January 11, 2022

Nurse leader honored for research efforts

Meet Elizabeth Scruth, winner of the Kaiser Permanente 2021 Excellence in Research and Evidence-Based Practice Award.

Elizabeth Scruth leads the tele-critical care program as well as the clinical quality programs and data analytics for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

Elizabeth Scruth is known for her many contributions to nursing practice and patient care. Her work was recently acknowledged with the 2021 Excellence in Research and Evidence-Based Practice Award.

The award, one of the Kaiser Permanente annual National Nursing Excellence awards, recognizes a registered nurse who has made a significant contribution to nursing research and consistently ensures the use of the most current scientific evidence to improve patient health and safety at Kaiser Permanente.

Recent recognition

Scruth is the director for the tele-critical care and clinical quality and data analytics programs in Northern California. She holds leadership positions with national nursing organizations including serving as the chair-elect of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Board and is an active participant in many committees for the interprofessional Society of Critical Care Medicine.

As a volunteer faculty member for the at the University of California, San Francisco, and adjunct faculty for the University of Colorado clinical nurse specialist program, she shares her knowledge and contributes to the professional development of other nurses. She has authored close to 50 published articles and serves as an editor for the Australian Critical Care journal, editor of the legal and ethical section for Clinical Nurse Specialist, and an editorial board member for Critical Care Medicine.

Scruth was honored with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ Circle of Excellence Award in 2016 and named Clinical Nurse Specialist Preceptor of the Year in 2017 by the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

We spoke with Scruth about what inspires her.

Where do you find your inspiration and energy?

I set personal and professional goals to achieve more each year. I also like to motivate other people to publish papers so they can develop a scholarly background to review data.

My first job involved working in the outback of Australia, and that was the start of having a curious mind and developing critical thinking skills. My education broadened my knowledge but more importantly allowed me to see a bigger picture and look at things differently. I look at other people’s perspectives and examine what the different possibilities could be. I enjoy looking at the “what if” and making sure the patient gets the best care.

How have you kept up your resilience during the pandemic?

It’s hard to remain resilient. Knowing that these patients would not survive was very distressing. And yet, nurses know they have to go on.

We do talk about issues within our teams and how people are feeling. We are there to listen whenever the nurses at the bedside need a sounding board. We all make sure that people take breaks and get their downtime.

What type of self-care do you prioritize for yourself now?

I haven’t always been a good role model for prioritizing myself, but 2020 taught me that we all need to do this. I block time on my calendar from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and I don’t allow that to be broken. It’s a time to completely decompress and not have any electronic devices. During that time, I swim, do Pilates, or walk with my dogs. I find that I feel much more rejuvenated afterward.

Watch Scruth and all our 2021 nurse excellence award winners discuss nursing and their award recognition.