimans County are ECU graduates.

ranks in the top five percent in size and programs. More than 7,000 nursing alumni work all over the world. East Carolina’s nursing programs have experienced phenomenal growth in recent years, in enrollment and academics. Nearly 240 new nurses graduated from the BSN program during the 2009-2010 academic year, making it one of the largest classes ever. And if precedent holds, 96 percent of them will pass the state exam on their first try to become registered nurses (R.N.s), the third highest passing rate of the 17 schools in the state that educate nurses, according to the Sheps Center.

The College of Nursing has the state’s only nurse midwife concentration, which is part of a robust graduate program, a doctoral degree, a dynamic Center for Nursing Leadership and a sparkling home on the health sciences campus. But nursing remains true to its original aim of improving health care in the rural east. While the mission “to serve” still guides the college, much has changed since it opened in 1960 with a dean, five instructors, a handful of students and one office. These days it is a powerhouse, widely respected for the quality and number of its graduates and with a college designation reflecting a half-century of growth and innovation. Not

only do its graduates serve the eastern third of the state in large numbers, but the college today enjoys a million-dollar endowment, the Richard R. Eakin Distinguished Professorship. This post is held by Martha Engelke, a long-time professor and associate dean of research. Among its recent honors are a 2007 Magnet Prize and a top 10 listing by U.S. News & World Report for graduate nursing distance education nationally. Yet some things haven’t changed, says Sylvia Brown ’75 ’78, who in 2009 became dean of the college after serving as acting dean for two years. “What we do here at the college has an enormous effect on the community beyond our immediate


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area,” Brown says. “We take very seriously our commitment to serve. Our school has always been deeply engaged with our community and with the profession at large. We have aimed to be visionary in what we’ve done, from the start.” In the years ahead, vision will be more important than ever because the college is being asked to produce more nurses, college and university educators and leaders for an ever-more complex health care environment. And the job of a nurse is getting harder as they care for patients who often are older and sicker, and who require more complicated treatments, than just a few years ago. Expectations are growing for nurse managers, too, who will be expected to have more advanced degrees and professional skills. Room, at last In its earliest days, the school occupied just a few offices on campus and later, a universityowned house on Eighth Street. Faculty worked in

closets and for a time conducted student conferences in a bathroom. “It was the only place to have a confidential meeting,” remembers Lona Presser Ratcliffe ’66, who arrived as a student in 1962 and now serves as clinical associate professor. “One person sat on the toilet and the other person sat on the side of the bathtub. That was what you did if you needed privacy.” Conditions improved when nursing moved to the Rivers Building, where it was housed for about 40 years. But space there became cramped and facilities outdated. Plus, Rivers is located on main campus and not on the health sciences campus, where nurses often are assigned to clinicals. In 2006, the university opened the 303,000-square-foot, $60 million Health Sciences Building as nursing’s new home, a spacious facility it shares with the College of Allied Health Sciences and Laupus Library. This building has eight labs where students learn basics like taking blood pressure, along with

advanced skills such as providing intravenous medications. If in the old days nurses used foods such as oranges or hot dogs to practice giving injections, today they can learn in the college’s simulation labs with computer-operated mannequins. A traditional wet lab in the building allows more bench, or basic sciences, research. In the building’s large lecture halls, students learn about illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions that plague eastern North Carolina. They learn about wound care, pharmaceuticals and wellness. They learn, too, the importance of considering the big picture when providing care. That’s so they can coach new moms, guide family members in caring for elderly relatives, emphasize the importance of treating high blood pressure and safeguard, as much as possible, the health of those who look to them for day-to-day care. They have two years to learn all that.

Percentage of Active BSN-Educated Registered Nurses Who Graduated from ECU North Carolina, 2008

Percentage of BSNs who Graduated from ECU (Number of counties) Legend No Active BSNs (16) 1 to 4 percent (24) 5 to 14 percent (24) 15 to 49 percent (26) 50 percent or more (10) Map produced by: Center for Health Services Research and Development, East Carolina University. Source: NC Health Professions Data System, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with data derived from the NC Board of Nursing 2008.

Data includes active, in-state RNs licensed in NC as of Oct. 31, 2008 who obtained a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from ECU.


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As enrollment in the College of Nursing climbs, the pressure is on to produce more nurses for clinical service, education and leadership. Despite its rigors, enrollment in nursing programs is at a record high, with an estimated 1,110 enrolled this fall. Those numbers include about 100 male students at all levels. This demanding program pays off big for the region, where for many years ECU nurses have been making a positive difference. It’s significant that so many baccalaureate-level nurses working in some eastern North Carolina counties graduated from ECU. Small communities in the east historically lack health care providers, while at the same time struggling with some of the worst health indicators in the state and nation. These poor, rural counties benefit from the service of nurse practitioners, professionals who complete two or more years of additional educational preparation beyond their four-year degree. Wanted: More nurses Even as enrollment climbs in the College of Nursing, the pressure is on to grow even faster. State leaders, including the UNC Board of Governors, have asked its schools to produce more nurses for clinical service, education and leadership. One major goal was to double the number of nurse graduates throughout the UNC system by the 2009–10 school year. Programs for registered nurses seeking a bachelor’s degree, known as R.N.-to-B.S.N., were asked to increase graduation by 50 percent. Those goals, devised by the 2003 Task Force on Nursing, were based on figures from 2002-2003. Progress toward those goals is steady, says Alan R. Mabe, senior vice president for academic affairs with UNC’s general administration. “From the Task Force base of 622 for 2002-2003, to 1,109 for 2008-09, we are close to the goal with an increase of 78 percent over the base year,” he said in an email. Regarding the goal to increase RN-to-BSN graduates by 50 percent, he says, “There, we have gone from a

base of 302 for 2002-2003 to 583 in 2008-09, an increase of 93 percent. “The economic downturn and the cuts the university has experienced have had an impact on our rate of expansion, but we have still met all our goals, with the exception that we don’t have the 2009-2010 data in for pre-licensure,” he wrote. “Given the current context it may take (the) UNC (system) a year or two longer to realize the doubling of pre-licensure graduates.” ECU is on track to meet its growth goals. In 2009-2010, a total of 447 students graduated with degrees of all levels from the college. That compares to 254 graduates in academic year 2005-2006 (the PhD program had no graduates that year). In 2010, the college awarded bachelor of sciences in nursing degrees to 238 pre-licensure students and 62 R.N.-to B.S.N. students, 112 master of science in nursing degrees, 32 students completing the first phase of the alternate entry master’s option and three doctorate degrees. The college’s 62 RN-to-BSN graduates in the 2009-2010 year compare with 44 in the 2008-2009 year, which marks a 70 percent increase. Yet, opening the door to more students cannot mean lowering the bar. Students who apply generally have a B average or higher in some of the university’s toughest courses—chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, statistics and ethics. Students apply during their sophomore year and the program begins in the junior year and includes clinical rotations in health care settings. During the junior and senior years, students face a rigorous course of study, says Karen Krupa ’73 ’76, formerly a long time faculty member and director of undergraduate student services, now retired. “It’s our goal to assure students are wellqualified to enter the nursing profession when they graduate,” says Krupa. “If you don’t want them to take care of your own mother, then we

don’t believe they should be nurses.” Physical space also sets limits on growth, and even in its new location the college is facing a possible need for more room if its programs are to keep expanding. Compounding an ongoing nursing shortage is another, nationwide shortage of nursing instructors, especially doctoralprepared faculty. Distance education, clinical learning The college has vigorous online options for nurses seeking to advance their education. Internet classes make sense in this profession where shifts generally last 12 hours, day or night. All master’s degree options are online, except for the nurse anesthesia concentration which requires intensive, in-person education. The online nurse practitioner option prepares nurses as primary care providers or in neonatal intensive care. The nurse midwife option is unique in the state. Beyond course work, though, are clinicals, the real-world settings where nurses gain most of their practical education, whatever their degree. All undergraduate students spend two days a week in a hospital, medical office or other health care settings. Not only do they learn the technical skills nurses perform, they also come to understand the larger picture - that their patients are part of families and communities, and that their needs go beyond their physical health. During the week, nursing students also attend the lecture, or didactic, classes that add to their knowledge. Clinicals allow them to live a nurse’s life, with its highs and lows - the joy of a newborn baby, chronic illness and trauma, sickness, old age and even death. ECU has agreements with health care providers throughout the area that allow nursing students to learn on site, as far away as Charlotte or as close to home as Greenville’s Pitt County Memorial Hospital.


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Distance education will likely have a larger role in clinical education, too. An online clinic with virtual patients promises to help learners in isolated communities gain the experience they need. This virtual world will be especially important for nurse practitioners, who must become familiar with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, while understanding their patients’ diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Practical experiences in small communities may be limited. “We know what some of the big health issues are and what are the basic kinds of problems,” says Dr. Alta Andrews ’74, director for community partnerships and practice who helped develop the virtual clinic. “The chance that all of these clinics would have this kind of diversity was unlikely. All practitioners need to have specific national protocols, so we set up a clinic they all can attend - from home.” The college’s masters and doctoral programs are helping stem another hidden shortage of nursing instructors, enabling them to teach at the community college and university level. Teamwork, team leaders Not long after graduating with her nursing degree in the late 1970s, Elaine Scott did something she’d wanted to for some time: she burned her nurse’s cap. She bristled with the expectation that as a nurse, she should avoid making decisions. Today, Scott directs the Center for Nursing Leadership at the College of Nursing, a pioneering initiative to empower future nurses to do just the opposite. “We burned our caps as a way to purge ourselves of being part of the old way of nursing,” says Scott, who in 2005 was the first graduate of ECU’s nursing doctoral program. “The old model was that those of us providing care did what we were told. There is so much more knowledge now. No one can know all there is to know. It’s important to have a partnership if we’re going to be most effective for our patients.” As director of the center, she initiated special classes that allow future nurses to think through tough questions and better understand the traits that will help them, or hold them back. She often uses executive personality tests to help them learn mature approaches for leadership. Why is leadership more important than ever? Scott believes the quality of nursing care is directly related to a patient’s health outcome. She points to recent studies showing that patients fare

Donnye Rooks of Smithfield is pictured with the composite photograph of the first class of ECU nursing graduates of which she is a proud member. She retired in 2005 as dean of curriculum at Johnston Community College.

