May 4, 2015
The East Carolina University College of Nursing, Vidant Medical Center and Pitt County Schools have teamed up to honor a profession that saves lives and improves the health of millions. The new Nurses Week Children's Art Contest is intended to encourage student interest in the profession of nursing while helping celebrate National Nurses Week, May 6-12.
Pitt County School children in 6-8 grade art classes participated in the contest, which asked students to graphically interpret the virtues they associate with nursing. The winning entries are on display at Vidant Medical Center and the ECU College of Nursing throughout the week.
A panel of judges scored each design on visual impact, interpretation and creativity to determine the winners: First place: Jenna Grabowski of Chicod School for "The Nurses' Virtue;" second place: Trinity Wiggins of Pactolus School for "Caring;" and third place: Riley Smith of Chicod School for "Nursing."
The top three artists earned $150, $100 or $75, sponsored by Vidant, for their school to purchase art supplies. Each participating teacher will receive a $25 gift card from sponsor Cheap Joe's Art Supplies based in Boone, N.C. The winning artists will get a framed version of their art thanks to support from ECU's Laupus Health Sciences Library.
National Nurses Week highlights the diverse ways America's more than 3.1 million registered nurses improve health care every day. Comprising the country's largest health care profession, nurses impact lives through their work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, research institutions and beyond.
The ECU College of Nursing plays a crucial role in meeting the need for these indispensable professionals in our state. It is a top producer of entry-level nurses among North Carolina's educational institutions, and approximately 85 percent of its alumni remain to work in the state.
"National Nurses Week is a time to step back and thank our more than 8,000 Pirate Nurse alums and all nurses for their contributions to health care," said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. "These art projects are a colorful and creative way to do that."
At Vidant Medical Center, nurses are at the heart of quality care. As the academic teaching hospital and level-one trauma center for Eastern North Carolina, VMC has a professional practice community of more than 2,500 nurses.
"We celebrate the contributions of our nurses each and every day, but especially honor them during National Nurses Week," said Dr. Linda Hofler, senior vice president and nurse executive at Vidant. "It gives us a chance to come together as a community of health care professionals and say thank you for the many ways that nurses impact the lives of those they are privileged to care for."
Involving students with the new contest was a no-brainer for Jane Austen Behan, arts education director at Pitt County Schools.
"Students involved in any creative process are challenged to think deeper and in different ways," Behan said. "As a result of their creative work, these middle school art students now have greater insight and understanding of the complex role and the admirable virtues of a nurse."