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New Nursing Program Promises to Advance Patient Care Quality and Safety

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Posted: 12/13/2011

Quality careA grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust, HSBC Bank USA, N.A in New York, NY, will fund over the next five years a leadership program designed to produce 200 new nurses who can make a tangible difference in healthcare quality and safety, particularly among older patients.

These students, the Fuld Fellows in Patient Care Quality and Safety, will be given special opportunities to capitalize on the intellectual and institutional resources offered through the School and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. They will benefit from the unique advantages of interprofessional education provided by the nation’s  top-ranked hospital and schools of nursing, medicine, and public health, and will participate in the highest quality health education, research, and patient care delivery.

“The Fuld Leadership Program will transform the School’s ability to prepare future nursing leaders with strong competencies in quality and safety,” said JHUSON Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN. “In addition, the program will help strengthen nursing education nationwide by offering an exemplary academic approach to building competencies in quality and safety that can be replicated or adapted at other leading institutions.”

The creation of the Helene Fuld Leadership Program for the Advancement of Patient Care Quality and Safety at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) builds upon the success of previous Fuld leadership programs that continue to distinguish Johns Hopkins as a healthcare leader and pioneer in patient care programs.

Establishment of the new Fuld Leadership Program expands the impact of the earlier Fuld Leadership Fellows Program in Clinical Nursing and similar programs in which the School collaborates with Johns Hopkins Hospital and the School of Medicine. The program is in keeping with recent Medicare and Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports about adverse patient experiences and their recommendations for improvement. A 2008 Medicare study found that of nearly one million Medicare beneficiaries discharged in a single month, nearly 14 percent experienced an adverse event and that nearly half of those events were preventable. The IOM report published in 2010, The Future of Nursing, specifically called for increased nurse leadership to help reduce healthcare errors and improve quality of care.

JHUSON associate professor Cheryl R. Dennison Himmelfarb, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named director of the Fuld Leadership Program. Dennison Himmelfarb will work closely with three program leaders and three faculty mentors to guide Fellows through their course of study and engage resources across the institution to provide them with an exceptional experience. Mentors will be drawn from the JHUSON, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Armstrong Institute.  Dennison Himmelfarb said, “Fuld Fellows will benefit from training and intensive, applied experiences in clinical environments that provide an enduring foundation for continued excellence in advancing quality and safety throughout their careers.  They will graduate with special competencies that distinguish them among their clinical colleagues.”

About the Helene Fuld Health Trust

The Helene Fuld Health Trust, based in New York, NY, is the nation's largest private funder devoted exclusively to nursing students and nursing education. Its mission is to support and promote the health, welfare, and education of student nurses.