Cynda Rushton Honored by American Association of Colleges of Nursing

February 13, 2024

Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics has been selected by the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to receive the Dr. Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Lectureship Award at the 2024 AACN Deans Annual Meeting.

The Bednash Lectureship Award was established in 2014 to honor AACN’s previous CEO, who led the association for 28 years. The award recognizes leadership and/or scholarly contributions to interprofessional education, and support of AACN as the collective voice for academic nursing and the catalyst for excellence and innovation in nursing education, research, and practice. Rushton will deliver a lecture, “Cultivating Relational Integrity: Being Whole Amid Chaos,” at the AACN meeting.

Rushton is an internationally recognized researcher in the areas of bioethics, ethics education, and the moral suffering of clinicians. In her most recent work, she is serving as the chief synergy strategist for Maryland’s R3 Resilient Nurses Initiative. The initiatives seeks to renew, retain, and amplify the integrity and resilience of nurses, students, and nursing educators across Maryland, in all specialties and roles, through a culture of ethical practice. In response to the role nurses have played during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rushton is also a leading organizer with the Theater of War Productions in the groundbreaking project called “The Nurse Antigone”—a dramatic reading of Sophocles’ Antigone on Zoom featuring professional actors and a chorus of frontline nurses.

In 2014, Rushton co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit and the production of the “Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics.” She has co-led a national collaborative State of the Science Initiative: Transforming Moral Distress into Moral Resilience in Nursing, co-chaired an American Nurses Association panel on ethical practice, and served on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee to develop recommendations for systemic solutions to combating clinician burnout. Rushton is editor and author of the book Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare.