American Association of Critical-Care Nurses selects Cynda Rushton as 2023 Distinguished Research Lecturer

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently selected Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, as its 2023 Distinguished Research Lecturer. As such, Rushton will discuss her career and research journey during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), AACN’s annual conference.

“The research contributions of Dr. Rushton have positively transformed the practice of nurses across the healthcare continuum. As an internationally honored expert in bioethics, palliative care and a champion of the concept of moral resilience, Dr. Rushton has created a lasting impact that forever advances the care of patients and their families,” said AACN’s president, Amanda Bettencourt, PhD, APRN, CCRN-K, ACCNS-P.

NTI will be held in person May 22-24 in Philadelphia and virtually June 12-14. The American Journal of Critical Care will publish an abstract of Rushton’s NTI presentation in its May 2023 issue, followed by a complete manuscript in July 2023.

Rushton is an international leader in clinical ethics and ethical nursing practice. As an applied researcher, she has focused on diverse dimensions of bioethics, specifically palliative and end-of-life care and the moral suffering of clinicians, moral resilience and designing a culture of ethical practice and well-being.

A founding member of Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics, Rushton is also the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics, one of the few endowed professorships that combine clinical ethics and nursing. In that role, in 2014, she co‐led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit that produced “A Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics.” She joined Johns Hopkins in 1991, as a faculty associate in its school of nursing and a pediatric clinical practice specialist in the hospital’s Children’s Center. She has co-chaired the ethics committee and consultation service at Johns Hopkins Hospital since 1999, conducting hundreds of ethics consultations involving complex ethical questions.

Rushton is editor and author of “Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare,” the first book to explore moral resilience from a variety of perspectives. The American Journal of Nursing named it one of its Books of the Year in 2020, earning first-place honors in the professional issues category.

Cynda Rushton Named to Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame

Berman Institute faculty member Cynda Rushton has been selected for induction into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) 2019 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Professor Rushton was chosen for significant contributions to the nursing profession and her sustained research efforts to improve the care and health of people, specifically in the areas of aging and nursing ethics.

As Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Berman Institute and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, focuses on moral suffering and resilience of clinicians, and designing cultures of ethical practice. In 2014, she co-led the first-ever National Nursing Ethics Summit to prepare a blueprint for nursing ethics in the 21st century, and in 2016, an initiative to help nurses transform morally distressing experiences into moral resiliency.

Her most recent work has been designing, implementing, and evaluating the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) to train nurses challenged with patient suffering, resource allocation, and other ethical situations to respond with integrity. She is author and editor of a new book Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare (Oxford University Press).

“Ethical practice is the bedrock of nursing, and we are at a pivotal junction in health care that demands that we reorient toward our moral compass,” says Rushton. “My work has been supported by so many peers and mentors along the way, which has helped make this honor a reality. I am humbled and grateful to have been selected as part of this distinguished group of nurses.”

Rushton will be inducted at Sigma’s 30th International Nursing Research Congress in Canada, July 2019.

A version of this article was first published by the JHSON.

Prof. Rushton Named to National Committee

Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been chosen to serve on a newly formed National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee to develop recommendations for systemic solutions to combating clinician burnout. Rushton was one of only two nurses selected for the committee and will bring knowledge and insight as an experienced clinician, educator, and researcher in moral distress and suffering of clinicians, moral resilience, and cultures of ethical health care practice.

Burnout remains a critical problem for health care providers across the country and has potential for significant consequences on the profession’s workforce development, retention, and on the quality and safety of patient care. The committee—Systems Approaches to Improve Patient Care by Supporting Clinician Well-Being—will examine the current scientific evidence on burnout and implications for both clinician and patient, and develop interventions to promote well-being and resilience.

“Increased severity of illness, patient volumes, pressures to reduce costs, and moral distress are just a few of the factors putting additional stress on health care providers today,” says Rushton. “To turn the tide of burnout, we must commit to fundamental systemic changes in health care along with expanding tools to support the resilience and integrity of frontline clinicians.”

Beginning at its first meeting in October, the committee will also investigate key factors that influence clinical workflow and workload, functioning of interdisciplinary care teams, use of technology, and regulations and policies that impact clinicians and their ability to work well within their role and the health care system.

As JHSON Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics and a founding member of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Rushton has been internationally recognized for her contributions to bioethics, ethics education, and clinical ethics consultation. In 2014, she co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit, held at JHSON, where nursing leaders developed the Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics. In 2016, she co-led a symposium focusing on transforming moral distress into moral resiliency and was co-chair of a subsequent American Nurses Association’s professional issues panel.

Her most recent work has been designing, implementing, and evaluating the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) to build moral resilience in frontline nurses who face ethical challenges related to patient suffering, adequacy of informed consent, resource allocation, and ineffective communication and care coordination. She has edited and authored the book Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare to be published by the Oxford University Press.

Recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women, Rushton has received three post-doctoral fellowships: 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 a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and recognized as an “Edge Runner” and a Hasting’s Center Fellow.

“Now is the time to restore the integrity of clinicians by dismantling the systemic barriers that undermine their ability to provide safe, quality care to the patients and families they are called to serve,” says Rushton.

    – originally published by Johns Hopkins School of Nursing