College of Nursing

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PCMH, ECU nursing group earns top national award for research

October 22, 2007

The Bariatric Nursing Consortium, which includes faculty from East Carolina University's College of Nursing and nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and staff nurses from Pitt County Memorial Hospital, has won a national research award.

The award, the 2007 Magnet Prize, is one of most prestigious awards in nursing given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The prize recognizes cutting-edge nursing programs and practices in ANCC Magnet-recognized organizations.

PCMH is a Magnet hospital, making it eligible for the award sponsored by Cerner Corp., a leading supplier of health care information technology.

The Bariatric Nursing Consortium began in 2004 as a collaborative effort between PCMH and the ECU College of Nursing. At the time, there was widespread belief that the care of morbidly obese patients was time consuming and more likely to result in injuries for both the patient and the nurse. But there was very little research to support or quantify risks.

"Through this organization and our research studies we are impacting care not only here in eastern North Carolina, but throughout the country," said Dr. Mary Ann Rose, ECU professor and director of the Bariatric Nursing Consortium. "The faculty members of the College of Nursing are proud of the work we have done in collaboration with our nurse colleagues at PCMH to highlight the specials needs of morbidly obese patients and their families."

The consortium has had significant impact on the research environment, staff development, education, and patient care in the hospital and in nursing practice at a national level. Original purposes of the Consortium were to create an evidence-based nursing approach for the care of patients with morbid obesity and to disseminate research findings to improve nursing care of these patients.

"Receiving this national recognition demonstrates our commitment to providing and advocating for high-quality, safe and ethical patient care," said Steve Lawler, president of PCMH. "This effort is an exemplary model of a successful partnership between a Magnet hospital and a school of nursing. Not only has the team created a national standard of excellence for nursing, but its members have proven how collaboration with our strategic partners in health care beyond our hospital walls results in outstanding nursing care."

The Magnet Recognition Program was developed to recognize healthcare organizations that provide nursing excellence. There are currently 256 Magnet-recognized health care organizations in 45 states, as well as one each in Australia and New Zealand.

The award was announced at ANCC's National Magnet Conference in Atlanta in early October.