better when nurses have a higher education level, more experience and a satisfying work setting. “If you’re in the hospital, the person who’s most likely to notice when something’s not right is the nurse,” she says. “We’re there 24 hours a day.” In a region where towns are isolated and patients may be poor, she knows that nurses must consider a patient’s overall situation. “You have to think, ‘Does this person have food, medicine and a way to get back to the hospital?’ ” Scott says. “Who’s going to give this person a bath? We have to think about all areas of a patient’s life, and work with other providers to make sure we have all the elements, such as physical therapy, a patient will need at home.” “If you have strong nurse leaders, then they are more equipped to facilitate patient care,” Brown says. “Strong leaders will positively affect the overall quality of care that hospitals and other health facilities can provide. And better educators provide the strong theoretical knowledge nurses need to base their care practices on.” The future in focus As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the college is placing research at center stage. Basic sciences and evidence-based practice will work hand in hand as nurse researchers develop new approaches

that promise to advance and improve patient care. Martha Engelke, associate dean for research and scholarship, now serves as the first Richard R. Eakin Distinguished Professor in the College of Nursing. Other research benchmarks include the Magnet Prize, given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. It recognized work by the College of Nursing and Pitt County Memorial Hospital in caring for morbidly obese patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery. Led by Mary Ann Rose, the National Association of Bariatric Nurses began at ECU’s College of Nursing in 2004, where it resides today and promotes research that will improve care for morbidly obese surgical patients. The medical school has been a leader in developing and performing gastric bypass procedures and nurses have served a vital role in its success. With a stronger focus throughout the university on research and scholarship, the nursing college is also placing more emphasis on them. “Our doctoral program is an important part of the overall growth that’s ahead for the College of Nursing,” Engelke says. “Our research mission is consistent with the university’s larger goals of scholarship and discovery, but our program will always be distinctive.” ■


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At left, Dr. Marti Engelke and senior nursing student Brittany Deitz of Hickory review work on teaching materials for the school nurse project.


Band-Aids & boo-boos Dr. Martha Engelke’s research shows importance of school nurses By Crystal Baity

Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the 2010 issue of Edge, East Carolina University’s magazine for research and creative activity. Get rid of the dated image of a school nurse tending a skinned knee with a Band-Aid. These days, students are coping with asthma or diabetes, severe allergies, Attention Deficit Disorder, weight management, even pregnancy. East Carolina University’s Martha “Marti” Keehner Engelke is passionate about giving public school nurses the resources they need to best care for the children they serve.

Four years ago, Engelke applied for a Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust grant to support a school-based intervention and school nurse case management pilot project. The trust approved $193,124 for the project which has turned into a statewide model reaching 24 counties and 170 school nurses, received the top research award in 2008 from the National Association of School Nurses, and garnered national and international recognition through presentations and publications like The Journal of School Nursing. More chronically ill students are attending school than ever before, and some struggle academically because of health-related issues.

Research shows that those who have nurses to manage their care at school attend class more often, make better grades and have fewer hospital visits. “If a nurse is there, students are more likely to go back to class, whereas if there is not a nurse in the school, the student is more likely to go home, and that’s a missed educational opportunity,” Engelke said. “Sorting out what’s a ‘real’ illness is something a nurse can do.” Today’s nurses work beyond crisis management from intervention to prevention, and assume duties that could otherwise fall to already burdened classroom teachers.


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“So they take on a much broader role in the school,” said Engelke, a longtime faculty member in the College of Nursing, where she is the Richard R. Eakin Distinguished Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship. “With concerns of obesity and the rise in chronic illness, having a professional in school makes a real difference,” Engelke said. “Our project has demonstrated that school nurses help children control illness to be successful in school and beyond school.” In just the past decade, the number of North Carolina children with chronic illness needing school nurse interventions rose from 5 percent to 17 percent. A project takes root Engelke was a community health nurse before becoming a teacher, but she never worked as a school nurse. She became interested as a parent. Her oldest daughter, Kathryn, now 26, was diagnosed with Grave’s disease in 11th grade, and went from being a very good student to being a poor student. The autoimmune disease affects the thyroid and causes mood and body changes. “She didn’t have a school nurse when that happened,” Engelke said. Her daughter improved with medication but there was no one to regularly follow her progress at school. About the same time, Engelke was mentoring a master’s degree nursing student, Martha Guttu (MSN ’04) of Edenton, the northeast region school nurse consultant with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Guttu’s graduate school project researched school nurse to student ratio. From there, the school nurse case management project took root. “We’ve been working together ever since,” Engelke said. At first, the project tracked 114 children aged 5 to 19 with asthma, diabetes, severe allergies, seizures or sickle-cell anemia who were provided case management by school nurses in five school districts. Michelle Warren (BSN ’90, MAEd ’03) of Hertford, a former school nurse, is project coordinator and works one-on-one with lead nurses and school nurses on collecting and entering data. The funding also supported the development of a website ( for password-protected nurse data input and resources. The ECU College of Nursing information technology team set up the website and works with Eastern AHEC to provide continuing education to nurses in the project via teleconference.

Dr. Marti Engelke, at right, smiles during a reception in her honor as the first endowed professor in the college. The professorship is named for Dr. Richard Eakin, at left, chancellor emeritus at ECU and a longtime supporter of nursing.

As research continued, the project went beyond chronic illness to include children with affective and behavioral problems, weight management and pregnancy, growing to almost 400 children in North Carolina. At the end of the 2008-2009 academic year, students showed an improved quality of life and learned ways to manage their illness more effectively. Grades went up along with participation in the classroom and extracurricular activities. “The school nurse can make sure a plan is in place so a child doesn’t get short-changed or School nurses in N.C.: 1,231 Nurse-to-student ratio: One to 25-33 with average ratio of one to 12.

Medical procedures ordered: 15,463 Medications given daily: 30,433 (5,477,940 doses per year)

Emergency medications: 39,985 given yearly

Students with chronic illness: 238,843 requiring school nurse intervention

Top chronic illness: Asthma School Nurse Association of North Carolina report to the N.C. Public Health Study Commission (02/04/10)

mismanaged,” she said. “People don’t realize how sick children are in school. Children are at risk without a professional.” Guttu said it’s important for school nurses to be able to show administrators the positive difference they make in students’ health and academic success. “Marti has really helped solidify the position of the school nurse in North Carolina, and I am honored and privileged to know her and work with her on this project,” Guttu said. Continuing education has been provided for school nurses across the state – not just those in the pilot counties - through case management teleconferences and a face-to-face workshop in conjunction with Eastern AHEC and the Children and Youth Branch of the N.C. Division of Public Health. At one conference, nurses shared success stories such as forming a support group for children with diabetes at one school, to ways of reducing anxiety or side effects from new treatment regimes or medication. The grant ends in 2011 and Engelke is working to continue the project’s sustainability once funding ends. A leader, role model and mentor Engelke is the first distinguished professor in the ECU College of Nursing. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in medical surgical, community health and research since


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“There is no one better qualified to convey the excellence that both Dick Spangler and Dick Eakin aspired to than Dr. Engelke.”

—Dr. Phyllis Horns, ECU’s vice chancellor for health sciences.

joining the college in 1979, when she moved to eastern North Carolina with her husband, Dr. Stephen Engelke, a neonatologist in ECU’s department of pediatrics. In addition to Kathryn, they have another daughter, Anna. “I’ve taught a lot, which is something I’ve loved,” Engelke said. “I love to work with students. It reminds me of why I was excited to be a nurse.” She mentors advanced practice nurses, masters and doctoral students on the cusp of research, helping nudge them when they need it. She collaborates with other faculty members on grants, and is known as a prolific and go-to grant writer in the college. “I like to think of new projects and things we could do to make life better,” Engelke said. Growing up in a close-knit family in a Detroit suburb, Engelke’s mother and father stressed the importance of education to their three young children. Her dad, a Ford Motor Co. factory worker, and her mother, a homemaker, helped her become the first in her family to go to college. Her brothers followed, and all earned graduate degrees. Engelke said nursing is the best major on campus because students can blend it with other interests. “You find a way to tap into what you really want to do,” Engelke said. “You can go to graduate school and make a living at a job that is truly rewarding while you’re in graduate school.”

Holding the Eakin professorship is an extension of being a nurse, especially the philosophy of community health nursing, Engelke said. “You don’t try to do things for people. You try to get people to help themselves. You help people to have the tools they need,” she said. “It’s a role I enjoy especially at this point in my career. It’s wonderful to feel like you’ve made a difference in someone’s life and now they can do something they couldn’t do before, because you spent time with them.” Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, is a longtime colleague. “Her research is making a difference in the lives of children throughout the nation and will impact the future of school health nursing,” Brown said. “She is truly a distinguished professor for the College of Nursing as a leader, role model, researcher and educator.” Eakin, chancellor emeritus at ECU, served as chancellor from 1987 to 2001 and has been a longtime supporter of nursing. He was honored last year with the namesake of nursing’s first endowed professorship. The $1 million endowment was made possible by a $667,000 challenge grant from the C.D. Spangler Foundation and $333,000 in matching funds from the state’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund. “There is no one better qualified to convey the excellence that both Dick Spangler and Dick Eakin aspired to than Dr. Engelke,” said Dr. Phyllis Horns, ECU’s vice chancellor for health sciences, during a recognition ceremony last fall. Horns and Engelke have worked together more than 20 years. “People feel comfortable coming to her and working with her,” Horns said recently, noting Engelke’s success in working with different disciplines in the health sciences division to look at health care problems from all angles. “Marti has the energy level, motivation and perseverance to grow that area even more,” Horns said. “She’s skillful in getting people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily want to do. She’s very talented in that regard.” Nursing research is coming into its own, Engelke said, with a focus on testing interventions and translating findings into the community – like the school nurse case management project. “I really believe in what we’re doing and what we’ve done. I really believe it’s making a difference in the life of children,” she said. n

Birthplace: Taylor, Mich.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in nursing, Michigan State University Master’s degree in public health nursing, University of Michigan Doctorate in sociology, N.C. State University

Family: Husband, Dr. Stephen Engelke, Brody School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics; daughters, Kathryn, 26, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Anna, 22, of Chapel Hill

Position: Richard R. Eakin Distinguished Professor of Nursing Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, ECU College of Nursing

Mentor: Chaired six doctoral dissertations; chaired or directed 20 student research projects; served on 10 master’s theses committees; served on six research projects

Funding: Secured more than $1.2 million

Publications: Published more than 30 articles, written four book chapters, numerous national and international presentations

Awards: Received the Sigma Theta Tau, Beta Nu Chapter Excellence in Research Award, 2005; Outstanding Research Award, National Association of School Nurses, 2008


