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Cynda H. Rushton, PhD, MSN, RN

Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics
Cynda Rushton
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Acute/Critical Care
  • Equity
  • Ethics
  • Leadership/Organizational Culture
  • Palliative Care
  • Pediatrics
  • Resilience/Stress Coping
  • Self Care
  • Workplace Health


Dr. Cynda Hylton Rushton, an international leader in bioethics and nursing, is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the School of Nursing, and co-chairs the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. A founding member of the Berman Institute, she co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit that produced a Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics. In 2016, she co-led a national collaborative State of the Science Initiative: Transforming Moral Distress into Moral Resilience in Nursing and co-chaired the American Nurses Association professional issues panel that created A Call to Action: Exploring Moral Resilience Toward a Culture of Ethical Practice. She was a member of the National Academies of Medicine, Science and Engineering Committee that produced the report: Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-being. She was a member of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics & Human Rights Ethics Advisory Board and American Nurses Foundation Well-Being Initiative Advisory Board. Dr. Rushton is the chief synergy strategist for Maryland’s R3 Resilient Nurses Initiative, a statewide initiative to build resilience and ethical practice in nursing students and novice nurses. She is co-creator of the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA). She serves on the Nursing Advisory Board for Corporate Counseling Associates. Dr. Rushton is a Hastings Center Fellow, Past-Chair of the Hastings Center Fellows Council, and Trustee Emeritus and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. The recipient of many awards, she received the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Distinguished Career Award and the Distinguished Researcher award from American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She is the editor and author of Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare and co-creator of the Rushton Moral Resilience Scale (RMRS).

Learn about the Rushton Moral Resilience Scale.

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Videos







  • Publications/Research

    Rushton, C. Swoboda, S., Reimer, T, Boyce, D., Hansen, G. (2023) The Mindful Ethical Practice & Resilience Academy (MEPRA): Sustainability of Impact. American Journal of Critical Care. 32(3):184-194. doi: 10.4037/ajcc2023236. PMID: 37121900.

    Rushton, C. (2023) Do I still belong? American Nurse Journal. 18(3),48.

    ⌘Mubarak, E., Kaur, S., Hughes, M., Rushton, C., Ali, J. (2023) Emerging experiences with virtual ethics consultation: Case Studies from the United States and Malaysia. Journal of Clinical Ethics.34(1),51-57.

    Bergman, A.,Rushton, C. (2023) Overcoming stigma: Asking for and receiving mental health support. AACN Advanced Critical Care.

    *⌘Holtz, H. K., Weissinger, G. M., Swavely, D., Lynn, L., Yoder, A., Cotton, B., Adil, T., Alderfer, M., Romig, B., Neils, K., & Rushton, C. H. (2022). The Long Tail of COVID-19: Implications for the Future of Emergency Nursing. Journal of emergency nursing, S0099-1767(22)00282-3. Advance online publication.

    ⌘Klepper, M., Clark, K. D., Bosse, J. D., Kerbyson, M., Roy, E., & Rushton, C. H. (2022). State-level anti-transgender policies in conflict with core principles of nursing: An educator call to action. Nurse education today, 119, 105608.

    McGeehan, C., Rushton, C. (2022) Ethical Challenges and Implications of deactivating mechanical circulatory support for patients with Preserved Cognitive Function. AACN Advanced Critical Care, 33(3), pp. 289-296

    ⌘Veenema, TG., Meyer, D, Rushton,C.,  Bruns,, R. Watson,M.,  Schneider-Firestone,, S. Wiseman., R.  (2022) The COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Crisis: Implications for National Health Security Health Security, 20(3), .264-269.

    ⌘Rushton, C., Nelson, K. Antonsdottir, I., Hanson, G., Boyce, D. (2022) Perceived organizational effectiveness, moral injury, and moral resilience among nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic: Secondary analysis. Nursing Management, 53(7)12-22.

    ⌘Swavely. D. Weissinger, G., Holtz. H, Aldi, T.  Alderfer, M.,Lynn, L., Rushton, C. (2022) The Impact of Traumatic Stress, Resilience, and Threats to Core Values on Nurses during a Pandemic. Journal of Nursing Administration. 52(10). 525-535. doi:10.1097/NNA.0000000000001194

  • Media
  • Awards/Honors

    2023   American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Distinguished Research Lecturer

    2020   American Journal of Nursing/Elsevier Book of the Year First Place Award in the category of professional issues

    2019   Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) Daniel J. Pesut Sprit of Renewal Award

    2019   Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame

    2018   Anna Reynvaan Lectureship, Academic Medical Center of Amsterdam University and the Free University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    2017   Distinguished Lectureship, Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis, MN

    2016   Strobe Lectureship, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

    2015   Claire Bent Usen Memorial Lecture, Mount Auburn Hospital, Boston, MA

    2015   Brocher Foundation Residency, Geneva, Switzerland

    2014   Fellow, The Hastings Center, Garrison, NY

    2014   Top 100 Women in Maryland, The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD

    2014   Center for Health Care Ethics Milestone Aware for Bioethics Leadership, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

    2013   Mind and Life Institute Contemplative Studies Fellow

    2010   Top 50 Alumni, University of Kentucky, College of Nursing, 50th Anniversary, Lexington, KY

    2006-2009   Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Leadership Fellowship, Princeton, NJ

    2008   Top 100 Women in Maryland, The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD

    2007   University of Kentucky, College of Nursing, Hall of Fame Inaugural Inductee, Lexington, KY

    2007   Johns Hopkins University, School of Nursing, Alumni Association, Excellence in Teaching Award: Graduate Program, Baltimore, MD

    2006   Health Care Heroes Award, Nursing, The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD

    2001   Pioneering Spirit Award, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Anaheim, CA

    1991   Greater Washington Area Chapter–American Association of Critical Care Nurses/Hewlett Packard Research Award

    1990   Fellow, American Academy of Nursing

    1990   Maternal-Child Nurse of the Year, American Nurses Association, Council on Maternal-Child Nursing, Boston, MA

    1990   National Nurse of the Year, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Boston, MA

    1990   Outstanding Nursing Alumnus, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

    1989-1990   Mary Dance Spence Scholarship, School of Nursing, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

    1988   Outstanding Young Woman in America, State Award Recipient for Maryland, Outstanding Americans Program, Montgomery, AL

    1986   Employee of the Month, Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children Atlanta, GA

    1986-1997   Who's Who in American Nursing, The Society of Nursing Professionals

    1983   Sigma Theta Tau, National Nursing Honor Society

    1981-1982   Professional Nurse Traineeship Award, U.S. Public Health Service