Healthy Kids - Spring 2021

Blankenship did her internship in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Rady Children’s and was quickly sold on critical care and pediatric nursing. When she graduated, there were no open PICU positions, so she honed her skills elsewhere before transferring back to Rady Children’s in 2016. When an opportunity opened in the specialty clinics, Blankenship joined the float pool, which means she wasn’t assigned to a specific unit and worked wherever she was needed. In August 2019, she accepted a position as a nurse educator in the Medical Practice Foundation, which includes ambulatory services and all the specialty and outpatient clinics. In her role, Blankenship orients new medical assistants and nurses, works to optimize the electronic health system, develops the orientation program, and instructs new hires. “I love empowering nurses to be their best, to love coming to work every day, and to deliver the best patient care by providing them with the education, resources and tools that they need,” she continues. Blankenship keeps up her patient care skills by continuing to cover 11 of the 28 specialty clinics in the float pool, which she feels allows her to be a better educator. She found it greatly fulfilling to participate in the implementation of the outpatient clinics’ COVID-19 procedures and she takes pride in being the chair of the Development and Education Council. She says her career in nursing has been an amazing journey: “I’m inspired every day. The nurses I work with are passionate about giving the best care. They’re innovative, flexible, hard workers, who are always trying to be better. I’m so proud to be a part of shared leadership and an organization that empowers clinical staff. I’m also a mom. I have two little girls, and I’m so proud to tell them that I’m a nurse who gets to give back to my patients and my community every day.”

The Power of Philanthropy in Professional Development As with many programs and services at Rady Children’s, nursing has benefited greatly from the power of philanthropy, thanks to the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation’s community of generous and visionary donors. “Philanthropy has been instrumental in advancing the art and science of nursing at Rady Children’s, making possible the design and implementation of essential professional development programs and training initiatives that help nursing staff excel in their career,” Dr. Fagan says. “The support and advocacy for nursing has also been vital to the Hospital ’s achievement of Magnet ® status, the highest designation of nursing excellence, which demonstrates our nurses’ commitment to providing the very best care to our patients.” Among the many supporters of nursing research, education and professional development are The Hearst Foundation, Inc. and the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation; the latter has generously supported Rady Children’s for nearly 40 years. As one of the Hospital ’s most significant champions for nursing, the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation has invested in Rady Children’s nurses’ professional development through the Nursing Research Scripps Scholars Program, Wound Treatment Associate Training Program, Code Blue Advanced Clinical Skills Training Program, Schwartz Rounds ® and advanced nursing certification—all of which have been instrumental in elevating the practice of nursing at Rady Children’s. “Skilled, engaged and curious nurses are fundamental to providing the very best care for the children and families of San Diego. We are proud to collaborate with Rady Children’s to further enrich nursing professional development, and to help ensure that our region’s pediatric nurses feel supported and appreciated. They are the heart and soul of a hospital experience,” says E. Douglas Dawson, executive director, Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation.

AL I SSA BLANKENSH I P, BSN , RN Nurse Educator, Medical Practice Foundation (MPF)


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