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Reaching out Donna Roberson studies HIV awareness among women in jail By Karen Shugart Incarcerated women have a higher-than-average rate of HIV infection, yet little standardized framework exists to educate them about selfprotection. One East Carolina University professor hopes to change that. Dr. Donna Roberson, assistant professor in the College of Nursing, is studying the effects of HIV prevention education on women after their release from the Pitt County Detention Center. With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which in September 2009 selected her as one of only 15 nurse educators across the country to receive a $350,000 Nurse Faculty Scholar Award, Roberson is testing the impact of an educational intervention on high-risk sexual behaviors which contribute to the transmission of HIV. At the Pitt County Detention Center, she leads group sessions about human immunodeficiency virus transmission and prevention. A separate control group learns about other health topics, such as breast cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Once the women are released, Roberson and her research assistant, Esther Ross, follow up with them four times: one week, one month, three months and six months after they leave jail. They’re queried about condom use and other matters, such as if they’ve shared information about HIV with friends and family. Other questions explore what’s hardest about staying safe, and what they would tell other women about the virus. Roberson’s goal is to develop a standard prevention education protocol for use in jails and prisons. In her preliminary observations, Roberson has noticed that most women instructed about HIV prevention say they have increased their use of condoms or have at least discussed the issue with their steady partner. But she’s

also noted a troubling trend — namely, that a stubborn age gap persists in HIV awareness. “The younger ones seem to know a lot about how to protect themselves,” Roberson said. “The older ones don’t see themselves as being at risk.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are acquiring HIV

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded Roberson one of 15 Nurse Faculty Scholar Awards nationwide in 2009. primarily through high-risk heterosexual contact. “Women who are incarcerated have about double the risk of men who are incarcerated for having HIV,” Roberson said. “The rates among women in the south, particularly women of color, are going up, whereas it’s stabilizing or going down in some other populations.” The possible explanations? Behaviors that land women in jail are often behaviors that increase their risk for HIV infection, Roberson said. “There’s sex work, there’s drug use and abuse, multiple partners or having a partner who has multiple partners,” she said. “There’s a lot of underlying behaviors that increase risk.” Roberson asks women at the Pitt County Detention Center how many times they’ve been incarcerated, but she doesn’t ask what brought them there. Some volunteer that information

anyway, most listing nonviolent offenses such as writing bad checks. Most women involved in the study are jailed for fewer than 60 days. “These women are poor, and very few of them have much over a high school diploma or a GED,” Roberson said. “They feel very much trapped in their lives, and the things that go on in their life, they feel powerless to change.” Roberson’s interest in HIV prevention among incarcerated women began when she was a doctoral student working with Dr. Cathie Fogel at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was then working with inmates at the N.C. Correctional Institution for Women. From there came the idea of educating women before they got to prison, an effort made possible through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation’s aim is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Dr. Martha Engelke, associate dean for research and scholarship in the College of Nursing, encouraged Roberson to seek the foundation’s Nurse Faculty Scholar grant, which aims to strengthen nursing schools by developing the next generation of academic nursing leaders. “She had already begun to publish and to be known for work with women in prison and preventing HIV,” said Engelke, one of Roberson’s research mentors. “She just really fit the profile for this program. Also, I thought one of her strengths was that she not only had a great research program, but she’s also a wonderful teacher. Donna is someone who will create enthusiasm among students for research.” The grant, which runs through 2012, is allowing Roberson to attend conferences and interact with other researchers across the country. “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is just phenomenal,” Roberson said. “Their commitment to health disparities and the health care needs of women, particularly women who normally don’t receive health care, has just been tremendous.” n

Dr. Donna Roberson is testing the impact of an educational 27 intervention on high-risk sexual behaviors with women in jail. Pulse 2010


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Painting passion Calendar showcases Dr. Lou Everett’s art

By Crystal Baity Dr. Lou Everett has comforted patients with mental illness, cancer, and depression, and children who’ve suffered abuse or broken homes. At a recent show, a woman buying one of Everett’s paintings confided that her son had been in trouble and needed a positive outlet. Everett not only offered an introductory art lesson for the son, but the mother too. “I feel the same about art as I feel about counseling. It is a special gift for me to be able to open a door for him,” said Everett, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “It is a new beginning, and they can share it together.” Everett, professor emeritus who has taught undergraduate and graduate nursing students and served in several administrative and faculty roles, is giving something else to East Carolina University’s College of Nursing. She is painting scenes to be used in a 12-month calendar celebrating 50 years of nursing education at ECU. Her artwork ranges from historical to present-day nursing symbols: a nurse’s cap, a candle, gauze bandages and scissors, the ECU nursing pin, Laupus Lake, the back door of the Rivers Building, the front of the College of Nursing Health Sciences Building, a watch with a second hand, a simulation lab, and a child in a nurse’s cape. “I will do more than they want and let them choose,” said Everett, who works half-time as clinical professor. On a recent summer afternoon, Everett set up her easel, brushes, water and paints in one corner of a simulated operating room while nurse anesthesia students practiced an induction sequence on a lifelike mannequin. Earlier she had photographed the scene, attaching it to the upper center leg of her easel, and had sketched several elements in pencil. “In a photograph, I can’t see where the

shadows are, but I can see them in the classroom,” Everett said. She worked quickly darkening the edges of an overhead Berchtold rotating lamp perched above the students and patient. Details began

Colorful brush strokes bring the operating room scene to life. to emerge: blonde hair under a green surgical cap, scrubs, operating table with drape, silver equipment carts. Dabbing her brush on paper towels, Everett said clean water is one of the most important steps in watercolor painting. She changes the water frequently. “The colors get gray so fast if you don’t keep it clean,” Everett said. Everett discovered watercolor painting about 15 years ago after suffering bouts of pneumonia. As a psychiatric mental health nurse, therapist, and later an administrator, painting helped her relax and gave her more energy for her job and, most importantly, her family. “Every time I’d get sick, I’d paint more,” Everett said. “Painting has helped me maintain a

much better balance to my life and a greater joy and appreciation for all the beauty around me.” Everett has introduced painting to colleagues and students, and for the past five years has taught a beginner’s class at the Greenville Museum of Art. The North Carolina Nurses Association is charging nurses across the state to implement strategies to care for themselves and each other to enhance retention and quality patient care. Everett said she can help nurses explore new strategies for self-care through journaling and sketchbooks. “We can only give to our children and families if we take care of ourselves,” Everett said. “It took me a long time to get my ‘ah ha’ moment. This isn’t about learning to paint. It’s about learning to see.” When she first started painting, she concentrated on the object like a flower pot or chair. But as she continued, the words of instructor Judy Dye came into focus. “I began to understand the shapes, the values, and concepts.” Growing up in Bethel, Everett wanted to be a teacher, drawn to beautiful, multicolored bulletin boards. In high school, she dipped ice cream and sold bus tickets at the bus station on Saturday afternoons, and worked in the grocery store across from the Bethel Clinic, where she saw nurses come and go. “I thought they were the most professional looking people,” she said. She chopped, suckered and looped tobacco in the summers on her father’s farm, where a strong work ethic took hold. The youngest of four children, Everett became a caregiver for her parents at a young age. She would accompany them to the clinic, and became attracted to the competence she saw. “That’s what made me apply to go to nursing school,” Everett said. She became a registered nurse after graduating in 1965 from Park View Hospital School of Nursing in Rocky Mount. She served as director of the licensed practical nursing program at


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Dr. Lou Everett works quickly and quietly in a corner of the nurse anesthesia simulation lab. Edgecombe Community College and enrolled at ECU, earning a bachelor’s in nursing in 1975. She served as director of the Family Practice Center, the first clinic for ECU’s School of Medicine, and obtained her master’s in nursing in 1979 from ECU. She began teaching in the College of Nursing in 1979. She earned her doctorate in education in 1989 from N.C. State University. She is a past president and lifetime member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and was a founding member and the first president of Greenville Brushstrokes. She also is a member of the Plein Air Painters’ Group in Greenville Brushstrokes, and is a member of Paint NC. She is serving as chair of the 34th annual exhibition of the Southern Watercolor Society in Greenville in 2011. She serves on the board of the Friends of ECU’s School of Art & Design, and is a member of the Carteret Contemporary Artist Association, Twin Rivers and the Greenville Museum of Art.

A sampling of Everett’s art work. “For me, the more I share with others, the richer my life has been,” Everett said. Everett has been featured in solo and juried exhibitions, and received many nursing and art

awards and recognition. But her family is her greatest blessing. She has two sons, L.L. Everett and Andy Everett, two daughter-in-laws, four stepchildren, two son-in-laws, eight grandchildren, and is married to John Core, an ECU graduate and assistant dean for business and finance in the College of Nursing. Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, said Everett’s people skills have enabled her to help foster the re-organization of the college’s student services area, bringing advisors, counselors and support staff for all programs under one roof. She’s a model and mentor for faculty in leadership roles or for those who aspire to be in leadership positions. “She’s passionate about her work and passionate about her art,” Brown said. (Visit for information on the commemorative calendar). n


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Memories of nursing school

Karen Custer Krupa Class of 1973 We began nursing school in the first quarter of our sophomore year, after struggling through chemistry, anatomy and physiology among other subjects our freshman year. Physics was added in the second quarter. My first memories are of spending hours and hours in the nursing lab in the Rivers Building before beginning clinical. We administered our first injections to each other (pre-HIV era) and practiced many other skills. Each quarter, we prepared food in the nutrition lab so that we knew what our patients’ special diets tasted like. My first clinical day is one not to be forgotten. Inez Martinez had us crammed into the utility room in the old Pitt County Memorial Hospital. It felt like 101 degrees in there. She was showing us every nook and cranny, and we were in there for quite a while with the heat and the smells. When it came time to move, I took one step and said, “Mrs. Martinez, I think I’m going to faint.” And with that, I started to black out. I can still feel her pulling me under the armpit, across the hall to the nurses’ station and then opening the window, sticking my head out for air and finding an ammonia capsule. I was dubbed “the fainter” the rest of the year. Our junior year we had advanced medicalsurgical clinical at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh because Pitt County Memorial Hospital had only a four-bed intensive care unit at the time. We rode a bus up on Tuesday afternoons after class and returned home after lunch on Fridays. We worked two eight-hour shifts on Wednesday and Thursday and from 6:45 a.m. until noon Fridays. Usually there were one or two students who had cars, so we could shop if we weren’t too busy studying. Marion Leiner and Lee Bennett were our faculty members, and they stayed in the “nurses dorm” with us. The dorm is now part of the Wake Technical Community College Health Sciences campus.

