Science of Nursing

The Nursing Department at Nicklaus Children's Hospital supports, engages, and empowers nurses to initiate nursing research, Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) projects, and quality improvement initiatives throughout the organization. Nurses at all levels of care are continuously encouraged to explore and apply the most current and best practices, as well as to generate new knowledge when an identified need arises. Integration of EBP and nursing research into clinical and operational processes aligns with the Nursing Department’s commitment to provide high quality care and positive patient outcomes.

Meet Our Team

Evidence-Based Practice Supervisor

Dr. Laura M. Hernandez DNP, ARNP, CPN, FNP-C is a nurse leader with 28 years of experience at Nicklaus Children’s Health System. Dr. Hernandez manages nursing clinical education and implements evidence based practices for frontline nurses while facilitating and promoting nursing research. She is an adjunct faculty for the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Florida International University.

With a passion for improving care through education, Laura extends scope of practice through the hospital’s Moises Simpser Ventilator Assisted Children Center (VACC) Camp in providing clinical instruction to baccalaureate prepared nursing students, while identifying potential hires into the Horizon program, the point of entry program for all new nurses and leads clinical specialists in their unit-based role of educators.

Her research interests and leadership focus include improving care outcomes around transition of care to adulthood in children with medical complexities, patient education, as well as clinical effectiveness processes within the organization to improve the quality and safety care the patients and families receive.  Having served as a principle investigator and sub investigator on several pediatric studies, her scholarly work has been presented nationally and published in peer reviewed nursing journals such as Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Journal of Pediatric Health Care & Pediatric Nursing, and the Encyclopedia of Family Health.

She holds degrees as Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from The University of Alabama, a Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Barry University. She holds national certifications as a pediatric nurse and family nurse practitioner from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is a past president and officer for Pi Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Nursing Honor Society, member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and Florida Organization of Nurse Executives (FONE).

For more information on EBP projects and how to become involved, please contact laura.hernandez@nicklaushealth.org.


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Nurse Research Scientist

Dr. Danielle Altares Sarik PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC directs nursing research through her role as Research Nurse Scientist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Dr. Altares Sarik’s research focuses on healthcare transitions, transition from hospital-to-home, and pediatric patient safety and health outcomes, with a particular focus on the role of nursing in care delivery.

For more information about Nursing Research at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, please contact danielle.sarik@nicklaushealth.org.