An innovative new partnership between the UCLA School of Nursing and Children's Hospital Los Angeles will bring together nurses working in clinical practice, education and research to improve the health and well-being of children while advancing nursing practice.
"There are so many opportunities with this collaboration that will advance nursing practice by bridging clinical practice and research," said Courtney H. Lyder, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing. "And by integrating nursing practice and science, we can improve patient care."
Under the memorandum signed on July 10, both institutions will encourage the development of a variety of collaborative initiatives, including:
- The creation and implementation of an institutional nursing research department at the Children's Hospital campus to support nurses in designing research, analyzing data and presenting findings.
- Joint education efforts to teach the next generation of pediatric nurses, including enhancing the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at the UCLA School of Nursing.
- The exchange of scholarly information and materials to keep clinicians and researchers abreast of current findings and best practices.
- Attendance at scholarly and technical meetings and at national and international conferences to showcase research results and find new ways to treat and prevent pediatric illnesses.
- The organization of joint conferences, symposia and other scientific meetings on subjects of mutual interest.
"Research is a core element of our nursing and patient care mission at Children's Hospital Los Angeles," said the hospital's chief nursing officer and vice president for patient care services Mary Dee Hacker, who noted that the hospital earned Magnet redesignation this year — a status awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to health care facilities that act as a "magnet" in attracting nurses by creating a work environment that rewards them for outstanding clinical practice and collaboration with the rest of the organization.
"The honor served as acknowledgement that our nurses are becoming leaders in research and education," Hacker said. "We look forward to our new relationship with UCLA and the structure it will provide to enhance our collaborative research projects."
The development of the institutional nursing research department, in particular, will provide the opportunity for frontline staff to get involved in clinical research, Lyder noted.
"We believe that countless patients will benefit from the answers to questions that nurses are uniquely qualified to ask," he said.
Hacker, who was recently named a commissioner for the ANCC's Commission on the Magnet Recognition Program, said there is much room for growth and opportunity in the field of pediatric nursing research.
"The number of Ph.D.-prepared pediatric nurses is small," she said. "Nursing practices based on our adult patient population need to be rigorously tested to see how they can be applied to our pediatric patients."
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children's hospital on the West Coast and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children's Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children's Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Follow CHLA on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, and visit their blog at WeAreChildrens.org.
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