They’re here when we need them most.

We couldn’t serve eastern North Carolina without the incredible 4,000+ nurses across the ECU Health system. ECU Health is also proud to support more than 300 nursing leaders, 200 advance practice providers and more than 90 international nurses caring for patients in the East. While we recognize their efforts and sacrifices each day, we’re excited to spend this week celebrating nurses in different ways. This year, we celebrate and honor nurses throughout May with local pop-up events, blessing of the hands events, pet therapy, special treats in the cafés and more.

Below, you’ll find a message from ECU Health Chief Nursing Executive Trish Baise and a selection of stories from ECU Health nurses in a variety of specialties. If you’re interested in joining ECU Health’s many other incredible nurses, visit our Nursing Careers page.

From Chief Nursing Executive Trish Baise

Dear nurses and nursing support team members,

Headshot of Trish Baise

Trish Baise

The National Nurses Week theme this year is “Nurses Make the Difference.” Every day, you make a difference in the lives of the people of eastern North Carolina. Our nurses are highly skilled compassionate caregivers, innovators, leaders and advocates represented in a myriad of roles across our health system.

Your work exemplifies the mission, vision and values of ECU Health by ensuring our region, patients, families and colleagues are cared for in a manner we can all be proud of. Your impact extends far beyond any one moment in time. Your kindness, care and support stay with them, often for a lifetime, shaping the lives of generations to come.

I feel honored to represent such an incredible group of nurses. Together, we will continue to build upon what it means to be an ECU Health nurse and strive to become a national model for nursing excellence. I am committed to supporting your growth, innovation and well-being both professionally and personally.

During National Nurses Week, let’s take the time to celebrate each and every nurse at ECU Health. Thank you for your compassion, commitment to excellence and all that you do every day. You inspire me.

Happy National Nurses Week!

With appreciation,
Trish Baise

Nurses of ECU Health

Each nurse at ECU Health has a special story about their journey to the health system. Below, we’ve selected some stories to highlight from our People of ECU Health series. Hear from some of ECU Health’s inspiring nurses!

Brianna Cavaliere, a staff nurse in the PICU at Maynard Children's Hospital at ECU Health Medical Center, poses for a photo in a hall at the Maynard Children's Hospital.

Brianna Cavaliere

Brianna Cavaliere, a staff nurse I in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), always knew she was destined to work in health care.

“I knew I was interested in the intensive care part of nursing; I like the challenge of learning as much as I can, which you have to do to be successful in the ICU. And I love working with kids. I used to be a daycare teacher, and when I was a nursing student, I worked the night shift as a care partner in the pediatric rehabilitation unit. One of my patients coded and I got to see the team work together. They knew what to do and brought that person back. That’s when I knew I wanted to work in the PICU. The PICU team here is the most incredible group of people. We are a family, and you never feel alone. I cannot imagine working somewhere else and not having this dynamic.”

Samantha Nichols

Samantha Nichols, is a staff nurse and Grifton native, who realized while volunteering at ECU Health Medical Center that nursing was the right fit.

“As a new graduate nurse, I couldn’t have received a better reception. Since the day I stepped into ECU Health, everyone has been supportive. I felt wanted – everyone was excited to have me there. And whenever I need help, my team is there. Every time we’ve had a difficult situation, everyone runs to the rescue. They also take the time to help me learn specific skills. They’re willing to teach me best practices based on real-world experiences, beyond what I learned in school. I’ve learned so much since I started working here, both professionally and personally. I have realized I can step out of my comfort zone and be a leader. I’ve been a charge nurse a few times, and that’s a learning process. I’m proud of being able to lead the right way.”

Donnie Johnson

Donnie (DJ) Johnson is a nursing professional development specialist in the Center for Learning & Performance at ECU Health Medical Center. In more than 15 years with the system, DJ has most enjoyed his opportunities to pass things he’s learned to other nurses,

“I’ve always had a love for education, and in the ED I was able to function as a clinical coach and as a charge nurse. Such roles allowed me to help other nurses grow and after seeing that impact, I decided to transition into the nursing professional development specialist role. I’ve always thought to myself, ‘How can I give back to nursing, which has given me so much?’ Through education and professional development, I am able to give back by training and educating future nurses or team members and through their development, I’m able to make an impact in patient care.”

Journey to ECU Health Nursing

Lacey Boldyrev