Making A Transformational Investment In Nurses

An anonymous $25 million gift supports professional development, training and research for nurses at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Nurses are the cornerstone of care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Representing approximately 30% of CHLA’s workforce, they touch every aspect of the hospital’s work, delivering exceptional patient care, participating in research and training, and providing boundless compassion to every child at CHLA.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, CHLA’s nurses have shown remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to the children and families in their care. They have also endured unprecedented stress—with many feeling that their careers have been placed on hold due to the unpredictable nature of the global crisis.

In recognition of the vital importance of the hospital’s nursing workforce, an anonymous donor has given a landmark $25 million gift to support professional development, training and research for CHLA’s nurses.

“This gift is a true testament to the priority that this generous donor, CHLA and the philanthropic community as a whole have made to supporting our nurses, especially during the challenges of the pandemic,” says Paul S. Viviano, CHLA President and CEO.

One of the largest charitable investments in a nursing program at a pediatric institution, this donation supports the hospital’s commitment to provide a breadth of educational and training options for nurses. It will also bolster programming within the hospital’s Institute for Nursing and Interprofessional Research, which is dedicated to nurse-led research projects and education.

“The impressive achievements of CHLA’s nursing team members, combined with the challenges of a pandemic, inspired a wonderful benefactor to make this remarkable gift,” says Alexandra Carter, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at CHLA. “This gift will help strengthen the professional development of our nurses who have dedicated themselves to our patients—and sustain recruitment and retention of our diverse and highly skilled clinical workforce.”

Investing in opportunities

Nursing is a rigorous profession that requires specialized and ongoing training. Thanks to this gift, CHLA can expand current programs and invest in new opportunities for nurses to further their education, gain specialized certifications, support one another through mentorship and engage in research that improves clinical care for patients.

Supporting professional development for nursing staff also aligns with CHLA’s mission to create hope and build healthier futures. Many studies show that a nursing workforce with more chances to grow professionally correlates with better engagement levels and higher nurse retention rates. In pediatrics, where retention rates have historically been challenging, having this additional support will make a world of difference.

“This transformative gift will allow us to empower and invest in nurses at every phase of their careers,” says Nancy Lee, MSN, RN, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Clinical Officer at CHLA, “whether they are new nursing graduates, mid-career RNs looking to transition to pediatric care, or experienced clinical workers who bring an incomparable wealth of knowledge and capacity for mentorship to the table.”

The anonymous gift will support:

  • Expansion of CHLA’s RN Residency Program, which builds a pipeline of highly trained nurses. Nearly 90% of nurses who complete the program are still working at CHLA five years after graduating.
  • Growth of the Transition Fellowship Nurse Training Program, which prepares early- and mid-career nurses for pediatric specialty care.
  • New research funding for the hospital’s Postdoctoral Nursing Fellowship Program, allowing nurses to engage in specialized postdoctoral research at CHLA.
  • Specialized certification training to help nurses acquire unique skills—such as trauma, nephrology and neonatal nursing— to serve the most vulnerable children.
  • Wisdom workers—veteran nurses with decades of experience who have retired or are close to retirement and may wish to work in a different capacity to address gaps in staffing and oversee clinical care efforts on a limited or temporary basis.
  • Early career development through the RN III Mentorship Program and other opportunities designed to help nurses move up the professional ladder and further their careers.
  • Funding for nursing-led research and education overseen by the Institute for Nursing and Interprofessional Research at CHLA.

Fostering a lifelong nursing career

Nurses at CHLA are recognized as among the very best in their profession. The American Nurses Credentialing Center recently redesignated CHLA as a Magnet® hospital, one of the highest recognitions a medical institution can receive for nursing and an honor given to only 10% of hospitals nationwide.

“CHLA is committed to creating a supportive environment for nurses—one that prioritizes their professional goals and passion for providing lifesaving care to patients and their families,” says Lee.

These new investments in nurses—who are a key component of the hospital’s family- centered care—are being made based on direct feedback from nurses looking for more opportunities to learn and grow.

“CHLA owes a remarkable debt of gratitude to the anonymous donor for this act of visionary leadership,” says Viviano. “With this $25 million gift, the hospital will be able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our nurses and, in turn, the hundreds of thousands of children entrusted to their care every year.”