Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation

Doug Dawson of the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation with some of Rady Children’s nurse and respiratory therapist researchers.

When people think of nursing, they often think of Florence Nightingale, who is considered to be the founder of this noble profession. A lot has changed since Nightingale cared for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, and established the first secular nursing school in London. However, at least one thing remains the same: nurses continue to be pioneers in the health care profession.

At Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, nurses are not only the backbone of patient care, but they also are key drivers of care transformation. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, a long-time supporter of nursing at Rady Children’s, our bedside nurses and respiratory therapists are conducting leading-edge research that directly benefits our patients and families. 

“The profession of nursing has evolved significantly,” says Mary Fagan, PhD (c), RN, NEA-BC, Rady Children’s Chief Nursing Officer. “Nurses have always been vital members of the health care team, but given their hands-on position at the bedside, they are uniquely positioned to identify important research questions and lead research that significantly improves patient outcomes. With the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation’s investment, we have established a Nursing Research Fund and through a competitive application process, recently awarded grants to five bedside nurses and respiratory therapists across the organization. Their progress is exciting, and we look forward to their final results and recommendations.”

Nursing’s evolution has been recognized and advanced by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) through their prestigious Magnet designation, the highest honor a hospital can receive for quality health care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. Currently, only eight percent of hospitals in the United States have achieved Magnet status.

Rady Children’s submitted our Magnet application on February 1, 2016. Critical to a successful application is demonstrating our nurses’ leadership of, and participation in, frontline research that improves care delivery and leads to the development of treatments that provide the most optimum level of care. Rady Children’s partnership with the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation has empowered nurse-researchers to initiate five promising projects, significantly increasing the number of nurse-driven studies underway.

“Skilled, engaged and curious nurses are fundamental to providing the very best care for the children and families of San Diego. We are proud to collaborate with Rady Children’s to further enrich nursing professional development, and to help ensure that our region’s pediatric nurses feel supported and appreciated. They are the heart and soul of a hospital experience,” says E. Douglas Dawson, Executive Director, Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation.

One of the nurse-researchers is Julia Fukuhara, MSN, RN, CPHON, a Clinical Nurse III at Rady Children’s Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders. Julia is researching the effect of yoga therapy in hematology and oncology patients, and whether or not practicing yoga helps to reduce stress, anxiety and pain. She says, “I am so grateful to be a recipient of this grant. This has been an incredible learning opportunity thus far. I’ve wanted to study the effects of yoga on our hematology and oncology patients for several years, since I was pursuing my masters of science in nursing. Now, because of the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, my discoveries may improve the quality of life for patients here at Rady Children’s, and perhaps even across the country.”

To learn more how you can support nursing research and professional development at Rady Children’s, please contact Lauren Bergquist, Vice President, Major Gifts, at (858) 966-8510 or lbergquist@rchsd.org.