The Mary McMahon Busch Nurse Training Fund is dedicated to educating, training and empowering nurses in pediatric cardiac care at Children’s HeartLink partner hospitals.

Our program model focuses on the training needs of all members of the pediatric cardiac care team, with a special emphasis on training nurses. Nurses are often the closest members of the heart care team to a child and their family after heart surgery, making them well-positioned to deliver patient-centered, personalized care. Despite their value, academic training for nursing in many underserved countries does not adequately prepare them for a specialized pediatric cardiac care setting. Children’s HeartLink training programs strengthen and reinforce clinical skills and promote nurses as key partners of multidisciplinary teams so that nurses can deliver high-quality care for children with heart disease.

Our nurse training efforts are designed to achieve three goals:

    1. Improve nurses’ knowledge and technical skills
    2. Develop nursing leaders
    3. Promote nurses as key partners of multidisciplinary teams

Children’s HeartLink has spearheaded several innovations in nursing education and empowerment:

  • Intensive Training in India: To improve care and increase nurse retention, we have developed an innovative and intensive 10-day, hands-on Nurse Residency Program with a group of US-based nursing experts and international partners. This is the only program of its kind in India, with a goal to help nurses develop their knowledge and nursing practice, and to take a proactive approach while caring for patients. It uses a train-the-trainer model to ensure that other nurses in an institution gain the same skills and confidence as those in the original training.
  • Virtual Nurse Residency Program: Children’s HeartLink developed a virtual Nurse Residency Program to give more nurses the opportunity to learn and improve care for their patients through video-based lectures and group meetings. Over a 12-month time period, 32 nurses from four partner hospitals in India and one in Malaysia engaged with our online materials over 2,500 times and with live sessions for 300 hours. This virtual program is now being used to improve nursing care in low- and middle-income countries and in just two years has reached as many nurses as the in-person program did in seven years! We continue to innovate by expanding the impact through a train-the-trainer model, aiming to educate a broader spectrum of nurses. In Kolkata, India, a nurse educator is leveraging videos and guides from the program to train her staff effectively.
  • Parent Education Discharge Instructions (PEDI): This resource gives caregivers the information and confidence they need to care for a child before and after heart surgery. Children’s HeartLink trains nurses at partner hospitals in PEDI, who then share PEDI with more than 10,000 children and their families every year. PEDI, created by Children’s HeartLink, is available as a resource for any healthcare team to download. Published studies have shown nurses have a significant increase in knowledge after completing the PEDI program, and infections at the patient’s surgical site decrease dramatically after nurses complete the program.
  • Continuing Education in Brazil: Brazil’s first postgraduate nursing course in pediatric cardiac care was developed by nursing leaders at Hospital da Criança e Maternidade (HCM), a Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence, and is taught at FAMERP Medical University. Nurses from across the country attend the 18-month program, which is supported by a multidisciplinary team of experts from HCM, including surgeons, cardiologists, intensivists, nurses and respiratory therapists. The course offers an in-depth overview of the diagnosis, treatment, management and long-term patient care. Children’s HeartLink scholarships provide nurses this valuable development opportunity that they might not otherwise have access to.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nursing Virtual Course: In November 2023 Children’s HeartLink launched a new multi-session training course to meet the critical need of strengthening ICU capacity at National Heart Foundation and Research Institute, our hospital partner in Bangladesh.
  • Nursing Track at Pediatric Cardiac Conference in India: In 2023, Children’s HeartLink celebrated 10 years of supporting the nursing training track at the Pediatric Cardiac Society of India (PCSI) conference. This is a hallmark achievement as Children’s HeartLink has established a professional development pathway for nurses where few exist. Over 150 attendees, including nurses from six of our hospital partners, attended a session hosted by medical volunteers from Boston Children’s Hospital. This session included lectures, group activities and quizzes to encourage knowledge retention.

About Mary McMahon Busch

The Mary McMahon Busch Nurse Training Fund was established in memory of our former board member Mary McMahon Busch. Mary was a cardiac nurse by training and through her career became an admired and respected leader in the international cardiac device industry. She had an intimate understanding of the vital role nurses play as members of a cardiac team, and she was a passionate supporter and advocate of our work for saving the lives of children with heart disease in underserved parts of the world.

Help us train more nurses! Make a donation to the Mary McMahon Busch Nurse Training Fund.