Dr. Curley’s passion for the practice of pediatric critical care nursing centers her research. Her studies have evolved from describing patterns of weaning from mechanical ventilation in young children recovering from acute hypoxemic respiratory failure to interventional studies that concentrate on how to best care for this vulnerable patient group. Her research, funded by NINR, NHLB and NICHD, has specifically focused on nurse-implemented interventions including prone versus supine patient positioning, endotracheal extubation readiness testing, and goal-directed sedation management. Dr Curley’s research has set standards of care for critically-ill pediatric patients, has provided better tools to measure important phenomena of concern in pediatrics, and has illuminated relationship-based care when partnering with parents-of-critically-ill children. As importantly, she has carved out the disciplinary and interprofessional role of nurse scientist in clinical care and has successfully mentored many clinicians in research methods at numerous Children’s Hospitals.
Over the past decade, Dr Curley has developed and disseminated core metrics in the field of pediatrics. Available in at least six languages, the Braden Q scale predicts pediatric pressure ulcer risk. The State Behavioral Scale (SBS) is a sedation assessment instrument for infants and young children supported on mechanical ventilation. The Withdrawal Assessment Tool – version 1 (WAT-1) instrument describes opioid and benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms in acutely-ill infants and children. The Individualized Numeric Rating Scale (INRS) is a pain assessment instrument for nonverbal children with profound intellectual disability. The instruments, instructions and papers supporting their use can be found on the following tabs.