Employee Story: Training Tomorrow's Nurse Leaders Today

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's scale, scope, size and culture make us unique among other pediatric hospitals. Our dedication to innovation and advancement ensures the highest level of research and care that our patients and families have come to depend on.

The Importance of Staff Education

Two nurses together Another factor that differentiates CHOP as a leader in pediatric medicine is the importance we place on educational opportunities for staff members. For example, the Professional Excellence & Advancing Knowledge program (PEAK) is a philanthropically-funded, voluntary opportunity for CHOP nurses who choose to advance personally and professionally.

As soon as Maggie McGrath, a nurse in the Oncology Clinic, heard about PEAK she was inspired to develop her training and applied to the program with the support of her manager. In order to earn her PEAK II status, Maggie fulfilled a rigorous set of requirements (minimum of 10 prerequisites for PEAK I and 20 prerequisites for PEAK II) such as spearheading a project to improve patient care, serving as a member of the nursing shared governance committee and volunteering in and around the community.

The requirements for PEAK II were all things I was already doing, like volunteering in the community and several other projects that were of interest to me. Seeing all of my ‘extracurricular’ activities add up and earning recognition for my hard work… it was a very satisfying feeling.”

With philanthropic support from CHOP Nursing Advancement Fund, the PEAK program offers several incentives to nurses who complete all of the requirements. Incentives include 16 hours of protected project time each quarter, a $1,500 travel stipend and optional tuition reimbursement.

Travel, Diversity and Inclusion

Over the course of her involvement in the PEAK II program, Maggie traveled to Washington, DC to attend a 3-day conference for advance practice nurses which focused on funding for nursing education and research, and empowering clinicians to practice their fullest scope. She met with several government officials and had the opportunity to advocate for children’s healthcare.

One of the most impactful PEAK opportunities Maggie experienced was a two-week trip to the Middle East where she shadowed a nurse at a peer institution. The unique immersion experience offered Maggie a deeper understanding of the region and underscored the importance of diversity and inclusion at CHOP. She now has a much greater sense of cultural awareness when working with the patients and families in her care.

Maggie credits PEAK II as inspiration for her most recent educational endeavor. In August of 2017, Maggie enrolled in the nurse practitioner program at University of Pennsylvania.

Support the Nursing Advancement Fund

With your help, we will continue to invest in training and education and set the standard of care for the nation and around the world. If you would like to secure CHOP’s ability to offer opportunities for educational advancement, please make a gift to For Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs.

To support the PEAK program, make a contribution to the Nursing Advancement Fund by filling in the fund name as a write-in option on the donation form. Don’t forget, this campaign is comprehensive should you wish to invest in another area that touches your heart.