One morning, one of our RN/BSN student classmates woke up with a severely swollen face. We figured out that Ms. Bennett’s beloved cat, Dixie, must have slept on her pillow during our clinical time, and our classmate was very allergic to cats. We also swore that the cat knew how to use the restroom and its facilities. The next quarter we were all held accountable for long-distance phone charges from the nurses dorm. The class ahead of us told us it was free! In our junior year we taught prenatal classes to the community, under the supervision of Dr. Therese Lawler and Lona Ratcliffe. It was great fun, and expectant couples had the “advantage” of having two nursing students go to labor and delivery with them. Of course, we had to write a huge case study on our experiences. One of my

Krupa in 1973 classmates and I even volunteered to take on a second couple who was due at the end of the quarter because they were feeling left out. (The case study was not required twice). Our senior year, when we were taking comprehensive nursing, a combination of advanced medical surgical and leadership

Riding the Bus By Dr. Alta Andrews

For anyone who was assigned to go to clinical at Beaufort County Hospital in the late 1960s and early 1970s, riding on the bus was a definite team-building activity! Since I was a bus driver in high school, I became the driver for our clinical group during the winter quarter of 1971. The bus was parked by Joyner Library, and to get to the hospital by 6:30 a.m. so we could have breakfast, we left Greenville a little before 6. I had to get to the bus by 5:45 to get it started and warmed up. I remember walking in the cold and the dark from 10th Street (where I lived) to the bus. One morning as I walked down Lawrence Street, a car came up behind me, and the driver honked the horn and rolled down the window. I almost had a heart attack it frightened me so badly. Suddenly, I heard

this unmistakable voice saying, “Miss Whaley, could I give you a ride to the bus?” It was Miss Myers, my faculty. If you knew her, you know just how that little voice sounded. Honestly, I decided to take my chances in the dark and cold rather than a ride with her. When we all would get to the bus, most of us were dressed in part pajamas and part uniform. We took out each other’s curlers, styled hair and helped each other wake up. The trips there and back were a great time to learn more about each other and about nursing. It was cold, sometimes terrible weather, but we always had a great time. That Beaufort County bus held a lot of memories for many ECU students. Another memory that sticks out vividly was the nutrition lab with Mrs. Joanne Suggs. I actually thought that a nutrition


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nursing, it was icy outside. Since I was from the north (Virginia) and had snow tires, I was elected to drive to clinical. My friends were already in the car and I was scraping the last bit of ice off the car when I went down in a thud. All I could hear was laughter and then questions if I was all right. My knee was bloody and my hose torn, but we knew we could not be late. I drove them to the hospital and we arrived on time. My last clinical day was also memorable. Everyone would say that I was never late, so when Dayne Howell was looking for me, no one could remember seeing me at breakfast, or maybe they had, no one was sure. I had overslept, and at 7:30 a.m., awoke to the phone ringing on my hall. I ran in a pure panic to answer, and before Howell even identified herself, I told her that I’d be at the hospital in 15 minutes. I never moved so fast to get somewhere. Our class was given the opportunity to attend summer school after our junior year,

so some classmates graduated in February instead of May. Only three of 51 stayed in Greenville; most scattered throughout the country. When we took our state boards, we had to all go to our respective state capitols and take five different exams over the course of two days. We received separate scores for

medical, surgical, pediatrics, obstetrics and psychiatric nursing. It took us about 10 weeks to receive our scores. We worked as “graduate nurses” in our respective facilities until we had our licenses in hand. Students today complain about the two-day wait! Thinking back, the social changes were the most remarkable during my four years at ECU. Our freshman year, 1969, we were required to wear skirts or dresses only, except on weekends. Our parents had to complete a two-page questionnaire about activities we could or could not engage in: Single date, double date, ride in a car, ride on a motorcycle, smoke cigarettes, and the list went on and on. We also had to sign in and out of the dorms in the evening in front of a housemother, and we had to be in early (10 p.m. on weekdays, midnight on Friday and Saturdays), and certainly no men were allowed. By the time we graduated, we had housemothers, but there were open dorms, open hours and men permitted. That was truly an amazing time. n

Andrews in 1973 lab would be great. After all, none of us had a lot of money to go out to eat, so a free meal was a great-sounding plan for us. Little did we know that Mrs. Suggs’ meal plans were not your typical eastern North Carolina cuisine. We cooked vegetables I had never heard of, and the meat dishes were from lamb and veal. Pork and beef were not on the menu! We were required to

taste these dishes. After all, how could you teach your patients to cook and eat nutritiously unless you had done it yourself? We hid the food in napkins and put it in our pockets when Mrs. Suggs wasn’t looking. The challenge for the class was to make her think you had eaten it and get rid of it before she noticed. No free meals there! For those of us who had to go to Wake Hospital for our advanced medical surgical course, staying in the nurses dorms was quite an experience. Miss Marion Leiner and Miss Lee Bennett went with us and stayed on another floor. A couple of really nice security guards (if you can really call them that) stayed in the lobby during the night and became our good friends. When we went out to get some food, ice cream or other goodies, we always brought some back for them. The pajama parties there (some with the faculty) were a great time to learn more about nursing and each other. Miss Leiner came by each evening about 9 to be sure everyone was in the dorm. She never counted to be sure, and we usually got her so involved

Andrews in 2010 with our questions and discussions that she forgot to finish her rounds. The routine was class on Monday and half-day Tuesday in Greenville, then ride to Raleigh on Tuesday afternoons. Clinicals were all day Wednesday and Thursday with a half day on Friday. We loved getting to spend some time in a town with a K & W Cafeteria and more than one shopping center. n

Krupa in 2010


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Former deans’ vision guided college’s innovation, success By Crystal Baity In her retirement letter to Chancellor Leo Jenkins, founding Dean Eva Warren recounted progress made in the formative years of East Carolina University’s then School of Nursing. Enrollment more than quadrupled, and 150 had graduated by 1969, Warren’s final year. The school was accredited by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing. Faculty increased and curriculum and course content were refined. “A former student has this to say about nursing and it can be applied to the East Carolina University School of Nursing – ‘We’ve come far—but have a long way to go; how lucky we are that the

future is not here,’ ” Warren wrote. “My wishes for the University and for the School of Nursing are for continued development as they provide an education for ‘service.’ ” Her wish has come true as the university’s first professional school continues 50 years of monumental growth under leaders like Warren. “The ECU College of Nursing has been so fortunate during its 50 year history to have strong administrative leadership that has been committed to excellence in nursing education,” said Dean Sylvia Brown. “Each dean set forth a futuristic vision for the college that has maintained our tradition of excellence and innovation in nursing education, leadership, research, scholarship, and practice.” n

Evelyn Perry (dean, 1969-1981) Warren’s successor, Evelyn Perry, joined ECU’s nursing faculty in 1962 after working as an educational consultant for the N.C. Board of Nursing. The job required visits to all university nursing programs in the state. “I visited ECU and liked it,” she said. She previously taught at the Watts School of Nursing in Durham and served with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in Japan and Korea. “The war was over about two months after I got there,” said Perry, who was assigned on a hospital train with nine cars, one doctor and 20 corpsmen which evacuated and cared for injured soldiers. During her tenure at ECU, the nursing alumni association was established and the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society for nurses, was chartered. The master’s degree program was approved and started, and the RN-BSN began. The quarter system was replaced by semesters. Perry taught a medical-surgical course and did research as dean. She also was a member of an early upper level health sciences committee appointed by then-vice chancellor Ed Monroe before the Division of Health Sciences was formed.

“From the very first day the School of Nursing opened, nurses in eastern North Carolina were begging for a continuing education program,” Perry said. “It was hard to turn down nurses in eastern North Carolina for anything because they had absolutely nothing.” Outreach began through EAHEC, with courses offered in Edenton, Havelock and other more remote locations, the earliest

distance education programs. The first lab was two hospital beds, where students volunteered to be patients and practiced injections and other procedures on one another. “We didn’t have anything besides a bed pan, a wash basin and a mercury thermometer,” Perry said. “Back then, everything was hands on. The closest thing we had to automatic was a pump up blood pressure apparatus.” Out of the lab, students had to adapt – whether it was the hospital, a patient’s home, a mental hospital, public health or nursing home. “Each place required a little something different,” she said. Students were bused to clinical sites in Washington, Raleigh and Asheville because they didn’t have cars. So the college had vans and a bus for transportation. “Every hospital in eastern North Carolina wanted us to send our students to them,” she said. “They knew our students would provide good nursing care, and they wanted them to see that it would be a good place to work.” Perry retired at age 55, traveling west to national parks, the Grand Canyon and Mexico. She also traveled the east coast from New England to Florida. She stays closer to home these days on Broad Creek in Beaufort County with her Yorkie terrier Skipper. n


college was granted full accreditation by NLN for eight years, the maximum period, for the first time. In 1987, the college became a part of ECU’s Division of Health Sciences. Henning was a staunch supporter of faculty activities in Sigma Theta Tau International. Several faculty members held leadership positions in the southeast region. Professor Emeritus Lou Everett said she will never forget Henning’s support after she lost election for international secretary by two

votes. Everett got a card from Henning saying “Thank you for the great showing.” “She did things to encourage us,” Everett said. “She put ECU School of Nursing on the national map. She mentored us and took us to national conferences.” The school’s Beta Nu chapter became a recognized leader and, to date, has won the coveted Key Award for excellence nine times. Henning helped recruit international speakers for chapter banquets as well. “Our school became a mentor for other schools who wished to start a chapter,” Henning said. Henning initiated the first attempt to move the undergraduate program to an upper division program, following the lead of other schools across the country. “But our faculty were not ready yet,” she said. “That’s why we didn’t do it.” Henning said she listened to faculty and students before making decisions. In 1990, she returned to the classroom after stepping down as dean. n

accommodating working nurses in rural areas wanting advanced degrees. A doctoral degree in nursing was initiated, along with the East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership. “We’ve had a required course in leadership in our undergraduate program for a very long time,” Horns said. Horns stayed ahead of the college’s growing pains, as additions and renovations were completed in the Rivers Building before nursing moved to the new Health Sciences Building in 2006. “I think the time I was dean was one of massive growth and expansion of all kinds of programs, services and technologies and, fortunately, we had the support of the university,” Horns said. “It was the growth of the university

in and of itself that helped us get the resources we needed to grow all these areas.” Strong linkages in the community continued through EAHEC, PCMH and other clinical partners. The college maintained full accreditation, and students continued to achieve high pass rates on credentialing and licensure exams. “Our graduates have a strong reputation for being clinically prepared,” Horns said. “They are great nurses no matter where they go to work.” Horns served as interim vice chancellor of health sciences in 2001-2002, and again in 2006 until her permanent appointment in 2009. She also served as interim dean for the Brody School of Medicine. “I greatly value the strengths of people working in the college and maintain a commitment to support their highest level of achievement,” Horns said. “I’ve worked hard to bring good people on board and to let them flourish. It’s something that’s been very important to me.” Horns received her doctorate in nursing from the UAB School of Nursing, where she was nominated as one of 60 Visionary Leaders. Dr. Rachel Booth, a longtime friend and mentor, said in her nomination that Horns “is a visionary leader who has experienced a trajectory that no other nurse, to my knowledge, has experienced.” n

Emilie D. Henning (dean, 1982-1990) Emilie Henning came to ECU from Florida State University, where she had been dean of nursing. Before that, she was chair of the department of maternal-child nursing at Rutgers, where she initiated the graduate program in parent-child nursing. The entire University of North Carolina system impressed her, and the move to Greenville gave her an opportunity to be closer to her mother and nieces, said Henning, who still lives in Greenville. While at ECU, she was active in state and national professional nursing associations, serving as a site visitor for National League for Nursing accreditation and member of the NLN’s board of review which accredited baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs. A learning resources center was established primarily for multimedia and computermediated instruction for students. In 1986, the

Phyllis Horns (dean, 1990-2009) The longest serving dean in the history of the College of Nursing, Dr. Phyllis Horns is an eastern North Carolina native and ECU nursing alumna. She first joined the ECU nursing faculty in 1970 as an instructor of parent-child nursing and became an associate professor before joining the graduate nursing faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1979. She returned to ECU in 1988 as professor and chair of parent-child nursing and was selected dean following a national search. She spent her first six months as dean visiting every faculty member in the college. “We had a very fine faculty then, and we have a very fine faculty now,” said Horns, ECU’s vice chancellor of health sciences. Over the past two decades, faculty and staff grew as enrollment increased, from 500 to more than 1,000 students. The master’s degree program expanded, prompted by the state’s health and workforce needs, adding several specialties like neonatal nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing education and nursing leadership, nurse anesthesia, and nurse midwifery. The college became a national leader in distance education and technology integration,

Pulse 2010


Pulse 2010

Dr. Frances Eason’s motto is expect the best and accept no less.

Passing the test Dr. Frances Eason pushes students to succeed By Karen Shugart When College of Nursing students hear Dr. Frances Eason’s name, several adjectives pop to mind: Tough. Serious. Hard. The professor doesn’t shy away from such descriptors. “I don’t bring refreshments to class. I don’t let them out early. There’s too much content,” she said. “I can’t say I’m the most popular teacher.” But she certainly is among the highly respected. With many honors to her credit — including, most recently, a 2009-2010 ECU Scholar-Teacher Award — Eason has

earned her hard-but-dedicated reputation among peers as well as students. “You have to be serious as a student,” said Kristin Easley, a spring 2009 graduate now working at The Women’s Hospital in Greensboro, part of Moses Cone Health System. “She gives you tough love, she really does. You have to understand that, if you want it, she’ll help you get there.” When Eason wasn’t much younger than many of her students, she wasn’t sure where “there” would be. Initially, she didn’t have much of a reason for choosing a nursing career: in the early 60s, nursing and teaching were two of the most obvious and accepted

fields for women. Her high school coach recommended Eason follow in the footsteps of his sister, a nurse. So she did. “I thought, ‘Oh well, I’ll do that,’” she recalled. She soon discovered a penchant for helping people and for education. After embarking on a three-year nursing diploma program, she graduated in 1965. It wasn’t long before she was at ECU working toward a bachelor’s degree — the first of several degrees she would earn. She would later be awarded a master’s in nursing from ECU and, from N.C. State University, a master’s in education and a doctorate in education, with a nursing minor.


Pulse 2010

Today, more than 40 years after she arrived at ECU, she leads the nursing college’s final-semester course meant to challenge students to critically think about what they’ve learned on their way to a degree. Her motto: expect the best and accept no less. Last year, 96 percent of ECU students who took the National Council Licensure Exam to become a registered nurse passed on their first attempt, compared to 89 percent nationally and 92 percent in North Carolina. Her reputation on the exam has led to calls from other colleges and hospitals as close by as Pitt County Memorial Hospital and as far as Eastern Europe. There, she instructed students from Bulgaria, Moldavia and Romania on the test they had to pass if they hoped to be nurses in the United States. She’s served on the nursing board responsible for the NCLEX. For 12 years, she served on the N.C. Board of Nursing. And she’s a program evaluator for the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. “People believe her to be a very knowledgeable, very experienced individual,” said Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences. “Sometimes students think she is really tough, and she asks really difficult questions, and she poses very challenging situations and problems to students. But I don’t think there’s anyone with more caring, compassion and commitment to helping students.” The emphasis she places on education isn’t just something she reserves for students. Each month, she reviews the websites of industry associations, such as the National Council, the Board of Nursing and the National League of Nursing. “I do that before my eyes close, if I have to sit up all night long,” Eason said. “I religiously do that, because that’s where all the updates are.” Eason still works part-time at Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount, where she is exposed to current practice and health care trends, and teaches a NCLEX preparation course for new graduates there. “I want to know that, when Monday morning comes, I know what I’m talking about,” Eason said. “I want to work at the level that I’m educating students at — I want to know what they are expected to do, and there is no better experience in the world than doing it yourself.” That dedication has proven invaluable for students like Easley, the Moses Cone nurse, who was working with a patient who’d just had a Caesarean section and wouldn’t wake up. “I had this gut feeling that something wasn’t right,” Easley recalled. The woman’s blood pressure was extremely low, while her heart rate was high. “I heard [Eason’s] voice from class, ‘if the pulse is high and the blood pressure is low, then the patient is bleeding internally!’ ” Easley remembered. “And she truly was.” The November before graduation, Easley had been in a car crash. Unable to work, she couldn’t afford the NCLEX and let months pass — months that Eason said would reduce her chances of passing on the first try. Eason contacted Easley and encouraged her to join her and another student for review. Not long after, Easley passed. “I’m really grateful that she did that,” Easley said. “She loves her job.” n

I am an ECU nurse Number students applied for undergraduate admissions (fall 2010) BSN – 308 RN-BSN – 81 Number students admitted to undergraduate program (fall 2010) BSN – 130 RN-BSN – 51 Accepted, 39 Registered, 12 No response to date Number students admitted to graduate program (fall 2010) Master’s – 119* Doctoral – 5 Students are from: N.C. counties: Alamance, Avery, Beaufort, Bladen, Buncombe, Burke,

Cabbarus, Camden, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Henderson, Hertford, Iredell, Jackson, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lincoln, Madison, Martin, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pasquotank, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Surry, Union, Vance, Wake, Watauga, Wayne, Wilson Other states: Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Enrollment for fall 2010 BSN – 483*

RN-BSN – 117*

MSN concentrations:

Adult Nurse Practitioner - 56* Nursing Education - 112* Nurse Anesthesia - 30* Nurse Midwifery - 29* Alternate Entry MSN - 52*

Clinical Nurse Specialist - 32* Family Nurse Practitioner - 84* Nursing Leadership - 53* Neonatal Nurse Practitioner - 19* Ph.D. - 33*

Females/males ratio for fall 2010: BSN – 483 students* (9.7% male, 90.3% female) RN-BSN – 117 students* (3.4% male, 96.6% female) MSN – 462 students* (9.6% male, 90.4% female) Post-Masters - 17 students* (0% male, 100% female) Ph.D. – 33 students (15.2% male, 84.8% female) Other degrees held by graduate students - BSN,

MAED, MPH, MSN (Alternate Entry) variety of disciplines including biology, exercise and sports science, health education promotion, nutrition, sociology, biochemistry, marriage and family counseling, occupational health

Average GPA admitted into undergraduate program (fall 2010) - 3.650 *Denotes preliminary data at time of production and printing.


Pulse 2010

The late Rachel Klitzman displays Pirate pride with a specialized license plate.

Development By Crystal Baity

New scholarship created in memory of Rachel Klitzman A new scholarship for ECU nursing students has been created in memory of alumna Rachel Klitzman, who died unexpectedly Aug. 9, 2009. Klitzman, 25, was born in Shreveport, La., to Bruce and Hardee Brown Klitzman. At age 2, she moved with her family to Durham. She graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School and ECU’s College of Nursing in 2005. She began her nursing career at UNC Hospitals in orthopedic surgery and most recently worked in orthopedic trauma at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Klitzman was an inveterate caregiver, always nurturing and supporting those in need. She was a radiant spirit, who adored her family and friends and had a special way of keeping in touch with everyone. She was brimming with enthusiasm over her upcoming marriage, looking forward to beginning a family of her own. She

notes loved to travel with her family and friends and was equally content staying at home to play games. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her sister Page Klitzman, her fiancĂŠ Stephen Ellison, currently in the MD/PhD program at Temple University in Philadelphia, her grandparents, Maurice and Mary Ann Klitzman, and Barbara and Burt Behrens, her uncles and aunts, Jack Klitzman, Clara Hopkins, Babs and Courtney Mitchell, and cousins, Aris Musa and Taylor and Mason Hopkins. Donations to the Rachel Klitzman Memorial Scholarship may be made to the ECU College of Nursing, 525 Moye Bld., Greenville, N.C., 27834, or by contacting Mark Alexander at

Deitra “Dee” Lowdermilk (’66)


Pulse 2010

“With the Hall of Fame, ECU College of Nursing is establishing a permanent tribute which will be a model for nursing excellence.” —Dean Sylvia Brown

Lowdermilk gift to create scholars program, lab named in couple’s honor Alumna Deitra “Dee” Lowdermilk (’66), and her husband Edward, have announced a planned gift as part of their estate that will create a nursing scholars program in the ECU College of Nursing. The program will provide students with two years of undergraduate nursing education including full tuition, fees, books and some living expenses. The scholarship also will provide a stipend for a summer educational enrichment program based on the students’ personal interests, ranging from volunteering in health clinics to working with disadvantaged youth. Recipients will display a desire and love for the nursing profession. In recognition of the generous gift, the College of Nursing has named the neonatal intensive care unit and midwifery lab in honor of the Lowdermilks, who live in Chapel Hill. Dee Lowdermilk was the first Distinguished Alumni Award winner in the ECU College of Nursing. She began her career in public health nursing and has worked in a variety of maternity and women’s health care clinical settings. She is certified in in-patient obstetrical nursing and is a clinical professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel

