pirate nurses

A group of future pirate nurses stands proudly outside of East Carolina University’s School of Nursing.

The East Carolina University College of Nursing has been ranked as the No. 4 nursing school in North Carolina for 2023 by registerednursing.org.

Out of the 82 nursing programs offered in the state, ECU’s College of Nursing, according to the website, ranked near the top in average scores on the National Council Licensure Examination, the exam all nurses in the country must pass to begin their work.

Junior nursing student Frizelle Mumbua said she enjoys her clinical training most when she gets to interact with patients directly and apply the information she has learned. Mumbua said the College of Nursing provides high quality training in this area.

“You can’t be in nursing and be doing things that are hands-off,” Mumbua said. “You have to know what skills you’re doing, and you have to know how to do them, when to do them and where to do them.”

The College of Nursing, Mumbua said, offers practice labs in the Health Sciences Building for nursing students, a “10 out of 10” resource to practice skills and procedures learned in class. Students can reserve time slots for these labs through the website, Concepts Integration Laboratories Online, Mumbua said.

Laupus Health Sciences Library is a great studying resource for nursing students, Mumbua said. The library offers many different anatomical models for students to check out and study for free, she said. Resources like these make it easy to collaborate with others and build a strong community, Mumbua said.

“Being in nursing, it’s a different world over there because we all have each other’s backs,” Mumbua said. “As overwhelming as it is, it’s always good to have support around you.”

Nursing PhD Program Director and Associate Professor at the College of Nursing Pamela Reis said she oversees the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Rural and Underserved Roadmap to Advance Leadership (RURAL) Scholars program.

APRN RURAL Scholars, Reis said, is a government-funded ECU program consisting of a small group of post-graduate nursing students. The mission of the program is to place highly trained nurses from ECU in areas of North Carolina that need them most, Reis said.

“As many people know, individuals living in rural and underserved communities do not have access to adequate healthcare,” Reis said. “If they do have access to healthcare, it’s hard for them to match that with their schedule, particularly people in the agricultural industry.”

The few students who are accepted as APRN RURAL scholars, Reis said, are paid a stipend during their studies and are offered many extra opportunities such as the Purple and Gold Bus Tour, a two-day trip around eastern North Carolina with other ECU faculty. Each of the APRN RURAL Scholars are listed on their website and are separately recognized at graduation, Reis said.

Director of the Nurse Midwifery Concentration and Clinical Associate Professor at the College of Nursing Rebecca Bagley said the midwifery division is a hybrid program for post-graduate nursing students wishing to get a nursing master’s degree or post-master’s certificate.

“They (midwifery students) are able to stay in their place of residence and continue working in their job while they come back to school,” Bagley said.

ECU’s midwifery program is the only one offered in the state, Bagley said. Each student, Bagley said, has to pass an exam by the American Midwifery Certification Board to become a licensed nurse midwife and ECU’s program has a 100% pass rate.

Bagley said she is also the chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the College of Nursing. This committee oversees two events every year, one of which is Diversity Day in the fall semester, Bagely said. Diversity Day was Nov. 3 this year, Bagley said, and focused on the LGBTQ community in Pitt County. Every February, the College of Nursing also celebrates Black History Month, Bagley said.

“We (the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee) also have a link that’s made available to all students where they can report any concerns,” Bagley said. “Whether it’s with another student, whether it was a faculty or preceptor, they can report the issue anonymously, and it can be addressed.”

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