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Cynda Rushton: Faculty Directory

Cynda H. Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN

Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics
Cynda Rushton
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"Nurses have an ethical mandate to advocate on behalf of the patients and families they serve. This requires skillful discernment, ethical reasoning, and bold, clear communication."

Cynda Hylton Rushton is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics in the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the School of Nursing, with a joint appointment in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. A founding member of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Dr. Rushton co-chairs the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. An international leader in nursing ethics, Dr. Rushton in 2014 co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit, convened by the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and School of Nursing. The Summit, supported by strategic partners from nine national nursing organizations and seven collaborating organizations, developed a Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics. Her current scholarship in clinical ethics focuses on moral distress and suffering of clinicians, the development of moral resilience, palliative care, and designing a culture of ethical practice. Dr. Rushton is the recipient of three post-doctoral fellowships: a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship (2006-2009), a Kornfeld Fellowship in end-of-life, ethics, and palliative care (2000), and a Mind and Life Institute Fellowship in Contemplative Science (2013-2014). She has served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on increasing rates of organ donation and was a consultant to its project When Children Die. She also was appointed the first chair of the Maryland State Council on Quality Care at the End-of-Life, has been recognized as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women, and is an American Academy of Nursing "Edge Runner." She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Hasting’s Center Fellow.

Dr. Rushton is currently designing, implementing, and evaluating the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) to build moral resilience in novice nurses. Her forthcoming book, Moral Resilience: An Antidote to Moral Distress, to be published by Oxford University Press, aims to transform current approaches for addressing moral distress by focusing on innovative methods to cultivate moral resilience and designing a culture in health care that supports ethical practice.

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Bioethics; moral distress; moral resilience; palliative care; ethical issues in clinical practice, particularly end-of-life decision making and pediatrics, ethics education and consultation, and cultivating a culture of ethical practice
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