Prof. Cynda Rushton Earns STTI Spirit of Renewal Award

November 12, 2019

Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named recipient of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) 2019 Daniel J. Pesut Spirit of Renewal Award. It is given to a nurse leader whose purposeful reflection in practice and mindful understanding of human relationships displays a futuristic vision for nursing practice.

“This is a tremendous honor because I feel it so accurately encapsulates what I strive to do as a nurse and educator,” says Rushton. “My work in ethics is about understanding our personal and professional values, how we live those out in our work, and the impact they have on our patients and colleagues. A clear and unwavering moral compass is foundational to the stability and integrity of clinicians faced with complex ethical questions in their everyday practice. It is incredibly gratifying to receive an award that recognizes ethical practice as central to the nursing profession’s future.”

Rushton is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johnson Hopkins School of Nursing and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. With expertise in moral suffering, resilience of clinicians, and designing cultures of ethical practice, Rushton has been internationally recognized and served as an advisor for numerous national nursing, health care, and governmental organizations. Her career has largely focused on bioethics, ethics education, and clinical ethics consultation.

Her recent work has been in developing and testing the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA), which builds moral resilience in frontline nurses facing ethical challenges. She is editor and author of the new book Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare.

In 2014, Rushton co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit and the production of the “Blueprint for 21stCentury 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 most recently served on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee to develop recommendations for systemic solutions to combating clinician burnout.

Throughout her career, Rushton has been the recipient of numerous fellowships including a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship, a Kornfeld Fellowship in end-of-life, ethics, and palliative care, and a Mind and Life Institute Fellowship in Contemplative Science. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Hastings Center, and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame in 2019.

Rushton will be formally recognized on November 17 at Sigma’s Tribute Awards Event.

A version of this story initially appeared on the School of Nursing’s website and is published with the School’s permission.