Nursing

Donna Helen Crisp has worked as a nurse in North Carolina for more than two decades. 

She thought she knew the healthcare system inside and out until one day she went in for a routine surgery, expecting only an overnight stay, and almost died from a chain of medical errors.

Campbell University
Campbell University

Campbell University opened its doors to two new schools this week, welcoming 96 engineering and 46 nursing students on the first day of classes.

Fayetteville State University, Nursing Program, FSU
Fayetteville State University

North Carolina has more nursing schools and programs than most states its size.  So when Fayetteville State University suspended its Bachelor’s Degree nursing program in 2009, it was a big deal for the state and the school.

Today, the nursing program is open and admitting students.  In fact, the first class of graduates have all passed their national board exam.

There's a radio ad playing on Fayetteville's commercial stations.

The case of Terry Cawthorn and Mission Hospital, in Asheville, N.C., gives a glimpse of how some hospital officials around the country have shrugged off an epidemic.

Cawthorn was a nurse at Mission for more than 20 years. Her supervisor testified under oath that she was "one of my most reliable employees."

The X-ray of nurse Tove Schuster's spine shows the metal cage and four screws her surgeon used to repair a damaged disk in her back. Terry Cawthorn underwent a similar procedure.
Daniel Zwerdling / NPR

A little-known epidemic has swept through hospitals across the country: thousands of nursing staff suffer debilitating back and arm injuries every year. 

An NPR investigation into the injuries shows most happen as a result of on-the-job incidents. Hospitals can reduce the rate of injury if administrators invest time and money into prevention and training mechanisms. 

North Carolina A&T School of Nursing
North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T's nursing degree program is in peril after the UNC Board of Governors decided to temporarily suspend enrollment.

In 2010 and 2011, fewer than 75 percent of A&T's nursing school passed the National Council Licensure Examination on the first try.  That could have terminated the program, but the Board of Governors gave the nursing school two more years to get passing scores above 85 percent.

A new nursing program at East Carolina University and four area community colleges aims to train new nurses in their home communities. The goal is to increase the number of nurses with bachelor's degrees - to meet the growing demand for highly-trained clinicians and administrators. Kelly Cleaton is recruiting students for the program. She says qualified applicants will pursue their associate's degrees at their local community college, and eventually get their baccalaureates from ECU.

State health officials have approved reinstating of the bachelor's program in nursing at Fayetteville State University. Chancellor James Anderson suspended the program two years ago due to low test scores and conflicts among nursing instructors. Nursing Department Chair Afua Arhin says there are now safeguards to prevent those issues.

School Nurses Watch State Budget Closely

May 2, 2011

After years of seeing their ranks slowly increase, school nurses may be cut.  National standards recommend a ratio of 750 students to every school nurse, says Liz Newlin, head of the state association. North Carolina now has an average of about 1200 students for every school nurse. Newlin says some small counties are close to the recommended ratio. 

Liz Newlin: "...and the worst counties right now are Guilford, Randolph, Wake, Wilson, Johnston and Cumberland... and that's in the 2000 to 3000 ratio."