Hill, where she teaches primarily in the undergraduate program and coordinates the maternal newborn course. She is co-editor of two maternity and women’s health textbooks and is a leader in the North Carolina section of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. She is a Great 100 North Carolina Nurse and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Nursing Hall of Fame to be unveiled The College of Nursing is establishing a Hall of Fame to recognize the service of nurses, who by virtue of their contributions, are considered among the most highly regarded nurse leaders and to whom ECU alumni and friends are most grateful, organizers said. Nurses will be honored for advancing nursing through clinical practice, teaching, administration or research. The inaugural induction will be held during the college’s 50th anniversary celebration. The goal is to induct at least 50 Hall of Fame members to commemorate the event.    “The Hall of Fame is an opportunity to highlight nurses who have made significant contributions in clinical practice, nursing research, nursing leadership, and nursing education,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “With the Hall of Fame,

ECU College of Nursing is establishing a permanent tribute which will be a model for nursing excellence.” A minimum gift of $1,000 will secure a plaque inscribed with the name of the Hall of Fame honoree, which will be displayed in the college. ECU graduates will be uniquely identified on their plaque and any nurse whose name is honored with more than one $1,000 gift will have a star placed on the plaque. Inductees also will be recognized at an annual banquet, in the annual alumni publication, Pulse, and on the college’s website. Gifts will support a new Hall of Fame Scholarship Fund to provide merit-based scholarships for nursing students. This prestigious scholarship program will help attract more of the best and brightest students to ECU’s College of Nursing, said Mark Alexander, director of development. Nomination forms are available at ECUCONHoF_Nom.pdf or by calling 252-744-2238. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 1. Nominations received after the deadline will be held for consideration in the next calendar year. Gifts may be given by an individual, family or group. Each nomination will be reviewed and voted on by the ECU College of Nursing Advancement Council. For more information, contact Mark Alexander at 252-744-2238, e-mail or visit http://nursing.ecu. edu/hof_guidelines.htm. n


Pulse 2010

ECU honors


with students scholarships Scholarships with a total value of more than $48,000 have been awarded for the 2010-2011 academic year to undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Nursing. Below is a listing of scholarships and recipients: American Legion Post #39 Nursing Scholarship

Caitlin Loftin Blaise Michael Youngs

Patricia Swagart Carol Ferreira Memorial

Victoria Cannon Diane Haskins Memorial Scholarship

Brittany Deitz Dotty Bennett Harrell

Catherine Davis E.G. Barlow

Amy Olson Eunice Mann Garner

Christina Ankney Annie Bonds Laketha Brown Timothy Carpenter II Maria Chavez Jamie Corbet Jeremy Coy Dara Crawford

Molly Frazier Jaoachim Gomes Steven Hale Mark Hand Leslie “Chandler” Hatcher Brittany Hawkins Lauren Heeke Shelby Hughes Mary Beth Koehler Ryan Lowther Kelley Morgan Cassandra Oldenburg Bethany Parrett Leigh Rakow Christopher Rein Emily Sexton Lindzie Smarch Pamela Sullivan Sandra Thomas Alice Tripp Brittany Vestal Amy Watts Casey White Kelly Wilkins Grace Edwards Wellons and Eula Sawrey Edwards Scholarship

Brittany Davis

J.A.’s Uniform Shop Scholar

Stephanie Howard

Martha Whitehurst Tarkington

Courtney Evans Matthew Simpkins Haley Upchurch Chelsea Welling Nurse Midwifery

Bethany Smith Ruth Glass Bunting

Megan O’Boyle Tammy Duvall Nurse Anesthesia

Jamie Corbet Matt Frantz Virginia Bonar

Prentis Gross Julie Thomas Nurse Midwifery Scholarship

Sheila Dell, Anne Karner, Angie Logan, Michelle Overby Robert L. Jones Nursing

Whitney White

Hal & Eldean Pierce Beta Nu

Stephanie Gondek Elizabeth Newcomb

Ruth Glass Bunting

Heather Ann Purtee

University Book Exchange Scholarship

Kara Pivrkowsky

Ernest Albritton Jr.

Katie Oliver n


Pulse 2010

Blaise Michael Youngs Scholarship announced for nurse midwifery students Jennifer Coffey Youngs (’00,’03) and Kevin Youngs (’98,’04) are honoring the memory of their son, Blaise Michael, with a new scholarship for nurse midwifery students. During a scheduled appointment on May 29, 2009, one day past Blaise’s due date, the Youngs learned his heart had stopped beating. He was delivered May 30, 2009. “Our precious baby, Blaise, was delivered to us by a truly gifted midwife. It is impossible to express the love, the compassion, and the expertise our wonderful midwife encompassed,” the Youngs wrote in a letter announcing the scholarship. A second scholarship benefitting a student in physical therapy also has been created. Kevin Youngs received his graduate degree in physical therapy from ECU, and is a clinical instructor

2010 Golden Lamp Society members Gale Brown Adcock Mark Warren Alexander Dr. Martha R. Alligood American Legion #39 Rebecca Clemens Bagley Shannon Marie Baker Jennifer Walters Batts Melissa Moore Brock Dr. Sylvia T. Brown Susan Q. Bruck Karen White Bunch Michael L. Bunting Lana F. Chang Shannon Sheppard Cherry Bruce E. Cherry

in the Department of Physical Therapy and clinic manager of the ECU PT clinic. “East Carolina University has enriched our family’s life in so many ways: be it education, careers, athletics, or life long friendships. Although the heartbreaking loss of our cherished baby Blaise has been unbelievably sad, the experience has allowed us to recognize the gifts East Carolina University has bestowed upon us and our family,” the Youngs wrote. The Youngs host an annual family fun day to help support the scholarship fund. Donations to the Blaise Michael Youngs Scholarship Fund may be made to the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, 525 Moye Bld., Greenville, N.C., 27834, or by contacting Mark Alexander at alexanderma@ or 252-744-2238. n

Rita Modlin Coggins Kathryn Elizabeth Coker Mary Cummings Collier John J. Core Carol Gordon Cox Dr. Joan B. Dinapoli Donna Morgan Dorsey Neil E. Dorsey ECU Senior Nursing Class Melydia J. Edge Dr. Martha Keehner Engelke Linda Fancher Fisher J. Russell Fleming Dr. Annette Grady Greer Brode H. Harrell Jr. Susan D. Harrell Edward Michael Healey Mary Ellen Holland Jennifer A. Holtz Dr. Phyllis N. Horns Dr. Walter R. Houston Jacqueline Ish Hutcherson JA’s Uniform Shop Dr. Darlene Elizabeth Jesse Joy M. Johnson Carolyn W. Jones Phillip Julian Deborah Kornegay Karen C. Krupa Dr. Deitra L. Lowdermilk

The Youngs family: Kevin, holding Davis, 3, and Jennifer holding infant Jacks, are honoring the memory of their son, Blaise, with a new scholarship.

Dr. Dianne Mabel Marshburn Dr. Linda Anne Mayne Dr. Maura McAuliffe Vera Lee McClive Richard Eugene McDaniel Patricia Wilson McRae Stephen Thomas Michaux Vinnie A. Mills Dr. Janet Peacock Moye Marlene Kay Nickell Diana Olive Judith Myrick Parks Dr. Annette I. Peery Hal Warren Pierce Mary Edwards Plybon Diane Adkins Poole Dr. Evelyn S. Pruden Lona P. Ratcliffe Sandra F. Raynor Peggy C. Reed Pamela Jones Reis Dr. Donna White Roberson Dr. Mary Ann Rose Dr. Sharon Isenhour Sarvey Patricia H. Sheehan Ann Davis Siva Kimberly L. Smith Rose Whitfield Smith Dr. Nancy Lou Stephenson Jacquelyn Jones Stone

The Gravely Foundation The Seby B. Jones Family Foundation Rebecca T. Thomas Madge Gay Dews Thompson University Book Exchange William P. Vurnakes CRNA Dr. Sandra M. Walsh Rebecca R. West Anna Howle White Dorothy Daniel Williams Lucille R. Williams Nancy C. Windes Dr. Carol E. Winters-Moorhead Amy Sluder Woodard Alma B. Woolard Dr. Annette B. Wysocki

The Golden Lamp Society was created to recognize individuals who give year after year to ECU’s College of Nursing. Any donor who gives a minimum of $100 for two or more consecutive years becomes a member of the society. For more information, call Mark Alexander at 252-744-2238 or e-mail at n


Pulse 2010

Sigma Celebrates By Elaine Scott

Elaine Scott, RN, MSN, PhD President, Beta Nu Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International

Sigma Beta Nu officers President Elaine Scott President Elect Valarie Gatlin Vice President Pam Reis Secretary Nancy Leggett-Frazier 1st Counselor Mark Hand 2nd Counselor Peggy Edmondson

Sigma Theta Tau Beta Nu Chapter is busier than ever as the College of Nursing celebrates its 50th birthday. The fall 2009 induction brought 101 new members to Beta Nu, and we are still celebrating our receipt of the 9th Chapter Key Award in Indianapolis, Indiana. The key award is given to chapters that successfully recruit and retain members, generate publicity and programming, provide leadership development and foster international collaboration. The new calendar year started with Gwen Sherwood, PhD, RN, FAAN presenting the spring banquet dinner address, “Local is Global: Transforming to a Global Society.” The next day, she was the keynote speaker at the 19th Annual Collaborative Research Day presenting her

work on the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Another major event supported by Beta Nu was Up with Nursing in Haiti held during the College of Nursing’s annual Diversity Day in April. Beta Nu donated $1,600 to the Haitian Nursing Foundation – enough money to support two students full time for a year in nursing school. Overall, the college surpassed its total goal and faculty, staff and alumni

Battle Beta Nu Chapter inducts Cynetra Gina Brooks


new members The Sigma Theta Tau Beta Nu Chapter inducted 101 new members during a ceremony held Oct. 23, 2009 in the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville. Undergraduate inductees Cecil Adams Courtney Addis Carrie Amici

Brian Buchholz Rebekah Cordle Brandi Creasy Brittany Creasy Lesley Cutler Emily Davis Katharine DeWeese Sarah Dieck Lindsey Doty Rachael Garrett Valeriya Ghette Courtney Green

raised enough money for 10 scholarships. As we begin the 2010-2011 academic year, Beta Nu will hold its fall banquet on Nov. 3. This will be a wonderful gala highlighted by the Dixie Koldjeski Lecture with keynote speaker Dr. Beverly Malone, chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing. Plans are to have the biggest and best silent auction accompanying this dinner. This is sure to be a great opportunity for nurses in our area. n

Jacob Hines Jackie Howell Whitney Hudson Alexandra Kaduc Emma Ketner Diana Leary Margaret Leonard Lori Levy Lindsay Lyerly Jaime Marshburn Annette Morano Erica Morgan Jennifer Peaden Sara Peaden


Pulse 2010

An overflowing Diversity Day audience watches a presentation by Greenville architect Jimmy Hite, who visited Haiti shortly after the earthquake.

