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Nurse Scientists Engage in Nationwide Initiatives to Improve Pediatric Health

Published on January 13, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog · Last Updated 3 weeks ago
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CHOP nurse scientists collaborate to improve pediatric healthcare

Elizabeth Froh, PhD, RN, (left), Warren Frankenburger, PhD, RN, and Margaret McCabe, PhD, RN, FAAN, contribute their time and expertise to advance nursing science and raise awareness of unmet pediatric needs at a national level. Photo by Lonaya Baker, MPH, clinical research program manager, Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice.

By SCHWEIGL [at] chop.edu (Lorene Schweig, MS, RN)title="Email Lorene Schweig, MS, RN"

The underrepresentation of children and adolescents in research has been long reported by federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health. Nurse scientists at the Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice partner with more than 150 of their peers across the United States through membership in the National Pediatric Nurse Scientist Collaborative (NPNSC) to advance pediatric nursing science and raise awareness of children's unmet health needs at a national level.

"Pediatric underrepresentation, which continues today, hinders scientific discovery and results in child and family healthcare deficiencies," said Margaret McCabe, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior director of the Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice.

When the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration each announced a request for feedback on drafted federal research guidance, policies, and funding strategies, NPNSC workgroups quickly convened in support of children and families. Dr. McCabe, along with Nurse Scientists Elizabeth Froh, PhD, RN; Warren Frankenberger, PhD, RN; and Clifton Thornton, PhD, RN, contributed their time and expertise to the workgroups to ensure pediatric health and research priorities were well represented in the federal documents.

Over the past 15 months, NPNSC successfully prepared and submitted formal responses outlining key insufficiencies and recommendations for revisions to both the NINR 2022-2026 Strategic Plan and the FDA's draft guidance for industry, sponsors, and institutional review boards titled "Ethical Considerations for Clinical Investigations of Medical Products Involving Children."

Elizabeth Froh, PhD, RN

CHOP Nurse Scientist Elizabeth Froh, PhD, RN, is serving a four-year term on the National Pediatric Nurse Scientist Collaborative executive board.

Appointment to NPNSC Executive Board

In addition, Dr. Froh began in August a four-year term on the NPNSC executive board, which provides strategic oversight and planning to ensure NPNSC activities accomplish the goals of advancing nursing science and improving child and family health.

"This past quarter, the board initiated plans to create two exciting new mentoring programs for hospital-based nurse scientists," Dr. Froh said. "One program will lend assistance to nurse scientists who are just beginning their careers, and the other will advise senior scientists pursuing fellowship at the American Academy of Nursing."

Dr. Froh is also engaged in an NPNSC initiative to support scholarly dissemination and raise visibility of key pediatric nursing research topics. She currently serves as the primary author of a manuscript designed to inform the nursing science community about methods for leveraging the vast NPNSC network to maximize pediatric nursing research resources at the organizational level.

"Dr. Froh's appointment to the NPNSC executive board illustrates the value of her contributions to pediatric nursing science both at CHOP and nationally," Dr. McCabe said. "Whether working to achieve goals within her own program of research, in collaboration with other leading nurse scientists across the country, or as a mentor to CHOP nurses and advanced practice providers engaged in scholarly activities, Dr. Froh's expertise in nursing science and advocacy for children and families are strong assets."

Halley Ruppel, PhD, RN and Martha A.Q. Curley, PhD, RN

Halley Ruppel, PhD, RN, (left) research assistant professor, Penn Nursing, and Martha A.Q. Curley, PhD, RN, Ruth M. Colket Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at CHOP and Penn Nursing professor present at the National Pediatric Nurse Scientist Collaborative Fly-In Meeting. Photo by Elizabeth Froh, PhD, RN, nurse scientist, Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice.

NPNSC Fly-In Meeting

CHOP's Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice hosted the September 2022 NPNSC Fly-In Meeting at the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research in Philadelphia. While the meeting agenda addressed multiple pediatric research priorities, a primary aim of the conference was to provide cutting-edge information surrounding innovations in nursing science and data-driven research.

"Conference participants representing 17 children's hospitals and universities across the United States gathered on CHOP's Philadelphia campus with a shared goal of driving meaningful change," Dr. McCabe said. "NPNSC is a dynamic network of our nation's leading pediatric nurse scientists. We're working together to further nursing science for the benefit of children and families cared for at our institutions and around the world."

CHOP Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Paula Agosto, MHA, RN, greeted attendees during her welcome address, followed by conference sessions led by CHOP nurse scientists, research faculty, and data experts.

Among the highlights were "Managing Engagement and Outcomes of Centers of Nursing Research" presented by Dr. McCabe; Darcy Brodecki, data coordinator, Center for Pediatric Research Nursing and Evidence-Based Practice; and Sandra Staveski, PhD, RN, assistant professor, Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco. Kenrick Cato, PhD, RN, nursing analytics consultant, Center for Pediatric Research Nursing and Evidence-Based Practice, presented "Modeling Nursing Workflow: What We Have Learned From the CONCERN Study." Joy Payton, supervisor of data education for the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, presented "Arcus and Transforming Research Data Use." And Martha A.Q. Curley, PhD, RN, Ruth M. Colket Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at CHOP and professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; and Halley Ruppel, PhD, RN, research assistant professor, Penn Nursing, presented "Precision Nursing: Developing Analytic Platforms That Align Nursing With Patient and Family Needs."