The Science of Nursing: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Develops Pediatric Nursing Research Program


PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that Sharon Barton, APRN-BC, Ph.D., Kathleen Philbin, R.N., Ph.D., Katherine Finn Davis, R.N., Ph.D., and Elizabeth Ely, R.N., Ph.D., have joined Children's Hospital to lead and support the development of the Hospital's pediatric nursing research program. In addition, three more nurse researchers will be added in 2007. These doctorally prepared nurses will bring their expertise and knowledge to enrich the world-renowned Children's Hospital research enterprise.

"As Children's Hospital nurses provide cutting-edge care in the clinical setting, questions naturally arise about the evidence supporting nursing practice and ways to improve patient care," says Leslie Clarke, R.N., M.S., M.B.A., CNAA-BC, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Children's Hospital. "Nursing research is a way to answer questions specific to nursing clinical practice and patient outcomes as well as examine nursing education and leadership methodologies and results."

Currently, there are approximately 85 research projects involving nurses at Children's Hospital. Projects span multiple subspecialties and care methods including diabetes, HIV, patient safety, CPR, breastfeeding and end-of-life care. The addition of the new nurse researchers to Children's Hospital will enhance the opportunity for all nurses to contribute to research and patient care innovation.

"As those at the bedside of our patients, nurses possess a deep understanding of a patient's condition and how treatments and practice can evolve to meet their needs," said Alan R. Cohen, M.D., chief medical officer and physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital. "We look forward to the insight and pioneering ideas these highly trained nurse researchers will bring that will keep Children's Hospital at the forefront of patient care."

Sharon Barton, APRN-BC, Ph.D., Kathleen Philbin, R.N., Ph.D., and Elizabeth Ely, R.N., Ph.D. will serve as leaders, mentors and consultants to current and future bedside nurse scholars, helping them develop research questions and guiding them through the process of inquiry. The nurse researchers also will evaluate the applicability of nursing research, while maintaining their own active research programs.

The newest members of the nursing research team:

Sharon Barton, APRN-BC, Ph.D., has expertise in infant feeding, qualitative research, and evidence-based nursing. Dr. Barton's recently completed NIH/NINR-funded study investigated family and cultural beliefs related to infant feeding practices. She has helped implement numerous clinical nursing research studies with practicing nurses.

Kathleen Philbin, R.N., Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on the effects of hospital noise on preterm infants, and translates research into practice by contributing to national standards for newborn ICU design. Dr. Philbin conducts both basic and clinical studies on the effects of unusual early experience on infant behavior and development.

Katherine Finn Davis, R.N., Ph.D., recently completed a National Institutes of Health/ National Institute of Nursing Research-funded study examining the effects of sleep on health outcomes in preschoolers attending daycare, and is currently researching sleep in hospitalized children.

Elizabeth Ely, R.N., Ph.D., has expertise in pediatric pain assessment and management. Dr. Ely conducts clinical research with children who have sickle cell disease and their families. She also provides consultation to nurses regarding application of research findings to practice.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

Contact: Gina Marchiondo
Phone: 267-426-6054