UCF College of Nursing hosted its third annual Orlando Health Nursing Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Kathi Mooney, a nationally known cancer nursing leader, educator and researcher and a former president of the Oncology Nursing Society, presented her research and led a discussion on how developing a creative mind can help nurses improve their clinical practice and research.

During her presentation, Mooney reviewed five elements of the creative process that lead to new insights, and identified creative practices that can enhance innovative thinking about clinical problems.

“I’ve always believed it’s extremely important for nurses to develop new and innovative approaches to the problems they encounter in their field,” said Mooney, a distinguished professor and the presidential endowed chair in nursing at the University of Utah. “Nurses’ problem-solving skills can be greatly enhanced if they are able to think creatively.”

A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a co-leader of the Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Cancer Control and Population Science program in Salt Lake City, Mooney is an innovator in her own right, having developed a novel home telemonitoring system for patient-reported outcomes during chemotherapy that significantly reduces symptom severity. This breakthrough work has now been adapted and extended to family caregivers in home hospice settings.

The lecture, presented by UCF, was supported by the Orlando Health Nursing Endowed Fund.

“Thanks to Orlando Health’s endowment, we are able to provide this annual continuing education lecture,” said Mary Lou Sole, interim dean of the UCF College of Nursing and the Orlando Health Distinguished Professor in Nursing. “Students, as well as nurses from the community, are able to learn from and interact with internationally recognized nurse scientists and researchers, and at the same time, registered nurses can fulfill their continuing education requirements and earn free contact hours.”

Anne Peach, chief nursing officer at Orlando Health, said the endowment allows Orlando Health to give back to nursing by providing access to national nursing leaders and their evidence-based research.

“It’s an honor to have such a distinguished oncology nurse here with us today. The endowed fund was created in 2009 to support local nurses and student nurses who are dedicated to achieving excellence in nursing,” Peach said. “We are very pleased with the impact this partnership has had since establishing the endowment, and we are excited to see how it will grow in the coming years.”

Peach also recognized and thanked UCF for making Orlando Health a better nursing institution. “Their alumni challenge us to be better on a daily basis,” she said.

In addition to the annual nursing lecture, the Orlando Health Nursing Endowed Fund supports the Orlando Health Distinguished Professor in Nursing, a position held by Sole, and her research that focuses on improving patient outcomes through airway management and infection control. The fund also provides scholarships for undergraduate nursing students who are pursuing research projects through the university’s Honors in the Major program.