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July 31, 2017

Dr. Gwenyth Wallen Delivers the 2017 Beatrice Renfield Lectureship in Research Nursing
By Rita Devine, RN, MPA

The Rockefeller University Hospital and the Heilbrunn Family Center for Research Nursing hosted the annual Beatrice Renfield Lecture in Research Nursing on March 7, 2017 in the Carson Family Auditorium. Dr. Barry Coller, Physician-in-Chief of the Rockefeller University Hospital began the event with a short tribute to Nancy Ellicott, Rockefeller University Hospital’s first Superintendent of Nursing, who established the standards for the practice of clinical research nursing and invented several novel devices to improve nursing care. Dr. Patricia Eckardt, Director of the Heilbrunn Family Center for Research Nursing, hosted the program and introduced this year’s speaker, Gwenyth Wallen, PhD., R.N.

Dr. Wallen’s presentation, “Clinical Research Nursing and Nursing Science: A Perfect Partnership” focused on the specific objectives of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, as well as the distinct yet interdependent roles that nurse scientists and clinical research nurses play in advancing healthcare throughout the continuum from bench to bedside.

Dr. Wallen is the acting Chief Nurse Officer and Chief of Nursing Research and Translational Science for the NIH Clinical Center, a 200 bed research hospital that supports the clinical activities of the 27 NIH Institutes and Centers. Dr. Wallen directs all patient care units at the NIH Clinical Center, managing a staff of approximately 600 clinical research nurses and healthcare workers. As a member of the Center’s executive team and a widely respected authority in nursing science, Dr. Wallen also plays a central role in setting national standards for patient care in the clinical setting, and for defining how nursing research can be integrated into the biomedical research infrastructure.

In her presentation, Dr. Wallen described the process by which nurse-led research projects are proposed, evaluated, funded, and conducted at the NIH Clinical Center. She provided several examples of successful projects in which the data obtained were immediately put to excellent use in enhancing patient care and clinical research quality.

The lecture was attended by 103 guests, including 24 representatives from the Rockefeller University Hospital nursing department, the Clinical Research Office, and the Facilitation Office, as well as several representatives from Rockefeller Laboratories. Also in attendance were the current and past presidents of the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses. 73 guests registered to view Dr. Wallen’s presentation via a webcast provided through the Clinical Director’s Network (CDN). The webcast is available through the CDN website under the CCTS Webcast Series section.