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ECU's School of Nursing receives grant to partner with area military bases to increase the number of men in nursing

GREENVILLE, NC   (Aug. 17, 2005)   —   The School of Nursing at East Carolina University has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the NC Center for Nursing to partner with area military bases to increase the number of men in nursing.

The nursing school will work with military installations at Camp Lejeune, Seymour Johnson and Cherry Point to encourage men with military training and experience in health care to consider nursing as a viable career after military service and persuade military nurses to become civilian nursing faculty.

ECU received one of two grants awarded out of 18 proposals submitted to the NC Center for Nursing. A selection committee chose the school for developing a creative program to address nurse recruitment and retention, said Billy Bevill, a nurse and associate director of recruitment and retention with the NCCN.

The grant project, led by ECU faculty member and doctoral student Phil Julian, a former military flight nurse, focuses on two NCCN priorities: increasing the number of male registered nurses in the workforce and increasing the number of nurses prepared for faculty positions, Bevill said.

Bevill presented the check to Julian and Dr. Phyllis Horns, dean of the nursing school, in a ceremony in Rivers Building on Thursday. "This is just the kind of project we want to have more of," said Horns.

In 2004, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing recognized ECU's nursing school as the best for men in the United States. The grant project is another example of East Carolina's dedication to promoting men in nursing, Bevill said.

Currently, males comprise only 6.4 percent of the nursing workforce in North Carolina, according to data from the NCCN. In comparison, 35 percent of the nurses in the U.S. Army are men. Military nurses are educated at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels, providing candidates for faculty positions when they retire from active duty. The grant project will seek to encourage the transition from the military to civilian practitioners and faculty, Bevill said.

The NCCN encourages the recruitment and retention of males and minorities into nursing to help facilitate equality in the profession and to reach a significant untapped resource, Bevill said. The NC Center for Nursing is a state-supported agency charged with nurse workforce planning and addressing issues of nursing supply, demand, recruitment and retention.

"The aging of the state's population of baby boomers is expected to sharply increase demand for nursing services within the next 20 years, while at the same time large numbers of nurses will be reaching retirement age," Bevill said. "Consequently, the need for more nurses is greater than ever. It is critical to develop innovative recruitment and retention programs to assure that the state of North Carolina has the nursing resources necessary to meet the health care needs of its citizens."


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481