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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

  • Ethics
  • Leadership/Organizational Culture
  • Palliative Care
  • Pediatrics


Cynda Hylton Rushton is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and School of Nursing, and co-chairs Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. 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 is a member of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics & Human Rights Ethics Advisory Board and American Nurses Foundation Well-Being Initiative Advisory Board. She is the editor and author of Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare. Dr. Rushton is a Hastings Center fellow and chair of the Hastings Center Fellows Council and a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Additional Resources

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

  • Videos


    Harnessing Moral Resilience to Build a Culture of Ethical Practice in Nursing






  • Publications/Research

    Mitchell, M.M., Hansen, E. D.,Tseng, T-Y.,Shen, M., Rushton, C.,Smith, R. Hutton, N., Wolfe, J., Bone, L.,Keruly, J., Wissow, L., Catanzarite, Z.,Knowlton, A. (2018). “Correlates of patterns of health values of African-Americans living with HIV/AIDS: Implications for advance care planning and HIV palliative care.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 56(1), 53-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.02.020

    Kaszniak, A.W., Rushton, C.H., & Halifax, J. (2018). “Leadership, morality and ethics: Developing a practical model for moral decision-making.” MindRxiv. April 17. DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/8QBY6

    Grady, C. Haddad , A.,Rushton, C. (2018). “An Alternative Account of Clinical Ethics: Leveraging the Strength of the Health Care Team.” The American Journal of Bioethics, 18:6, 59-60, DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2018.1459948

    Holtz, H., Heinze, K. Rushton, C. (2017). “Inter-professionals’ definitions of moral resilience.” Journal of Clinical Nursing Aug 3. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13989.

    Gleason, K.T., Davidson, P.M., Tanner, E.K., Baptiste, D., Rushton, C., Day, J., Sawyer, M., Baker, D., Paine, L., & Dennison-Himmelfarb, C.R. & David E. Newman-Toker ( 2017). “The Critical Role of Nurses in Diagnostic Error Prevention: A Conceptual Framework and a Call to Action.” Diagnosis. 4:201-224.

  • Media
  • Awards/Honors

    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