Brittany Phillips Heather Raczkowski Stephanie Rayl Danielle Raymond Nitaya Reyes Cory Rodgers Leslie Roper Kaci Ruffing Margaret Small Amanda Smith Deidre Solomon Leslie Sugg Kelly Timberlake Kayla Watson Kymberly Wells

Tabitha Wrench Graduate inductees Holly Adelman Christina Ankney LaTonya Armstrong Michelle Austin Julane Belcher Melissa Britt Elisa Brown Alicia Brown Susan Bryant Jarahnee Burger Tracy Calcutt

Brian Capel Amanda Cauley-Harvey Cynthia Chapman Marsha Clark Ashton Colgrove Peggy Daw Rachelle Denney Aylsia Dixon Dawn Engels Karen Evans Emily Gibson Jane Gledhill Prentis Gross Alexis Hare Chelsey Jo Hilscher

Jennifer Howard Leslie Howell Ivy Johnson Kelli Jones Linda Kessler Linda King Sandra Layden Jeffrey Levy William Little III Laurey Munch Michelle Norris Janet Selz Diana Shipp Kimberley Tester Linda Thompson

Lisa Tuck Charlene Turnage Rebecca Vinson Heather Whisnant Sharlyn Williams Susan Willson Charlsie Woodard Nurse Leaders Pamela Dail Crystal Hayden Takenya LaBriado Morgan Parks Jessica Turner Wanda Waters


Class Notes

Pulse 2010



Susan Cawley Dolinar (BSN, ’93 MSN) is an associate professor and medical surgical team leader in the nursing division at Greenville Technical College in Greenville, S.C.

Jenny Garner (BSN) is a manager in the department of global patient safety and risk management at Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Mass.



Mary Blizzard Van Cleave (BSN) is the service quality nurse case manager at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. She has been married 28 years and has two daughters, Jennifer, 26, and Katherine, 19, a freshman at West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, Calif. She has a nine-monthold grandson, Caleb.

Garrett Brooks Lawhorn (BSN) is a labor and delivery nurse at Carilion ClinicRoanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va. She married Benjamin Lawhorn on Sept. 19, 2009.

1982 Audrey Howes Currin (BSN) is a communicable disease nurse at the Vance County Health Department where she has worked 20 years.

1983 Betsy Penland Seymour (BSN) is an analyst in risk management at WakeMed in Raleigh. She is a certified legal nurse consultant and president of the eastern North Carolina chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. Nathaniel Saunders (BSN) retired in May 2001 as a nursing coordinator at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta, Ga. He lives in Ahoskie.

1987 Alissa Ostro Clark (BSN) is assistant nurse manager in the neonatal intensive care unit at Henrico Doctors Hospital in Richmond, Va. She is married with three children.

1990 Tara Prosser Mitchell (BSN, MSN ’08) received her master’s in nursing from ECU in 2008. She is a certified family nurse practitioner at Carteret Ob-Gyn Associates in Morehead City.

1995 Caroline Dixon Wrisley (BSN, MSN ’00) teaches behavioral health nursing at Carolinas College of Health Sciences and works as a staff nurse in the main post anesthesia care unit at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Megan Dunaway Wetzel (BSN) has worked as an intensive care nurse for four years and is nursing supervisor at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare in Tallahassee, Fla. In 2006, she married Jack Wetzel, a recreation planner for Florida State Parks, and they have two daughters, Coen Bianc and Soli Layne.


Courtney Padrick Green (BSN) works in the cardiac intensive care unit at PCMH. Heather Harris (BSN) works in labor and delivery at PCMH. Heather Hutchins (BSN) works on the orthopedic surgical floor at Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. Ryan Mitchell (BSN) is an emergency department nurse at Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern. Lindsey O’Connell (BSN) works on the fourth floor surgical unit at Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount. Megan Petrycki (BSN) is a pediatric oncology nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md.


Mandy Houck Lambert (BSN) is a school 1982 nurse in Jones County and works as an Kimberly McDaniel (BSN, MSN ’95) emergency department nurse in Carteret died on Jan. 3. She was employed at PCMH County. for 28 years.

2009 Greg Baggett (BSN) works in the cardiac intermediate unit at PCMH.


Monique Van Essendelft (BSN, MSN ’97) of Pantego died April 29. She was a certified Jamie Dickson (BSN) works on the renal nurse midwife and clinical instructor. She unit at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston. earned her BSN and MSN with a concentration in nurse midwifery from ECU. Rebecca Gainey (BSN) works at UNC Health Care. Send your notes to

ECU welcomes 12 new faculty Kristen G. Barbee, RN, MSN, CNE, has joined the faculty as a clinical instructor. She was director of the associate degree nursing program at Stanly Community College. Barbee has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Gardner-Webb University and a master’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Bonnie B. Benetato, PhD, has joined the faculty as an assistant professor. She served as acting director and associate director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Benetato has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing, and a doctoral degree from The Catholic University of America. She received a master’s of business administration from American University. Tristin S. Carpenter, MSN, has joined the faculty as a clinical instructor. She worked for Infosystems Technology performing home health visits for patients receiving intravenous therapies, and Integrated Commercialization Solutions educating staff at health care settings on medications. She previously served as a clinical instructor at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing. Carpenter has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing from ECU. Tamara L. Congdon, RN, MSN, has joined the faculty as a clinical instructor. She served as nursing education instructor and

concepts integration laboratory coordinator in the ECU College of Nursing. Congdon received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in nursing from Graceland University. Amanda B. Davis, RN, MSN, CPNP, has joined the faculty as a clinical instructor. Davis was an assistant professor of nursing at Barton College. Davis has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in nursing from Duke University. Carolyn E. Horne, RN, BSN, MSN, BC, has joined the faculty as a clinical instructor. She was a vascular clinical nurse specialist at University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing from ECU. Donna Lake, RN, BSN, MEd, PhD(C), has joined the faculty as an assistant professor after serving as the Robert Wood Johnson grant coordinator with the East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership at ECU. She was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years as a military nurse, medical commander and nursing director. Lake has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a master’s degree in education from the University of Oklahoma, and has submitted her doctoral dissertation for a degree from TUI University. Michele Mendes, RN, PhD, CPN, has joined the faculty as assistant professor. She was an assistant professor in the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College. Mendes has a bachelor’s


degree in nursing from Simmons College, a master’s degree in nursing from Boston University, and a doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Rhode Island. Christy Swinson, RN, MSN, CMSRN, has joined the faculty as clinical instructor. She served as a clinical instructor of nursing at Fayetteville Technical Community College and was a lead charge nurse and preceptor at Cape Fear Valley Health System. Swinson received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing from ECU. Deborah E. Tyndall, RN, MSN, has joined the faculty as clinical instructor. She served as director of nursing education at Cherry Hospital, and previously was assistant professor and RN/ BSN program coordinator at Barton College. Tyndall has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Barton College and a master’s degree in nursing from ECU. Susan K. Willson, RN, MSN, has joined the faculty as clinical instructor. She served as assistant nurse manager for the inpatient psychiatric unit at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Willson received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in nursing from ECU. Lucinda S. Winstead, RN, MSN, has joined the faculty as clinical instructor. She was lead instructor of the associate degree nursing program at Beaufort Community College. She also served on the Beaufort County School Board. Winstead has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing from ECU.

Pulse 2010


Pulse 2010

Faculty publications In print 2009–2010 academic year

Published articles in reference journals Alligood, M.R. (2010). Family Healthcare with King’s Theory of Goal Attainment.   Nursing Science Quarterly, 23 (2), 99-104.  

Blanchard, A., Hodgson, J., Gunn, W., Jesse, Elizabeth D., & White, M. (2009). Understanding Social Support and the Couple’s Relationship among Women with Depressive Symptoms in Pregnancy. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 30 (12), 764-76.   Brown, S.T., Kirkpatrick, M.K., Mathias, A.D., Greer, A., & Swanson, M. (2009). The use of innovative pedagogies in nursing education: an international perspective. Nursing Education Perspectives, 30 (3), 153-158.   Engelke, M.K., Guttu, M., & Warren, M. (2009). Defining, Delivering, and Documenting the Outcomes of Case Management by School Nurses. Journal of School Nursing, 25 (6), 417-426.  

Gantt, L.T. (2010). The Clark Simulation Evaluation Rubric: Use with ADN and BSN Students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 31 (2), 29-33.   Gantt, L. & Corbett, R. (2010). Using Simulation to Teach Patient Safety Behaviors in Undergraduate Nursing Education. Journal of Nursing Education, 40 (1), 48-51.  

Green, R.M. & Hope, A. (2010). Promoting Clinical Competence Using Social Media. Nurse Educator. Vol. 35; 3, pp. 127-129. Greer, A., Pokorny, M., Clay, M., Brown, S., & Steele, L. (2010). Learner-Centered Characteristics of Nurse Educators. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 7 (1), Article 6.   Holcomb, M.M., Wilkins, R., & Skipper, M.T. (2009). Adolescent Contraception: Sorting Out the Facts. Nurse Practitioner: American Journal of Primary Health Care, 2009 Sep; 34(9): 18-27.

Horne, C.N. & Neil, J.A. (2009). Quality of Life in Patients with Prosthetic Legs. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 21 (3), 154-159. Kirkpatrick, M.K., Esterhuizen, P., & Drake, D. (2009). An optimal caring healing environment for clients with obesity. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 4 (2), 123-132.   Libster, M.M. (2009). A History of Shaker NurseHerbalists, Health Reform, and the American Botanical Medical Movement (1830-1860). Journal of Holistic Nursing, December Vol. 27, No. 4, 222-231. Lowery, B.D. (2010). Medical Home Concept: Policy Implications for an Integrated Approach in Obesity Management. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 5 (1), 89-91.  

Lowery, B.D. (2009). Obesity Policy Spotlight: Childhood Obesity. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 4 (3), 237-39. Lowery, B.D. (2009). Obesity Policy Spotlight: New Trends in Obesity Policy. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 4 (4), 325-6.   Marshburn, J. & Larson, K. (2010). Building infrastructure in Guatemala through communityacademic partnerships. MCN Streamline, 16 (1), 3-5.  

Moye, J.P. & Swan, B.A. (2009). Growing ambulatory care nurse leaders in a multigenerational workforce. Nursing Economic$, 27 (6), 409-411,415. Mulaudzi, F.M., Libster, M.M., & Phiri, S. (2009). Suggestions for creating a welcoming nursing community: Ubuntu, cultural diplomacy, and mentoring. International Journal of Human Caring, 13(2), 45-51. Neil, J.A. (2009). Simulation in Nursing Education. Perioperative Nursing Clinics, 4 (2), 97-112.  

