Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Unit (ECMO)

I am Daphne Hardison, MSN RN. I am the manager of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Team, which is a program that provides life support for children and adults in the Intensive Care Units. Our program offices are on the 4th floor of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with Satellite Storage in Children's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Vanderbilt University in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.
To become a member of the ECMO Team, known as an ECMO Specialist, two years of critical care experience is required. Nursing staff may also join the team to assist during times of high census by floating in from their "home unit". ECMO Specialists are detail oriented and highly motivated while caring for an extremely diverse patient population often under stressful situations. Our ECMO Specialists train on the job with an extensive orientation process. This has led our program to be recognized as an ELSO Award of Excellence Center for 9 years. We are a collaborative team that has the opportunity to work with all healthcare disciplines and provide excellent quality of care to our patients and their families. There is always an opportunity to learn, teach, research and expand your nursing skills in the ECMO Program!


Daphne Hardison, MSN, RN
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Unit Highlights:


Focus of Care Patient Demographic Number of Beds            Certifications of Our Nursing Staff
ECMO supports heart
and/or lung function
until recovery, repair,
or transplant
Newborn to Adult 4
  • PALS certified required
  • Either NRP or ACLS required
  • BLS certified required


About Us:

Our unit specializes in providing Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) to neonatal, pediatric, and adult patients in cardiac or respiratory failure.  ECMO is a device which oxygenates the blood and removes carbon dioxide.  It can be used to support patients with respiratory failure (Veno-Venous ECMO) or cardiac/respiratory failure (Veno-Arterial ECMO).  The ECMO Team supports the Renal Replacement Therapy Program (CRRT) and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program in the Children’s Hospital.
Our focus is to treat all patients and their families with utmost respect just as we would treat our own family members.  Our team cares for very critically ill patients and must be able to address not only the medical needs of the patient, but also the emotional needs of the family.

A typical shift for an ECMO Specialist includes monitoring and maintaining critically ill patients on ECMO, rapid response for emergency ECMO cannulations, rounding, and troubleshooting patients being supported with CRRT and/or VAD system.

We pride ourselves in giving excellent care to our patients.  We are one of the largest ECMO centers in North America.  We are a member of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), an international group of ECMO centers. We regularly attend and contribute presentations to the annual ECMO meetings.

Awards and Special Recognitions:

  • ELSO Award of Excellence:  2008-2010, 2010 - 2012, 2012-2014, 2014-2017
  • Team Award from the Adult SICU (VUMC)

     ECMO Team - ELSO Award 2008

    Visit our ECMO website


Recruitment Information:

Click to ApplyIf you are interested in applying to this unit, please visit Work at Vanderbilt: Achieve the Remarkable for current open positions..

                 Try using these keywords as searches to locate a position in the ECMO:
                 ECMO, heart bypass, lung bypass


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To update information on this page, please email sherri.stringfellow@vanderbilt.edu