Rush Nurses Chosen as Fellows of the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program

Kristen Warner

Rush nurses continue to be recognized as national leaders in their field, as most recently shown by the selection of three nurses at Rush University Medical Center as fellows of the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program. A partnership between Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing and Johnson & Johnson — a consumer products, pharmaceutical and medical devices company — the 10-month program provides leadership development for advanced practice nurses, experienced registered nurses and their team partners.

The program’s 2020-2021 cohort includes 18 teams comprising a select 43 fellows nationwide. The Rush team includes the following nurses.

  • MaryCarol Racelis, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, ONC-A, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Department of Surgical, Neuro, Musculoskeletal and Rehab Nursing; and Instructor, Department of Adult Health and Gerontology NursingRush University College of Nursing
  • Kim Ramos, MSN, RN-BC, Education Quality Coordinator, Department of Professional Nursing Practice
  • Kirsten Warner, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CNEcl, CNL, CMSRN, Nursing Learning Lab Manager and Instructor, Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing

Each team will develop and implement a health improvement initiative they proposed in their fellowship application. Warner (pictured above) will lead the Rush team, which seeks to create a standard process for identifying capstone projects for students in the Rush University College of Nursing’s highly ranked MSN Nursing Leadership: Clinical Nurse Leader program and matching them with mentors and clinical sites across Rush University System for Health.

“Our project has potential to transform health through academic practice partnership collaboration,” the team wrote in their proposal. “This project aims to strengthen the interconnection between College of Nursing faculty and Rush University Medical Center leaders by designing a standardized process and team approach.”

To develop their leadership capabilities, the program provides fellows with virtual leadership retreats, web conferences, project mentoring circles, individual executive coaching sessions and other distance-based learning activities. According to a statement from the program, it “will provide each fellow with the leadership and management skills required to effectively address the needs of their communities — especially those of vulnerable populations — and to become change agents within their practice settings and the evolving health care environment.”

The selection of the Rush team for the fellowship follows closely behind the recent inclusion of eight Rush nurses among the recipients of the Illinois Nurses Foundation’s 2020 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leader Award. The award highlights and celebrates young nurse leaders who are making an impact on health care and the nursing profession today and who will shape the future of the profession.

“Rush nurses are recognized across the country for the exceptional quality of care they provide patients, for their commitment to excellence, and for advancing the nursing profession through innovation, education, leadership, research and evidence-based transformational practice,” said Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENP, chief nursing officer for the Medical Center and Rush System, senior vice president of hospital operations and the College of Nursing’s associate dean for practice. “I congratulate Kirsten, MaryCarol and Kim on being selected as fellows for the Duke-Johnson and Johnson Nurse Leadership Program and wish them success with their program. I’m excited about the outcomes and future contributions from their fellowship, which will benefit patients, staff, students and the communities we have the privilege to serve.”

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