Puglisi, J.P. (2009). Revisiting a Place at the Bargaining Table. NP News, 17 (4), 1-2, 4.

Rose, M.A. & Drake, D.J. (2009). One Size Does Not Fit All: CMS Payment Suspension Does Not Consider the Unique Risks and Challenges of the Morbidly Obese. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 5, 519-520.

Velde, B., Carawan, L., Wittman, P., Knight, S., & Pokorny, M. (2010). A Dialogal Investigation of Who Am I as a Teacher. Journal of Allied Health, 39 (1), 49-53.  

Sarvey, S.I. (2009). Care of the overweight or obese child: Resources for Nurses. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 4 (3), 233-235.


Sarvey, S.I. (2009). Psychosocial support after bariatric surgery: Fostering resilience. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 4 (4), 323-324.

Alligood, M.R. (2010). Nursing Theory: Utilization & Application, 4th edition. Mosby-Elsevier.  

Rose, M., Pokorny, M., & Drake, D. (2009). Preventing Pressure Ulcers in the Morbidly Obese: In Search of an Evidence Base. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 4 (3), 221-226.

Sarvey, S.I. (2010). Putting your hands on the resource. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 5 (1), 85-88.  

Sarvey, S.I. (2009). Resources for the management and re-cycling of medical waste. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, Vol. 4, Number 1, 2009. Scott, E., Pokorny, M., Rose, M.A., & Watkins, F. (2010). Safe Handoffs for the Morbidly Obese. Journal of Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 5 (1), 71-74. Skipper, M.T. (2009). Standing in the Gap: Nurse Practitioners as Community Advocates. NP News.   Stephenson, N.L., Dalton, J.A., Carlson, J., Youngblood, R., & Bailey, D. (2009). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cancer Pain Management. Journal of National Black Nurses’ Association, 20 (1), 11-18.   Swan, B.A. & Moye, J.P. (2009). Growing ambulatory care nurse leaders: Building talent from the primed pipeline. Nursing Economic$, 27 (4), 251-254.  

Walker, M.L. & Gantt, L.T. (2010). Creation of a Bariatric ‘Patient’ & Simulation Scenario for Use with Student Nurses. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care. June 2010, 5(2): 127-136.

Alligood, M.R. (2010). Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 7th edition. Mosby-Elsevier.  

Gantt, L.T., Robey, W.C., Congdon, T.L., & Bolin, L.P. (2009). Simulation Scenarios for Nurse Educators. New York: Springer. Book Chapters  Alligood, M.R. (2010). Areas for Further Development of Theory-Based Nursing Practice in Martha Raile Alligood (Ed.) Nursing Theory: Utilization & Application, (481-493). St. Louis: Mosby-Elsevier.   Alligood, M.R. (2010). Introduction to Nursing Theory: Its History, Significance, and Analysis in Alligood & Tomey (Ed.) Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 7th edition, (3-15). St. Louis: Mosby-Elsevier.   Alligood, M.R. (2010). Philosophies, Models and Theories: Critical Thinking Structures in Martha Raile Alligood (Ed.) Nursing Theory: Utilization & Application, 4th edition, (47-71). St: Louis: Mosby-Elsevier.   Alligood, M.R. (2010). State of the Art and Science of Nursing Theory in Alligood & Tomey (Ed.) Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 7th edition, (765-772). St. Louis: Mosby-Elsevier.  


Pulse 2010

Alligood, M.R. (2010). The Nature of Knowledge Needed for Nursing Practice in Martha Raile Alligood (Ed.) Nursing Theory: Utilization & Application, 4th edition, (3-15). St. Louis: Mosby-Elsevier.  

Corbett, R. (2010). Women’s Health: Commonly Occurring Infections in Patricia Ladewig (Ed.) Olds’ Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Women’s Health Across the Lifespan, 9e. Pearson Prentice Hall.  

Corbett, R. & Owens, L.W. (2009). Postpartum and Newborn Drugs in Joyce Kee, Evelyn Hayes & Linda McCuistion (Ed.) Pharmacology: A Nursing Process Approach. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier.  

Droes, N.S. & Hatton, D.C. (2009). Homeless Populations in Community health nursing: Promoting the health of aggregates.  

Corbett, R. & Owens, L.W. (2009). Pregnancy and Preterm Labor Drugs in Kee, J. Hayes, E., & McCuistion, L. (Ed.) Pharmacology: A Nursing Process Approach. St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier.  

Jesse, D.E. (2010). Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring in Nursing Practice in Alligood & Tomey (Ed.) Nursing theorists and Their Work (7th ed.). Mosby.

Jesse, D.E. (2010). Watson’s Theory of Transpersonal Caring in Nursing Practice in Martha Alligood (Ed.) Nursing theory: Utilization & Application (4th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

Libster, M.M. (2010). Past, Present, and Future in Mertie Potter & Mary Moller (Ed.) Psychiatric-Mental Nursing: from Suffering to Hope. Pearson Health Science. McAuliffe, M.S. (2009). A Conceptual Model For Nurse Anesthesia Education in Henrichs, B. & Thompson J.A. Resource for Nurse Anesthesia Educators, (19-37). AANA Publishing Company.   Owens, L.W. & Corbett, R. (2010). Basics of Pharmacology in Mary Brucker and Tekoa King (Ed.) Principles and Practice in Pharmacology for Women’s Health, (Chapter 1 or 2). Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.  

Pokorny, M.E. (2010). Nursing Theorists of Historical Significance in Tomey, A.M. & Alligood, M. (Ed.) Nursing Theorists and Their Work, (50-68). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.   Schreier, A.M. & Droes, N.S. (2010). Georgene Gaskill Eakes, Mary Lermann Burke and Margaret A. Hainsworth: Theory of Chronic Sorrow in M.R. Alligood (Ed.) Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 7th edition. St. Louis: Mosby.   Schreier, A.M. & Droes, N.S. (2010). Theory of chronic sorrow in Nursing Theorists and Their Work.  

Scott, E.S. (2009). Conflict and Polarity in Nursing in P.S. Cowen and S. Moorhead (Ed.) Current Issues in Nursing, 8th Edition, (489-497). St Louis: Mosby Elsevier. ■


News Briefs

Pulse 2010

At left, Dr. Nancy Stephenson, associate professor of nursing, and Allison Hope, instructional technology specialist, are shown on the rooftop of the Residence Filariose, where they stayed during their visit to Leogane, Haiti.

Hope in Haiti Faculty, staff travel to country’s only nursing school Faculty and staff members from East Carolina University’s College of Nursing traveled to Haiti this summer to assess the needs of the country’s only nursing school. Dr. Nancy Stephenson, associate professor of nursing, and Allison Hope, instructional technology specialist, visited the city of Leogane, where the FSIL School of Nursing is located and close to the epicenter of a Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the country. ECU nursing has an ongoing relationship with the Haitian nursing school, which was designed by Greenville architect Jimmy Hite, a board member of the Haiti Nursing Foundation. The trip was designed to learn more about the day-to-day operations of the school, coursework needs and to assess the technical resources available to determine the feasibility of offering distance education courses for students, Stephenson said. In April, the ECU College of Nursing held its annual Diversity Day and dedicated its efforts to Haiti. The college’s annual Diversity Day encourages students, faculty and staff to explore cultural diversity, especially as it relates to health care.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni raised $8,500 for ten scholarships for nursing students in Haiti, doubling its initial goal. Completed in 2005, the first 13 baccalaureate students graduated in 2009 from Haiti’s nursing school. Stephenson and Hope took a banner that faculty, staff and students signed on Diversity Day to show ECU’s support. Hope, armed with a backpack and mini laptop, video camera, digital camera and accessories, blogged daily June 23-27 from Haiti at The biggest area of need for coursework identified so far is in obstetrics and gynecology and medical-surgical nursing. “With a few adjustments to the network and equipment, students should be able to complete online courses that use limited technical resources,” Stephenson said, noting reliability of the network depends greatly on the weather. Stephenson and Hope took electronic versions of course syllabi, tests and course information and a DVD of an ECU maternalchild course. Plans are to continue collaboration between the two institutions in the future, Stephenson said. ■

Pulse is published annually by the East Carolina University College of Nursing for alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the school. Send your story ideas or comments to the Editor, Office of News and Information, Division of Health Sciences, Lakeside Annex #3, 600 Moye Boulevard, Greenville, N.C. 27834, 252-744-3764, or e-mail Dean: Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE

Alumni on the

47 Pulse 2010 Pulse Summer 2008


Editor: Crystal Baity Editorial Assistant: Heidi Turner Parker Editorial Board: Mark Alexander Sylvia Brown Martha Engelke Laurie Evans Walter Houston Donna Roberson Kathleen Simpson Carol Winters-Moorhead Art Director: Jay Clark Photographer: Cliff Hollis Contributing Photographer: Forrest Croce Writers: Crystal Baity Marion Blackburn Doug Boyd Jennifer Julian Karen Shugart

East Carolina University is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. U.P. 10-434 Printed on recycled paper. 7,850 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $6,114, or $.78 per copy.

The College of Nursing is celebrating its 50th anniversary celebration in 2010. Please watch for details at There, you can get information on alumni and program news, awards, events, faculty, staff and student news. Alumni can update their own information under the “update information� link. The link has a place for you to drop us a note with information that you would like to share (new job, new marriage, professional certifications, awards, etc.). The College of Nursing wants to stay in touch with you! The College of Nursing is accepting calls for the 2010-2011 Distinguished Alumni. Nominations should be sent by April 1 to: ECU College of Nursing, 4165K, Health Sciences Building, Mail Stop 162, Greenville, N.C. 27858, Attn: Laurie Evans. The honoree will be recognized at spring graduation.

College of Nursing Health Sciences Building Mail Stop 162 Greenville NC 27858



Pulse Published annually by the East Carolina University College of Nursing for alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the school.

Gov. Bev Perdue visited the ECU College of Nursing on July 15 during a trip to Greenville. Here she talks with ECU nurse anesthesia graduate student Amber Varner in nursing’s simulated operating room as Dr. Maura McAuliffe, professor and director of ECU’s nurse anesthesia MSN concentration, looks on. Perdue was happy to learn that eight out of 15 students in the class will stay in Greenville to work at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. While in town, Perdue signed into law a bill requiring DNA samples be collected from persons arrested for certain violent crimes, met with the editorial board of The Daily Reflector and visited constituents at Parkers Barbecue.

Pulse Magazine  
Pulse Magazine  

The official magazine of the East Carolina University College of Nursing.