Nicklaus Children’s Baby Steps Program Designated an American Academy of Nursing ‘Edge Runner’

Published on: 10/20/2023

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies are pleased to announce that their collaborative Baby Steps transition-to-home program has been designated an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing (Academy). Edge Runners are evidence-based, nurse-designed models that demonstrate significant clinical, financial, community, and policy outcomes with proven sustainability and replicability. Each of these programs highlights nurses’ ingenuity and collaboration in developing new methods to provide care and promote health equity.

The Baby Steps program was developed to provide assistance with the transition of care, from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to home, for infants who received neonatal intensive care services and their caregivers. The overarching goal of the Baby Steps model is to provide holistic, nurse-led telehealth support to caregivers and infants during the difficult period of transition. With the development of culturally appropriate and language concordant care, the Baby Step model aims to limit any obstructions to receiving care with a comprehensive routine of infant care during and after the discharge process. Baby Steps was funded thanks to a generous grant by Florida Blue Foundation, with additional support from Nicklaus Children’s Young Ambassadors, University of Miami School of Nursing and the Cane Crusader Fund.

“Nicklaus Children’s nurses are innovators who continuously seek ways to improve care,” said Shannon Odell, MSN, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, CENP, RNC-OB, vice president and chief nursing officer.  “The Academy’s recognition of our nurse-led-and-developed Baby Steps program is a source of pride to all of us. The program truly embodies our commitment to care, excellence and innovation to serve the children and families of our community.”

“The Academy is proud to designate unique and solution-oriented initiatives as Edge Runners. The diverse focus of Edge Runner models highlight the wide range of services, vital support, and team-based approaches that the nursing profession provides,” said Academy President Kenneth White, PhD, AGACNP, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN.” Baby Steps applies nurses as innovative change agents who are addressing a specific health care challenge.”

Danielle Altares Sarik, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC and Yui Matsuda, PhD, PHNA-BC, MPH, (UM).
Danielle Sarik, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, director of nursing research at Nicklaus Children’s (left) and Yui Matsuda, PhD, PHNA-BC, MPH, University of Miami (UM) School of Nursing and Health Studies (right), receive the American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Award in recognition of the collaborative Baby Steps program, which supports families of neonatal patients in the transition to home care. The award was presented on October 6 in Washington, DC at the 2023 American Academy of Nursing Health Policy Conference.
About the American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Academy Fellows are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally. With more than 2,900 Fellows, the Academy represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia.

About the School of Nursing and Health Studies

Celebrating its 75th Year of Educational Excellence, the School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) transforms lives and health care through education, research, innovation, and service across the hemisphere. SONHS has grown from South Florida’s first collegiate nursing program in 1948 to a world-class research-driven school conferring undergraduate and advanced degrees in nursing, as well as bachelor’s degrees in public health and health science. SONHS values its diverse faculty, students, and 250+ clinical and community health partners. The school’s research core includes a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre, the Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities, a Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Training Program, and its 41,000-square-foot Simulation Hospital Advancing Research and Education (S.H.A.R.E.™). For more information, visit

About Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Where Children Matter Most ™ (2024)

Founded in 1950 as Variety Children's Hospital, Nicklaus Children's is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with approximately 850 attending physicians, including more than 500 pediatric subspecialists. The 307-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine, with many specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2008. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and since 2003 has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession's most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit

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