As of Nov. 15, 2021, Kimberly Whalen, RN, MSN, CCRN, of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), will serve as the new nursing director of the PICU. Most recently, Whalen has served as the nursing practice specialist in the PICU, in which she guided and supported nursing practice by promoting nursing inquiry, encouraging innovation and implementing evidence-based practices to provide excellent care to patients and their families. She also serves as the nurse reviewer for Harvard Medical School.
Throughout her career, Whalen has been known for her commitment to excellence in nursing and to providing family-centered care to pediatric patients and their families. As nursing practice specialist, she established a clinical atmosphere of excellence among nursing staff and is a highly respected leader. This was evident during the first COVID-19 surge, during which she was instrumental in guiding and supporting the PICU through its transition of temporarily becoming an adult intensive care unit (ICU).
"Kim possesses the commitment, respect and leadership skills necessary to be a highly successful nurse director in the PICU," said Barbara Cashavelly, RN, DNP, NE-BC, associate chief nurse at MGHfC and Massachusetts General Hospital. "The PICU team is very excited to have Kim as their new nurse director."
Prior to her work as nursing practice specialist, Whalen, who earned her master of science in nursing degree in Informatics from the University of Colorado in 2014, became the informatics analyst and pediatric clinical content lead for Partners eCare. In this role, she was instrumental in developing pediatric clinical content, ensuring the pediatric eCare was captured and leading and educating clinical staff across all pediatric units. Working with a multidisciplinary team, Whalen and her team have also been awarded multiple grants to develop an app to assist with pediatric infusions.
Whalen has participated in numerous hospital and unit-based committees, including the MGHfC Quality and Safety Executive Committee, the Women in Leadership Committee and the MGH Biothreats Response Executive Committee, and served as co-chair for the Pediatric Code Committee. She has been essential in implementing many multidisciplinary quality improvement initiatives and original research projects. Whalen has also established a Pediatric Innovation Committee and received several grants for innovation projects, one of which has a provisional patent.
Whalen began her nursing career at MGHfC in a pediatric general care unit. She then transitioned to the PICU as a staff nurse and later served as the charge nurse. Throughout her extensive nursing career, Whalen has cared for critically ill patients, including trauma, cardiac, transplant, burns, medical and surgical patients.
In addition to her clinical experience, Whalen has also served as a pediatric clinical instructor at Curry College and the MGH Institute for Health Professions, where she provided classroom instruction and supervision and clinical experience to nursing students. She has published six peer-reviewed articles focusing on informatics, pediatrics and pediatric disaster management and has been invited as a subject matter expert to present at numerous national panels. Whalen has presented at national conferences, such as the Harvard Kennedy School Women in Power Conference, and received many awards, including Partners in Excellence Awards, Patient Safety Star Awards, the Partners Nesson Award for Excellence and the Stephanie Macaluso Excellence in Clinical Practice Award.
Whalen earned her bachelor of science degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from North Adams State College.